Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV)

Clearly, taking hold of our eternal life means more than accepting Christ and looking forward to an eternity with Him. Paul exhorted Timothy, the pastor in Ephesus at the time the letter was written, to “take hold” of his eternal life. This series looks at the fuller application of that exhortation.

Last week’s blog addressed the complete forgiveness of sins that comes with our eternal life. If the Creator of the Universe has fully forgiven our sins, and he has, we ought to walk in complete freedom from condemnation. To accept condemnation from the enemy is to be deceived. To accept it from ourselves is to call Jesus a liar. Scripture is clear that

But if we confess our sins to him, he [Jesus] is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
1 John 1:9 (NLT)

When we fully grasp that Christ has forgiven our sins, we can walk in the liberating freedom of being without condemnation. Such freedom is a wonderful thing, and it leads to a walk that carries with it a lightness of heart and spirit. Conversely, walking under condemnation is truly walking under condemnation. It’s like there is always a heavy weight on our heads and hearts.

Two analogies:

  • You’ve seen the pictures of men and women in third world countries carrying their wares to market or purchases from the market in baskets on their heads. What a difference they must immediately feel when the heavy basket is put down and they can walk without the weight and without fear of causing the basket to become unbalanced and fall to the ground. That’s what it is like when we are set free from condemnation. We no longer walk under the heavy weight of accusations and we no longer fear that every misstep will lead to more guilt being piled in our baskets.
  • My mom had a pacemaker put in last night. After surgery, they had a heavy, cold compress on her chest to stop any bleeding, reduce swelling and limit her movement. The cold, heavy compress reminds me of the weight of condemnation always pressing down on our hearts and spirits. Its coldness saps us of our passion for God and our strength. Its weight limits on our movement in ways that Christ has not limited us.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

Christ has set us free from condemnation by forgiving our sins and declaring us righteous. The Galatians had forgotten this and Paul calls them “foolish.” The Galatians had forgotten the powerful grace that led them to repentance and faith in Christ. They had fallen back to relying on their own works for eternal life. Read what Paul wrote to them:

1You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

6Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” 7Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.
Galatians 3:1-7 (NIV)

When we carry a spirit of condemnation on our heads and on our hearts, we are truly not believing that we are forgiven. We fall back, as the Galatians had, to believing we must do better, look better, or be better for Christ to truly accept us and forgive us. Foolishness! God gives you His Spirit because you believed that Christ died for your sins. “Believed” in the biblical sense means you accept it as truth and you rely on it – you trust it even more than you trust the chair you are sitting in to hold you without breaking. God gives you His spirit because you believed that Christ died for your sins.

1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the [Old Testament] 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, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the [Old Testament] law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-4 (NIV)

The conditions for your righteousness have been met if you believe in Christ. “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, NLT) And because there is no condemnation, there is no need to accept any heavy baskets on your head or cold compresses on your heart.

Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT)

The Spirit of the Lord gives freedom. Friends, receive God’s gift of freedom and walk in it. Or skip and jump in it! Or dance in it! Or shout “hallelujah” in it! But most of all, receive it and do not receive any condemnation that comes from external or internal sources. Condemnation be GONE in the Name of Jesus. And daughter or son of God, be encouraged and set free in the Name of Jesus.

Well, I thought this blog was going to be about being willing to take risks for Christ because He has set us free. I guess we needed to hear the message of freedom again. I’m certain a message about risk taking is coming, but I think God may have even another blog on freedom from condemnation first! Thank You, Lord, for directing my pen (computer keyboard) in Your direction, not in mine.

Comments are closed.

© copyright 2009-2013, Data Designs Publishing and Sandra J. Hovatter