Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2 NIV)
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. -John 3:16-17 (NIV)
Condemnation is truly crushing. It’s stifling. It’s suffocating. Stay under it long enough, and it can kill you.
Under it, you can feel like Atlas, the Titan in Greek mythology who was punished by shouldering the entirety of the heavens, to keep them from touching the earth.
The frightening thing is that condemnation will come from three fronts: Satan (the accuser), other people, and…YOU.
Satan is very good at attacking exactly where you are weak, where you need to shore up your defenses. And he is relentless. He can also work through others, and even creep in enough to get to you, and make you doubt your worth or value here as a person. And, to be honest, as people, we can do plenty of damage without his help through condemnation of self and others. We’re actually compounding sin upon sin by doing so.
As I write this, I’m shouldering condemnation that feels like the burden of the heavens that Atlas carried. (I will share more of this testimony later…there’s still so much unfolding.) It would be so easy to just give in and let it overwhelm me. But even in this pressure cooker, I ask the Lord: what is it you’re wanting me to learn from this? It’s important to learn that there is always a takeaway from every experience.
The truth will set you free
Central to Christian living is that Jesus’ finished work on the cross—paying the ransom of His own blood as the final sacrificial lamb—set us free from the law of sin and death. He redeemed us in death, and justified us when He rose from the grave. We are freely forgiven because of God’s grace, completely unmerited and undeserved.
The lesson here, as is always the case, is not to look inward or across your circumstances. You will get lost in the waves…and condemnation is an anchor that will pull you under and keep you there till you die. You keep your eyes on God by looking up, into His face. One thing I thank the Lord for is the sun: it shines on me and my life without regard to what I have or haven’t done. It even is shining above storm clouds, so I know it’s there without seeing it on dark and stormy days. The sun’s warm rays help burn away the lies, brightly reminding us of the truth: that His love, grace, forgivness, and redemption are constant, not conditional or dependent on our performance.
So, shrug the burden of Atlas off your shoulders, as many times as you have to through prayer. Condemnation is a lie, and we will no longer believe it. We do not live under the law of sin and death. Jesus set us free. The truth will set you free.
Please forgive us for taking our eyes off you and shouldering condemnation. Please remind us of your loving sacrifice to free us from the work of the accuser, for your truth removes the burden of condemnation from us. Help us instead take up your yoke and walk in righteousness and freedom in Christ.
In Jesus’ amazing name,
“Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson tells us that the times He forgives us is more than drops in the ocean: