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How do we see ourselves? What do we think of ourselves?
At different times, in different moods, in different states of mind we may give a different answer.
Of course what really matters is not how we see ourselves, but how God sees us.
Has the following ever been a summary of how
you have considered yourself at some point?
At other times we may find it 'hard' trying to come into the Lord's presence: - "I feel so unclean, so unworthy, how could the Lord look on me?"
Later we will look more at these examples of
these condemnation, but let me first ask ' who actually condemns us (the
So we see that the Lord does not condemn us. Do not be unduly concerned about the bit that says "Who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit", this does not mean that there is a condition attached i.e. that God does not condemn us when we are walking after the Spirit, but he does condemn us when we are walking after the flesh. No, this 'who walk after not the flesh but after the Spirit' in this context is a description of every believer as shown in Romans 8:v 4.
It is actually the devil that condemns us:
Now that we have looked at who condemns us I want to dig a little deeper to consider forms of condemnation we may encounter and what our response should be.
Condemnation is not to be confused with conviction. Condemnation is from the enemy, conviction is from God. Condemnation seeks to pull us down and bind us, conviction has the end purpose of lifting us up and setting us free. When there is sin in our lives God convicts us so that we can once again get right with Him and continue walking with Him. The Holy Spirit shows us we have sinned in order that we should repent and be forgiven. In contrast condemnation doubts God's forgiveness and wants us to make us feel unclean. The intention of condemnation is to keep our eyes off the Lord and on ourselves where we despair.
Now I want to give four examples of condemnation each of which we will review in detail in the following four chapters. You will note that I have already referred to the first two examples at the beginning of this chapter as follows:-
1.When we feel that we are really bad
"I am so unclean so unworthy" Or the devil may accuse us
.", general sweeping statements
with little supporting evidence.
God does not want us to be weighed down with statements like the above. He does not want us to live in shame. In the next chapter two we will start with example 1. above.