Salvation and Condemnation

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Salvation and Condemnation

Last week Pastor Paul spoke about circumcision of the heart. He mentioned that the cutting away of the heart is a continual process. Part of our growth. It is part of our walk in Salvation. As we learned last week, there are two Greek words that are used for salvation. Sozo which means “to save” and sōtēria which means salvation, protection, and deliverance.
If you are a believer this morning, the fact is that you are sōtēria, saved, delivered, and under the blood of the Lamb. It is a done deal. You fall under the adoption of God. Now, there is a third word that means salvation. We are going to look at the Hebrew for this one. I love this word for salvation because this word is also a name. It is a word that a woman by the name of Mary would call her first born son.
Yeshu’ah - God is Salvation
It literally means “God is salvation,” yeshu'ah. Today we call Him Jesus. The son of God.
When we talk about experiencing salvation, we are saying a mouthful. The word salvation is the same as saying yeshu'ah or Jesus. If you have experienced salvation, you have experienced Jesus. The act of being saved happens once, but we cannot adopt the mindset that it ends there. Experiencing Jesus does not just occur at the point of salvation, our walk is ongoing and ever changing for the better. Salvation is wonderful, it is the beginning of new life in Him. But it is not the end.

Salvation Leads to A Changed Life

2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT
17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
I have often heard people say “this is how God made me,” or “this is just how I am” when trying to justify behaviors that are not Christ-like. If the person is a believer, I have no problem challenging that thought process. You are a child of God above all else. If you belong to Christ, you are a new person. If there is no hope for a Christlike change to manifest in the believers life, God must be a liar. So, what that person is really saying is that Jesus can’t change hearts and minds and that salvation is no more than an emotional experience void of true change. I am not buying what they are selling. God is not a liar and God did not “make anybody” angry, hateful, spiteful, vengeful, prideful, or egotistical. You, me, and the world accomplished that on our own. What the Apostle Paul is telling us is that we are “in Christ.” Our lives are to reflect the FACT that the old man or woman died with Christ, was buried with Christ, and arose in Christ to new life.
You and I, we were dead to God, now alive to God. We did not have a relationship with God, now we are sons and daughters of God. We lived in sin and immorality, now we strive to live in righteousness and holiness. You and I, we were doomed to judgement and eternal separation from God, now through the blood of the perfect Lamb, we are destined to live eternally in the presence of God. If that is not good news, I don't know what is! We were condemned and now we are free!

Salvation Leads to a Changed Spirit

Romans 8:1 NLT
1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
If you are condemning yourself or someone else this morning, stop. You have made mistakes? Welcome to the club. Jesus Christ does not condemn you, so why are you condemning yourself? Some of you may be sitting there thinking “What on earth is Bob talking about?” Buckle up.
It is all too common that believers allow a spirit of depression, or failure, anxiety, hatred, jealousy, envy, or of fear to control us. Some here, right now, are fighting those battles. That can open up the door to condemning oneself and condemning others. Our words and our actions have the power of spiritual life and death. Harsh words, humiliation, unforgiveness of others and ourselves is not of God. So where does it come from? To experience a fully changed spirit within us we have to recognize that there is a Spirit who will not leave us nor forsake us, a Spirit that does not condemn. A Spirit who reminds us that God calls us His own. The Holy Spirit. The very mark of God on the believers life.
John 14:16 NLT
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.
It is only after the point of salvation that we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Can I just tell you right now that the Holy Spirit of God does not condemn you this morning. If you are feeling condemnation or are in the habit of condemning others, that is either your flesh or you have another spirit at work in your life. A changed spirit in us requires that our minds and hearts come into agreeance with Holy Spirit. Our helper, our counselor, and our advocate. Look what Jesus Christ said:
John 14:26 NLT
26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
The Holy Spirit will never contradict the teachings of Jesus or the Word of God. Jesus is telling us that Father, son, and Holy Spirit are inseparable in character. What you say about one, you must say about the others. God gave us Holy Spirit that we would never be alone. God is with you always. Who are you going to listen to? The father of lies and condemnation, which will lead you to destruction or will you listen to the very Spirit of God? The Holy Spirit will correct us, impress the truth of Jesus Christ and the Living Word of God upon us, but never will He condemn us.
Condemnation: To pronounce guilt and a punitive sentence on someone.
We are going to spend a few minutes talking about condemnation. Maybe I need this, maybe you need this, maybe we all need this today. We have seen harsh judgement, self-condemnation and condemnation of others tear nations apart, tear families apart, and tear churches apart. I have watched it tear God’s children apart in this very church. Condemnation is not of God. Condemnation does not come from the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ paid that debt at the cross.
I was talking to a brother in Christ the other day and I shared with him what I believe to be one of the most beautiful displays of the grace of Christ in the midst of condemnation. In a few short verses, our LORD and Savior destroys all arguments of condemning ourselves and condemning others.
You may recall the story of the religious leaders who brought the woman caught in adultery before Jesus? According to the Law of Moses, they wanted to stone this woman to death. They kept asking Jesus “What should we do?” They were trying to trip Jesus up with the law. Spoiler alert, aint gonna happen! If any of us think we are going to trick The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we are in for a surprise. When the Pharisees and religious leaders press Jesus for an answer, Jesus says this:
John 8:7 NKJV
7 So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”
It has been said that perhaps Jesus was stooped down writing their sins in the sand. I am often curious if people realize that they can make an argument for condemning or harshly judging someone here on earth, but one day, they will have to back that argument before the throne of God. See, we don't get to condemn others based on how much scripture they know, what a persons calling is, what gifts they have or don't have, or the struggles a person faces in their walk. There is not a person alive without sin, yet we condemn one another. According to God, in doing so, we condemn ourselves.
I want you to catch this: Jesus stood up, looked them in the eyes and said “you go first.” Can you imagine these guys looking at each-other? They knew that Jesus just beat them at their own game. One of them would have to cast first, which would mean that they were saying that they had never sinned, in front of a crowd! These religious leaders shut their mouths, dropped their stones, and left the scene. What Jesus Christ is telling us this morning is that If we believe that we have the right to condemn a brother or sister in Christ, we must also believe that we have achieved absolute moral goodness and perfection. If that is the case, we need to revisit the cross. What Jesus says next, wow.
John 8:10–11 NLT
10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
I would like to think that the accusers did some serious soul searching after this encounter with Christ. They could not condemn her knowing that they had also sinned. They left, the crowd dispersed, and Jesus Christ is left alone with this woman. Now it is just this woman and Jesus standing there. The picture of this woman is a picture of every person. When it comes to sin and judgement, we will all be left standing before Christ naked and stripped of whatever righteousness we think we have. “For none are righteous, no, not one.”
“No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”
Imagine this woman. Publicly humiliated, facing death by stoning, her life running through her head, all the mistakes, hurts, and regrets. Jesus did not say “wow, I am surprised they did not condemn you!” Jesus did not beat her up about her sin, Jesus did not provide a play by play of all the places she went wrong, or a litany of mistakes. No, he simply said repent, stop sinning, and live. That’s it! That is where our LORD and Savior left it.
Let it go, love the Lord, and live your life. We have a tendency to take it a lot further than Jesus. He made it simple! Stop beating yourself up. Stop condemning yourself. Jesus doesn't condemn you! Stop beating up others. Stop condemning others. Jesus doesn’t condemn them.
Praise Team/Alter Call
We were saved from condemnation by the very one who said he did not come to condemn, but to save. Harsh judgement and condemnation have no place in the Christian life. Whether it be of another or of ourselves. I am not saying that we do not address issues, problems, or sin. I am saying that under the direction of Holy Spirit we do it in such a way that helps lift people up and points them to Jesus,remembering who we are in Christ, and being a light unto Him.
The alter in this church is always open. There is nothing you have done that is too big for Jesus. If you are in need of prayer this morning, there are brothers and sisters among you who want to go before the LORD for you and with you. The LORD will make a way. God Bless You.
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