That’s the title of a chapter we recently explored in Small Groups (Gospel Identity, Chapter 6). Many Christians live life as if God is angry with them when they mess up. Much of this understanding isn’t found in the reality that we are adopted sons and daughters of God, but rather in thinking of what are reality was apart from Christ. When we discussed this chapter in small groups, there was an additional article entitled “Is God Angry With Me When I Sin?” The issue has to do with God loving His children, disciplining them and what this looks like. What’s the difference between conviction and condemnation?
Here’s how they answered it at the Village Church in a post entitled The Grace of Conviction:
- Conviction might taste bitter to the tongue, but is sweet to the soul. God leads us toward life in Him even if it stings (Ps. 30:5).
- Condemnation includes a stench of death and hopelessness (Rom. 8:2).
- Conviction, though pointed at times, lightens the heart and soul of a person (Rom. 2:4).
- Condemnation is overbearing and heavy upon the soul. It crushes because hope released from that burden falls square on the shoulders of something or someone other than the atoning work of Christ (Rom. 5:9).
- In conviction, God’s love is seen very clearly. This means it is utterly inspired by love.
- Condemnation turns everything inward toward self. So, rather than looking to the Lord for covering, provision and redemption, we look to self early and often in our shame and self-pity.
Those in Christ have been given the Holy Spirit to lead us into more and more holiness. Conviction is one of God’s sweetest gifts to His children. Rest in His grace and walk in His glorious light! Through conviction by the Holy Spirit, God both saves and sanctifies His children.