Are you a Christian who can’t seem to shake the feeling of guilt? You know that you are saved and that your sin was taken care of at the cross, but you still carry the weight of certain sins from your past?
I’ve been talking recently with some believers who are struggling with this, and I have been struck by how the burden of guilt always keeps us from enjoying a close, personal relationship with God.
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. | John 3:17
Good guilt is something that should convict you, not condemn you. If your guilt motivates you to stay away from the Lord, it is from the devil. If your guilt motivates you to confess and deal with your sin, it is from the Lord.
Romans 8:1 tells us very clearly that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
The sin debt of any believer is heavy, but every offense we have ever committed has been covered by the grace of Jesus Christ. His death was sufficient for all our sins. There is “no condemnation” for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Everyone has sinned, and one of the results of sin is guilt. We can be thankful for guilty feelings because they drive us to seek forgiveness. The moment a person turns from sin to Jesus Christ in faith, his sin is forgiven.
But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. | 1 John 2:1
Freedom from sin, however, does not always mean freedom from guilt. Even when our sins are forgiven, we still remember them. Our Enemy relentlessly reminds us of our failures, faults, and sins. When a Christian experiences feelings of guilt, he should do the following things:
1) Confess all known, previously unconfessed sin. In some cases, feelings of guilt are appropriate because confession is needed. Sometimes, we feel guilty because we are guilty!
2) Ask the Lord to reveal any other sin that you may need to confess. Have the courage to be completely open and honest before the Lord.
3) Seek to make restoration in cases of the sins that you’ve committed against others.
4) Trust the promise of God that He will forgive sin and remove guilt, based on the blood of Christ. Memorize scripture that reminds you of this truth.
5) On occasions when guilty feelings come up over sins already confessed and forsaken, reject such feelings as false guilt. The Lord has been true to His promise to forgive.
6) Ask the Lord to rebuke the Enemy, your accuser, and ask the Lord to restore the joy that comes with freedom from guilt.
If sin has been confessed,
it is time to move on.
Remember that we who have come to Christ have been made new creatures in Him.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! | 2 Corinthians 5:17
Part off the “old” which has gone is the remembrance of past sins and the guilt they produced. Sadly, some Christians are prone to wallowing in memories of their former sinful lives, memories which should have been dead and buried long ago. This is pointless and runs counter to the victorious Christian life God wants for us.