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Condemnation

and

Legalism

A Biblical View

by
Earl & Diane Rodd





Families who educate their children at home face specific challenges with regard to condemnation. They often face the condemnation and accusations of friends, family and officials, and they often are told that they are narrow and judgmental (bringing others into condemnation). Finally, home educating families must be wise in training their children without bringing condemnation on them and in training children in how to deal with condemnation and legalism.

Therefore, the following study on condemnation is offered for study and encouragement with regard to both feeling condemned ourselves and statements from others that we bring condemnation on them.







Condemnation and Legalism

A Biblical View




Families Honoring Christ

"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart
and a good conscience and a sincere faith."

Earl & Diane Rodd
6044 Pine Creek St. N.W. North Canton, OH 44720

Phone: (330) 305-9318

3rd edition - January 1994

4th edition - February 1999

5th edition - April 2001

Permission is granted to copy this article for personal sharing
but not for sale or other commercial purposes.



FHC is an Ohio based ministry providing information, encouragement
and fellowship to Christian families, natural and spiritual.




Unless otherwise noted, All Scripture quotations are from the

New American Standard Bible, Copyright 1988,

The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.



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Condemnation and Legalism

A Biblical View


Condemnation and Legalism - A Biblical View - Part I

Home schooling families face three areas of challenges with regard to condemnation.

  1. As home schooling families seek to establish the Lordship of Christ in this generation and the next, they often face condemnation and accusations from family, friends, school officials, psychologists and even pastors. Furthermore, home educating families often are told that they are narrow in thinking and judge others (bring them into condemnation) who do not home educate or who approach home education differently.
  2. Parents need to avoid bringing their children into condemnation when God instructs to avoid doing so.
  3. Parents need to be wise in instructing children how to deal with feeling condemned and how to deal with being condemned by others.

Therefore, the following study on condemnation is offered for study and encouragement. As you read, consider both directions of condemnation: (1) feeling condemned ourselves and (2) statements from others that we bring condemnation on them.

It is important to develop understanding or discernment between conviction of the Holy Spirit and condemnation incurred by our own disobedience or lies leveled at us by satan. The purpose of this essay is to build this understanding and discernment. May the following Scriptures help those called as home educators be obedient to the Lord in their approach to others who do not share that calling. Paul said,

Romans 14:4
4. Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

With this verse in mind, let us follow another of Paul's commands,

II Corinthians 13:5
5. Test yourselves {to see} if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless indeed you fail the test?

We will begin our study of condemnation in the Old Testament by looking at various words translated as "condemnation." The word condemnation in the Old Testament comes mainly from the Hebrew word rasha (7561) which means "to be wicked or to act wickedly".

The following Scriptures use this same Hebrew word:

Deuteronomy 25:1
1. "If there is a dispute between men and they go to court, and the judges decide their case, and they justify the righteous and condemn the wicked,
2. then it shall be if the wicked man deserves to be beaten, the judge shall then make him lie down and be beaten in his presence with the number of stripes according to his guilt.
3. "He may beat him forty times {but} no more, lest he beat him with many more stripes than these, and your brother be degraded in your eyes.

Our Lord Jesus Christ endured this condemnation and punishment for us by receiving 39 lashes. The Law called for no more than 40 lashes, thus Jewish tradition called for 39 to be careful to not disobey the Law. Because of the redemption given to us by Jesus, we do not have to succumb to the pressure of condemnation. (I Peter 2 :20-24). May this study keep home training parents in true obedience to the Holy Spirit and thus in the true liberty which Jesus purchased for us on the cross and has been proven by the power of His resurrection which works mightily in us.

We must first consider how we may allow the pressure of condemnation to oppress us and our children.

Matthew 12:36
36. "And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment.
37. "For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned."

The Holy Spirit reveals this same truth concerning the words of a person's mouth bringing condemnation upon himself or herself.

Job 9:20
20. "Though I am righteous, my mouth will condemn me; Though I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty.

Job 15:6
6. "Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; And your own lips testify against you.

Proverbs 18:21
21. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

James 3:8
8. But no one can tame the tongue; {it is} a restless evil {and} full of deadly poison.
9. With it we bless {our} Lord and Father; and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;
10. from the same mouth come {both} blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.

According to these Scriptures the words of our own mouth bring condemnation and guilt upon us. We must first "hear" our own talk and that of our children that is contrary to the written word of God. We must pray, "Lord, open our ears so that we are able to hear anything that is contrary. We repent and ask Your grace to keep us obedient to speak Your word, not our own."

