There is No Condemnation [Let Go of Guilt and Shame!]

The Apostle Paul summarizes a comforting truth in Chapter 8 in the book of Romans. He tells us there is no condemnation for those saved by Jesus Christ. What incredible and encouraging news! But how are we free of condemnation and what does it really mean for our lives? 

Girl in white sundress facing ocean and sunset in muted yellow tones

The Holy Spirit has brought me a long way since my early days of faith. I’m secure in my forgiveness. But there are things that still come to mind from my past that make me cringe. Are there regrets you have a hard time letting go of?

Understanding the concept of “no condemnation” is important for us to fully grasp, especially if you sometimes hold on to guilt and shame from your past.

Earlier in his letters to the Roman Christians, Paul explains God has given us a new life, a new nature, and a new freedom when we commit our lives to Christ.

Even though our sin stamps our ticket to destruction, God’s love graciously provides the only way for us to be saved and live with Him forever.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23. 

We don’t have to earn our salvation or pay Him back for it. And there’s more good news and another aspect of salvation…

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus.” NASB Romans 8:1.

What Does No Condemnation Mean?

A condemned person has received a guilty verdict and is sentenced with a punishment. 

Jesus tried to explain to His disciples that the chief priests and teachers of the law would condemn Him, but they still didn’t understand what He meant.

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death.” Matthew 20:18 NKJV.

Condemnation for us began with Adam and Eve’s sin, ensuring that we would live in a constant state of sinful living and certain death.

The only remedy for our guilt and punishment was the finished work of Jesus. Even though He was innocent, He gave up His life and accepted the condemnation we deserved.

When we believe and accept this, there is no condemnation for us. Jesus has redeemed us, forgiven our sins, and assured us of eternal life with Him. By the power of God, our guilt and punishment are gone.

Since Jesus is sinless and without condemnation, and we are “in Him”, we have no condemnation either. We are safe in His arms forever!

Now that we know and understand these beautiful truths, there is no reason to live in condemnation-ever. But do you still grieve over things you’ve said and done in the past? 

There’s a reason we do that and we need to identify its cause so we can live as Jesus intended.

Conviction vs Condemnation 

Let’s explore the difference between conviction of sin and condemnation.

We can perfectly understand the concept of “no condemnation” and still feel guilt, shame, and regret. Why do these feelings of condemnation steal into our thoughts?

As Christians, when we face acts of our sinful nature, we experience conviction, not condemnation.

Conviction from the Holy Spirit exposes our constant struggle with our sinful human nature and reveals our sin to us, bringing it to light.

With the Holy Spirit’s conviction, we can immediately see our sin for what it is- an offense against the spirit of God. We can make it right by confessing, asking for forgiveness, and, when possible, making amends.

His conviction helps us turn away from sin and walk on His path.

Condemnation is completely different.

Condemnation comes from Satan. He wants to use things we’ve said or done in our past life, low self-esteem, guilt and shame to keep us in a spirit of bondage.

He wants you to feel worthless, discouraged, flawed, and unaccepted.

The Enemy wants our focus and assurance off from the love of God and what He has done for us.

There is no condemnation- row of houses with quote overlay

“Neither do I Condemn You”

Condemnation for the Christian is false guilt and shame. These feelings contradict what Jesus has for us, which is illustrated perfectly in the next story.

A Woman Caught in Adultery 

Jesus was teaching in the temple when the Pharisees brought in a married woman caught in adultery. Trying to trap Jesus, they state the punishment for the crime and ask Him what He has to say about the situation.

Curiously, Jesus silently bends down to write in the dirt with His finger. They continue to pepper Him with questions. Finally, He speaks, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

He resumes His writing.

One by one, they leave until it is just Jesus and the woman. Straightening up, He asks, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 

“No one, sir,” she answers.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declares. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” John 8:7,10-11. 

Jesus cancelled the charges brought against her. He showed her His way of justice and mercy and gave the woman her dignity and freedom.

He does not condemn her. Jesus offers instead His forgiving and saving love.

There was no doubt of the adulterous woman’s guilt. Jesus, however, deals with her sin totally differently than the Pharisees. They wanted to stone her to death.

Jesus’s answer gave her a new life and met her deepest need.

The Pharisees condemned. Jesus brought conviction of sin that led to restoration and a life saved.

Close up of woman's face; eyes closed, hands raised

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Jesus Paid the Price

“For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh.” Romans 8:3.

The law of God made demands that condemned us when our sin nature broke these laws. The law couldn’t save us, animal sacrifices couldn’t save us, but God, full of mercy and grace, had a perfect plan. 

There was only one answer to the problem of sin and that was Jesus’ saving work on the cross.

Paul says our old self was crucified with Him, so we would no longer be slaves to sin. (Romans 6:6.)

Our “old self”, our sinful nature, died with Him, so we are freed from sin’s power.

We can choose to live for Christ as legally reconciled with God and use His resurrection power to fight against sin!

John 3:17

God sent Jesus into the world to show His love and draw people into a right relationship with Himself.

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:17.

Jesus brought hope and healing to the world. He doesn’t use shame, guilt, regret or even accusation to motivate us to do better.

His motivation comes from a loving relationship where He teaches us about His love, grace, and forgiveness.

His work transforms our hearts.

The Enemy has a different mission. His condemnation attacks grace and love and relies heavily on the sin we have committed.

He points out every time we’ve failed, struggled, under-achieved, and behaved shamefully. He wants us to feel the heavy weight of these things instead of knowing Jesus has taken them from us.

