“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, ESV)
Condemnation is something we all deal with at one time or another in different degrees. It’s a mistake to think condemnation is a problem only for people who have committed “major” sins. We can become condemned over any sin, great or small, past or present. The common element is a sustained sense of guilt or shame over sins for which you have repented to God and to any appropriate individuals.
Are you allowing condemnation into your own life? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you relate to God as if you were on a kind of permanent probation, suspecting that at any moment He may haul you back into the jail cell of His disfavor?
- When you come to worship do you maintain a “respectful distance” from God, as if He were a fascinating but ill-tempered celebrity known for lashing out at His fans?
- When you read Scripture, does it reveal the boundless love of the Savior or merely intensify your condemnation?
- Are you more aware of your sin than you are of God’s grace, given to you through the cross?
Do you see any traces of condemnation in your life? Don’t be surprised if you do. But don’t keep carrying the burden! Because of the gospel’s power you can be completely free of all condemnation (C.J. Mahaney, The Cross Centered Life, p. 126).