How Condemnation Works and Why it Loses.

daily text logoMay 4, 2015

1 John 3:19-20

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.



I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life where I have committed sin, received forgiveness, done it again, asked forgiveness again, and again, until I reach a point where I feel a terrible sense of condemnation. I naturally feel this condemnation is coming from God, when in truth it’s probably coming more from my own sense of guilt and shame. Bottom line: I have no confidence in bringing this before God any longer.

Some of you may be thinking, “Of course God condemns sinful behavior, especially when repeated over and over again. I would point you to Romans 7 which points out the condition of repeatedly doing that which you hate. The deeper truth comes in Romans 8:1. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

John told us earlier we must abandon our self abnegation and return to confession, no matter how many times it takes. Remember this from chapter 1:9? “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

We can experience defeat without being defeated. Condemnation is a Satanic strategy designed to lead us deeper into defeat, keeping us away from the only One who can heal us.

This path of persistent confession is the only pathway by which we are set free of the condemnation we heap on ourselves. We must keep returning as many times as it takes. If Jesus tells us to forgive a person seventy times seven, how much more do you think he will forgive us? This Gospel of mercy and grace empowers us to come before God with confidence and even boldness. This is not taking a casual approach to grace. It’s actually a quite serious approach to sin. Satan wants us to disqualify ourselves from grace, which can only lead to more and more sin and death. Jesus tells us because grace will not let us go, we must never let go of grace. The only way through sin is a deeper and more doggedly determined engagement of grace.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

So what’s this bit about receiving from God anything we ask? It’s a mistake to read this text as an if then (i.e. if we behave, God will bless). This is all about persevering in a relationship with God until the Word and ways and will of God break through in our lives. This is life in the zone of abiding. This is a fruit of real discipleship. It’s coming to a place with God that is a pure gift though we had to contend and wrestle to get there. This is the place Jesus described when he spoke of asking and receiving, seeking and finding and knocking and the door opening.

Let’s give Jesus the last word today with two quotes from John’s Gospel.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:13-14.

 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7. 

J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.

All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Share today's Wake-Up Call!


WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion