Condemnation Can’t Stay [Guilt]

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“Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I’d have come running with a bucket.”

-Nancy Spiegelberg

There can be no freedom from condemnation without submission to the saving life of Christ.  This is a definite and critical point.

Without a faith in Him, we are left with the option of carrying our own guilt.  This is a staggering possibility, and our lives turn to drinking and “drugging” and other things.  We must escape from all this pain and sin.  We are walking out condemnation, and the weight of this is immense.

Much of our life can be distilled from this viciousness.  We absorb it, adapt to it, thinking it will ease up some.  But it doesn’t, and it won’t.  We turn to all kinds of ‘pain absorbers’ looking to cope with this mindset.  There are escapes, and we try them all.  But ultimately we end up with one that is quite imperfect, and we ‘sort of’ become a little numb. Our hearts become numb and hard.

Condemnation twists us and who are in Christ. 

It deforms our spirit and destroys our confidence before our Father in Heaven.  His love is still being poured out, but we have placed a cover on our vessel.  We are blocking His mercy by our unwillingness to be forgiven.  All of our guilt seems a reasonable reaction to the heaviness of our sin.

Humans were not designed to handle guilt, and its “cousin” fear.  When we do try, we short-circuit.  Pain is always avoided, and that ends up corralling us into bondage.  From here, we can still mentally assent to the Bible; we can still have a sense of spirituality.  But it will always be filtered through our sense of condemnation.

Faith in the complete action of Jesus is enough.  Because I believe He carried the full weight of my sin, past—-present—future, I can walk out a free man.  Yes, sin does require justice, it is to be condemned.  But my faith, trust or confidence enables me to separate from the sin that would take me, straight to the bottom.

In this release, we are supposed to live. Freed from every condemnation. You must displace condemnation with grace.

We have the joy of the forgiven sinner, and that really makes no sense at all. 

It isn’t at all rational.  But it is legal, and it is binding.  And permanent.  There have been too many lies, for too long.  Grace is meant to be the most radical concept we have ever confronted.  And truly it is.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:1

 

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The Church Triumphant

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A church as a hospital during WW1
“The church is not a select circle of the immaculate, but a home where the outcast may come in. It is not a palace with gate attendants and challenging sentinels along the entrance-ways holding off at arm’s-length the stranger, but rather a hospital where the broken-hearted may be healed, and where all the weary and troubled may find rest and take counsel together.” 

James H. Aughey

I have heard of a hospital in England that gives a loaf of bread to everyone who asks. This tradition has been going on for over 800 years. The hungry are fed at St. Cross Hospital by just knocking at a door. This hospital takes ministry very seriously.

Jesus Christ so loves sinners that He gives to all who come to Him. Hungry sinners have to do is knock. But there is more than this. He provides a bath to all who are filthy. A wardrobe to cover up any nakedness. A bed to everyone who is weary and sad, for the Gospel meets every spiritual need.

I like to think that there is room for the mentally ill at Jesus’ hospital. A safe place for those who are exhausted by their battles, a room where Jesus can bless those who are afflicted. I believe there is such a place. For my own soul has been comforted by Him.

The Church carries on the ministry— it’s a St. Cross Hospital— for the immense needs of human beings. The sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve can find salvation and comfort from a world that intends only to destroy. Furthermore we now represent Jesus to a desperate world. We become Christ-like for this reason. The Church triumphs during times like this.

The poor and needy– the sick, the lame, the mentally ill, the prisoner, the addict are the Church’s glory. This little group of rag-tag disciples are responsible for the care of the lost. We just need to figure out how we can reach them. The Holy Spirit will help us.

The World is watching us. We welcome this, for we are the salt and light lifted up so all can see. We were born to serve.

 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.”

Matthew 5:13-14

We dare not remove and nullify our mission. When we do so we become nothing more than another institution that is trying hard to secure a place in this world, Our distinctiveness is “blood bought” and our mandate is to be  “the Salt and Light” in this dark place. It is our sure calling. It is the Father’s will. We will be the Church triumphant.

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Check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hospital_of_St_Cross