{Author’s note – This blog entry was originally intended as chapter three in a Bible study we were going to publish. God has changed those plans for us, so I present this here to you as an unusually long blog entry. I hope it gives you something to think about.}

Lilly is thirty-five years old.  She is college educated and she has the job of her dreams.  She has a husband who has loved her through some severe hardships.  They have three beautiful children, they own an SUV and a minivan, they live in a well-kept home, and they have little debt.  Lilly and her husband are Christians, and they attend church as often as possible.  Lilly is frequently asked to speak at women’s events because even at her young age, people have distinguished her as a role model.  Her children are well behaved (as children go), her career is booming, and her marriage is thriving.  At thirty-five, she has accomplished everything she sat out to do after graduating college.  However, on many, if not most nights she cannot calm her mind enough to sleep.  She often lies in bed awake, while her husband sleeps soundly, reviewing what transpired during the day and worrying about what is coming tomorrow.

Lilly grew up in a single parent home with her younger brother.  Her mother often worked two or three jobs to make ends meet.  Lilly’s father left shortly after her brother’s birth when she was three, and never returned.  Her formative years were filled with constant turmoil as her mom desperately searched for a husband, bringing one man after another into their home.  In the midst of this, Lilly’s mom frequently blamed her for destroying her life.  Lilly was conceived out of wedlock when her mom was seventeen, so her parents hastily married in an attempt to make things right.  Their short marriage was filled with selfishness, anger, and betrayal.  When Lilly’s dad finally left, her mom was embittered and loveless.  Lilly became the scapegoat for her mom’s despair.  Over and over she was blamed for ruining her mom’s life.  She was told that she would never amount to anything and that she would probably end up pregnant and in the same predicament as her mom.

Things turned out differently.  At the age of ten, Lilly was invited to church by a friend.  While there, she gave her life to Christ and began attending as often as her mom would allow.  Over the course of a few years, by God’s grace, Lilly began understanding what had been going on in her life.  She made a conscious decision to be different than her mother.  She did not want to continue the cycle of dysfunction.  Lilly began exercising, studying, making wiser choices, and taking every opportunity available to her for self-improvement.  She became quite popular and excelled at everything she purposed to do.  But in the background, beneath all of the achievement, all of the efforts, Lilly was driven by one overwhelming impulse – fear of condemnation.  She desperately did not want to fulfill the accusations and prophecies of her mother.  She wanted to be somebody instead of the nobody her mom always said she would be.  For all of Lilly’s success, no one is ever one hundred percent successful.  And with each failure she experienced, she could hear the condemnation rolling down like an avalanche, and often she would even give them a voice by condemning herself with her own words: “I’m stupid.”  “I’m an idiot.”  “I’m such a loser.”  Lilly may be successful by every measurable standard, but inside she is dying a thousand deaths because she hears condemnation every day and is consumed with how to avoid being condemned tomorrow.

Lilly’s background is all too common.  With over fifty percent of marriages in America ending in divorce, and with many of the divorced spouses ending up in poverty conditions, a healthy section of our population grew up with varying degrees of dysfunction.  It is safe to say that over half of the people sitting in our congregations every week have similar struggles.  Believers are willingly living in condemnation.  In fact, you can look in on any given Sunday and know this is true.  Here is how you can tell.  Find the people who are constantly fishing for pats on the back.  Find the people who are working themselves to death in ministry.  Find the ones who are too timid to hold a conversation with someone else.  Find the ones who constantly talk about themselves and/or their problems.  These people (and more), as varied as they may be in personality and temperament, all struggle with condemnation.  How can we be certain?  Almost without exception, people who battle condemnation will compensate, and many times overcompensate, with behaviors that they feel counter the weight of the condemning feelings.

However, condemnation is not a condition limited to late 20th century and 21st century young adults.  It is a human condition.  For all of human history condemnation has been a common adversary to all people groups, all genders, all social classes, all tribes, and all ages; in other words everyone in all of human history has suffered from condemnation of one form or another.  Even Jesus suffered condemnation from God the Father, albeit undeservingly as he hung on the cross and took our condemnation upon himself.  Condemnation finds entrance into our lives is through several avenues.  One of these avenues is through our shame.