In Job, let us examine God's attitude towards those who do not obey Him.

Job 34:21
21. "For His eyes are upon the ways of a man, And He sees all his steps.
22. "There is no darkness or deep shadow Where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves.
23. "For He does not {need to} consider a man further, That he should go before God in judgment.
24. "He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry, And sets others in their place.
25. "Therefore He knows their works, And He overthrows {them} in the night, And they are crushed.
26. "He strikes them like the wicked In a public place,
27. Because they turned aside from following Him, And had no regard for any of His ways;
28. So that they caused the cry of the poor to come to Him, And that He might hear the cry of the afflicted--
29. When He keeps quiet, who then can condemn? And when He hides His face, who then can behold Him, That is, in regard to both nation and man?--
30. So that godless men should not rule, Nor be snares of the people.

This Old Testament passage clearly reveals God's attitude toward those who do not obey Him because God sees all the behavior and the intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4 :12 tells us how to judge the intentions of our own heart. God's Word is designed to show us what He knows about our hearts, and only His Word and the Holy Spirit can show us how to apply the blood of Jesus to our heart problems.

Hebrews 4:11
11. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through {following} the same example of disobedience.
12. For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

Paul tells us to be very patient and allow the Lord to examine the motives of all people.

I Corinthians 4:4
4. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.
5. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, {but wait} until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of {men's} hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God.

This principle is confirmed in

Proverbs 12:2
2. A good man will obtain favor from the Lord, But He will condemn a man who devises evil.

How quick are we parents to judge the "intent" of a child's behavior? Have we learned to be patient over "disobedience" until the child fully presents his case? We must not be overly suspicious, but we must be patient and wait for the Holy Spirit to prove the text "Be sure your sin will find you out." (Numbers 32 :23).

The following Psalm gives strong warning to those who go against the righteous and condemn the innocent to death.

Psalms 94:17
17. If the Lord had not been my help, My soul would soon have dwelt in {the abode of} silence.
18. If I should say, "My foot has slipped," Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, will hold me up.
19. When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations delight my soul.
20. Can a throne of destruction be allied with Thee, One which devises mischief by decree?
21. They band themselves together against the life of the righteous, And condemn the innocent to death.
22. But the Lord has been my stronghold, And my God the rock of my refuge.
23. And He has brought back their wickedness upon them, And will destroy them in their evil; The Lord our God will destroy them.

The following Proverb states it much stronger:

Proverbs 17:15
15. He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord.

Job gives us further insight to those who condemn the righteous. They often don't have any answers to the problem. When we parents don't have the answer to a problem, we must wait patiently for the Lord to reveal His perspective.

Job 32:3
3. And his anger burned against his three friends because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.

When we do know God's solution to a problem, that solution should be our main priority and not criticism. Isaiah reveals the truth concerning accusations, and this is God's word to us. We must believe and behave according to God's word and not according to our own emotions that want to defend ourselves. We must give the Lord time and space to bring the fulfillment of this verse in the life of each family member.

Isaiah 54:13
13. "And all your sons will be taught of the Lord; And the well-being of your sons will be great.
14. "In righteousness you will be established; You will be far from oppression, for you will not fear; And from terror, for it will not come near you.
15. "If anyone fiercely assails {you} it will not be from Me. Whoever assails you will fall because of you.
16. "Behold, I Myself have created the smith who blows the fire of coals, And brings out a weapon for its work; And I have created the destroyer to ruin.
17. "No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their vindication is from Me," declares the Lord.

David gives us not only hope and a promise when we are condemned in wrongful judgment, but he also gives us goals to place before ourselves and our children.

Psalms 37:28
28. For the Lord loves justice, And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever; But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
29. The righteous will inherit the land, And dwell in it forever.
30. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice.
31. The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip.
32. The wicked spies upon the righteous, And seeks to kill him.
33. The Lord will not leave him in his hand, Or let him be condemned when he is judged.
34. Wait for the Lord, and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

Solomon, David's son, also understood the Lord's vindication of the righteous.

I Kings 8:31
31. "If a man sins against his neighbor and is made to take an oath, and he comes {and} takes an oath before Thine altar in this house,
32. then hear Thou in heaven and act and judge Thy servants, condemning the wicked by bringing his way on his own head and justifying the righteous by giving him according to his righteousness.

