|2 Corinthians 3:5-9 |
5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as coming from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God;
6 Who has made us able ministers of a new covenant; not of the letter [the Bible], but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.1 [The letter is the scriptures. Little by little each spoken word from His Spirit that you hear is engrafted into your heart and imparts the life of God to you making you a little more pure.]
7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stone, was glorious, "so that the children of Israel could not steadily look on the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance;" which glory was to pass away;
8 How will the ministry of the spirit not be more glorious?
9 For if the ministry of condemnation is glorious,2 how much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. [The Ministry of Condemnation is the Spirit condemning the sins in you, commanding your repentance; and with your repentance, then the Spirit destroys the sins in your body, circumcising your heart. When you have, (by the Spirit), mortified the sins in your body, then you receive the Ministry of Righteousness, which is the learning of how to walk and speak righteously, walking by the Light of Life, walking after the Spirit.]
2 The Ministry of Condemnation: Some of you may be saying: "But there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus." Yes, true; but until you are cleansed of sin, you cannot be in Christ Jesus. The full verse says: There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, who walk after the Spirit and do not walk after the flesh. If you still sin, you are walking after the flesh. To walk after the Spirit is to be led by the Spirit in thoughts, words, and deeds. If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Gal 5:18. To walk after the flesh is to walk according to your carnal mind and evil heart, before it has been cleansed and purified; until then you are not in Christ Jesus because your are still walking in the flesh — in your lusts, desires, affections, pleasures, pride, anger, vanity, fear, worries, plans, etc. In order to be freed of sin, to then enter the kingdom, the Holy Spirit has to show you your sins and command your repentance. The Spirit doesn't condemn you, it condemns the sins in you.
These things you have done, and I kept silent;you thought that I was entirely like you.
But I will reprove you and set my charges [of your sins] against you in order before your eyes. Psa 50:21
Every man's heart starts filled with evil, filled with sin, defiled, and disqualified for heaven. Unless your heart is cleansed and purified by the Lord's Spirit that destroys sin within man, every man walks according to the ways of the world and the god of this world, fulfilling their desires and lusts of their flesh according to their thoughts, according to their evil imagination, according to their carnal minds that are enmity against God and cannot be subject to the law of God. Rom 8:6-7. Every man is judged by their words and works, including those who claim to be Christians; God shows partiality to no man. From the word of the Lord within: "Only a heart that is purged of sin is acceptable to God. Everyone is expecting Jesus to be their excuse. If you are still sinning, you belong to sin and not to Me. See myself — thus no sin has a place in me. You are without excuse O man. Sin in believers is intolerable. The pure is innocent of all defilement." You can think you are a Christian and call Him "Lord," but if you die still sinning, you are banned from heaven. All defiled men are banned from heaven. When purified by grace, men are translated into heaven while on earth and then forever. To be freed of sin, even the desire to sin, you must obey the Lord's spoken commands that you expose yourself to hear, by waiting on Him in humble silence as you listen and watch; that is the one thing needed. Luke 10:39-42.
That which is condemned by the Holy Spirit is the fleshly, carnal mind; and it is destroyed by the Spirit along with the associated deeds of the body which the mind dictates. George Fox has an excellent explanation of the Spirit condemning sin in a believer who wishes to become righteous.
For Christ is manifest [revealed] in the flesh, to condemn sin in the flesh, to all who witness Christ in them, male and female; I say, Christ is manifest in their flesh; he condemns the sin that is in their flesh; yes, and makes an end of sin, and finishes the transgression, and brings everlasting righteousness into them. But first he condemns the sin that is in their flesh, the unrighteousness in their flesh, and ungodliness in their flesh; the liar, the swearer, that is in their flesh; the adulterer, the fornicator, the idolater, and all sin, whatever it is, he condemns in the flesh. So Christ is manifest in the flesh, to condemn the sin that is in the flesh; everyone who witnesses Christ condemning sin in the flesh, that they through Christ, who condemns sin in the flesh, might become God's righteousness, and so God's new person [creature]. But the sin being uncondemned in the flesh, they are of the serpent, of the unrighteous one, of the ungodly one, who adulterated from truth, they are his. But the sin being condemned in the flesh, Christ is manifest in the flesh, so that they become Christ's; they are God's, and are in Christ, who destroys the devil and his works, which are out of truth. And these know the new life, which God is served in; and these know the new earth, in which dwells righteousness; and these know the old earth, in which dwell unrighteousness. And these can bring forth things old and new.
The Lord condemns sin in your flesh by revealing it to you and commanding your repentance; with your acknowledgement of His revelations being true, you obey His commands; by grace He then removes even the desire for that sin from your heart. This process is repeated, first with your actions, then your words, and then your thoughts; until you have crucified your carnal mind and sinful nature.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9.
I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, after their own thoughts. Isaiah 65:2.
Once the mind is destroyed, then the Ministry of Righteousness and Life begins, also by the Holy Spirit.
In this Ministry of Condemnation you must die to the law of sin and death, being condemned by the Law, until you are brought through the law. You will see that every thought, and every word is evil, rooted in judgment, pride, and anger. You will be placed under tribulation and then you will see how your mind becomes a raw beast, screaming in anger, depression, and doubt. Here you are broken, your pride is slain, your self-confidence is destroyed, and all your old worldly desires become loathsome; there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and you have nothing left, but to depend on Him to deliver you from yourself.
Despite the Spirit convicting you of your sins and condemning the sin within you, the Lords' voice is kind, gentle, pure, easily understood, easily accepted, peaceable, complete, morally correct, encouraging — never with even a hint of sarcasm, bitterness, or condemnation — never incomplete leaving you guessing what he wants; instead His words are full of love itself — his spirit of Love — for he is Love. He will tell you things about Himself. He will encourage you. He is kindness. He will tell or show you things about yourself; some will be things that are ugly. But since he is your friend, you know that he is showing them to you for your own good. So you listen and watch. And you don't run; stand before the Son of Man. And you repent of what he shows you. And sometimes he gives you commands. You are hearing the Word of God, the living Word. And hopefully you will obey his commands and show him you love him by being obedient. If you obey his commands, he will remove the desire to sin from your heart.
More on this subject is available in the section, Ministry of Condemnation in How to Benefit from the Changing Power of God by Waiting on the Lord.