Monday, February 23, 2009

Conviction....or Condemnation?

Sometimes I think that we do not recognize the difference between being under conviction and under condemnation. Yesterday, in our ladies' SS class, I attempted to explain how to know the difference between the two.

The enemy is very clever as well as very subtle. He loves to twist the truth, to confuse us, to put false guilt upon us, to get us so turned inside out and sideways, that he gets our focus on other things to the point that we lose our effectiveness and miss what the L-rd is really trying to do in our lives.

The Bible tells us that, "
All scripture[is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" II Tim. 3:16 As we read the Word of G-d, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

Hebrews 4:12 tells us how G-d's Word does it's job: "
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

As we fellowship with the L-rd through His Word and prayer, and as we live day by day, walking with Him, the Holy Spirit does a work in our hearts. Conviction of sin is one way in which the Holy Spirit deals with us. Sometimes He also nudges our hearts about things that may not be sins, but things that the L-rd doesn't want us to allow as part of our lives any longer. The L-rd deals with each of us as individuals.

Conviction is a healthy thing!
It is evidence that our consciences are not seared (I Tim. 4:2)!
Conviction helps us to progress along in being conformed to the image of the L-rd Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29)!

But, dear friends, conviction is not condemnation. And, condemnation is not conviction!

While conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit, condemnation is the work of the law, which we all were under before we were saved.

Romans 8:1 tells us, "
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

If we have never been born again, we are still under the law, thereby under condemnation. But, when we have received forgiveness of our sins and made a child of G-d by faith in the Blood of Jesus Christ, we are no longer under the law and condemnation.

However, even after we're saved, we have an enemy. He no longer has power over our souls, but he still walks about as a roaring lion (Eph. 6) wanting to defeat and destroy us. He uses condemnation to try to bring us back under the law and weaken us.

If you belong to the L-rd, your sins being forgiven, He has cast all your sins behind His back and into the depths of the deepest sea! (Isa. 38:17; Micah 7:19) The L-rd promises to remember them no more! After we belong to the L-rd, when we sin, we are told in I John 1:9 that, "
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Being human, even after we've confessed those sins to the L-rd, we have trouble forgetting them. Some of us, without realizing it, carry around a load of regrets. The enemy enjoys mocking us, reminding us of our sins again and again, really rubbing it in, making us feel like hopeless failures!

So, what do we usually do? We pray, trying to make sure that the L-rd really forgives us, but He doesn't want to be reminded of our sins!

See how the enemy sets us up?! We're already forgiven. Those sins are under the blood. The L-rd remembers them no more. But the enemy gets us all down in the mully-grubs and feeling unworthy, guilty, ashamed, conflicted----over something that has already been settled, done away with and forgotten!

That's how condemnation works.....the enemy is good at that! The L-rd gives us forgiveness and the victory, and the enemy wants to push us back to defeat all over again!

Next time the enemy uses the condemnation tactic on you, remember Romans 8:1, and remember that the L-rd has given us the victory: "
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. " I Cor. 15:57 And what is our victory?
I John 5:4 says, "
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. "

1 comment:

shaninvb said...

Great Post! So very true...conviction is done with love where condemnation is associated with shame and guilt. One drives us to the Lord and brings about healing. The other one consumes us and eats away at our well being. Thank You Jesus that You love us so much that you would convict our hearts to bring us back to You!