Have you been at that place where you felt you had disappointed God once again? I guess we all get there sometime in our walk of faith. You had kept a good record of righteousness for a while and now you’ve broken it again; feeling unworthy, filled with guilt and wanting to give up because it seems so tough living for Christ. You may perhaps say; “story of my life!” First do know that you are not alone. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience as the Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth [NLT 1 Corinthians 10:13]. It is thus vital to know you are not the first and definitely won’t be the last to enter that place of condemnation. With that said I pray this article blesses you and rescues you from the place of condemnation when you get there.
Forgiveness is one key reason why Christ came to earth. The redemptive work of salvation has released forgiveness from God for all mankind [1 John 2:1-2]. In the second book of Corinthians, chapter five teaches us “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.” Therefore God is not against you but for you. Christ’s death on the cross has purchased righteousness for us; it has taken us from the nature of sin into being righteous. As children of God, we are no longer considered sinners in the court of God’s judgment. This is something the devil dislikes and therefore he makes all attempts to bring you into condemnation when you fall; into feeling unworthy of God’s love, grace and relationship.
The acts of sin are not the main agenda of the enemy but how you respond in its aftermath. The feeling of the supposed failure can depress you to the point of feeling unworthy for anything good and eventually even sliding out of the faith. This is the enemy’s goal and staying in condemnation delivers him arsenals towards this goal. You cannot allow him to succeed. It is your decision to get up and walk out of condemnation. I did not say it is easy but neither is it impossible.
The truth about the judgment of God is that a born again believer is never condemned no matter what he or she does. No amount or degree of sin will equal or be enough to cancel out the redemptive work of Christ. That statement might pull the eyeballs out of somebody’s sockets but relax; am i proclaiming licentiousness? God forbid. Rather I seek to help you appreciate Gods perspective of the believer so you don’t allow the enemy to gain influence through condemnation on your day of fall. Condemnation is a taunting state to be in. It is therefore critical to know and accept that you are worthy in Gods sight not because of your good deeds but because of Christ in you. God knew we could falter even when reconciled to him and so made a beautiful provision in the covenant for us stated in 1 John 1:9.
Chapter one of the first book of John makes a fascinating argument about the Christian and Sin. In verse six he writes, If we walk in darkness whiles claiming to have fellowship with the Godhead – we lie and do not do the truth. The Greek meaning of the word “walk” in that scripture is to make progress or conduct one’s self continually in a manner of life. Thus John explains here that if you continually progress in unrighteousness then you lie to claim fellowship with the Godhead and to know the truth. Note that John did not say if we walk in darkness then surely we are not saved. He makes this statement because a person can be born again and yet know not the truth or have a worthwhile relationship with the Godhead. This is why Paul mentioned to Timothy that the will of God is not only getting saved but to come to the knowledge of truth [1 Timothy 2:3-3]. There are many saved who yet do not know the truth; Gods principles of living in grace and laying hold on eternal life through faith. This is why the Church is important.
Moving on, verses seven says if we “walk” [same word in Greek: make progress or conduct one’s self…] in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with the Godhead and the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin. Did you see that? He tells us that you can be walking in the light and yet have sin in your life, in which case you will be cleansed from the unrighteousness by the blood of Jesus. This affirms to us
that even as we walk in the light as children of God – we can falter and if we do, there is cleansing made available for us. Isn’t that good news?
We understand this more as John continues in verse eight that we deceive ourselves if we claim to have no sin in our lives and he shows us that if we fall vulnerable to sin – his love for and relationship with us is not broken but rather he is faithful to forgive us if we talk to him about our unrighteousness (confess and ask him for forgiveness – 1 John 1:9).
Also note keenly that John in this argument never refers to Christians as sinners. Why? Because sin is not in our nature now. We bear the nature of righteousness. No amount of good deeds made us righteous when we were unsaved but Christ, thus no amount of sin will transfer you into being a sinner. We are sealed in Christ and His righteousness is our righteousness. Then again, do not presume I am teaching licentiousness. If you think as such, then your mind-set is still rooted under the Law and not Grace. John continues his message in chapter two stating that if any man sins, there is provision for that in Christ Jesus who has become our advocate interceding for us. With this knowledge, you cannot stay in condemnation.
Other reasons why we stay captured in condemnation is that we trust ourselves so much that we feel disappointed in our ability when we sin. Always remember that the finished work of God is embedded in Christ Jesus and not in our might. Hebrews 12.2 says we ought to look onto Jesus – He is the leader and the source of our faith and is also its finisher – He brings it to maturity and perfection [AMP version]. Thus we cannot fix our gaze on our abilities in our walk of faith. Without him, we can do nothing (John 15.5), but glory to God that we have him and thus we ought to look onto him to achieve the impossible.
“Cursed is the strong one who depends on mere humans, who thinks he can make it in his muscle alone and set God aside as dead weight. He’s like tumbleweed on the prairie, out of touch with the good earth. He lives rootless and aimless in a land where nothing grows.” Jeremiah 17.5 [MSG]
Make your journey of faith with Christ – It is much easier with him. Allow him to clean you and take away any guilt you encounter. Condemnation is a serious tool the devil thrives on to break the focus of believers. Maintaining focus in a Christian’s walk is a great aspect of spiritual warfare. Do not give the enemy arsenal to draw you back by staying in condemnation. Lay your focus on the grace and love of Christ Jesus. Confess your unrighteousness, ask for forgiveness, forgive yourself as well and keep walking – do not look back.
Paul knew this and he made the statements that “I am on my way, reaching out for Christ […] I’ve got my eye on the goal. […] I’m off and running and I’m not turning back.” Philippians 3.12-14. (MSG)
Romans 8:35 is captured beautifully in the Message Bible… “Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sin listed in Scripture: […]”
The love of God for us is great and so don’t focus on the lies of the enemy that accompanies condemnation. Your life as a believer is hid in Christ so keep walking in him and when you fall, dust yourself up and keep walking. You are loved.
“There is now no condemnation – No adjudging guilty of wrong – for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus [The law of our new being], has freed me from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 [AMP]
Author: Mike Sarkodie
Mike Sarkodie (@psmikeCW) is a Pastor with ChristWorld Incorporated. A Ministry founded and led by Pastor Oti Boateng (@Pastor_Oti) with a vision of making Christ the center of every person’s world. An ardent teacher of the Gospel, Mike enjoys breaking truth down for all to understand. He is passionate about Church plants and helping people mature spiritually.
christworldinc.com Email: email@example.com