Romans 8:1 (AMP)
Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. [John 3:18.]
Condemnation and Conviction are two words that many believers try to avoid thinking about. They both target the same thing – personal failings -but that is about the only thing they have in common. Condemnation is a tool used by the devil to make a believer feel bad about himself; to make him feel unworthy in all ways and specifically unworthy of receiving anything from God. The enemy will take an area of a believer’s life where there is/has been a personal failing (sin) and continually bring it to the mind of the person even after the person has repented. Condemnation is like the slow drip of water out of a leaky faucet, with each drop bringing added guilt to the person’s mind until it becomes saturated with a feeling of unworthiness. As time passes, that condemnation becomes embedded in the conscience of the person and his spiritual growth becomes stunted. The end result of condemnation in a believer’s life is to drag him down and keep him in a state where he cannot believe that God loves him and would ever do anything for him.
Conviction, on the other hand, is a tool used by God to bring spiritual growth to a believer who has sinned. Being born-again does not result in a sin-free life. It only guarantees that a person’s sins will not be held against him. From God’s perspective the “sin problem” was dealt with by the Blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:12). If God has already judged sin, then why is there the need for conviction? God realizes that the guilt of unconfessed sin will cause the believer to distance himself from God. To eliminate that distance, Holy Spirit will bring conviction about the sin to a believer’s heart. The end result of conviction is that it repositions the believer to receive the abundant life Jesus died to give him.
How can a believer tell the difference between condemnation and conviction? The voice of condemnation shouts, “Look at what a bad person you are; and you call yourself a Christian!” Conviction, on the other hand, takes the guilt of the situation and lifts the believer up. The voice of conviction whispers, “This is not who you are – I have made you a better person than that.” Scriptures begin to come up out of the person’s spirit that remind the believer who he is in Christ: “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus; By the grace of God I am what I am; God loves me as much as He loves Jesus.” Conviction takes the sin and reminds the believer of what God has done for him. At that point instead of feeling guilty about what has been done, the believer feels grateful and empowered to thank God for His forgiveness and move toward His open arms fully accepted. Conviction is like lancing an infected wound – initially painful but followed by a sensation that the pain of the infection has been removed and healing is taking place.
Condemnation always points the finger at the believer and his unworthiness. The fact is we are unworthy in all ways. The TRUTH, however, is that Jesus carried our unworthiness on the Cross. He became unworthy so we no longer have to be. Conviction is Divine Love reminding us of that!
Romans 8:1 (The Message)
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.
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