We as parents must be very careful not to misjudge our children or other situations. We must pray, "Lord, give us Your perspective, Your righteous judgement and the ability to effectively communicate Your heart."

In the following two verses another Hebrew word for condemned is used. This Hebrew word is asham (816) which means "to offend or be guilty". The following Psalm is a beautiful Scripture to hold onto when the presence of condemnation is trying to destroy Christ's testimony in the members of our families.

Psalms 34:19
19. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20. He keeps all his bones; Not one of them is broken.
21. Evil shall slay the wicked; And those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22. The Lord redeems the soul of His servants; And none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

The teaching of our Lord Jesus reveals important truths about condemnation. The following Scriptures use the same Greek word katakrino (2632) which means "to give judgment against". We see that there is coming a time when those who repent will condemn the unrepentant. This principle, as shown in the following Scriptures, should lead us to train our children to live in righteousness and be patient for the day when condemnation will come to the unrighteous.

The men of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba will condemn the generation of Jesus' time who did not receive Him, His message, His deliverance or His victory.

Matthew 12:41
41. "The men of Nineveh shall stand up with this generation at the judgment, and shall condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
42. "{The} Queen of {the} South shall rise up with this generation at the judgment and shall condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

Jesus prophesied his own condemnation and death by those He came to save.

Matthew 20:18
18. "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn Him to death,

Mark 10:33
33. {saying,} "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles.

Mark 14:64
64. "You have heard the blasphemy; how does it seem to you?" And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.

Jesus was betrayed by one He personally had chosen to follow Him.

Matthew 27:3
3. Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned , he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

Judas is a prime example of one who chose to align himself against a totally righteous innocent man. However, he found no repentance - only remorse. (II Corinthians 7 :10). Mark reveals a connecting relationship between unbelief and suffering under the pressure of condemnation. Unbelief exists when a person knows what God has said but refuses to believe it.

Mark 16:16
16. "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

If a family member or friend feels condemned by yours or another Christian's obedience to the Lord, look beyond the condemnation and deal with a lack of faith in God or God's Word. Somewhere unbelief is operating, and it may also be the root cause of that individual's disobedience to God's commands. Condemnation allowed to remain will end in the death of any righteous relationship. Disobedient children then will point to obedient children in the family and cry out, "It's not fair." Home educating parents must deal with the root of the problem and not the symptom. A disobedient child has harbored an erroneous thought like "God's Word is not true or my parents' words are not true, so I will choose my own way." To just deal with disobedience and not deal with the unbelief or lack of faith that lead to the disobedience will never conquer "the prince of the the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience." (Eph 2 :2). Unbelief and doubt in God's Word concerning a child's responsibility to obey His parents is the root problem. Doubt exists when ignorance of God's word causes misunderstanding, confusion or instability. Communication with lots of questions and Biblical answers will cut off any doubt that is causing condemnation. An unrepentant child will be plagued by condemnation and rightly so as we shall see later.


Condemnation and Legalism - A Biblical View - Part II

Another Greek word katadikazo translated as condemned in the Gospels means "to pass sentence upon." It is first mentioned in Luke's account of the Sermon on the Mount.

Luke 6:36
36. "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
37. "And do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn , and you will not be condemned ; pardon, and you will be pardoned.
38. "Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return."

Jesus seems to be explaining that if a person feels judged or condemned, it is occurring because that person already has moved in judgment and condemnation towards another. Paul makes this very clear and teaches us our correct behavior.

Galatians 6:1
1. Brethren, even if a man is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; {each one} looking to yourself, lest you too be tempted.
2. Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.
3. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
4. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have {reason for} boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.
5. For each one shall bear his own load.
6. And let the one who is taught the word share all good things with him who teaches.
7. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
8. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life.
9. And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.
10. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

A disobedient child will be feeling the pressure of condemnation and needs to be corrected by parents who bring restoration and reconciliation in the gentleness of the Holy Spirit. The wise parent would use these kinds of opportunities as self-examining moments for repentance to also be worked in his own heart. The parental example of genuine repentance is the main safeguard that the child will learn the way of repentance, gentleness in correction, humility and reconciliation.

Jesus explains the process of condemnation very simply and clearly but also very strongly.

Matthew 12:34
34. "You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.
35. "The good man out of {his} good treasure brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of {his} evil treasure brings forth what is evil.
36. "And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment.

