Post-salvation, do you ever feel any condemnation, or ever struggle with it? A lot of people do, especially new Christians. I don’t want to seem super-spiritual or anything, but I don’t struggle with condemnation. I’ll tell you why, and maybe it would be encouraging.
Accused of being dogmatic all my life, I always saw things in black and white, right and wrong. People said that as I grew up I’d come to know that there are gray areas.
|Do you see any gray there?|
I mulled that over for a long time but rejected that notion, there is no gray area. There is only right and wrong, dark and light, good and bad, etc. The “seeking” of the rest of my life was to discover a philosophical construct which fit my innate sense of either/ors.
Buddhism seemed excessively complicated. Wicca seemed excessively simple but trying to be complicated. Islam, well, Islam is just crazy. Catholicism had too many rules, and they contradicted each other.
I found my dogmatism, my either-or perspective, satisfied in Jesus.
In Him there is law/grace, broad road/narrow road, condemnation/forgiveness, in Christ/out of Christ, heaven/hell. A great gulf is fixed. Everything with Jesus is clear and simple. Not simplistic, because Christianity is the most complicated and deep philosophy/religion/way of life one can ever study, but simple in its approach. The Gospel is often rejected because ‘it can’t be that simple’.
Let’s take a look at a scene. At the end of the Tribulation, Jesus will have blinked out all the lights in the universe. There will be no moon, no sun, and no stars. Earth will be wrecked so probably no electricity. It will be dark. It will be dark for a while, because Jesus says no one knows the day or time the son of Man is coming. (Matthew 24:36).
Then all of a sudden a blinding light fills the sky. JESUS is coming in wrath, and with condemnation on His lips, and His glory is undimmed, unveiled, and no other light competes with it. It terrifies the inhabitants of the earth! They fall down and hide under the rocks and in caves, crying out
“Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?” (Revelation 6:16-17)
If I think myself condemned, or have done an action that Jesus would condemn, I think of that scene. Am I there? NO. I am not one of those unbelievers hiding under a rock and begging to escape the notice of the Lion of the tribe of Judah? NO!
Well, since Christianity is either-or, and if I’m not there, where am I? HERE:
“More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11)
So I never struggled with condemnation, because it’s either-or. If I think about my sins, former or present, sure, I’d feel condemned. It is a heavy weight to know I fail Jesus even today, with the Spirit in me. But I don’t think about it. If I do, I’d be putting myself on the place of those poor blasphemers in Rev. 6 at the coming of Christ, hiding under the rocks and terrified of His approach. I’m not there, that’s not me. So, who am I? I am forgiven, in the light, embraced by Jesus who knew me before the foundation of the world. It simply isn’t profitable to think of being condemned, and we’re told not to:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Not that we don’t feel bad when we sin. I certainly do. But the glory of Christ is His intimate relationship with us, and my opportunity to bring my mourning over my sin to Him and ask for forgiveness. He delights in His children and wants to forgive. As for the unnecessary feeling of condemnation?
It’s not complicated.
Jesus went through excruciating pain and agony in order to satisfy God’s wrath. He took our punishment so that we would not be condemned. Therefore I will not diminish His work by adopting an attitude of condemnation.
It’s not complicated.
If we have the faith of a child, we won’t overcomplicate the message. We’re co-heirs with Christ, in us there is no condemnation. (Romans 8:1). Why purposely burden my life with a gray area of endless options for feeling condemned in my sins when Jesus stripped it all down to two? We are either outside Christ and condemned or we are in Christ and forgiven. It’s that simple.