How do we escape the black hole of condemnation when we sin?
In last week’s post I said that to escape condemnation, we must first know where it comes from, focus on Jesus, and fight to believe the gospel. A few more suggestions:
Trust God’s character
In 1 JN 1.9, God promises that if we confess our sins, he is “faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” God is unfailingly faithful to forgive those for whom his Son died when they confess their sins. He must forgive, for he is “just” – to not forgive our sins when Jesus atoned for them would be unjust.
Paul told the Corinthians to “forgive and comfort” a repentant sinner so he would not be “overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.“ (2 CO 2:6-7). We should feel godly sorrow for sin, yet not be drown in a deluge of grief. God wants to comfort us, though we don’t deserve it.
Sometimes our “grieving” stems from pride: I can’t believe I’d fail like that. I should be better than that. As if I should be perfect. This is inverted pride – I’ve let myself down and failed my own high standards. Actually, I’m far worse than I know. I’m a wicked sinner, who nailed Christ to the cross. I don’t need to do better; I need Christ’s blood.
Thank God there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Thank him that he justified you by the shed blood of Jesus and sees you righteous in Christ. Giving thanks puts faith into action.
Get back up
The righteous falls seven times and rises again (PR 24.16). If the devil can’t cut you off from God, he wants you wallow in self-reproach. A righteous person falls “seven” – innumerable – times, but God says, “Get back up! Stand on the gospel! Look to the interests of others.”
Trust God to finish the job
Jesus is able to keep you from eternal “stumbling,” and will present you blameless in his glorious presence, not with condemnation, but with great joy (Jude 24-25). Glory to God!
Do you have any further recommendations to help those who battle condemnation?
photo by Grevel