These verses make it very clear that we must discipline ourselves and teach our children to monitor carefully what proceeds from our heart and out through our mouths. This process is God's Way of revealing what is still resident in the heart. As the Holy Spirit reveals "our words" in the home, each member must be willing to bring his heart before the Lord, so He can expose the true root of the problem and bring true repentance. Genuine heart repentance will bring true self-government where the thought realm is pure also and there is no condemnation.

Many parents and children have learned to control the words of their mouths, but if the thoughts of the mind aren't also self-governed, the pressure of condemnation will be operating. When external pressure builds to a certain level, the mouth will reveal what the mind has permitted to find residence in the heart. The good or bad will be exposed, so time needs to be taken for each opportunity to be sure the Holy Spirit has freedom to work effectively in the heart and mind of each family member. It is best to learn how to control and silence our thoughts now, and walk totally free of condemnation. This path protects us now and also in the future.

This same Greek word katadikazo only appears once in the Epistles.

James 5:6
6. You have condemned and put to death the righteous {man;} he does not resist you.

Being unjustly condemned may be something we all have to endure. We pray that the Lord's righteousness will keep us free from self-defense when these opportunities arise, whether in the family, the church, the neighborhood or the law court.

The main Greek words for condemn used in the Epistles are katakrino (2632), katakrima (2631) which means "penalty" and katakresis (2633) which means "condemn".

Even though the Greek word differs, Romans 2 :1 also confirms the scriptural principle that condemnation comes upon a person when that person is passing judgment on another and is guilty of the same offense. Home educating parents must be very diligent to allow the Holy Spirit the freedom to expose and correct character flaws that the children may readily see in their parents. A home where genuine repentance is part of every member's life, will be a home free of condemnation.

Romans 2:1
1. Therefore you are without excuse, every man {of you} who passes judgment, for in that you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.

Paul explains that condemnation accompanies sin, disobedience or a transgression. However, he also makes it very clear that justification and righteousness are to replace condemnation whenever repentance returns the repentant one to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:16
16. And the gift is not like {that which came} through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment {arose} from one {transgression} resulting in condemnation , but on the other hand the free gift {arose} from many transgressions resulting in justification.
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.
18. So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
19. For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.

Romans 8 further explains this concept. Disobedience or "walking in the flesh" puts one back under the law of sin and death with condemnation as the result.

Romans 8:1
1. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
3. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God {did :} sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and {as an offering} for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
4. in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
5. For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
7. because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able {to do so};
8. and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Obedience to the Holy Spirit always stops condemnation! Home educating parents need to walk in the Spirit as well as teach our children how to do so.

Unbelief and doubt always put a person under condemnation because it is sin. Unconfessed sin brings with it a cloud of condemnation that only can be removed by repentance and faith.

Romans 14:23
23. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because {his eating is} not from faith; and whatever is not from faith is sin.

Whether we are "under condemnation" or being accused of doing it to others, doubt and unbelief are usually the root cause of the problem. Before we leave Romans we must be encouraged by the following verses. Belief in this word from Paul will stop condemnation.

Romans 8:31
31. What then shall we say to these things? If God {is} for us, who {is} against us?
32. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
33. Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies;
34. who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
35. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
36. Just as it is written, "For Thy sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
37. But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
38. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,
39. nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Paul used strong words to correct the errors rampant within the Corinthian church, but he assured them and us that condemnation was not his goal.

II Corinthians 7:3
3. I do not speak to condemn you; for I have said before that you are in our hearts to die together and to live together.

Paul also told us in Corinthians that the communion table is to be a place of judgment. It is here that a believer is to judge himself; he is not to judge others.

Communion / Condemnation

I Corinthians 11:31
31. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged.
32. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord in order that we may not be condemned along with the world.
33. So then, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another.

It is here that God chooses and desires to discipline us and teach us so that we are free from the condemnation that those outside of Christ (the world) must suffer. We parents must discern the Lord's body correctly for ourselves before we can teach our children the blessing and freedom that should accompany the communion table. Some parents may need to celebrate communion at home to have the time, opportunity and atmosphere to be sure the children understand the importance of communion. The dinner table is a good place to be sure family ralationships are in order before the meal is served. Jesus used the Passover meal to establish the covenant relationship we are to have with God and each other - the dinner table can serve as a daily reminder and a teaching opportunity.

Paul tells us that God gave glory to the Law, which is called "the ministry of condemnation." The following passage makes it clear that those who are "legalistic" are those who feel "condemned." Those who repent and turn to Jesus are the ones who are free in the Spirit. Liberty and freedom come from within the heart. Legalism, condemnation and judgment also come from within the heart. The individual person is the one responsible for his response to the pressure he is under - righteousness or condemnation. The choice is ours; our response is not imposed on us by others even though the situation that evokes the necessity of a choice may be imposed upon us.

II Corinthians 3:7
7. But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading {as} it was,
8. how shall the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory?
9. For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory.
10. For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory on account of the glory that surpasses {it.}
11. For if that which fades away {was} with glory, much more that which remains {is} in glory.
12. Having therefore such a hope, we use great boldness in {our} speech,
13. and {are} not as Moses, {who} used to put a veil over his face that the sons of Israel might not look intently at the end of what was fading away.
14. But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ.
15. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart;
16. but whenever a man turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
17. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, {there} is liberty.
18. But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Condemnation / Disobedience

Noah is a prime example of one whose faithful obedience resulted in his righteousness but whose behavior caused a separation from those who were disobedient and thus under condemnation.

Hebrews 11:7
7. By faith Noah, being warned {by God} about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

We parents must know and our children must realize that condemnation by God's hand is a serious thing. As you read the following passage in Peter, notice who is condemned and why and who is rescued from God's condemnation.

II Peter 2:1
1. But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves.
2. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned;
3. and in {their} greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.
4. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment;
5. and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6. and {if} He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing {them} to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter;
7. and {if} He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men
8. (for by what he saw and heard {that} righteous man, while living among them, felt {his} righteous soul tormented day after day with {their} lawless deeds),
9. {then} the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,
10. and especially those who indulge the flesh in {its} corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties,
11. whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord.
12. But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed,
13. suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you,
14. having eyes full of adultery and that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children;
15. forsaking the right way they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the {son} of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness,
16. but he received a rebuke for his own transgression; {for} a dumb donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet.
17. These are springs without water, and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.
18. For speaking out arrogant {words} of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error,
19. promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.
20. For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
21. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them.
22. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A dog returns to its own vomit," and, "A sow, after washing, {returns} to wallowing in the mire."

We parents must be careful we never malign the truth or exploit our children or others with false words. Obeying the Word of God keeps us from enticing ourselves or others to follow the desires of the flesh and the sensual desires of our wills rather than the will of the Father. Confidence in and dependence upon the Holy Spirit and His revelation into God's truth, His character and His ways must always be our main priority.


Condemnation and Legalism - A Biblical View - Part III

Other words translated as "condemnation" are krima (2917) "a judgment" or krino (2919) "to judge or decide".

Greater Condemnation / Appearances

Jesus makes it very clear what deeds bring "greater condemnation". It must be important because it is recorded in three of the four gospels.

Matthew 23:13
13. "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
14. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, even while for a pretense you make long prayers; therefore you shall receive greater condemnation. "

Mark 12:38
38. And in His teaching He was saying: "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and {like} respectful greetings in the market places,
39. and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets,
40. who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation "

Luke 20:45
45. And while all the people were listening, He said to the disciples,
46. "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love respectful greetings in the market places, and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets,
47. who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation "

Jesus reveals to us that there are degrees of condemnation. To avoid being under the pressure of greater condemnation, one must guard against the motive or desire to be noticed by men and having any behavior which brings distress to widows. We parents must teach these principles to our children by our example if we wish to be free from greater condemnation.

Condemnation / Disobedience to Authority

An example of how we come under condemnation through disobedience to God's authority is found in the context of civil government,

Romans 13:1
1. Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities . For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.
2. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
3. For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same;
4. for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath upon the one who practices evil.
5. Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.
6. For because of this you also pay taxes, for {rulers} are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
7. Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax {is due;} custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.

A common application of the above Scripture is the condemnation felt by a person who consistently disobeys traffic laws - upon seeing a traffic policeman, the disobedient knows condemnation!

A child or family member who has a fear of a true authority figure whose calling is to punish evil may be functioning in unbelief and disobedience. It is unwise to deal with the fear. Being afraid of the person is the symptom; it is not the root problem. The root problem is true heart submission to the one who has the God-appointed authority. Thus the quickest way of reconciliation for that person is to face their own unbelief and/or rebellion. Repentance and forgiveness will establish God's love and acceptance of the individual. I John says:

I John 4:18
18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
19. We love, because He first loved us.

