Q: I feel so ashamed, so guilty, so unholy, so unclean. I’m a wretched, terrible sinner. I feel so angry at myself and the sin in my life. I fail God every day. How do I deal with this guilt in my life? How do I move on?
A: A very good question and certainly one that needs to be addressed. One of the greatest realities of the Gospel and the Christian faith is that as children of God we have been blood washed, redeemed and forgiven through what Jesus Christ did for us on the cross at Calvary.
There is a great verse in the Bible which is found in Romans 8:1 which says: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.“
Right here, it says there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. When we become children of God, through repentance and faith in Him, we are now “in Christ”… we are now part of His family. That’s what it means.
You should not live in a spirit of condemnation because Jesus Christ the holy, spotless, unblemished lamb of God came down to this earth as God in the flesh and in His great love, grace and mercy “became sin for us”. He took upon himself the sin of each one of us… He took YOUR sin and bore the punishment that you justly deserved by dying a cruel death on a cross. He loved you that much to die such a horrific death for you… He really did! The guilt associated with those sins has been washed away. You are blood washed! You have been redeemed! You are free from the enslaving power of sin! Live in the light of that wonderful truth, friend!
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God
There is nothing that we can ever possibly do to save ourselves or to atone for our sins… nothing… absolutely nothing. And that’s what makes the work of God so amazing. His grace and mercy is all-sufficient and knows no bounds.
Romans 5:20 20 …where sin abounded, grace abounded much more
Every Christian will be prone to failure and sin all the days of his earthly existence. But we have a faithful heavenly father. Even when we fail Him… when we let Him down, He is still faithful (2 Tim 2:13). He doesn’t cease to love you even when you’ve sinned against Him.
1 John 1:9 contains a wonderful promise: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Don’t allow yourself and the devil to condemn you! Instead live in continual repentance and thankfulness for what Christ has done for you. His grace, mercy and love is greater than your most depraved act of sin that you’ve committed. He gives you a new chance each day to trust in what He has done for you and to live for Him by walking the path of righteousness.
If sin has been confessed, repented of, and forgiven, it is time to move on. Remember that we who have come to Christ on His terms have been made new creatures in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (one of my favourite verses) says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Part of the “old” which has passed away or gone is the remembrance of past sins and the subsequent guilt produced.
Don’t wallow in memories of your former sinful life, memories which should have been dead and buried long ago. This is totally pointless and runs counter to the victorious Christian life God wants for us. A wise saying is “If God has saved you out of a sewer, don’t dive back in and swim around.”
Romans 8:37-39 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Friend, this is the glorious truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Be encouraged and be strengthened!