Friday, November 30, 2012

Guilt

Guilt is a universal problem of mankind. Except for the grace of God, man is in rebellion to God and cannot completely escape His wrath. Everything man does and everywhere man goes he runs into God's creation and providence. The question for man is how he will deal with his guilt.

Various cultures and religions have dealt with the problem in diverse ways. Some try imputing the guilt of sin to other men, creatures, the environment, and evolutionary processes. Some try to atone for the guilt of sin themselves by self-mutilation, asceticism, suicide, and the like. Some try to atone for the sin by good works. Some try penance to priests. Some try to atone for sin by action, apology, and education by the state. Some try to ignore it and distract themselves with materialism. Still others try to escape the reality of guilt and God's world through fantasy, virtual worlds, computer games, certain music, etc... Many people try combinations of the above attempts, and there are no doubt many others, but through all of these human attempts the guilt remains. Man cannot free himself from his sin and is miserable. Stress and hopelessness eventually prevail, with good reason, for real future judgement awaits.

True life, both in time and eternity, can only be received when we have our guilt taken away and we are reunited with our Creator God. Thus, by ourselves we are doomed to death. But thanks be to God! He is gracious and sent His Son, Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man, to take His people's sins upon Himself. He gave Himself as the only, perfect, and complete sacrifice for us and our guilt. By faith in Him we received this forgiveness and true life to the fullness. No longer are we consumed in atoning for our sins. No more do we have reason to be stressed or hopeless. Instead we believe in Christ's work for us and live a life of joy, peace, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit, a life filled with purpose and meaning.

It is true that trials may come and our doubts may arise, but not only may we rely on the Holy Spirit's power to overcome by our faith, but God has also given us help through one another. If you are cast down or doubting, confess to and pray for one another (James 5:16) and use the gifts of the body of Christ.

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God." -Romans 5:1-2

"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." -Hebrews 10:19-25

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