We know of no instances in the Bible in which submission to a false authority figure is commanded. Thus children are asked to obey their parents in educational, moral and spiritual matters. Strangers and those outside God's ordained authority need to be cautioned if they attempt to usurp the responsibility and position of parents. Unfortunately, this Biblical truth has long been ignored in our culture and that is why parents who assume their God-given responsibility for their children often clash with those who do not fully understand this Biblical position. The following passage should be our guide in this matter:

II Timothy 2:24
24. And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,
25. with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
26. and they may come to their senses {and escape} from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

A quick look into the gospels shows us that Jesus never usurped authority over a parent. Jesus ministered to the children whose parents brought them to Him.

Now, let us consider a unique phenomena: those who oppose man's delegated authority when it opposes God's authority often experience righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Jesus was not of the tribe of Levi nor did he have a title from man. However, Jesus had authority and those who heard Him recognized His authority. Only those who heard and obeyed Him passed from condemnation to righteousness.

Matthew 21:23
23. And when He had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things, and who gave You this authority?"
24. And Jesus answered and said to them, "I will ask you one thing too, which if you tell Me, I will also tell you by what authority I do these things.
25. "The baptism of John was from what {source,} from heaven or from men?" And they {began} reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?'
26. "But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude; for they all hold John to be a prophet."
27. And answering Jesus, they said, "We do not know." He also said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

Mark 1:22
22. And they were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as {one} having authority, and not as the scribes.

Jesus then delegated this authority to his disciples who were in danger of rejoicing in the power of this new realm of authority. Their source of joy was to be God's plan of salvation for them not in their position of authority. Jesus showed them joy was to be in the Holy Spirit.

Luke 10:17
17. And the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name."
18. And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.
19. "Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.
20. "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."
21. At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from {the} wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes. Yes, Father, for thus it was well-pleasing in Thy sight.

We see another example in the life of the early disciples.

Acts 4:13
13. Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John, and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were marveling, and {began} to recognize them as having been with Jesus.
14. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.
15. But when they had ordered them to go aside out of the Council, they {began} to confer with one another,
16. saying, "What shall we do with these men? For the fact that a noteworthy miracle has taken place through them is apparent to all who live in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it.
17. "But in order that it may not spread any further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to any man in this name."
18. And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
19. But Peter and John answered and said to them, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;
20. for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard."
21. And when they had threatened them further, they let them go (finding no basis on which they might punish them) on account of the people, because they were all glorifying God for what had happened;

The "they" in the above scripture refers to the religious authorities of the Jews (Acts 4 :6). After Jesus' resurrection "untrained and uneducated" men have confidence to obey God rather than men because they had been with Jesus. Their confidence and authority came directly from Him by being in His presence. It is the same for us today. Jesus has given His authority to His disciples, but the recognition of that authority by others comes from our being in Jesus' presence. Home educating parents must learn to guide and direct their families from the throne room of heaven, be confident of His direction and His authority so that His will is accomplished through us on this earth in our families. Our children should be the first to recognize that we have been with Jesus.

Paul also teaches us how to recognize true authority when he instructs Timothy concerning the placement of elders within a local church. When men delegate authority to the wrong person, that person comes under conceit and condemnation.

I Timothy 3:4
4. {He must be} one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity
5. (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?);
6. {and} not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.

Home educating families can easily find themselves in the position of being God's authority in a church, family or community group because they are operating out of a strong, foundational and prayerful conviction. While their sphere of authority may be only home education, they do, nonetheless, easily find themselves possessing authority. For example, when wives are submissive to their own husbands, according to the Scriptures, they have authority because they are under authority. Those with true authority must walk as Jesus and Paul did. Remember Paul was not one of the original 12 apostles and yet he says of himself,

Galatians 1:1
1. Paul, an apostle (not {sent} from men, nor through the agency of man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead),

May we as homeschooling parents teach our children to recognize God's true servants wherever and whenever we find them. Some have titles from men and some do not. Liberty in the Holy Spirit isn't overly concerned about titles; freedom and love simply respond and rejoice when truth is taught or shared with anointing and authority.

