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Words of Life

Condemnation’s Antitoxin

By Mark Rutland October 6, 2019 Words of Life

The power of condemnation rests in the throne of idolatry, self-idolatry. If I condemn myself, and if I am a better, more righteous judge than God is, I am utterly condemned. The lie underneath condemnation, the lie that makes this toxin so fatal, is the lie that says, “I cannot be forgiven because my sin is greater than the grace of God.” That is quintessential idolatry. To think that my sin, my anything, is greater than the grace of God is to make an idol of my own wounded emotions.

Often this is an effort at penance. To condemn myself without mercy becomes my way of punishing my own sins. That’s all about ME. There is no room for God and His healing grace in that toxic formula. It is a lie and it is a hellish lie.

What, then, is the truth that is the antitoxin for that lie? At first it may seem odd that worship is that truth. But think about it: if I am the biggest thing in my own life, if all I can see is my sin, my righteous judgment on myself and my unwillingness to believe for my forgiveness, the toxin of condemnation is inescapable.

When, and only when, me is replaced by Him can worship happen. Likewise when worship happens, true worship of God, there is little room left for me. Here is the biblical ground and foundation of all healing from condemnation: “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3).

It is from that great commandment that the healing from condemnation derives its power. If God is God, and He is, then I must worship Him as God. I cannot worship Him as God and not trust His Word above my guilt.

If I doubt His Word, I am not worshiping Him as God. All effective biblical counseling for the toxin of condemnation rests on who God is. If He is God, I must worship Him as God. I must believe Him and not my own wounded emotions. I must believe His love for me is greater than my contempt for myself. If not, I believe I am god.

If what I have done is greater than who He is, my sin, like a toxic golden calf, has supplanted God and I become my own terrible god. When I believe His word and worship Him as God, condemnation is defeated. The healing antitoxin for condemnation and the lie on which it rests, is the truth that God is God and is to be worshiped as God.

Dr. Mark Rutland appears on LIFE TODAY this Tuesday. This is an excerpt from Courage To Be Healed by Mark Rutland. Copyright ©2019 by Mark Rutland. Published by Charisma House. Used by permission.

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