Condemnation (Dictionary): The expression of very strong disapproval; censure, the action of condemning someone to a punishment; sentencing.
Condemnation (Bible): Sinned, punishment following condemnation, servitude, penalty, a judgment, verdict, lawsuit.
The word “condemnation” implies that people have been found guilty of a crime and cannot escape its punishment. They are condemned. People who have been found guilty of a crime punishable by death occupy death row in every state prison. They live on death row as people condemned and waiting to die.
In a spiritual sense, without Christ all of us are living spiritually on death row, condemned to die. For without the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for our sins, every one of us stands condemned before God, accountable for our own sins! But praise God we have a blessed Redeemer!
If we drop or toss a rock, it will make a sound when it hits the ground.
John 8:1-11: 8 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees *brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, 4 they *said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” 6 They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.
7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” (NASB)
This is an amazing Scripture! When the scribes and Pharisees heard Jesus response to their challenge, they realized they should be focusing on themselves and not just on the woman. One by one they dropped their stones and silently left! The accused woman must have heard the thumps as the stones of judgement were cast aside! In the end, all the stones were tossed aside and the woman was set free from all the condemnation she had experienced. As we read Romans, we see Paul sending a clear message to us about condemnation- including self-condemnation.
Romans 8:1-4: 8 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2 And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you the power of sin that leads to death. 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. (NLT)
Paul clearly understood self-condemnation and its connection to sin. Those suffering from self-condemnation have usually experienced some form of abuse and that abuse has made them prisoners. So, the very good news is we can be set free from those things holding us captive! Sin and our past are washed away from our lives by the blood atonement of Jesus!
Years ago, I presented a word picture which seems to apply here:
Picture a person in a barred cage. They are grasping the bars to the front of the cage and are staring into their past which haunts and can even control them through deep hurts. As they look out they see bars above, below, to the right and to the left. They pull on the bars but the bars easily hold them. They feel trapped and alone. There seems to be no hope. They are truly a person who is living in the present, trapped by their past. This is very real and there are so many people in this situation. But, there is prayer and hope and quite suddenly there is a voice. It is Jesus speaking into their darkness. Jesus comes and tells the prisoner to let go of the bars-which they do-but it is hard to do. He then gently turns them to face the rear of the cage and shows them that there are no bars in that direction! All they need do is to walk out and they will be free! At first, they are wary but Jesus leads them out and they are suddenly free!
Feeling condemnation? Go to the cross and ask Jesus to free you. The cage of condemnation may be strong but the love of a Savior is far, far stronger! Those things condemning you will fall with a thud!