Judgment and Government

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
It is very important for newly born souls to distinguish clearly between Judgment and Government. The moment I accept the truth of my condition as a poor sinner before God, and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, I am entitled to know that there is no condemnation for me; for the very simple reason, that the Word of God tells me that the condemnation due to me has been already borne by my blessed substitute Jesus, and God has cleared me from all my guilt because of the work of Christ. “He that heareth my word and believeth on him that sent me,” says the Lord, “hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:2424Verily, 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).) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” says the Holy Ghost. (Rom. 8:11There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1).) “Herein is love with us (margin) made perfect,” says the same infallible witness (1 John 4:1717Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17),) “that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world.”
The same Christ that died for us, and “bare our sins in his own body on the tree,” (1 Peter 2:2424Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)) has risen from the dead, and has imparted to us His own life (1 John, v. 11). He is the one to whom all judgment has been committed. (John 5:2222For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: (John 5:22).) He cannot therefore condemn us, for in doing so, He must judge His own work—His own life—Himself. We can boldly say, “who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth, who is he that condemneth?” (Rom. 8. 33, 34.) And moreover when the dead stand before God in that awfully solemn day of the great white throne, to receive for the things done in the body, we shall have been for more than a thousand years in glory, in the image of our Lord; and seated with Him on His throne, reigning with Him (Rev. 20:4,64And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Revelation 20:4)
6Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
,) ourselves judges. (1 Cor. 6:2,32Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? (1 Corinthians 6:2‑3).)
The weakest babe in Christ has no need of uneasiness on that score, but may rejoice in the fullest sense of liberty from condemnation.
Quite distinct from this is the Father’s government of His child. This is confined to this present scene, as it says, in 1 Peter 1:1717And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: (1 Peter 1:17), “And if ye call on the Father, who, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear,” &c. The moment I become a child of God I become subject to my Father’s government, and a more tender, loving, and yet faithful Parent could not be. He knows the difficulties of His child; He knows that he has the flesh in him to contend with—the evil nature that never can be better. Flesh and Spirit are there, and the tendencies of the two are precisely opposite. (Gal. 5:1717For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Galatians 5:17).) “The Spirit of, life in Christ Jesus,” (Rom. 8:22For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)) delighting to do the will of God, and the natural man still seeking its own will. He has given me the Spirit that I may walk in the Spirit, and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh; but if failure comes, and, alas, it does, “for in many things we offend all,” He deals with me as His child, using, if it be needed, and in love to me, His rod. Thus, though there is no condemnation for me in the world to come, it is well for me to remember that my Father expects from me a walk here consistent with His own holiness, and does not permit to go unnoticed any indulgence or outbreak of the flesh that still is in me. A word applied by the Spirit to the conscience may be sufficient at times to produce self-judgment, and restore communion. At times it may be needful to apply the rod, and this the more severely, the deeper the giving way to flesh. In such case humiliation and confession will alone avail to restore intercourse between the erring child and its Father.
May we then, who are Christ’s, and who have ceased to fear the judgment after death, seeing Christ was once offered to bear our sins (Heb. 9:27,2827And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:27‑28)), endeavor so to walk in the fear of our holy Father, keeping our old man in the place of death, and never taking the eye off our glorified Saviour, that we may ever have His voice speaking to us in communion and joy and encouragement, and not need the rod in love to bring us to repentance. “Happy is the man,” says the Proverb (28:14), “that feareth alway.” D. T. G.