Should We Ever Feel Guilty?
Sunday, November 20, 2022 - Pastor Steve Webster
Locations & Times
  • GracePoint Baptist Church
    3143 Sheppard Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1T 1P4, Canada
    Sunday 10:30 AM
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Guilt is a universal experience we all share in as human beings. However, as those justified by God, declared by the supreme Judge over all to be not guilty of sin against him because of our union with Christ, should we ever really feel guilty, or should we deny our guilt because of God’s forgiveness of all of our sins?
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ’” Matthew 6:9-13, NIV

It seems to me that single phrase, “Forgive us our debts…” highlights 3 aspects of forgiveness.
1. Appreciate The __________ and __________ of Guilt

Guilt can describe the legal condemnation we deserve for our sin. Such guilt and condemnation has been removed from those in Christ, for at the cross Christ paid fully the just penalty we deserved to pay for our sin against God.

“Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24, NIV

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14, NIV

Therefore, those in Christ should never allow themselves to come back under the weight of such condemnation
In other words, any accusation or temptation to think we’re still deserving of the wrath of God should be quickly rejected

However, there is also a subjective guilt, and this guilt is beneficial if our conscience is accurately accusing us of wrong and we respond to it correctly.

I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. 2 Corinthians 7:8-9, NLT

While our objective guilt before God is gone, our subjective feelings of guilt over sin increase, and this is designed to promote our growth in Christlikeness.

2. Appreciate The __________ God Has Made For Guilt

Though we have been forgiven the ultimate penalty of sin, as Christ followers we need God’s constant forgiveness for the sins we continue to commit, but not now as Judge but as our heavenly Father.

During the Last Supper, I believe the Lord offered a fascinating picture of this ongoing forgiveness that’s crucial for us as believers to experience if we’re to practically speaking live free from guilt’s oppression.

“No, you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean.” John 13:8-10, NIV

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8, NIV

For you and I as believers to know not just a positional freedom from guilt but a practical daily real life freedom, on a regular basis we need to seek God’s forgiveness for the sins we unfortunately continue to commit. This is the fatherly forgiveness that God grants to us who are his own.

3. Appreciate That Guilt Requires __________

The prayer Jesus taught us to pray, “Father, forgive us our debts,…”, clearly implies that we come to God admitting our sin.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9, NIV

To confess means basically to agree with, and when we confess our sins we agree with God about them being inappropriate for one who belongs to him. Be honest with him, and admit your guilt and let him free you with his forgiveness.

John tells us in our text that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins”. As one of his precious spiritual children, you can count on his faithfulness when it comes to granting you forgiveness in response to your confession of sin. For he is just, having already made full atonement for your sins through the sacrifice of his Son Christ.

John says that if we confess our sins, God is faithful “to purify us from all unrighteousness”. That three letter word ‘all’ is a wonderful word about grace, about what God our Father is willing to do for you and me who are his own in order to set us free from the regime of regret.

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