Mar
22

Getting Out of the Condemnation Business

By

 

GETTING OUT OF THE CONDEMNATION BUSINESS
by Eddie Lawrence

Introduction: To condemn means to assign judgment to someone or something. Too often under a religious but un-Christian mindset, the church has been guilty of being judge, jury, and executioner to people. As a result, we are not seen as the good news people but the people who point fingers, criticize and often are mean spirited. This type of self-protectionism is not the true Gospel nor the Spirit of Christ. A quick read of the Gospels presents our Savior as reaching out to, seeking for, and extending forgiveness to the lost. It shows him calling people to himself. The times he came down hard and exposed people was most of the time when he was dealing with the religious elite he were hypocrites refusing to acknowledge their own need of inner transformation. Listen to this very clear, powerful, simple and well know passage of Scripture.

TEXT: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

1. We are not sent to condemn People.

Core Truth: When Jesus came from Heaven he did not bring with him a ministry of condemnation. If he did not have it as part of what he did, why should we? Why start what he clearly states he did not come to do?

John 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Romans 8: 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

2. Lost is Still Lost

Core Truth: Lost people are still lost. They are already under condemnation. Our call is to lead them out of it. This is what Jesus did. God’s love not our judgment is what is needed.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

3. Sin is Still Sin

Core Truth: Refusing to condemn does not mean we minimize sin. On the contrary, we choose to exalt Jesus and celebrate the forgiveness he offers to those who believe it him. Rather than magnifying someone’s sin, we choose to magnify Christ and his power to redeem.

John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deedsshould be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

4. Truth is Still Truth

Core Truth: The truth still sets people free. Jesus is the truth and he desires to set people free. Light dispels darkness. As we let Christ’s love shine through us, there will be people who walk out from under the condemnation they are under into his freedom.

John 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

5. Jesus is Still Jesus

Core Truth: Jesus was sent by His loving Father to redeem us. He still has the same heart toward lost people. He still is not in the condemning business. He is still the ultimate answer to man’s ultimate problem.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

6. Faith is Still Faith

Core Truth: People must choose to believe in Christ in order to receive the benefit of his redemptive death and glorious resurrection. Not believing means a person chooses to live under condemnation.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoeverbelieves in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

7. Saved is Still Saved

Core Truth: People still need to be saved and Jesus is still doing it. We have the promise that God will save people.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

8. Love is Still Love

Core Truth: The great motive behind reaching people is still God’s love. This is to capture our hearts. Would that all Christians would love as readily as they can condemn. Love never fails and condemnation never works. Love leads to freedom. Condemnation leads to slavery.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

9. The Art of Condemning: Religious Traps to Avoid

 Here is a list of statements to help us avoid being the condemning crowd.

  • We must not usurp God by Swinging the Gavel – God is judge.
  • We must not elevate ourselves by cutting others down – Compare yourself to Jesus.
  • We must not shift the focus away from Jesus – He triumphed over sin and death, keep the focus on him.
  • We must not lost sight of man’s core need for Christ
  • We must not forget that we did not save ourselves
  • We must not allow Satan to reinforce his grip on people. He loves for us to condemn people.
  • We must not use dark deeds to bring people to light.
  • We must not fail to love
  • We must not do what Jesus did not do.

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Categories : Condemnation, love, Salvation

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