Shame’s Condemnation

Shame is not a popular topic.  Once upon a time people were taught to feel shame when they were caught doing bad things.  Shame was used as a tool of rehabilitation by forcing offenders to wear symbolic badges of shame.  For instance, the proverbial dunce cap, which teachers would force misbehaving students to wear was a badge of shame.   Go back a little further and women who were caught in adultery often had their heads shaven or were forced to wear an icon that symbolized their trespass.  The Amish continue to employ the practice of shunning deviants within their communities, which is the practice of forcing shame upon a person by making them an outcast.  History is full of such examples from the simple dunce cap to physically harmful practices like branding.  Shame was once taken very seriously and used with extreme prejudice to coerce people into socially acceptable behavior.  This begs the question: is shame something that is forced upon someone?  No.  Shame is something deeper.  Shame is not a response to those who condemn us.  Shame is a response to who we are.  It is the shock that overtakes us when we see our own nakedness.

One day I was on the school bus minding my own business, listening to my Walkman (for those of you born after 1985, Sony made this miniature cassette . . . nevermind).  My bus route was a shorter route, so it was not long before we arrived at my school.  I got off the bus, went to my homeroom, and then to my first class.  A few hours later during third period I asked my teacher if I could be excused to go to the restroom.  Once in the restroom, I passed by the mirrors and to my horror the only shred of clothing I was wearing was my bright white Fruit of the Loom underwear!  I was aghast!  I stood there staring into the mirror wondering how I had somehow missed the fact that I was nearly naked when I left for school.  I also wondered why no one had bothered to mention to me that I was severely underdressed for the occasion.  I planned my route of exit.  Home was only a few miles away, and during the day few people would be traveling my road, so I decided to run home.  After a few moments of psyching myself to make my run, I bolted.  But, at about step number three, the bell rang and the hallways became flooded with people!  I was frozen in time.  I was humiliated that people were seeing me this way, yet surprisingly no one else seemed to notice that I was wearing the Emperor’s new clothes.  Anguish and despair was flooding my soul.  I thought, “How will I ever get away from here without someone seeing me as I really am?”  Finally, my basketball coach approached, his countenance filled with anger and disgust, and yelled, “That’s it!”  The next thing I knew, I woke up in a cold sweat in my own bed, relieved that it was only a dream, but still stung by the humiliation.  Freudian interpretations aside, one thing from that dream stuck out to me.  I was in a hopeless situation, powerless to change my condition, people were starting to notice, and that produced great feelings of fear.  I saw my own nakedness and I was deeply ashamed.  People could see me much more intimately than I ever wanted them to see me.

In some ways, my dream hearkens back to the beginning of all shame.  In Genesis chapter three we get a peek into some of the earliest events in human history.  To set the framework, God had recently created the universe – the heavens, the earth, all the fish, insects, birds, and land animals, and Adam and Eve, the first humans.  He placed them in his garden, the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:8) and charged them with caring for the garden (Genesis 2:15).  Things were good (Genesis 1:31).  In fact, things were so good that Adam and Eve were able to walk around naked all of the time and not think twice about it.  Eve never gave a second thought about the size of her hips, and Adam was not bothered by the lack of definition in his abs.  They were totally consumed by the love they had for God and for each other.  In fact, they were so consumed that God said they were naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25).

No one can say for certain how much time elapsed between Genesis 2:25 and Genesis 3:1.  Was it a week, a month, a year, or a decade?  We do not know.  All we know is that one day Satan possessed a serpent, lured Adam and Eve to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, tricked Eve into eating its forbidden fruit, which God had commanded them to not eat (Genesis 2:17), and Eve then convinced Adam to eat as well.  It is here, in this sensual moment where Adam and Eve caved into the pleasures of their flesh and changed history.  Whatever humanity was before this moment was reduced to a memory.  Something deeply personal happened.  There was an exchange that happened in the core of their being.  Where once they had a perfect, uninterrupted communion with God and with each other, sin had entered in and changed them at the core.  For the first time they became aware of their imperfections.  Where once they were content, now they were discontented.  For the first time they had to deal with rejection.  Where once they completely accepted each other, now they were rejecting the other over their differences.  For the first time they felt lacking.  Where once there was an abundance of God’s presence, now there was a deficiency that created an abhorrent vacuum, which demanded to be filled.  “Then the eyes of both were opened and they knew that they were naked.” (Genesis 3:7)

Similar to my realization that I was in the middle of my high school in my tighty whities – but in a much more real sense, so much more importantly – Adam and Eve’s nakedness evoked shame.  Why?  All they did was eat a piece of fruit.  In the grand scheme of things, should they be ashamed of one measly sin?  Put in a modern setting, it would be like saying the entire human race is condemned over a single illegally downloaded MP3.  However, the seeming insignificance of the act is not the point.  Shame was not born because of what they did – contrary to how so many of us are taught to think.  Shame was birthed out of who they had become.  Shame has nothing to do with what we do.  It has everything to do with who we are.  Shame is over being, not doing.

Regardless of how well they lived thereafter, Adam and Eve’s identity changed from that of a child of God, to a child of the Devil (John 8:44).  And this identity was passed from father to son, mother to daughter, generation to generation, up to the present moment.  What is the makeup of this new identity?  Jesus describes it very clearly in John 8:44: “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  It is this new identity that produces shame.  We are ashamed of who we are.

Think about the extremes.  People who cut themselves, people who subject themselves to abuse, these people have convinced themselves that somehow they deserve to suffer.  They wrestle, very physically with their shame.  They do not like who they are, so they resort to self-punishment.  Why else would they continually endure the suffering unless they somehow felt they deserve it?  Now think about everyone else.  Most people do not deal with their shame with such extreme measures.  In fact, we cover up shame.  “And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” (Genesis 3:7)

Adam and Eve saw their nakedness, felt tremendous shame, and acted to cover their nakedness with fig leaves to alleviate the shame.  That is precisely what most people do.  By covering ourselves with fig leaves, we can pretend that there is no shame in who we are.  Fig leaves actually cover us quite nicely from the leering gazes of others.  They prevent other people from seeing the imperfections, the character flaws, and the areas of neglect that we possess.  But in the end, they are only fig leaves.  Even the best-sewn fig leaves will age, become brittle, and need to be replaced.  That is the pattern of covering shame.  Eventually the fig leaves get old, they become brittle, the develop holes from wear and tear, and people begin to see through our carefully crafted cover-up.  What do we do?  We put on more fig leaves to cover up the worn ones.  It is an unending cycle of cover-up after cover-up.  And all because we want to deny that there is any shame to be dealt with.  Before any one passes judgment on cutters and self-abusers, understand that from a certain point of view they see their shame and understand how detestable it is far better than those of us content to pretend it does not exist.

The verdict of shame is that our very being is unfit.  For Adam and Eve, shame was very vivid because it was accompanied by the memories of how things once were before their fall.  For the rest of us, shame is not necessarily a vivid understanding of our depraved nature, but it is the subtle, gnawing intuition, haunting our souls, that we are not good enough.  It is the echo of Adam and Eve’s loss that reverberates within each human being – “Something is wrong with me.”  It is here where condemnation comes to roost.  No matter how much we try to fix ourselves, nothing ever suffices; in the end we still feel broken.  Shame gives condemnation a firm foothold.

Guilt’s Condemnation

Another avenue by which condemnation enters is through guilt.  Guilt is shame’s close companion.  Wherever you find shame, guilt will be close at hand.  Where shame has to do with who we are, guilt has to do with what we do.  Where shame condemns us for being sinners, guilt condemns us for actually sinning.  The two are so closely linked that people seldom make the distinction between them.

However, as we can see with Lilly, good works, even great works, cannot make up for a deficient understanding of who we are at the core.  When Lilly does not succeed, when she fails, she is eaten alive by guilt.  In a similar way sin is always accompanied with guilt.  Romans 6:23 tells us, “For the wages of sin is death.”  Sin has a consequence.  As people who sin, we are guilty of breaking God’s laws and will suffer the consequence pronounced by God in the Garden, “you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17)  The condemnation from guilt stems from the sins we commit.  Our sins condemn us, yet it is the very sins that condemn us that also entangle us and keep us in a deadly cycle.

John’s guilt was eating him alive.  He and his wife, Bella, had two beautiful daughters.  He had a successful job as a foreman with a large construction company where he made a decent salary, and Bella stayed at home with their children.  Things seem fairly well on the surface, but John had a secret.  He had been cheating on Bella with a coworker.  His infidelity had nothing to do with Bella in as much as she was a great wife, great mother, beautiful, and the woman he loved most in his life.  His infidelity was pure lust.  He has no desire to leave Bella, he has no wishes to destroy his family, but he had given thought to his own lustful desires over a period of a couple of years and then finally gave in to them.  Now a few months into his affair, he desperately wants to end it, but finds himself enslaved to his lust.  He wants to come clean, but if he comes clean, he will devastate his wife and possibly bring an abrupt end to their marriage.  The only reprieve John can find from his guilt is giving in to his lusts.  The pleasure of the moment makes him forget about the guilt.  Guilt is driving John deeper into his own misery.

Look at Peter.  Peter was the boldest of the disciples.  In John 13:37 Peter declares, “Lord why can I not follow you now?  I will lay down my life for you.”  This was typical Peter.  Peter is reputed as the speak-before-thinking disciple.  Jesus had been telling his disciples all along that he would be handed over to the authorities, killed, and rise again from death.  But even with the events unfolding around him, Peter spoke boldly.  Jesus’ response must have been chilling: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.”  Yet, even knowing who was speaking, Peter reassured Jesus that he would not deny him (Matthew 26:35).  Of course, we know the story; Peter did indeed deny Christ three times before the rooster crowed the next morning (Matthew 26:69-75).  It says that once the rooster crowed that he “went out and wept bitterly.”  Here we see guilt entering the picture.  Peter is not seen again until Resurrection morning when he is running to the tomb to confirm that Jesus was no longer there (John 20:2-10).  What must have ran through his mind?  John 20:9 states that none of them yet understood the Scriptures that Jesus would rise from the dead.  The guilt of his denial must have hit him again.  Later that day Jesus appeared to all of the disciples in the place where they had locked themselves away for fear of the Jews (John 20:19).  Upon seeing Jesus, Peter probably struggled to make eye contact.  Guilt digs in a little deeper.  Peter finally breaks.  He does what many of us do when we deal with guilt – we run to something familiar, something that brings us comfort.  Peter went fishing (John 21:3).

Sound familiar?  John was running to his lusts to assuage his guilt.  Peter ran back to his fishing boats.  What do you do?  Do you keep yourself busy with work?  Do you keep yourself busy with pleasure?  Regardless of your particular vice, people generally seek out things that bring comfort in order to deal with guilt.  It masks the feelings of guilt, and ultimately diminishes them.  Herein is the danger: masking guilt weakens the conscience.  A weakened conscience is what Scripture calls a “seared conscience.” 1 Timothy 4:1-2 says, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared.”  These men with seared consciences are called insincere liars.  Masking guilt is a lie to oneself that weakens the conscience one utterance at a time.  Every time you mask, it gets a little easier.  The condemnation of guilt drives you to the pursuit of more and more comfort, whether in work or pleasure.  Some people work more, some people play more, but the condemnation never ceases.

