Conviction vs. Condemnation
Are you allowing conviction or condemnation into your life?
There are a multitude of today's Christians that equate God's manner of dealing with our sin as condemnation instead of receiving from God, conviction. Or when God does deal with us concerning sin, they use the conviction process (the process God uses to deal with sin) and allow it to turn into a condemnation party. God is not the author nor the user of the tool of condemnation which takes a heavy toll upon our spiritual maturation. John 12:47 tells us that Jesus did not come into this world to condemn anyone, and Romans 8:21 tells us that there is NO condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus. Revelation 12:10 tells us who the accuser of those in Christ are, it is the devil himself. Condemnation is what the enemy uses to be sure that we FEEL bad and are ashamed and feel unworthy of the forgiveness of God. The moment God convicts us, we can fall into a state of condemnation which will completely frustrate and do harmful damage to the conviction process.
Christians should look forward to conviction. Conviction is not a dreadful process and once we understand the benefits and advantages of allowing God to convict us (but NOT allowing the devil to condemn us!), we will begin to open our souls up to God in a way we never before were able. The renewal process of our minds and souls depend heavily upon the tool of conviction to bring spiritual maturation into our lives on a continual basis.
Sin is not a pretty thing to look at even in our own lives. Conviction does bring about the ugliness of sin but at the same time, conviction reminds us that we are forgiven immediately (not later until condemnation sets in) when we ask forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Conviction is used to convince us that repentance is the alternative to sin. Sin is the pathway or road that leads to death while repentance is the pathway or road that leads to life and who doesn't want to experience life?
Conviction allows us to see the answer, the blood of Jesus, which cleans up the ugly sin. While condemnation only serves to magnify the problem and the ugliness of the sin. Conviction employs light and hope and even a solution to deal with our sin while condemnation employs guilt and shame which tempts us to hide our souls and minds from God. When we hide or try to cover up our sins, the spiritual maturation process is completely undermined and cause us to turn in the opposing direction of Him (repentance in reverse). Conviction leads us TO God while condemnation leads us AWAY from God.
Conviction may be painful at first glance, but it will quickly develop into a wonderfully hopeful future if we allow conviction to do it's work. Condemnation is painful and remains painful and will eventually begin to evolve into a hopeless future.
Jesus came to give us life and give it to us in abundance. Condemnation will not allow us this type of life that Jesus died to give us, however, conviction can certainly bring us into this lifestyle of abundance. The attention should always be on the 'forgiveness' of Jesus and not the 'penalty' of sin. Conviction demands grace be present but condemnation denies grace the ability to work on our behalf. Condemnation will be used by the devil (and is a work of the flesh) to rob us of allowing conviction to have it's way in our life. Conviction knows God and His Word are more powerful than our thoughts and feelings, while condemnation believes that to be sorrowful we must feel badly and it is never God's intention to make us feel badly. When we allow conviction in our lives, it will propel us into a wonderful future. When we allow condemnation in our lives, it will propel us into a pit of destruction.
Conviction, when we understand what conviction is in our lives, will be one of the most awesome blessings we can experience as a Christian. Being in this world, it would be wise to ask God to give us discernment where 'conviction' and 'condemnation' are concerned, as our very spiritual lives depend upon such knowledge!