More Than Conquerors, 4: Who is he that condemns?
- 2003 27 Aug
In the first three installments of "More Than Conquerors" we looked at three of Paul's five questions found in Romans 8, beginning with verse 31:
1. If God is for us, who can be against us?
2. How would [God] not graciously give us all things?
3. Who will bring charges against those whom God has chosen?
4. Who is he that condemns?
5. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? How would [God] not graciously give us all things?
We determined the answer to question one is: absolutely no one. The answer to number two is: With so much invested in us, God is not about to let us down when it comes to anything we need.
Question three, Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? (Romans 8: 33), was answered by exploring what happens when we are accused of something we did not do and/or something we did do. Our review reminded us that though we may be falsely or rightly charged, the power of Christ's blood and the Father's fingerprint on our lives brings us out of condemnation and into the freedom only He can offer. It is God who justifies! (Romans 8:33b)
Who is he that condemns?
This question is followed by an answer (in part) when it reads Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Before we get into that part of the answer, let's look more directly at the question. Who would dare condemn us with Christ Jesus Himself standing at the right hand of God the Father? And what does it mean to "condemn?"
The word "condemn" (katakrino) means: to give judgment against, to judge worthy of punishment...to render another's wickedness the more evident and censurable (The NAS New Testament Greek Lexicon). The one who relishes in condemning us is none other than the devil himself.
What Scripture Says About Ole Lucifer
None one likes to have negative things said about them, do they? Most of us love hearing good things.
A special young woman in my life lights up like a Christmas tree whenever anyone says anything even remotely complimentary to her. She appreciates every positive word said about her and compliments to her are always followed by "Thaaaaaanks!" However, say something negative about her and she'll eat your lunch. She knows her strengths, she understands her weaknesses, and no one need remind her of the latter. Know how she feels?
Sometimes, however, people like to bring you down. Satan (In Hebrew, "Satan" means "accuser")...Lucifer...the devil...whatever you want to call him...he's like that, too. If he's saying good things TO you, he's lying. If he's saying bad things ABOUT you, he's attempting to off set the relationship between you and God.
...the accuser of our brothers who accuses them before our God day and night. (Revelation 12:10c)
John's vision recorded in Revelation gives a picture of our Heavenly Father on the throne with Satan standing before Him, spitting out allegations against those who have chosen Him and whom He has chosen for His very own.
However, as we envision this scene, we must also take into account the recordings of Paul in Romans 8. While Satan, the accuser, may be speaking accusations against us as he stands before the throne, it is Jesus Christ who is standing at the right hand of that same throne.
Five Points to Remember:
Are you ready for a good come-back the next time you think you hear Satan blasting out charges against you, whether you're guilty or not?
1. Christ Jesus, who died
As the high priest had, for centuries on end, sacrificed the lamb on Passover for atonement, so the high priest Caiaphas turned Jesus over to the Roman government for execution. Jesus became the Lamb of God, sacrificed freely by God as the Remover of sin's guilt, the purchaser of the Bride, becoming the bridge between God and man.
2. Christ Jesus, who was raised to life
It was not enough that Jesus died. In rising from the grave on the third day, He displayed His power over sin and death. In John 11:25, Jesus said to Martha of Bethany, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die."
3. Christ Jesus, who is at the right hand of God
Being at the right hand of God is being at the place of honor. Zondervan's NIV Bible Commentary gives us this powerful observation: He was exalted to God's right hand, with all power given to him both in heaven, so as to represent us there, and on earth, where he is more than a match for our adversaries.1
4. Christ Jesus, intercedes for us
He is not standing there silent, merely listening to the accuser "talk about us." He intercedes, though if anyone had the right to accuse, it would be Him. But that was not the reason He came. As it is written in Hebrews 4: 14-16: Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
One Final Point To Remember
Romans 8:1. Remember? Paul laid the bottom line down at line one of this section of his letter to the Romans: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Please know there is a difference in "condemnation" and "consequences." Our sins may have "consequences," but when we lay those sins at the cross of Christ, His blood washes over them, rendering them unable to sentence us to eternal death. We are open to "hear" Jesus as He turns to the Father and say, "That sin was covered, Father. This child is free."
Questions for Personal or Group Study
1. Have you ever felt as if you can actually hear Satan hurling accusations against you to the Father?
2. Go back and re-read Revelation 12:10, this time adding the last line to your reading. What will Satan's final outcome be? What will your final outcome be?
3. What does it mean to you that Jesus died, arose from the grave, and now stands at the right hand of God the Father interceding for you? How will that affect you the next time you are tempted to sin?
4. In your personal prayer time, thank Christ Jesus for His continued work on your behalf.
Award-winning national speaker, Eva Marie Everson is the author of Shadow of Dreams, Summon the Shadows and the recently released and highly anticipated Shadows of Light. She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.EvaMarieEverson.com
1 Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary, Volume 2, New Testament, pg. 566