Young widows (and we take the liberty of applying these principles to all single mothers) are another group of people who are susceptible to the enemy's pressure of condemnation because they may have made a vow to the Lord without proper understanding (Numbers 30 :1-16) We again see the biblical principle that incorrect words can place a person under tremendous satanic pressure. Thus Paul's words of freedom

I Timothy 5:11
11. But refuse {to put} younger widows {on the list}, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married,
12. {thus} incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge.
13. And at the same time they also learn {to be} idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper {to mention.}
14. Therefore, I want younger {widows} to get married, bear children, keep house, {and} give the enemy no occasion for reproach;
15. for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.

Home educating families can assist single mothers in this position by believing God in prayer that their mate will be discovered quickly, by helping with baby-sitting, by supplying financial needs, and by finding ways to help that single mother also be a home educator if the Lord has so directed her.

In verse 4 of Jude we see clearly that licentiousness and disobedience account for the pressure of condemnation coming down upon a person.

Jude 1:4
4. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Liberty in Christ does not mean trampling on the grace of God. Hebrews confirms this very important principle.

Hebrews 10:26
26. For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
27. but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
28. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on {the testimony of} two or three witnesses.
29. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?
30. For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people."
31. It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The pressure of condemnation comes upon any person that willfully chooses to disobey. This choice may come through listening to demonic lies of the enemy or by disobeying the voice of the Holy Spirit. Each individual is required by God and His word to move in the Spirit and in faith and not in doubt and condemnation. The following verse from Romans states it quite simply,

Romans 14:22
22. The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.

This principle of not being self-condemned is confirmed by another Greek word translated as condemnation. It is kataginosko (2607) which means "to blame." Paul used it when speaking of Peter's hypocrisy and disobedience to the Holy Spirit by refusing fellowship to Gentile Christians.

Galatians 2:11
11. But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
12. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he {began} to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.
13. And the rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.

Peter wasn't condemned by Paul. The Holy Spirit used Paul to convict Peter (and perhaps Barnabas) of their disobedience to God's will concerning the Gentiles. Peter brought the pressure of condemnation and open rebuke upon himself because he was functioning in the fear of man rather than the fear of the Lord. A spirit of partiality had deceived Peter into disobeying God's clear revelation concerning the impartiality of the Kingdom. Because of a man's nationality, he refused to accept certain members of the Body of Christ. A spirit of partiality refuses to fellowship with certain people. God chose Paul to help Peter out of this deception. Home educating parents must be confident we are free from this deception and are able by our example to train our children in genuine fellowship and hospitality. Sibling rivalry and exclusion of family members when friends visit are excellent opportunties to train our children in this vital truth. All men are to be treated with honor as noted in I Peter,

I Peter 2:17
17. Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

If this is not our lifestyle, the pressure of condemnation may have legal access.

The letter of I John confirms that the pressure of condemnation arises from the individual's heart, and it is there that the individual must deal with it. Pointing the finger at others and accusing them of legalism only keeps the accuser locked in greater degrees of condemnation. May John's explanation help home educating parents fight condemnation and bondage correctly. Our children may be quick to point out that we are "legalists." However, we must help our children know that they are not functioning in any disobedience that would allow condemnation to be legally operating in their lives and thus cause them to question the narrow walk we have chosen.

I John 3:18
18. Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
19. We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him,
20. in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
21. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
22. and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
23. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
24. And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.


Condemnation and Legalism - A Biblical View - Part IV

As stated before, the pressure of condemnation legally operates when unbelief and doubt are present in the life of a believer. Truth in word and actions will stop unbelief and doubt and move the person in faith and belief. Faith then works through love by obeying Jesus' command to believe in His name and let His love flow through us to others. Those who are unwilling to believe in Christ's ability to love through us will continually be plagued by condemnation operating through unbelief. Home educating parents must continuously seek God's wisdom and discernment to uncover any doubt or hatred that is the root of many observable behaviours - competition, strife, fighting, arguing, complaining. We wish to see co-operation, harmony, godly instruction and thankfulness. A child's prayer life and our own is a sure indicator if our heart is right before God. He longs to answer our prayers, but anwered prayers require faith in Him and behavior that pleases Him. Truth in the heart and repentance will bring us all out of condemnation into liberty.

Jesus said,

John 16:8
8. "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;
9. concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
10. and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me;
11. and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
12. "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear {them} now.

The Greek word elegcho (1651) in the above passage describing the Holy Spirit's ministry of conviction on earth (world, church and family) means "to expose, convict or reprove." Jesus gave us a gracious example of how this ministry of the Spirit should also operate in us and through us with the woman caught in the act of adultery.

John 8:10
10. And straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?"
11. And she said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more."