The End of Condemnation

Think back to Lilly.  Lilly is a Christian.  She has her life together in ways that most people would envy.  Her accomplishments by age 35 were commendable.  Yet she lives in a silent misery that will slowly erode her health, her relationships, and ultimately her faith.  What can Lilly do?  What can any of us do to combat the voices in our heads that frequently condemn us over our failures?  The good news for Lilly and all of us is that Jesus Christ brought an end to condemnation on the cross.  “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)  Because Jesus took on the cross our shame and the guilt that we had earned, we can live a life free of shame and guilt!  The cross was the death sentence for condemnation because our shame and guilt was crucified with him.  Right about now you are probably thinking, “That’s awesome!  But how does it work?”  From the start of this section, I need to say that it will not be possible to explain everything in easy to follow steps.  Living free from guilt and condemnation is a work of the Holy Spirit that takes many years for some people to achieve.  Achieving the freedom that Christ has bought for you is not a checklist of things you should and should not do, but rather it is a process of integrating truth into your life.  Thomas Chalmers once said in a sermon, “the only way to dispossess it (the heart) of an old affection is by the expulsive power of a new one.”  In other words, sinful ways are not forcefully removed by will power; they are uprooted by a love for something greater.

First, there must be a realization that Christians will never be without an accuser.  Satan is called “the accuser of our brothers” in Revelation 12:10.  If you have trusted Christ for salvation, you will always live with an accuser who day and night piles condemnation upon you.  Satan is always going to bring to mind your faults, your past mistakes, your lapses of judgment, and anything else that points to past failures.  He will bring to mind the wicked things people have said to you from your childhood.  He will remind you of regrets.  He will do whatever is within his power to keep you focused on your inability and away from Christ’s complete ability.  To be free from condemnation is to be free from its power and effects, not necessarily its presence.  Christ is our victor over the power of condemnation.

In Lilly’s case she is hearing the condemning words of her mother over and over in her head, especially when she fails.  At first, those words drove her to succeed, but after years of battle, Lilly is beginning to fatigue.  She is giving those accusations an audience in her mind.  Lilly has been looking to her accomplishments as proof that she is not the woman her mom said she would be.  And now that she has accomplished everything she set out to do career wise, what accomplishment will she point to tomorrow to refute her mom?  Lilly’s has never looked to Christ for acceptance.  She has trusted him for salvation and received his forgiveness and she loves him, but she has a hard time imagining that he loves her.  If she would embrace the truth that God has accepted her completely, the accusations and curses from her mother would lose their grip and like water on a duck’s back, roll away.  Likewise, we need to embrace the truth that God has accepted us completely.  This is the message of Romans 5:8: “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  God does not wait for us to clean up before he reaches out to us, he reaches out while we are still a mess.  The liberation found in this verse is complete dynamite!  Imagine living a life free from the power of the condemning words spoken over you!  This is what Christ offers!  That is why it is written, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Second, understand that even though Satan accuses us, Jesus defends us.  The reason Satan’s accusations hurt us so deeply is because he is telling the truth.  Satan does not simply make up lies about us; else his accusation would hold no weight.  Here at this point, it is supremely important that you and I grasp what is happening.  Satan is telling the truth about who we were.  It is absolutely true that I have murdered and committed adultery in my heart many times over.  There is no denying that I coveted my neighbor’s possessions.  On many occasions I have worshiped lesser gods in my life.  I have failed innumerable times when facing temptation.  I have had days where I was a bad father and husband.  The accusations being leveraged against me are absolutely true!  And it is important for you and I to agree with these truths.  Denying these accusations is a lie, and it would only serve to build self-righteousness.

But this is not the end.  We are not left vulnerable to Satan’s accusations.  Satan is telling the truth about who we were, not who we are!  Now that Christ has redeemed us, he has taken up the role of our Defender. “But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1)  Jesus is with the Father defending us against Satan’s accusations.  He understands our struggle because he too has been tempted as we are. “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)  And lest you mischaracterize how he defends us, Jesus does not beg and plead for us when we sin, as if we have somehow drawn the last straw with God the Father.  He looks to the Father and confidently expects mercy because he has already suffered the Father’s entire wrath on our behalf.  Because Jesus is confident in our defense, we can be confident in our approach!  Condemnation should never enter the equation when we approach God because Jesus has confidently defended us; therefore come to God with the confidence that Christ provides!

