Are you a Christian struggling with guilt?
John 3:16 – For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its Savior.
Are you a believer, but you can’t seem to shake the feeling of guilt? You know God saved you, but you still feel guilt from your past. I need to assure you today that, in my understanding of Scripture, guilt does not come from God. The devil often uses guilt to keep us from doing the will of God and growing in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Guilt has to do with condemnation and generally guilt comes from us, from our conscience. You feel the “weight” or “sentence” of your sin – you may even think you have destroyed your relationship with God. But didn’t Christ die to remove that condemnation, and didn’t he promise to keep us?
The definition of guilt is remorse for having done something wrong. Furthermore, guilt is being responsible for an offense. Of themselves, neither of these is a bad thing – they are our conscience teaching us. Having repented, a Christian’s sins have been paid for on the Cross. The debt of sin of any believer is heavy, but every bad offense we have ever committed has been covered over by the blood of Jesus Christ – itself an act of pure grace, or undeserved favour of God. We still sin, but Jesus doesn’t get back on the Cross. His one death was sufficient for all our sins. ‘Consequently now there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.’ (Romans 8:1 MLV). We sin when we act out of our physical desires in contradiction to what we know is right. Doing that, we rightly feel guilty. But when we seek to be in relationship with God, we follow His way and he removes the condemnation of past failures.
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, please don’t misunderstand, you may rightly feel sorry for your sins and ask God for forgiveness and express a desire to learn a new attitude of mind so we do not sin again. That’s what we call repentance, but God’s primary motivating factor to help us obey is his love, not our guilt. God guides His children to obey Him with a loving hand. Sometimes God’s love for us involves discipline. Many times we suffer the consequences of our sins – that is part of the discipline so we learn. God will lead us to follow Him exclusively, but He will do it with love, not with guilt and condemnation. Jesus didn’t come to earth to bring condemnation. He came to bring salvation to all who would believe in Him.
Thank God today that there is no guilt for the person who believes in Jesus Christ as Savior. Amen.