Have you ever thought about our court system versus God’s court system? It can really open your eyes to the understanding of the difference between conviction and condemnation. The enemy wants to steal our understanding of righteousness.
Our Court vs. the Royal Courts of Heaven
Our court system involves the judge, the jury, the lawyers, the plaintiff, and the defendant. The judge has a district he serves and specific authority. The lawyers are scholars who have studied the law of the land. The jury is made up of our peers who make decisions based on facts and whether or not reasonable doubt is presented that a person committed a crime. The plaintiff is the accusing party, and the defendant is the accused.
The Royal Court of Heavenly Justice is similar. There is a judge, God. He has authority above all authority. His district is the heavens and the earth. There are lawyers. They know the laws that govern heaven and earth. In our case Satan is the plaintiff and accuser of the brethren. He pleads his own case. However, Jesus is our lawyer and pleads our case before the judge.
In our court system a jury can convict a person of a crime saying they are guilty, but only the judge can pass a sentence or make judgement. However, in the Royal Court of Justice there is no jury. No one but the judge can convict or make judgement. This is great news for us.
In understanding the difference between both court systems we can better understand conviction and condemnation. Conviction is of the Holy Spirit and condemnation is of the devil. A believer must understand the difference to experience the freedom they have in Christ.
So if the Son sets you free you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NIV
Conviction is a pronouncement of guilt. The Holy Spirit convicts of sin if we are not believers, and of righteousness if we are believers. He tells the believer that they have been redeemed and the actions of sin are not part of our nature anymore. He reminds us of our redemption and points us toward Christ. With repentance we are made clean and washed from that sin which frees us from the guilt and any sentence being passed. Jesus steps in and becomes our mediator stating that He took the punishment for our sin crimes.
Condemnation is a pronouncement of sentence. The accuser of the brethren shouts out that we are guilty and deserving of death. Which we are, but he leaves out the part about our redemption. He never points us toward Christ and His sacrifice. Instead he points at our sin continually crying out our breach of the law of justice in God’s court. Did you read that right? In God’s court. The only ones condemned are those who have not accepted Christ as their Savior.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
The Accuser is not the Judge
Satan is not a judge, and there is no jury. So that leaves only the testimony of Jesus Christ before God the judge of all.
So why are we struggling with guilt for our sins which we have repented for? Yes we were convicted due to our guilt. But, in turning to Jesus, His blood cries out that we are free from sentencing before the only Judge, our Heavenly Father. It cries out that we are righteous because Jesus paid with His blood.
They overcame him (the accuser) by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony. Revelation 12:11 NIV
If you are struggling with guilt over your sin it is time to take it before the judge. As a believer you have the right to a lawyer who paid all once and for all who believe. It is time to stop judging yourself and allow God to have the final authority in your case.
3 I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God. 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 NIV
Paul knew that only God can pass judgement on you or anyone else. Silence the accuser of the brethren by recalling who you are in Christ. When he reminds you of your past remind him of his future.
God made Him who had no sin to be sin, that we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
That word “might” indicates that we have to receive it. Meditate on this verse whenever your mind is overcome with thoughts of condemnation. Yes you are guilty, but Jesus paid it all. This is the good news. The jury of your peers has no say, and there are not even any court fees. You are free indeed. In reality it is the accuser who is actually condemned.
7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. John 16:7-11