Conviction and Condemnation
Our world is noisy. It's full of voices and messages that clamour for our attention. Wisdom calls us to recognize the voices of conviction and condemnation and put them in their proper place.
Conviction and condemnation can sometimes be difficult to distinguish. But as believers, we need to be wise and discerning about the voices we are listening to, which is why it's so important to understand the difference between conviction and condemnation.
First, let's realize that apart from Christ, all people deserve condemnation. We have all sinned against a holy God, and His justice and righteousness demand that He deal appropriately with sin. He simply must judge sin.
But thanks be to God that Jesus received the wrath of God on our behalf on the cross and now we are no longer the recipients of condemnation.
Romans 8:1 states it quite clearly: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
Condemnation has no place in the life of a believer.
Condemnation is the accusatory voice of the enemy. Satan will do whatever it takes to drive a wedge between you and God, causing you to doubt His love for you, stealing your joy or pointing out all your mistakes. The voice of condemnation is loudest when we fall into habitual sin, but it can also be general in nature, making you feel like a bad person, whether or not you've actually sinned. Condemnation pushes you away from the presence of God, and make you run and hide like Adam and Eve after that first disobedience. It brings discouragement, defeat and hopelessness. It comes with the thought that 'something is wrong with me,' drowning you in a sea of shame. It leads you to believe change is impossible, God has abandoned you, and there is no hope for you.
It's a lie. A lie straight from the pit of hell.
Conviction, on the other hand, is the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit, kindly leading you to repentance. Conviction makes you aware of a specific sin and causes you to want to run to your good Heavenly Father and confess it, so that you can receive forgiveness and restoration. Conviction is helpful, hopeful and welcomed in the life of a believer. It is a gift of His grace. God loves you and wants what's best for you, and He's given you the Spirit to lead you into all righteousness. Conviction illuminates a better way and encourages you to walk in it.
It is the truth. Truth straight from the throne room of God.
So be quick to recognize both condemnation and conviction in your life. Take all condemning thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. Welcome all conviction, knowing your Father loves you and has only your good in mind.
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