Monday, July 14, 2014

Standing, Sin, & Satan

There is condemnation judicial, and there is condemnation experiential.  One is based on God's perspective, the other on ours.  The former is predicated upon how He sees our sin, and the latter on our view of it.  As with all truths of Scripture, the more simply and obediently we grasp and apply what God says is so, the greater He is glorified and we will be Christ-like.

Judicial Condemnation

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."  Romans 8:1

In His essence God will not abide sin.  In His presence, in heaven, there is no sin.  His infinite holiness and purity preclude it (Habakkuk 1:13a; Leviticus 11:44; I Peter 1:16).  Since every person born into this world is a sinner by nature and choice, and the wages of sin is separation from God (Romans 6:23), God's judgment seems inescapable.

Yet, in loving condescension, God sent His Son to endure His holy wrath against sin upon the cross, taking the place of sinners God had set His heart upon in eternity past.  God's gavel of judgment came down in a death sentence upon the Lord Jesus rather than us, and we not only are viewed as free but righteous (II Corinthians 5:21).
At the moment of salvation, the perfect righteousness of the Lord Jesus is imputed to the account of the believer.  For time and eternity, his position is "in Christ," permanently placed there by the living God.  The sentence can never be altered, because the unchanging righteous Judge of all the earth has decreed it so.  We can never be condemned because the Lord Jesus' atoning sacrifice was utterly sufficient and accepted as complete by His Father.

Experiential Condemnation

The condemnation we experience as believers comes primarily from Satan and his agents, through the world system and our flesh.  Its manifestation is guilt, and the result is broken fellowship with the Father, as well as a shamed conscience. 
When we've sinned, the enemy's tactic is to increase guilt and condemnation through accusation.  He wants us to focus on the transgression, as well as our weakness, in order to keep our focus off the Lord Jesus.  He doesn't care what he uses, as long as our attention is taken from Him.  
The apostle John wrote, "We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.  Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God," (I John 3:19-21).  
Claiming Romans 8:1 as our position, we are to fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 12:2), and thank Him for the full payment of our sin-debt on the cross.  Agreeing with the Master that we have sinned (confession), we plea repentance and restoration, knowing this is His desire, as well.  The Holy Spirit longs for us to look upward, not downward... outward rather than inward... focused upon Him instead of ourselves.  

May we grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, increasing in spiritual discernment, that we may take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

No comments: