One of the areas that affect one’s walk as a believer is condemnation.
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“There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death”. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1-4)
God placed the judgment that the law prescribed against us upon His Son. Therefore, those who accept Jesus as Saviour will not be condemned because Jesus was condemned for us (Romans 8:3).
Condemnation still exists as we all know. Imagine the law of gravity. Gravity is a law that never quits exerting its power, but it can be overcome. Through the laws of aerodynamics, man can actually fly and send space ships beyond earth’s gravity. But it takes power to do this. If the power is shut off, the law of gravity is still at work and will cause the vehicle to fall.
Likewise, the law of sin and death still exists. If the Christians shut off the power of the spirit of life and begin to start walking in the power of their own flesh, Satan will use this law of sin and death to make sure they crash and are condemned.
God convicts of sin, but He doesn’t condemn (Romans 8:34). Conviction is solely for our profit and is free of malice. Satan is the one that condemns us. Condemnation means not suitable for use.
Interestingly, God has a way of using condemned people. He has never had anyone qualified to work for Him including the writer of this article. I don’t even deserve to be a minister of His Gospel, but its by His grace.
“For you see your calling, brethren that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put shame to the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things, which are mighty” (1 Corinthians 1:26 -27).
There is, therefore, absolutely no reason why anyone should feel superior to the other because none of us can save themselves. We are what we are because of His grace. The ground below the cross is level. It is very sad to see some of us looking down upon other believers while exalting ourselves.
Our righteousness is not earned by our works or good deeds, it is through our faith in Jesus Christ who became sin that we could be the righteousness of God (1 Corinthians 5:21).
There is nothing more important than knowing that you have been made righteous with the very righteousness of God, not through your works or performance, but by the grace of God.
No one lives a perfect life. We all make mistakes. God says there is no more condemnation to those who are now in Christ and yet most of us make mistakes.
There are many people who are not doing God’s work because of a sense of condemnation that they have. They feel unworthy and condemned. The word condemned means unfit for use.
Anytime you don’t feel worthy to come before God, or to do His work, it means you are living under condemnation. Condemnation is a sense of guilty, embarrassment or shame. Many people still carry that spirit of shame and guilt.
A condemned person feels undeserving of God’s blessing because of what they have done. God is not the one condemning you even though you feel condemned.
There are four sources of condemnation. The first one is the devil. The devil is the one condemning you. God is not condemning you. Revelation 12:10, states that the devil is the accuser of the brethren. There is a difference between conviction and condemnation. You have to know the difference. God convicts while the devil condemns.
Condemnation is the devil pushing you down and away from God. Conviction draws you closer to God. You have to understand your authority. You have to submit to God and resist the devil. A righteous man may fall seven times but he will rise up again. As I have always said, you don’t drown by falling on water. You drown by staying there. The grace of God will pick you up. Remember the power that raised Christ from the dead, resides within you as a believer.
The next source of condemnation is your own heart. “For if our heart condemns us God is greater than our heart and knows all things” (1 John 3:21).
We have to assure our hearts. It is important that we understand the power of repentance. You don’t repent of any sin to get saved again. You don’t repent to get God to love you because He will never stop loving you regardless of your sins.
Please take note of what I am saying. I don’t repent to get God to forgive me as if He is withholding forgiveness. I repent to receive God’s forgiveness and to purge my heart [and] my conscience from a dead work so I can serve the living God. (Hebrews 9: 14) we have to purge our hearts. If you sin, God still loves you, but your conscience will bother you. If you sin God doesn’t forsake you, but your conscience will still bother you. However, if you sin and your conscience doesn’t bother you then you definitely need help because it means that your conscience has now been seared. We have people whose conscience has been hardened. You can harden your heart to a point where you don’t feel anything regardless of the magnitude of your sin. No believer needs to get anywhere near that point.
As believers, we are forgiven. We are loved unconditionally. We are under the grace of God. However, does that mean this gives you licence to sin? The answer is, no. Sin opens the door to the devil. Sin will enslave you. Your conscience will eat you up. If you sin and don’t repent your conscience will bother you. This is why you have to repent.
In 1 John 1: 9, it says if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. He is just to forgive me because He has already forgiven me. What part of me needs cleansing. It is not my spirit, but my conscience, which needs cleansing and washing. As believers we need to live repentant lives, not for the reasons religion has taught us. God will never leave you nor forsake you no matter what you do.
The third source is other people, “We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have cheated no one ..” (2 Corinthians 7: 2) This was Paul who had been well-known for persecuting the people of God and yet he claimed that he had wronged no one. Why? It was because his conscience had been purged. He was no longer living under condemnation.
Condemnation from other people is very common and so how do I deal with that? Usually we just condemn back. However, the Word of God tells us we should condemn the words not the person. (Isaiah 54:17). Never receive words of condemnation from anyone when they tell you that you are useless, you are a bad person or you will never amount to anything.
The fourth source of condemnation is the law. If you save God under the law you will feel condemned. If you operate under a legalistic environment you will fall short because it was only Jesus Christ who could fulfil the law. Once they start preaching about law and legalism. Your own heart will condemn you. You will feel worse after church than before the service. This is why at times you come out of church worse than you entered because the preacher will be condemning you, telling you how you are a sinner because you don’t read your bible three times a day, you don’t pray every day, you don’t fast, you don’t tithe etc.
You should realise that it’s not about performance, but we receive these blessings through faith in Jesus Christ. You then pray, fast, and tithe as a result of your relationship with Him not to earn favours with God. You have no reason to live under condemnation.
Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura