Thursday, December 14, 2017

Accepting Condemnation

No Condemnation

From whom have you been accepting condemnation?
  • Someone from your childhood?
  • An authority figure in your life?
  • Yourself?
  • Your arch enemy, the devil?
Of course, we are not perfect, and there are things in our lives that need to be confronted and changed, but no one has the right to condemn us except Jesus -- and He doesn't!

Romans 8:1-2 assures us of this wonderful truth:
There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
As a Christian, there is no condemnation! No other religion in the world offers this grace, for there is no other qualified savior except the Lord Jesus Christ. Because He took the condemnation that was due us, we can stand before a holy God without condemnation because God sees us in Christ, with His righteousness and without guilt!

Are you allowing others or yourself to lay condemnation on you? When we do this to ourselves, we are actually holding grudges and harboring unforgiveness in our hearts toward ourselves and, as a result, carry much torment. Did Jesus pay the price for our sins, past and present? He did! Was the price He paid satisfactory to His Father? It was! Can any amount of self-torment or abuse that we inflict upon ourselves make us more acceptable to God? Never! Therefore, forgive yourself and be free from condemnation!

Are you hearing condemnation from the devil? He uses our past failures, shortcomings, and sins to level guilt and condemnation against us, but we must remind ourselves that our acceptance by God is not dependent on our performance but on Christ's perfection! Learn to resist the devil's lies by talking back to him -- repeating truths based on Scripture that can set us free, such as the following:
  • Only Jesus can condemn me, and He doesn't.
  • I will not be burdened again with a yoke of slavery to guilt or condemnation.
  • Jesus came to set me free from this guilt, and I choose to be free.
  • You might as well give up, Satan, because I refuse to let you condemn me.
Romans 8:33-34 (Phillips) reassures us there is absolutely no condemnation for us in Christ:
Who would dare to accuse us, whom God has chosen? The judge himself has declared us free from sin. Who is in a position to condemn? Only Christ, and Christ died for us, Christ rose for us, Christ reigns in power for us, Christ prays for us!
So throw off condemnation by putting your name in the blank and repeating this to yourself time and again:
          _____________, only Jesus can condemn you -- and He doesn't!

The Circle of Freedom

Because of Christ's sacrifice on our behalf, we do not have to live under a cloud of condemnation from anyone, including ourselves! Galatians 5:1 (Phillips) says this:
Plant your feet firmly therefore within the freedom that Christ has won for us, and do not let yourselves be caught again in the shackles of slavery.
I love that imagery of planting our feet firmly within the freedom that Christ has won for us! Can you not hear Jesus saying to you, "Here, come plant your feet firmly in the freedom that I have won for you. This battle has been fought and I won it. Come here and stand in this freedom that is now yours"?

Our responsibility is to obey -- to take our mental feet and plant them firmly in that circle of freedom. At first, our thoughts will not willingly go into that circle of freedom and, once we get them there, they won't want to stay for very long. However, like any exercise, the more we do it, the easier it is to do, and the longer our mental feet will remain in that freedom!

I leave you with this encouragement:
          Purpose today to recognize any area of condemnation to which you have been listening.
          Determine right now, by God's grace, to throw it overboard.
          Choose to walk into that circle of freedom with Christ as your victor.
          And every time that condemnation raises its ugly head, replace it with Truth from God's Word!