Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CONVICT vs. CONDEMN

Convict.......
to prove or declare guilty of an offense, especially after a legal trial
to impress with a sense of guilt.
Source:  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/convict?s=t

Condemn.......
to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment
to judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service
Source:  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/condemn
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The Basics First

Within Scripture I view Conviction as an action meant to point out somebody's wrong with the possibility of change by the person being convicted.  The offender comes to the realization of his/her wrongful behavior or lifestyle and considers the option for redemption, forgiveness, and/or "dismissal of case".  

I view Condemnation within Scripture as a person, place, or thing labeled, damned, or cursed to a particular judgment for a long time, including eternity.  I also see condemnation usually having a destination applied with it such as jail, death row, Siberia, and hell, or the lake of fire.  

The world, which is creation and all of humanity, stands in a judged or condemned condition. 

"whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." - John 3:18

The Original Sin of one man, Adam, brought sin or rebellion into the entire picture of existence.  Holy God cannot excuse disobedience so He pronounced judgment on everything because everything was contaminated by the sin of this rebellion.

"The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification." (Romans 5:16)

For the wages of sin is death, - Romans 6:23

Fear Not!  There was another man who came.  He is the "gift" spoken about in the Romans 5:16 verse above.  He was God's Word in flesh.  His name was and is Jesus Christ (The Anointed One).  He provided Himself as The Remedy!  In addition, the second part of Romans 6:23 is....

 but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, - John 3:17-18 

The world needed a Savior and Father God sent Jesus.  Of course God has been called the "Ultimate Gentleman" and still leaves the choice up to you and me for believing in His Salvation Plan.  I highly recommend it, the benefits are out of this world!!!
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Next Level

After the Lord visited, He sent the Holy Spirit also known as "the Counselor".

Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. - John 16:7

In the next few verses Jesus describes the responsibilities or roles of the Holy Spirit.

8 When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10 in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. - John 16:8-11

Let us take a closer look at John 16:8-11.  Notice who the Holy Spirit convicts in this verse - "the world".  The "world" consists of all unbelieving humanity, including when we were in a fallen relationship with God -
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, - Romans 3:23.  Now observe what the Holy Spirit would convict the world of - "guilt".  Guilt in regard to sin, guilt in regard to righteousness, and guilt in regard to judgment.

Jesus says the Holy Spirit will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin "because men do not believe in me".  If men and women believed in Christ then they would have already recognized their need for a Savior and realized Original Sin is the cause of all our problems.  However, because men and women do not believe in Jesus, one of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to convict the unbeliever "of guilt in regard to sin".  Why would the Holy Spirit do that? "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9)

Jesus says the Holy Spirit will convict the world of guilt in regard to righteousness or right standing with God "because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;".  There is only one person that redeemed our fallen relationship with God and then went to sit in Father God's presence as our Advocate - He is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, The Messiah.  And now the Holy Spirit convicts or points out to the unbeliever this relationship status and draws him/her toward a restored relationship with Father God -  "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. - John 6:44

Jesus says the Holy Spirit will convict the world of guilt in regard to judgment "because the prince of this world now stands condemned".  The Holy Spirit will point out that a big part of the reason we feel guilty about the judgment passed on humanity is the disobedience and subsequent distortion of God's Word and temptation of the Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden by Lucifer, the Dragon, Satan, or the Devil.  Fear Not!  The world does not have to follow the lead of "the prince of this world [who] now stands condemned".  Condemned to what?  "And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur,where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:10)  But take heart Jesus says - "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)   "I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." (Revelation 1:18)

So, diving into these verses deeper we can see that one of the roles the Holy Spirit fills is that of "Convictor".  The Holy Spirit convicts, with the intention of changing, the world concerning guilt.  He pricks the world's heart and mind about the guilt we feel associated with not believing in Jesus Christ as the price or sacrifice for our sin - past, present, and future.  He nudges the world's spirit about the guilt that is tied to our right standing with God and shows us that Jesus is the world's only Redeemer of the fallen relationship between God and humanity.  Finally, the Holy Spirit points out the guilt the world links with judgment.  Because the ruler of this world is judged and damned, the Devil enjoys sharing his misery and spreads his guilt like a disease with the rest of the world.  Fear Not!  Jesus has overcome death, hell, and the grave.  The defeat of Satan is still to be manifested in front of our eyes -

"Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh." - Revelation 19:19-21
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Our Part As Carriers Of His Spirit

Now, as Believers/Followers of Christ, not "Fans" of Jesus, true Christians need to demonstrate the meaning of The Body of Christ on earth or The Holy Spirit dwelling within the Temple/Body of the Believer.

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; - 1 Corinthians 6:19

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." - 2 Corinthians 6:16
We do not need to become the "Convictor", even though the Holy Spirit lives within each Believer.  I have observed within Christianity that as soon as some unbelievers get on the other side of the tracks, God's side, they develop a quick case of "Sinner Amnesia".  These individuals forget how far from Grace they were living and how much muck God saved them from and they start playing the role designed only for the Holy Spirit - "Convictor".  Many times in my own life I have found that the Spiritual Boxing Gloves needed to come off once again.  I keep having to learn to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work, in His time, and in His way.  In addition, WHEN He wants me involved, He will nudge/prompt me and show me what to do or give me the words to say.

Notice, when Jesus was here on the earth many years ago He walked, talked, and ministered to a select group of people.  When Jesus ascended to the right hand of Father God and sent the Holy Spirit upon and within Believers, Jesus multiplied the representation of Himself exponentially.  Back then God was alongside of "us" in the flesh through Jesus - Emmanuel.  Now, God is within and alongside "us" through His Holy Spirit.  Which makes the lyrics to Give The World A Smile a great challenge and responsibility - "Let your light so be that all the world may see the joy of serving Jesus with a smile."  Let God be God.

P.S. - In sitting down with the Scripture and the Holy Spirit on this topic of Conviction vs. Condemnation I was not planning to share this last part - "Carriers Of His Spirit".  I was only going to share the above information and another blog coming called "Convicted Believers?".  I believe with all my heart that the Lord has me studying these subjects to get a better grasp on what He says and how He views each one.  I am still in the Lord's "classroom" (in fact I'm always there), but He especially impressed upon my heart and spirit that final link and maybe that is the key to why I am here diving into this topic and sharing it with you.  God bless you.