Families Honoring Christ

"It is better to grow a child than to repair a man."
Earl & Diane Rodd 2180 Northland Ave. Lakewood,OH 44107 USA Phone (216) 521-8856
July 15, 1991

Dear Saints,

As mentioned in our last newsletter, we planned to be in Australia later this year. We have airplane tickets to arrive in Melbourne on November 8 and plan to be in the Melbourne area for 2 weeks and then travel to Canberra and Queensland and then on to Sydney to return to the USA on December 5. We have heard from the Angelico's with ideas on how we can get together - we have written back and they are working on making ways available to get together with folks in the Melbourne area and Benalla. Pray with us that all things work together for His purposes!

This FHC letter contains part III of the study on condemnation. As always, we value any comments and discussion on what we have written.

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
14. "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.
15. "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
39. "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and {like} respectful greetings in the market places,
40. and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets,
41. who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation

Luke 20:45
46. And while all the people were listening, He said to the disciples,
47. "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,
48. 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
2. 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.
3. Therefore he who resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.
4. 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;
5. 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.
6. Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.
7. For because of this you also pay taxes, for {rulers} are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.
8. 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
19. 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.
20. 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
25. And the Lord's bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,
26. with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,
27. 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.

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
24. 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?"
25. 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.
26. "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?'
27. "But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude; for they all hold John to be a prophet."
28. 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
23. 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
18. And the seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name."
19. And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning.
20. "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.
21. "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."
22. 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
14. 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.
15. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.
16. But when they had ordered them to go aside out of the Council, they {began} to confer with one another,
17. 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.
18. "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."
19. And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.
20. 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;
21. for we cannot stop speaking what we have seen and heard."
22. 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
5. {He must be} one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity
6. (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?);
7. {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
2. 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
12. But refuse {to put} younger widows {on the list}, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married,
13. {thus} incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge.
14. 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.}
15. Therefore, I want younger {widows} to get married, bear children, keep house, {and} give the enemy no occasion for reproach;
16. 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
5. 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
27. For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,
28. but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment, and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries.
29. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on {the testimony of} two or three witnesses.
30. 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?
31. For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge His people."
32. 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
23. 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.

Galations 2:11
12. But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
13. 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.
14. 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
18. 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
19. Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
20. We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him,
21. in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.
22. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
23. and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.
24. 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.
25. 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
9. "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment;
10. concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;
11. and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me;
12. and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
13. "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
11. And straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?"
12. 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
17. And behold, one came to Him and said, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?"
18. 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."
19. 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;
20. Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
21. The young man *said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?"
22. 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."
23. 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
15. And about these also Enoch, {in} the seventh {generation} from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones,
16. 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."
17. These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their {own} lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of {gaining an} advantage.
18. But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,
19. that they were saying to you, "In the last time there shall be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts."
20. These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
21. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith; praying in the Holy Spirit;
22. keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.
23. And have mercy on some, who are doubting;
24. 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
9. If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law, according to the Scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well.
10. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin {and} are convicted by the law as transgressors.
11. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one {point,} he has become guilty of all.
12. 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.
13. 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
25. But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all;
26. 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
2. Now faith is the assurance of {things} hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
3. 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
18. But he who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.
19. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

Copyright by Earl & Diane Rodd