Typically, we judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. When our heart judges us and says our intentions were wrong we can easily get a condemning heart.
A condemning heart is one that makes you feel guilty and ashamed. It is a heart that’s says you were wrong, you are bad, you are in error. It says you are not trying enough, you are not worthy.
However, the truth is even our best trying is filthy and complete ungodliness, Isaiah 64:5. Our very best effort and best repentance doesn’t equal or add up to the perfection of God. So, the only way to be righteous is by God’s unearned gift and that is received by faith in Jesus’s one-time payment.
Overcoming a Condemning heart.
You may have received the gift of righteousness and abundant grace but deep down inside you have a heart that condemns you.
Two ways to clear a condemning heart. The first is repent, pull up your socks and go again. This is the standard Christian model. However, it’s a righteousness based on doing your best and repenting to cover the short fall. I believe it is also self-righteousness masquerading as Christianity. It is trying to say that righteousness (perfection of God) is achieved by pulling up your socks, trying hard and repenting. YUCK!
The second way is knowing you are forever perfected, (either literally or positionally – it doesn’t matter), you are the righteousness of God because the blood of Jesus has been put on the mercy seat, the scepter of approval is pointed towards you, it’s God saying you are perfectly right with me. When you realise you are forever perfected (even though you are still being sanctified). When you fully have this revelation then you have received the (unmerited by your socks) gift of righteousness.
Hebrews 10:14: For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Romans 5:17: For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
So how do you stop a condemning heart? Well you make sure in your garden you are eating from the Tree of life, and not the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Will this remove a niggly guilty heart, yes, because….
Romans 4:5: However, to someone who does not work, but simply believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.
It doesn’t say the repentant or the one who tried so hard that their heart has let them of the hook, but the ungodly, while they are ungodly and not working towards being Godly.
What about repentance?
There is repentance that comes from trying to gain righteousness and one that comes because you are gifted righteousness, the latter is void of self-righteousness.
So, eat of the right tree today, eat your fill of its fruit, eat many times, as much as you hunger for righteousness, this tree of life is where you find life, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil will only leave you condemned in your human imperfection, and it will do this all the days of your life (unless you overcome it with your own self-righteousness).
The tree of life is eaten by receiving the gift of “forever perfected” even though you are still ungodly. You became forever perfect the second you got born again, the second you said yes to Jesus you were forever made the same righteousness as God.
An apple from the tree of life a day keeps the condemning heart away!