Athlete, Understand Conviction Versus Condemnation


Athlete, Understand Conviction Versus Condemnation

Robyn Oakley

Romans 8:1 (ESV)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

What is the difference between conviction and condemnation? Conviction is fueled and led by the Spirit and is rooted in hope. Condemnation is fueled and led by the flesh and is rooted in hopelessness.

I often find that simply defining words can provide clarity and make a point.

Conviction can be defined as, “Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit where a person is able to see himself as God sees him: guilty, defiled, and totally unable to save himself.”

Condemnation can be defined as “declaring an evildoer to be guilty and can refer to the punishment inflicted on man because of that guilt.” Or in a broader context, it can be a negative evaluation of a person by peers or one’s own conscience.

Both conviction and condemnation prompt us to check our hearts, but Romans 8:1 promises, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” meaning we don’t have to feel guilt wrapped in the prompting, but we are welcomed to embrace freedom.

Conviction is when the Holy Spirit prompts or directs your heart to feel burdened by something you’ve done, to turn you to repent and seek to draw closer to Jesus. Condemnation is shame–instilled and often prompted by our human nature to point out something we ourselves or someone else has done, and to pin on them what Jesus already died for — sin.

Condemnation is punishment, and the enemy loves it because it keeps us paralyzed in “failure.”

Although it’s what we deserve (and what we’d receive if we didn’t accept Christ), Jesus paid the ultimate price and in doing so allows the Holy Spirit to live in us, be our guide and to convict and enable us to continue to live for Christ.

Conviction is a good thing — it means you’re being refined. Allow it to hit you, absorb it, pray about it, repent and seek Christ.

“Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy” (Isaiah 61:7).

(Definitions taken from — Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry —


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