From Condemnation to Grace (Part 2)

Aug. 5, 2018 | By Creflo Dollar

Summary

Jesus’ goal during earthly ministry was to demonstrate grace to people, not condemn them. Condemnation is not from God, but from Satan. It is far-reaching and deadly; every issue we encounter that causes us to struggle springs from condemnation. The enemy uses it against us because he has been judged guilty and condemned. He is now trying to pass his condemnation on to us. Every time we miss the mark, the devil is already ready to whisper that we are not good enough, not doing enough to please God, and are unable to be everything God wants us to be. The devil uses the ministry of condemnation to constantly throw our past mistakes in our faces and make us feel ashamed, guilty, and fearful. Freedom and true change the way God intends only comes by accepting and preaching the ministry of reconciliation, to remind ourselves and others of who we are and what we have in Christ.
  1. Jesus’ grace has replaced the law. We no longer need to suffer condemnation.
    1. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God(John 3:17, 18).
      1. Condemnation was not the ministry of Jesus when He came to earth; therefore, it should not be the ministry of Christian people.
      2. We cannot build on a faulty foundation. Doing things out of a sense of condemnation causes us to struggle and keeps us from becoming free.
      3. If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3).
      4. There is no other way to overcome condemnation except through Jesus.
    2. Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth (2 Corinthians 3:6-10).
      1. “The ministration of death, written and engraved in stone” is the Ten Commandments.
      2. The law was given to show the people their sins, without giving them a way to improve.
      3. Under grace, the Holy Spirit does what the law could not do; He shows us how to perfectly fulfill God’s will.
      4. The law was so perfect that no one could keep it; failure to keep it caused people to feel condemned.
    3. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious. Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away (2 Corinthians 3:11-16).
      1. For us, “the vail” referred to is the condemnation that comes from the law. It tells us that we do not measure up and we deserve punishment.
      2. Satan is the one who puts the vail over our eyes; this vail is spiritual blindness. Most churches are still preaching the vail.
      3. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them(2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).
  1. God’s forgiveness overcomes the condemnation that began in the garden of Eden.
    1. But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat(Genesis 3:3-6).
      1. In the garden of Eden, the only law in existence forbade eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
      2. When we constantly preach “do not,” we cannot help but be tempted to do what we are told not to do.
      3. Condemnation started when Adam and Eve broke the law. Satan started accusing them then and he continues to accuse us even now.
      4. …Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night (Revelation 12:10).
      5. Satan attacked Adam and Eve’s identity. He hinted that they needed to do something to be more like God; they were already like God.
      6. The devil suggested that they were not enough as they were, and they needed to do more.
      7. After the condemnation came fear.
      8. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself (Genesis 3:9, 10).
      9. We overcome condemnation by realizing that God does not condemn us, so we do not need to condemn ourselves.
    2. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more(John 8:7-11).
      1. Jesus gave the woman the gift of no condemnation.
      2. Condemnation has no place in heaven.
      3. When we make mistakes, we must believe that God has already forgiven us.
      4. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 8:12).
    3. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22, 23).
      1. We overcome condemnation by accepting God’s mercy and compassion.
      2. We can completely depend on God’s faithfulness.
  1. The law says we are not good enough on our own, but God’s grace justifies us.
    1. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns (Philippians 1:6, NLT).
      1. When we got born again, God began working on us. The Holy Spirit is still working on us and will continue to do so until our life here is finished.
      2. None of us are good enough without God. He is the game-changer.
    2. Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?... O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin (Romans 7:1, 24, 25).
      1. Paul, the apostle of grace, admitted his shortcomings apart from Christ.
      2. The only place where we find no condemnation is in Christ.
    3. And you who were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh (your sensuality, your sinful carnal nature), [God] brought to life together with [Christ], having [freely] forgiven us all our transgressions, Having cancelled and blotted out  and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees  and demands which was in force  and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside  and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross. [God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display  and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him  and in it [the cross] (Colossians 2:13-15, AMPC).
      1. Jesus took the Law of Moses to the cross, ending it forever for those who believe.
      2. When Jesus took away the law, He disarmed the demonic forces that the enemy uses to accuse and condemn us. They have no more power over us when we choose to live under grace.

Scripture References

John 3:17, 18

John 8:7-11

Psalm 11:3

Hebrews 8:12

2 Corinthians 3:6-16

Lamentations 3:22, 23

2 Corinthians 4:3, 4

Genesis 3:3-6, 9, 10

Revelation 12:10

Philippians 1:6, NLT

Romans 7:1, 24, 25

Colossians 2:13-15, AMPC

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