The enemy always seeks to remove you from Grace ground. He steadily uses every means at his disposal to see that you relinquish Grace and fall back into works, efforts, and performance. Why is this?
Because if he can get you back into a works or efforts and performance rooted relationship with God, he can utilize his greatest weapon against you. That is the deepest root of all, the root of condemnation. The enemy first brings condemnation though, in the most obvious way, through temptation.
The enemy tempts or allures you with the sin that is based upon your own unrenewed desire. The enemy brings the temptation, sometimes you fall for it and give in. This gives him the opportunity to bring accusations, which also gives place for him to bring condemnation to you. That is his vicious cycle. Tempt, accuse and condemn.
Clearly, we can see the condemnation he brings when we miss it. This is one of his major schemes, but this is seemingly the only one the Church as a whole is aware of. But are you aware of his most subtle scheme? The enemy's most subtle attack is through efforts based Christianity.
When I say effort based I am not saying Christianity is an inactive, passive, lazy existence. I am speaking of a relationship rooted in our doing, our abilities, our performance, our faithfulness and not rooted in His faithfulness. If you base your relationship with Christ upon how well you perform, you are setting yourself up for failures and disappointments.
This is what the enemy wants though. He wants believers to come to God based upon their goodness, their ability to resist sin and their abilities to remain strong and steadfast in faith. Because when you come to God based upon your own track record the enemy now has means to accuse you.
He says "You call yourself a Christian." "How could you do that?" "Look how little you gave, brother so and so gave way more than you." "You haven't been so faithful in your prayer and devotion times, you really think God will answer your prayers?"
When we are basing our relationship with God upon our doing these words will pierce our thinking. They will bring hesitancy to our prayer life and in our worship and approach to Father God. When we hear accusations it gives place for condemnation to take root.
This is his most subtle attack. You believe you are working harder to become more Christ-like and in reality, you're trapped on a performance wheel. We allow condemnation to drive us to do good things or devote more to Christ. When we do this, we eventually burn out because it isn't Spirit led or directed activity. I've seen people getting up earlier and earlier in the morning to spend time with God, but God didn't lead them to do this. Religious condemnation rooted tradition motivated them. Sure enough, they cease this action over time and then feel condemned when they do.
We've identified the attack, now how do we combat it? How do we resist it? How do we drive it out or uproot this evil root of condemnation?
The answer is to be in Christ.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 NASB
In Christ Jesus, there is no condemnation. I like this passage in another translation because it highlights what the Greek word for condemnation means.
So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. Romans 8:1 NCV
In the original Greek, this word condemnation means to pass a damnatory sentence. It means to pass judgment of condemnation on one. In Christ, there is no longer any condemnation. There is no more sentence of guilt hanging over you. Now I know there is some controversy surrounding this passage.
The original King James and some other translations add a clause, if you will, bringing a condition to this promise of no condemnation. I want you to rest assured that highly respected scholars have proven the older Greek manuscripts do not have that clause added. Some have even speculated that the scribes added this clause because Paul's Gospel smelled too much of Grace. Some have a disdain for the truth of eternal security so they push for this added clause. (Here is a great source exposing this truth about the proper translation.)