Godly Sorrow vs Worldly Sorrow 

We all sin, and when we do, we can either express Godly sorrow or worldly sorrow.

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10.

Godly sorrow brings a deep sorrow for offending God and produces repentance. We experience a change in heart, thoughts and/or actions. We turn against sin and towards God. (Satan hates this…)

With worldly sorrow, the focus is on self, not God. This results in brushing off our sin or simply feeling regret for it’s consequences. This leads to making the same mistakes repeatedly. (Satan loves this…)

We see the difference clearly when we look at Peter and Judas.

Both disowned Jesus. Afterwards, Peter “went outside and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:62 NIV. They were tears of genuine sorrow and repentance, which later led to restoration. (John 21:15-17)

Judas, however, remained bitter in his situation, and sadly, took his own life.

Overcoming the Spirit of Condemnation 

I believe God sent His own Son, Jesus, to take away my sin. I know He agreed to be condemned and die for me.

I’m secure in my forgiveness. If I am without condemnation, why are there times I still feel guilt and shame for things said and done long ago?

Are there regrets you have a hard time letting go of?

There is good news- we can overcome this spirit of condemnation!

How to Break the Spirit of Condemnation

•Satan uses temptation and accusations to discourage and frustrate us. But remember- Jesus’ death and resurrection already defeated our enemy.

Furthermore, Jesus is on His throne, interceding for us!

“He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25.

Let that truth strengthen and encourage you! He always lives to pray for us. He defends us against Satan’s accusations and attacks.

•If you feel stuck in guilt, shame, and regret, remember YOU are not condemned. Sin has no hold on you; Jesus has set you free.

Let the love of Christ and His great sacrifice soothe and calm your troubled conscience. Focus on Jesus, not your forgiven sin.

•Don’t let a condemning upbringing, unfair put-downs or criticisms from friends and family become your internal voice. They don’t line up with God’s Word and how He sees you.

•Condemnation can come in thoughts about ourselves- (“I blew it again” or “I’m useless”), dwelling on past mistakes, even in feelings of anxiety, worry, and fear.

Satan is crafty and relentless. He wants to use these feelings to rob us of the joy we have in Christ. See them for the attacks they are.

•Live in God’s condemnation-free zone. He will never cast you aside or shame you. Accept that you are His beloved child.

•Accept His grace and be patient with yourself.  This leads to His peace and forgiveness ruling your life.

Even Paul describes feelings of condemnation and struggling against sin.

“For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate, I do.” Romans 7:15.

But He found his answer in Romans 8:1. Case closed. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ.

The Work of the Spirit

We also have the most wonderful Helper when it comes to repelling a spirit of condemnation.

Paul explained how Jesus’ sacrifice has made us free from the guilty verdict of sin. He then explains how we are also free from the power of sin. 

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ, Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.” v2 NASB.

The law of sin and death was certain, but no match for the mighty law of the Spirit of life in Christ. The Holy Spirit frees us from the power of sin in our life.

Paul says our old self was crucified with Him, so we would no longer be slaves to sin. (Romans 6:6.)

Our “old self”, our sinful nature, died with Him, so we are freed from sin’s power. We don’t have to struggle on just our own strength anymore.

The law of the Spirit of Christ has set us free! The Spirit convicts us of our sin and empowers us to live a Christian life.

The work of the Spirit is to transform our character to be more like Jesus. He helps us do the good works He had planned for us and to produce much fruit in our lives.

Now that we know and understand these beautiful truths, there is no reason to live in condemnation-ever.

Prayer Against Condemnation

We praise and worship you, Holy Lord!

Thank you for showering us with your grace and mercy each day. Thank you Jesus, for redeeming us from our sin. We give thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit within us to convict us of sin and turn us back to You.

Your Holy Word tells us there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. But even against our best efforts, the Enemy reminds us of our past failures, and we feel shame, regret, and guilt. Remind us that Jesus has set us free. 

Strengthen and guard us against the evil one, Lord! Let Your peace and Your Word be our shield of faith to repel his accusations. Remind us of who we are in You- beloved and cherished, forgiven and free. Bring your life and peace into each of our days.

Empower us in your Spirit to overcome a spirit of condemnation and grow in Your truth, grace, and love.

We ask this in Jesus’ precious Name,




P.S.-Having a rock-solid understanding of your identity in Christ is essential to living your life in the way Jesus intended. Here’s another post to help you see yourself as He does: Embracing Your Identity in Christ.

All Scripture is from the NIV unless specified otherwise.

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

10 thoughts on “There is No Condemnation [Let Go of Guilt and Shame!]”

  1. So good. I love this: Since Jesus is sinless and without condemnation, and we are “in Him”, we have no condemnation either. We are safe in His arms forever!
    And the difference between conviction and condemnation.
    And living in a “condemnation-free zone”. And the prayer I mentioned in my comment last time. I need to take that and pray it daily too.
    Thanks, Ann!

    1. Learning this truth was such a game-changer for me! Definitely not in my upbringing- what a relief and a blessing! Thanks for reading and your encouraging words, as always 🙂

    1. You are so welcome, Tiffany! I’m so glad His words found their way to you. We are redeemed and I need to remember that and live it every day. God bless you! Thank you for the kind encouragement 🙂

  2. This was so good. Love this prayer: Strengthen and guard us against the evil one, Lord! Let Your peace and Your Word be our shield of faith to repel his accusations.
    Thanks, Ann!

    1. Thanks Cindy! Part of that prayer is based on 2 Thessalonians 3:3- I pray it every morning for myself and my family!

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