1 John 3:21
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
I personally interpret this verse by saying:
Hey beloved, yes I am talking to you, if your heart condemns you then you do not have confidence in God – Jide 2017 🙂
It sounds a little extreme but by the end of this post you will get massive freedom and knowledge over condemnation by God’s grace. Before you read take note I addressed you as beloved, which means feeling condemned does not mean you are not saved; so relax and enjoy the post.
Hi Guys, I’m sorry for the delay in posting this next reality of a believer from our series on Philemon 1:6, I hope you would enjoy this one on condemnation and judgment. I know you may be thinking how can one enjoy condemnation and judgment when those words bring doom to people. Well you are right; condemnation is a dangerous thing and everybody experiences it every now and then. The good news is condemnation is something no believer should feel comes from God. It is not God’s will for us because of Jesus sacrifice, remember Jesus is our justification.
The reason we should never feel condemned is apart from taking our sins away Jesus did a whole lot more than that, in the previous posts which you can check out HERE, we have learnt that Jesus by his death and resurrection gave us a new heart and a new spirit, he also took away our sins past, present and future, and he has given us his truth that sets us free. Today we have this awesome reality to explore which is the free gift of no condemnation and a lack of judgment from God to us saints.
In 1 John chapter 3 John was writing about God’s love and reminding saints about the truth of the gospel, of which a key point is how great God’s love for us is. He also talks about the fact that we are His children; every Christian needs to start seeing God as Abba which means Daddy because that is who he is to us.
Focusing today on 1 John 3:19-21, in verse 19 he says it is our responsibility to assure our hearts before God. This is important to note because God saved us and his work was complete and perfect, therefore assuring ourselves must be our responsibility. This comes by understanding and believing in totality the finished work on the cross; it has nothing to do with how we feel. He then goes on to tell us that if our heart condemns us we do not have confidence in God. What this means is to God when Christ is in us he never condemns us even when we do something wrong, right or when we do nothing because God doesn’t look at us he looks at Christ in us at all times. Since Christ will never leave us nor forsake us it is safe to say there will never come a moment when God will look at a believer and see his faults. What happens is His Spirit will convict us of his righteousness by reminding us that we are the righteousness of God in Christ, but our new heart will tend to condemn us for our wrong doings and our response should be to remind ourselves that God does not condemn me for I am in Christ, and I am also His righteousness.
To every Christian it is necessary to assure ourselves before God, because God through Jesus has done His part to give us everything. Our part in receiving involves acknowledging what he has done as Philemon 1:6 says and assuring our heart is a vital step to receiving. Some Christians do not believe they have the right to ask God for some things because of something they did wrong in the past before they got saved or even after they got saved. There are many examples but I will use just one; For instance a young lady who has committed multiple abortions and is having problems conceiving a child after marriage may feel she doesn’t deserve a child. She believes God is punishing her or teaching her a lesson because of the abortions she had, she feels condemned by he actions. There is one thing she is forgetting and that is that she has been redeemed by Jesus, therefore it is a big lie that God is punishing her or teaching her a lesson. Till she assures her heart and stop condemning herself she may never position herself to receive the miracle she desires. God has already forgiven her and all she has to do is forgive herself and to stop condemning herself. Jesus healed people by forgiving their sins first because he knows when you feel unworthy you won’t want to receive anything from him. A new creature in Christ has no past, stop living there.
John 5:22 teaches us that God does not judge a believer because he put all judgment on Jesus on the cross. Verse 24 talks about how a believer jumps from condemned to everlasting life the moment we believe Jesus took all judgement on himself. This explains why the bibles makes us understand that whoever is not in Christ stands judged already because outside Jesus there is no salvation just judgement, but in him we are free from the judgement.
What this knowledge stirs up in a believer is great gratitude for what Jesus did for us on the cross and it gives us a confidence and a high level of grace to live a godly life pleasing in his sight. Acts 17:31 (ESV); “ because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”, before Jesus there was no one to take man’s judgement but thanks to Jesus who rose up from the dead we have assurance not in what we have done but in what Jesus did. This assurance lets us know that we are free from judgement and are passed straight from death to eternal life. This is the perspective a Christian should have on judgement.
Gift of No Condemnation
This gift also teaches us how to relate with Christians and even unbelievers. Remember the story of the woman caught in adultery in the bible in John 8, she was caught in the act and brought to Jesus because they wanted to accuse him with the law. They knew Jesus was a friend to sinners. Now Jesus was in a tight spot (or so they thought), he couldn’t say don’t stone her because he would be going directly against the commandments of Moses and he was born under law so he couldn’t do that. What did Jesus do? Jesus said “He who is without sin should cast the first stone”. No one could so they left one by one then Jesus told the woman “No one condemns you and neither do I, go and sin no more”. Jesus found a way to share grace with this sinful woman under the law, we should learn to share grace now that the dispensation of the law is gone.
What we learn from this story on how we should share our gift of grace with sinners are:
- Jesus didn’t regard the law over the sinner.
- Jesus showed grace by giving the woman the gift of no condemnation. They would have stoned her but they couldn’t, Jesus could stone her but he wouldn’t. He was sinless but chose not to cast the stone. That’s being gracious.
- Jesus told her to go and sin no more after empowering her with the free gift of no condemnation.
In most cases Christian put the cart before the horse in our relationship with sinners, we tell them to stop sinning without empowering them with His grace. Provided the person you are ministering to is not a Gnostic who thinks he does not sin. After the realization of the sinful nature we should ideally feed them with the gospel of his grace which is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). We need to let them in because only the entrance of the word does the transformation to them. Jesus did the same thing to the Samaritan woman by the well with multiple husbands and guess what she left him and became an evangelist, that’s amazing. Remember before you tell anyone to go and sin no more empower them with the gift of no condemnation because without that they may never experience real freedom.
The challenge today for every Christian is for you to be more Jesus like, showing his love to all not the law. Telling someone their sins and urging them to change does nothing to help them change, why don’t you try loving them in their sin and see the big transformation. The idea is not to be soft on sin but to put sin in the right perspective which is something Jesus takes away. If Jesus took the sins of the world away then sin cannot be an issue anymore.
If you are an unbeliever and you are skeptical of coming to God because of your many sins, I want you to know that Jesus died for you while you were in your sins. Don’t run away from Him, pray to him to come into your life and watch what happens next. If you have a question ask any believer you are close to for guidance or send me a private message from the Contact tab on this site. God bless and remain in his love
Have a lovely month of December