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Condemnation Versus Conviction

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

I’ve been thinking about the difference between conviction and condemnation. When the Holy Spirit convicts me of something that I have done wrong, the thoughts will be something like this: “I really blew that! I was wrong. I should have thought before I said that. That was certainly not a Christ-like thing to do! I’ll go over the first thing tomorrow and make an apology. I am so thankful that He has promised to complete what He started. He still has a lot of work to do on me—that’s for sure!” In conviction there is hope—hope for changing fleshly patterns because of the power of Christ in me—hope for righting wrongs—hope for overcoming.

On the other hand, thoughts of condemnation will attack me—myself—not just my performance. For example, “I am such a loser. I do everything wrong. I should not be teaching or witnessing. What a sorry Christian I’ve turned out to be. I can’t do anything right.” There’s no hope in those accusations—just condemnation. Those words condemn me because of my poor performance and give birth to guilt, depression, disappointment, hopelessness, and a lot of other destructive thoughts.

The Holy Spirit isolates—brings to mind—the sinful act. Satan, however, makes broad, all-inclusive accusations against my person/character/integrity. God will never condemn me. Why? Because He knows me—my new heart, my desire to please Him, my love for Him—and He doesn’t expect me to perform perfectly. That’s His program—conforming me to the image of His Son. “Conforming” means there’s work to be done—changing my performance, the things I do—not my identity. There is, therefore, NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And now means now!

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.