The Christian & Guilt
There is no doubt every Bible-believing person at one time or another - because of his or her conscience - will experience guilt feelings. There are people who inform us that Christianity is the reason for the guilt. Their theory is if you get rid of Christianity, you get rid of the guilt. The Bible not only “convicts” you (John 16:8), it also informs you of the responsibility you have in the choices you make, which may bring about guilt. Fact is, guilt is “the fact of being responsible for an offense or wrongdoing,” and each time we disobey law (1 John 3:4; 5:17; James 4:17), guilt will be the feeling we have.
If the guilt is real, how do we get rid of the guilt? Removing guilt would be “an answer to prayer” for many. The scriptures give such a wonderful solution to this problem. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1,2). Being in Christ removes guilt and the condemnation of God. For a good conscience which knows and acts upon what the Lord says to do to be saved, guilt is taken away (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21). Before such guilt is removed, a person must be willing to quit transgressing God’s law, which is either by acting contrary to god’s law or by not doing something God has commanded.
Once a person repents of his or her sin and the guilt is washed away in baptism (Acts 22:16), it si possible for a child of God to sin. In speaking to Christians, John said, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:7-10). The Christian can be free from sin and the guilt removed. Would you rather live with the transgression and guilt or have it done away?
If you have followed the pattern of scripture to eliminate sin and guilt and still have guilt feelings, perhaps you should take another look into the mirror of the soul, the Bible. Observe what you have done that is causing you to have these feelings. It may be the problem centers around your lack of faith in God’s promises to forgive you of your sins when you obey Him. There is no reason for us to feel guilty if we obey God. He has said He will forgive us. God does not deny Himself. He will forgive. As a result, guilt is eliminated. It is a promise, just as God’s promise was to Abraham that he would be justified by his obedient faith. We must trust in these promises. The way to be free from guilt is not to quit being a Christian. The way to be free from guilt is to truly be a Christian.