Condemnation of Sin
Fri, Feb 20, 2009 Setting Captives Free Theology
Is it wrong for us to feel condemnation if we overindulge in any lifestyle, such as in our eating habits? Isn't it Satan who condemns us, and aren't we free from condemnation in Christ?
John Smith, one of our mentors at Setting Captives Free, has written a very helpful explanation of these things. I hope you will benefit from reading it, as I did.
Please examine the John's article below you have a chance.
grace and truth,
team member www.SettingCaptivesFree.com
Condemnation of Sin
Speaking the truth may, at times, seem hard and cold, even though my intention is to be helpful, rather than hurtful.
God, by condemning sin in the law, intends for guilt and condemnation to send us running to Christ, who delivers us from the just curse earned by sin.
For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man. Romans 8:3
In our weakness, He makes His strength known by delivering us from sin's curse and captivity. Though we will never know total perfection in this life, we can have deliverance from life-dominating habitual sin of every kind. Self-righteousness is ruled out, because it is all of grace - not one whit earned, and it is real and it is glorious. For this grace, I am eternally grateful.
Following are a few thoughts and Scriptures I use to help me balance my responses to students so sin is faced, but then grace triumphs through faith in Christ.
Condemnation of sin is not the work of Satan; rather it is the work of God. Satan recommends and encourages sin. He is in the business of blinding us to and enslaving us in sin.
Condemnation of sin is not a bad thing, but a glorious work of God:
If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 2 Corinthians 3:9
God would not be glorious if He did not condemn and destroy sin. But, He is even more glorious when He delivers captive sinners and makes them into His own righteous image. God is shown in grand glory by the self-sacrificing way he delivers condemned sinners by grace through faith in His Son. His Son took upon himself all the guilt and shame of our damnable sins.
He then comes to us through the word and the Spirit to fill us with His own aversion to sin and love for righteousness.
He begins destroying sin progressively in the life of believers now, and will destroy it completely in them at His appearing. This is our great hope. As He is, so will we be.
1 How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. 1 John 3:1-3<
God will ultimately destroy all unrepentant sinners in the lake of fire.
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death. Revelation 21:8
Here are the words of the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth after he had written them some words of "condemnation." They reflect the reason for and attitude necessary in words of correction.
1 Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one. 3 I do not say this to condemn you; I have said before that you have such a place in our hearts that we would live or die with you. 4 I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. 5 For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn--conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever. 8 Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it--I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while-- 9 yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. 10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 11 See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter. 12 So even though I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong or of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are. 13 By all this we are encouraged. In addition to our own encouragement, we were especially delighted to see how happy Titus was, because his spirit has been refreshed by all of you. 14 I had boasted to him about you, and you have not embarrassed me. But just as everything we said to you was true, so our boasting about you to Titus has proved to be true as well. 15 And his affection for you is all the greater when he remembers that you were all obedient, receiving him with fear and trembling. 16 I am glad I can have complete confidence in you. 2 Corinthians 7
Judgment and condemnation are Gods work. Teaching, correction, reproof and training in righteousness are ministries of the word as we apply it to ourselves and to others.
15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:15-17
Paul, in writing to the Corinthians in the context of abusive behavior in the church common meal, advised them to judge themselves. That is where each of us should be and where we want others to be - judging our behavior by the light of God's word.
31 But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32 When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. 1 Corinthians 11:31-32
May God use these scriptures to bring about good, and not harm. As in Paul's writing to the Corinthians, I intend ultimate joy, though there may be sorrow for a season.
Grace and Truth
Team Member, Setting Captives Free