we respond to guilt today can determine our success in life for years to come.
It can even determine where we will spend eternity.
To Our Guilt
The Bible says we are created in God's image and
His glory. This wonderful privilege of bearing His image also holds out the requirement
that we live righteous lives. When we do something that conflicts with our sense
of right and wrong, an alarming thing happens: we feel guilty.
If you are
feeling guilty, then this internal moral compass is sounding an alarm indicating
that you may have sinned. And sin separates us from God.
That's why it is
important to listen carefully to your guilt. Don't just try to ignore those nagging
feelings of moral ill. Listen to your heart. Then determine to find out what's
causing your guilty conscience.
Guilty As Charged
Even as you read these words, you may be coming to a realization of the source
of your guilt. Perhaps you have offended someone. Or you have done something you
know God did not want you to do.
Guilt can arise from things we say and
do that directly violate God's law. Even if we are not familiar with a specific
Bible passage, God has given us a law that is written on our hearts and helps
us know when we have sinned (Romans 2:15)
True guilt is God's way of warning
us to repent and turn away from our sins so He can forgive us, cleanse us and
make us entirely guilt-free. The fact is, the Bible says "all have sinned and
fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Another passage says "the Scripture
has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might
be given to those who believe" (Gal. 3:22).
Guilt is a fact of life because
sin is a fact of life. And our sin has the consequences of death (Romans 6:23).
But God does not leave you "shut up" under the emotional burden and deadly consequences
of sin. He has made a way to break free from our sin and guilt.
God's Answer For Guilt
God works through everything that
happens in our lives, including guilt, to draw us to Jesus (John 6:44,45; 14:6;
Romans 8::28,29). No matter what you have done, God has made a way home -
through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life, yet
He was willing to die on the cross and receive the punishment we deserved. His
death on the cross and triumphant resurrection secures for you all the blessings
of God, including forgiveness. All you have to do is repent an turn your life
over to Jesus (Acts 3:19).
This is what the Bible calls being "born again"
of the Spirit of God (John 3:3,5). We enter into the born-again experience by
repenting of our sin, yielding our lives to Jesus as Savior and Lord, and trusting
in faith that He will forgive and cleanse us from all sin (Romans 3:23; 10:13;
1 John 1:8,9; John 1:12).
God's answer for sin and guilt accomplishes what no amount of human effort
could manage. Thanks to the blood of Christ, we can "draw near" to God "in full
assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
an our bodies washed with pure water" (Heb. 10:22).
This cleansing is not
just a one-time event. Every time the Holy Spirit prompts our spirit that we have
sinned, we can return to His throne of grace to receive mercy (Heb. 4:16). If
we fail to respond to guilt in repentance, we can expect God to continue to work
in our lives until we come to Him in humility. For God desires children who can
serve Him with a "clear conscience" (1Tim. 3:9).
Having a clear conscience
also requires that we walk in humility and repentance towards those around us.
Be sure to seek forgiveness and to forgive.
Taking On The
At times, the enemy of our soul, Satan uses guilt to
keep us from the Lord. The Bible describes Satan as the "accuser of the brethren"
who appears before God day and night with accusations against believers (see Rev.
These accusations leave us feeling as if God has not forgiven -
or will not forgive - us. We respond in shame,
anger, bitterness and depression - which further drives us from God's
This kind of guilt - a guilt that
does not leave even after we repent and turn to Jesus for cleansing -
is not from God. As we have seen, the blood of Christ fully satisfies God's righteousness.
Thus, "there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus"
If you have repented of your sins but still feel the accuser
lurking in the shadows, confront the accusations with God's Word. As Jesus said,
"If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed" (John 8:36).
Walk in that freedom.
As You Pray
wants to free you from anything that would hinder your full life and liberty in
Him. If you are dealing with guilt, choose the path that leads to life; repentance.
Then stay on that path by fully accepting God's forgiveness and cleansing:
I confess my sins to You. Thank You for forgiving me of every sin I have ever committed.
And thank You for releasing me from the burden of guilt. Help me to continue living
every day for You. Amen."
God's Word On Guilt
"Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the
blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the
veil, that is His flesh, ... let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance
of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies
washed with pure water." (Heb. 10:19,20,22)
Wages of sin; gift of God
Effect of lying on our conscience
No remembrance of sin
1:12; 5:24; 8:36
Belief in Christ delivers from sin
Freedom from sin and guilt
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