1 John 3:20-21: For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
Id like to take a moment, to delve into the above Scripture, to establish what a condemned heart consists of.
This word condemn is Strongs #2607, and has the following meaning(s):kataginosko kat-ag-in-o-sko; from 2596 and 1097; to note against, i.e. find fault with: blame, condemn.
The Hebrew word that is equivalent to this word condemn, is:
02713 chaqar khaw-kar; a primitive root; properly, to penetrate; hence, to examine intimately: find out, (make) search (out), seek (out), sound, try.
Condemn is found only three times in the Brit Chadasha [New Testament], with two of the references being our opening Scripture, and the third reference being Galatians 2:11. In the Galatians reference, youll note that Shaul [Paul] had come face-to-face with Kefa [Peter] as he arrived in Antioch. We can then presume that this "blame" that was going to be put onto Kefa was not a good thing, as Shaul felt the necessity to address this issue with Kefa.
In like manner, we need to confront our condemning heart, when it blames us, without cause. The condemning heart has a persistent hatred and animosity toward the confident heart, and desires to nurture malice on every occasion.
There are two differing kinds of guilt: there is a good guilt, which we call conviction by Ruach HaKodesh [the Holy Spirit], and there is an injurious guilt, which comes not from the Ruach of Adonai, but from hasatan, the enemy of God and of our souls.
Guilt that is good always benefits the Believer who has a repentant heart. The Ruach will gently convict us of our present sin, error, or mistakes, and the tender-hearted person will repent of them, and let the atoning blood of Yeshua wash them away from him/her. Please keep in mind that Ruach HaKodesh is always, and at all times, a gentleman [so to speak], and never batters the soul. Guilt is a good thing when it is being used by God to show us the error of our ways, by showing us our sin, which leads to confession and repentance.
Condemning guilt is used by our enemy to remind us of our past faults and failures, to the point that we become spiritually debilitated, and utterly defeated. Peace and tranquility will flee, and hopelessness will cast its shadow on the door to our soul. This type of guilt and condemnation will encourage us to hate ourselves from the inside, thinking that we are worthless, and that theres no hope. It will make us think that all of our actions amount to nothing, and that were inadequate in all areas. The ultimate "failure" we will feel is failure before God, thinking that we do not have His approval, thus, robbing us of our relationship with God. It breeds an insidious type of attitude that seems to say that WE know more than God, simply because we consider ourselves guilty, when Yeshua has already paid the ultimate price.
At this point, Id like to interject that there will be many human beings who will be the instrument of this condemning guilt! Sometimes they are willing subjects at the hand of our enemy, and at other times, they may be unwittingly used by him. Either way, they will have helped him to accomplish his ungodly purpose in our hearts to condemn ourselves! The "world" is adamantly opposed to those who stand before God with a confident heart.
Notice the differentiation given us in Scripture between a condemning heart and a confident heart! God knew we would need the antidote for a condemning heart, and thats why He has told us beforehand that He is greater than our hearts, and He knows all things! This is a wonderful opportunity to rejoice in the knowledge of the greatness of God!
At one time or another, Im sure all of us have empathized with Jeremiah when he said:
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
There are many times when our hearts condemn us for things that God does not condemn us for. You see, hasatan is the accuser of the brothers and sisters, and he understands that accusation, by itself, destroys! IF he can continually barrage us with accusations coming against ourselves, he has already defeated us, simply because all of our time, and energy, will have been spent trying to deal with the accusations.
It is at these times that we need to encourage ourselves with the Word of God, and remind ourselves that we are a forgiven people, if weve truly repented before God. God is much more powerful than a condemning heart. Do you remember that it was said of Yeshua that He would not break a bruised reed, nor quench a smoldering wick?
Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.
By the same token, Yeshua said that He did not come to condemn the world:
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. [ED. NOTE -- emphasis added]
This very same word condemn is Strongs #2919, and has the following meaning:
2919. krino kree-no; properly, to distinguish, i.e. decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish: avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.
Please take note of the various nuances that are embodied within this one word, especially those that Ive underlined above? As you can easily see, there is much to be said about this one word, and all of its connotations.
God has admonished us by telling us that He is greater than our hearts. In the times when our heart tries to condemn us, then we must encourage our hearts with the truth of what God has already spoken to us via His written Word. We need to have emunah [faith] that Gods Word is true, and all else must subject itself to His Word!
Sometime ago, Dr. F.B. Meyer wrote:
"We make a mistake in trying always to clear ourselves. We should be wiser to go straight on, humbly doing the next thing and leaving God to vindicate us. He shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light and thy judgment as the noonday. There may come hours in our lives when we shall be misunderstood, slandered, falsely accused. At such times it is very difficult not to act on the policy of the men around us in the world. They want to appeal to law and force and public opinion. But the believer takes his case into a higher court and lays it before his God."
At some point in our lives, every Believer hears the three competing voices, which are reminiscent of a trial, with our heart as accuser, ourselves as the defendant, and God as the Judge (Law). We must always keep in mind that our conscience is not infallible, and it does not always know what is right! God knows our deepest motives, and our study Scripture indicates that He is more merciful towards us than our own heart.
Yes, we are answerable to God for our heart, but NOT due to any condemnation from Ruach HaKodesh! The ministry of the Ruach is to lead us into emet [truth]. Granted, our heart may whisper to us that weve "missed it," but Ruach HaKodesh will always reply -- "Heres the way back."
So take gentle care to encourage your heart in these days, Dearly Beloved, and keep yourselves in the love of God. Do not let your heart condemn you, when it is unjustified in doing so, but remind yourself of all that has been accomplished for you by Yeshua HaMaschiach.Micah 7:19 . . . .and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea; Our sins are not observed with the eye of avenging justice, because that was satisfied by Yeshua, and by Him, they were carried away into the land of oblivion.
Questions or comments on this article? Contact the author.