Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8
"Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment [or condemnation], but has passed from death into life.” John 5:24
Although there is a huge difference between conviction and condemnation, they seem to be interchangeable in the Christian life at times. When Christians are convicted, often this leads them into feeling condemned. The thoughts and feelings associated with the word convicted suddenly become closely defined to the words "convict or a prisoner". When convicted, we act as if God wants us to wear prison clothes, eat prison food and wake up behind prison doors to remind us of how we have fallen short. God does not want that for us. Neither word: condemned nor convicted, applies to the believer negatively.
The Bible defines these words differently. Condemnation has to do with who you are, either in Christ or not. Conviction has to do with what you do, to bring you closer to Christ. If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, if His blood does not cover your sins, you are condemned. You have not passed over from death to life and you remain in your sins. However, if you are a Christian, you will never be condemned because Jesus has given you eternal life. Thoughts of condemnation are not from the Lord, not ever. Condemnation is about your spiritual state for eternity, not your daily thoughts or actions.
For the Christian, there is a clear distinction between conviction and condemnation. Conviction leads us closer to Christ as we confess and repent to Him. Condemnation makes us feel as if we cannot come to God as we concentrate on our own shortcomings. Condemnation is a tactic of the enemy. Pray that you do not fall prey to his lies. Romans 8:1 tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
If you know Jesus, He is for you. He is always on your side and He wants you to succeed at everything you do. Stay on His team by thinking His thoughts about you. Work with Him to change. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ because He has come to give you life in abundance.