Condemned Or Justified?
    I believe that this is a very confusing subject to most people, even for many Believers and ministers of the Gospel.  Therefore, I want to look at the topic from several different views of Scripture.

I. Eternal condemnation.

A. Jesus was condemned that we may be set free from eternal condemnation.
"Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death"  (Matthew 20:18).

"For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh"  (Romans 8:3).

B. Although through the sin of Adam all the world came under condemnation, Jesus came to set Believers free from eternal condemnation.
"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved"  (John 3:17).

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life"  (John 5:24).

"But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.  For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.    For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:  (Romans 5:20) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord"  (Romans 5:17-21).

Jesus illustrated this truth with the woman who was caught in the act of adultery.  The Law said that she was to be stoned to death.  Jesus asked her where were her accusers.  Look at the dialogue: "When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?She said, No man, Lord.  And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more"  (John 8:10-11).

C. Rejection of Jesus brings eternal condemnation.
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God"  (John 3:18).

"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil"  (John 3:19)

"For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ"  (Jude 1:4).
II. Condemnation by the world.
"But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world"  (I Corinthians 11:32).

"In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,   Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you"  (Titus 2:7-8).

"Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation"  (I Peter 2:12).

III. Self condemnation
"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"  (I John 3:20-21).

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance" (Psalms 42:5).  David encouraged himself in the Lord when he felt condemned.

IV. Temporal Condemnation on earth.
If we do not live righteously by the grace of God, we may fall under temporal condemnation here on the earth.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.   For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death"  (Romans 8:1-2).  Although some translations omit "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit", I believe that it should be there with the understanding that it is not speaking of eternal condemnation, but of a temporal condemnation here on the earth.   Again, the eternal condemnation was taken care of by the death of Jesus.

"For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.   But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.   Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another.   And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come"  (I Corinthians 11:31-34).

"My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.   For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body" (James 3:1-2).

"But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation"  (James 5:12).

"Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgive"  (Luke 6:37).

"For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned"  (Matthew 12:37).

The opposite of condemnation is justification!

    A good definition for JUSTIFICATION is "just as though you have never sinned."  God doesn't grade on the curve!  There is no balancing of the scales (doing good balanced with sin).  We are either condemned or justified by grace through faith.

I. Are we justified by keeping the Law?  NO!

"For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified"  (Romans 2:13).  The problem is that no one keeps the law.  "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one"  (Romans 3:10).  Therefore:

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin"  (Romans 3:20).

"But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith"  (Galatians 3:11).

"Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith"  (Galatians 3:24).

II. Jesus was condemned that we might be justified by faith.
"Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification"  (Romans 4:25).

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him" (Romans 5:8-9).

"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life"  (Romans 5:18).

III. We can only be justified as a free gift through faith in Jesus.
"And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification"  (Romans 5:16).

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified"  (Galatians 2:16).

"Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus"  (Romans 3:24).

"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:1-2).

"Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified" (Romans 8:30).

After listing a number of types of sinners, Paul said, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God"  (I Corinthians 6:11).

"Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law"  (Romans 3:28).  What a great CONCLUSION!

"That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life"  (Titus 3:7).  Because of our jusfiication in Jesus, we also receive the blessings of the Father.

WARNING!  If we fall back into believing that we have to perform good works for our justification, then "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace"  (Galatians 5:4).
    Remember that the devil is the accuser of the Brethren to bring condemnation.   Therefore be, "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil"  (I Timothy 3:6). If we do sin, then we can immediately God before the Father.  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"  (I John 1:9).  Again, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous"  (I John 2:1).  The devil is the prosecuting attorney and Jesus is our defense attorney.  The devil brings accusations to us and before God, the Judge, but Jesus responds, "I died for that".   The Judge responds, "Case dismissed."

"For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory"  (II Corinthians 3:9).
APPLICATION:   If one sees himself as being condemned, then either he will work himself to death trying to live up to some standard to be accepted or he will give up and wallow in sin. Most likely he will become critical of God, self, and others.   If, on the other hand, he sees himself justified by grace through faith, then he will much more likely draw himself closer to the Father in fellowship and obedience. He will be more thankful to God for his salvation and will also be less critical of himself and other Believers and see them justified in Christ even with their failures.