Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Grace Q & A: No Condemnation?

For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 NKJV

For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1 NASB

  We've begun a new study, getting back to the basics of the Gospel of the Grace of God. Answering the basic questions that arise concerning the Radical Grace Gospel. Even though you may have heard these things before, it is good to go back to the truths that first set you free from tradition and unlatched the shackles of religion that kept you bound. 

 Just how good is this Good News? Just what is this Gospel of Grace? Is Grace a license to sin? Does Grace equal once saved always saved? Does Grace do away with the Law? Does Grace mean we never do anything? What about works?

 Let's take our time and revisit the basics and strengthen our understanding of Jesus and His Amazing over the top Grace. Today, I sensed the leading to answer the basic question, what is condemnation? As believers can we really expect to never be condemned again? No matter what?

How Condemnation comes

 Condemnation arises against us in many forms. The most obvious is when we miss it or blow it. When we give in to temptation, the enemy, the very one enticing us to blow it, immediately rushes in bringing words of condemnation accusing us. 

"You call yourself a Christian?"

"Brother or sister so and so would never mess up like you did!"

 More often condemnation comes from the lies we have believed from religion. Sometimes the enemy sits backs and through religion allows us to simply condemn ourselves. How do we do this? It's very subtle. 

1. Comparing ourselves to others

 Often we find ourselves comparing our lives to this person or that person. 
"They are prettier than me." 
"That person is in better shape than me."
"Their house is much nicer than mine."
"They must be more spiritual than me, their Bible is way more highlighted than mine." 
"The Sunday School teacher called on them and not me to answer. They must know I haven't been as spiritual as should be as of late."
 The list can go on endlessly. When we compare ourselves to others we will only focus on our shortcomings and receive condemning thoughts about ourselves.

2. Not following the rituals and regulations and rules of our religious sect, church or denomination.  

 Depending on the group you may follow, you may find that you break the rules so to speak. Some groups frown on women wearing makeup or even wearing a red dress. With all the rules of religion, it is easy to see how we can condemn ourselves for not lining up perfectly with all the rules. 
 I am not even referring to committing actual sins. I am speaking of people breaking the rules of their denomination and such. For example, your church group may think it's sinful to own a TV. So when you visit a relative for the holidays who isn't a part of this group who owns a TV, you feel guilty because you were around a TV.
 We may laugh it off, but sadly, this type of condemnation is all too real for some Christians. To those in strict religious groups, they really feel they are letting God down. If they let their commitment to the rules slip they can be overwhelmed by thoughts of condemnation.

3. Having a performance and self-effort rooted faith.

 This is not the same as following a list of demands given by a religious church. This is self-inflicted rules we sometimes convince ourselves that God requires of us. How does this manifest? 
 Wrong thinking like attributing our goodness or faithfulness as the root of God's goodness or blessing in our life. God blesses us because He is good not because we are. As another example, many still think under this New Covenant, it's our tithing or giving that opens the windows of Heaven, not realizing it's the Blood of Jesus and the Finished Work that brought us a perpetual open Heaven and free access to our Father's presence. 

 What is the answer to condemnation? What about all these areas of condemnation? Does Grace really cover all of them? Is there really no more condemnation? Hear God's Word on this issue.

8 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 NASB

No condemnation? Is it really true? The answer is clear in Scripture. God said it and it is settled. No more condemnation. Even if I blow it too much? There is no clause. In Christ, there is no more condemnation. 

 Do you belong to God? Have you received the free gift of righteousness and eternal life? Then no longer is there any condemnation towards you ever again. In Christ, you are condemnation free for all eternity. 

17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17 NASB

 In Christ, we must receive of this free gift of righteousness. Don't just receive this Grace and perfect right standing before God. Open the gift. Take that gift of no condemnation and reign victorious over the lies of the accusing enemy of religion, tradition, performance-based faith and the religious regulations of man. No longer can the accusative words of condemnation affect our walk in Christ. 

 Receive the abundance of Grace. Even when you blow it, remember there is no condemnation in Christ. No longer compare yourself to others, receive the truth of what God your Father says about you. You are unique and highly valued to Him. Follow the leading and guiding of His Spirit and relinquish the regulations of man. Rest in His Finished Work and not your performance. When you receive of the gift of righteousness and His abundant Grace condemnation falls by the wayside and it is easier and easier to clearly recognize it for the lie that it is.
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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