Third, we must discern the difference between condemnation and Holy Spirit conviction.  Occasionally some of us wake up in the morning with a sense of unease or anxiety that cannot be easily dismissed.  It is a sense that you have done something wrong but there is no indication of exactly was done.  It is a general sense of unworthiness and despair.  Perhaps you start praying Psalm 139, “Search me oh God . . . see if there be any grievous way in me,” but nothing comes to mind.  This is not the work of the Holy Spirit.  It is nothing more than the works and effects of condemnation.  Many times, condemnation will deal with us in vague details and generalities, rather than specifics.  The accusation of “You’re a bad father!” offers no explanation.  This is not how the Holy Spirit deals with our sins.  The Holy Spirit is specific.  God did not send Nathan the prophet to David to say, “David, you’re a bad man!”  God dealt with David’s sin, very specifically (see 2 Samuel 12)!  God dealt with Ananias and Sapphira’s sin, harshly, but very specifically (see Acts 5).  Just like God wants us to confess our sins specifically, he convicts us specifically as well.  The Holy Spirit is never vague, he is never ambiguous, he always speaks to us with clarity.  If you have ever been confused about what God is saying, it is not because he is lacking in clarity, it is because you (and I) have our judgment clouded by our own feelings and understanding.  That is why God says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Here is the good news.  God does not condemn his own.  If you belong to him, your condemnation was poured out upon Jesus on the cross.  He bore our shame, he took our guilt, and gave us in exchange his righteousness and his innocence.  We stand before God justified.  It is better than just-as-if-I’d never sinned.  He saw our sin, he knew we would be unfaithful; God does not pretend that we never sinned, but instead, knowing full-well what we have done, he looks to Christ as the worthy Son who took our shame and our guilt and declares us righteous.  Because Jesus has justified me before the Father, no accusation, no vain regret, nothing leveraged against me will cause the Father to love me less because he loves his Son, Jesus, with an everlasting love.

Therefore, when anyone accuses you of who you were before Christ, whether a (supposed) friend, family member, or a voice in your mind, you must remember that those condemnations no longer hold any weight against you!  “And you who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.  This he set aside nailing it to the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-14)  All condemnation against you and I has been destroyed at the cross!  And not only that:  “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.” (Colossians 2:15)  Not only has Christ released us from the power of condemnation, he has also destroyed the power of the Accuser! From now on be free to consider condemnation as powerless words from a defeated foe!

Lilly must embrace the truth that the redemption she received in Christ redeems her whole being.  She is not the woman her mother always said she would become.  She wrestles with powerless words as if they had real power.  Lilly is giving those condemning words power through her fear.  They possess no power of their own because Christ has redeemed her.  When Lilly embraces the truth that God has redeemed her and accepts her fully because Jesus has died for her, she will walk away from those powerless words and experience true freedom.

In the middle of John’s struggle, he was led to Christ.  His conversion led him to full disclosure with Bella and a slow but gradual restoration of their marriage.  In John’s case, the guilt became so heavy that he was considering a drastic end to everything.  God rescued him through a friend who loved him and shared the Gospel.  Jesus took John’s guilt, lifted the burden, made life worth living once again, and restored his love for Bella.  Reconciliation is hard work.  The guilt that John had experienced had to be expelled on a daily basis.  Bella even began to feel guilt for somehow not being good enough, but thankfully she too came to Christ in the midst of their struggle.  Today they both live in a fully restored marriage where Jesus Christ, not their own efforts, has rebuilt love and trust.  There is great freedom in their relationship with each other and with God because once Christ saved them, they made a decision to reject condemnation on the basis of Christ’s work on the cross.

You and I face a daily decision to walk in freedom.  We can be live under the control of condemnation, or we can live under the control of the Spirit.  Each time we respond in our flesh, we are listening to a condemnation of one form or another that bruises our ego and demands we respond.  But when we respond in the Spirit we have One who was bruised for us so that we can be free from the demands of our flesh.  “I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I love by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Questions for Reflection

  1. What are some areas of your past that haunt you and prevent you from being free in the present?
  2. How has Jesus Christ made it possible for you to be free from the condemnation of your past?
  3. Knowing that Jesus took your shame and guilt, what is it that keeps you in bondage to your past?
  4. What are some steps you can take to begin walking in the freedom that Christ has bought for you?
  5. Cite Scriptures that will help you overcome in your battle with condemnation.