Here we see the pressure of conviction and not the pressure of condemnation operating. Jesus didn't condemn the woman nor did he condone adultery. He had the power and authority to command the woman to "sin no more." However, we do not know if the woman obeyed Jesus and stayed free of condemnation. We home schooling parents need to ask the Holy Spirit to keep this example of Jesus before us each time we have to deal with a child who has sinned. Only the Holy Spirit can show us how to help each child overcome sin.

Matthew does give us an explicit story of one who did not receive Jesus' offer of obedience and freedom from the pressure of condemnation. In Matthew 19 we read,

Matthew 19:16
16. And behold, one came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?"
17. And He said to him, "Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is {only} One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments."
18. He *said to Him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness;
19. Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
20. The young man *said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?"
21. Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go {and} sell your possessions and give to {the} poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
22. But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property.

Like the woman caught in adultery, we do not know if this man obeyed what Jesus told him to do, but we do know that at the initial encounter, this man was still functioning under condemnation because he couldn't obey the voice of Jesus.

The purpose of the Holy Spirit in our lives is "to expose, convict or reprove of sin," and we are often totally unaware that the Holy Spirit may be using us in this way. As we are concerned about our own walk of obedience to Him and thus with Him, we may walk into some circumstances where others feel condemned by our obedience. Our own children may be in this place, and it is our responsibility as parents, to help our children move in faith and obedience rather than pride, rebellion and unbelief.

This ministry of the Holy Spirit unconsciously flowing through obedient believers will expose sin wherever it may be found. Parents who educate at home have encountered this within their own families, within churches, within educational institutions and in confrontations with state educational authorities. Because parents have God-appointed authority for their children and are also anointed for that responsibility, their obedience to that call exposes those who have usurped that authority or who are not resolved in their own hearts if God is asking the same kind of obedience from them. The following Scripture reveals God's heart on the matter and our own response to such situations.

Jude 1:14
14. And about these also Enoch, {in} the seventh {generation} from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
15. to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
16. These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their {own} lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of {gaining an} advantage.
17. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,
18. that they were saying to you, "In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts."
19. These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
20. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit;
21. keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
22. And have mercy on some, who are doubting;
23. save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.

Our main attitude towards anyone who feels condemned by our obedience is mercy.

James also verifies that the Holy Spirit flowing through a person or persons will expose the sin of partiality.

James 2:8
8. If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well.
9. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin {and} are convicted by the law as transgressors.
10. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one {point,} he has become guilty of all.
11. For He who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not commit murder." Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.
12. So speak and so act, as those who are to be judged by {the} law of liberty.

This admonition is very important to home educating parents because it is very easy to fall into the sin of Isaac and Jacob by preferring one of our children over another. Compliant outward behavior does not necessarily imply an inward heart of submission. It is very easy to assume the overtly "rebellious" child, as the one with a rebellious heart, but appearances may be very deceiving. Thus parents must be very careful in discerning a spirit of partiality which the conviction of the Holy Spirit may be striving to expose. Our choice is to do something about this intruder. Jealousy, envy and competition between our children are overt signs that a spirit of partiality may be operating in us parents. If we do not compare one child with another in thought, word or deed, then this evil demonic stronghold will have no place in our households.

Paul says that the purpose of the gift of prophecy is to expose the heart condition of a person functioning in unbelief. We must see this gift operating in our homes as well as in corporate gatherings. If the Holy Spirit is truly in control of our homes, we may expect the following when dealing with rebellion in our homes.

I Corinthians 14:24
24. But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all;
25. the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.

This conviction of the Holy Spirit to bring our children into God's presence must be a major priority. We must be diligent to see that they are totally forgiven and free from the pressure of condemnation which accompanies disobedience.

One of the greatest ministries of the Holy Spirit which He wishes to flow through us is one of imparting faith. The Greek word used in the following passage is plerophoria (1650) which means "full assurance" or "to bring in full measure" or "to fulfill", and is translated "conviction."

Hebrews 11:1
1. Now faith is the assurance of {things} hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
2. For by it the men of old gained approval.

When the individual heart is assured or convicted of God's approval, the need for man's approval pales in insignificance. Condemnation gives way to righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Pride, rebellion and unbelief give way to humility, obedience and faith. Love and "submission one to the other" replaces competition and jealousy. We pray that every member of our families and those of our readers are flowing in the joy of having God's approval.

II Corinthians 10:17
17. But he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.
18. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd