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107: Overcoming Guilt

There is an aspect of forgiveness that is very important, for without this happening in a person’s life there really is no forgiveness. It is this: we must have faith to accept and receive God’s forgiveness for all of our own sins and not carry a guilt trip for the sins of our past. It is by faith that we are forgiven and saved and it takes faith to believe that Christ died and rose again to save us from our sins.
 
1 Thessalonians 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
 
The word “forgive” means to wipe the slate clean, to pardon, to cancel a debt. When we wrong someone, we seek their forgiveness in order for the relationship to be restored. When we forgive others we expect them to accept that forgiveness and when God forgives us he expects us to accept that forgiveness. 
 
To continue to hold our past against ourselves after we have sincerely repented, learned a lesson and are no longer doing that sin and become overcome with guilt over something which has been forgiven is wrong.  That is not what God wants for us. God wants us to accept his forgiveness and to set aside the past to go forward sinning no more, and in that way we can be comforted and have peace of mind.
 
How can we believe in Jesus Christ, in His power to forgive and receive forgiveness of sins? 
 
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
 
We begin the way to salvation when we believe Jesus is Lord and accept that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. But we believe enough to do what Jesus says, as well as believe. (See James 2:14-26) 
 
How can we be forgiven from our sins? First, we acknowledge we are sinners. God’s Word teaches:
 
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
 
Second, we confess our sins to God. 
 
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
Third, we trust in Jesus Christ by faith. 
 
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 
We must have faith that God loves us and that He desires to forgive us and has made a way for us to be forgiven through Jesus Christ.
 
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
 
John 14:66 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
 
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
 
We do not earn forgiveness through our works. Instead, we believe in Christ by faith and receive His free gift of eternal life. We know that God hates sin; He cannot stand to look at its ugliness. Therefore, unconfessed sin in our lives comes between us and damages our relationship with the Lord.
 
Isaiah 59:1 Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
 
If we do not accept forgiveness, we are punishing ourselves for something that God is not holding against us.
 
Proverbs 17:9 He that covereth [forgives] a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.
 
The Bible tells us that we are all in need of forgiveness from God. We have all committed sin. 
 
Ecclesiastes 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
 
Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
 
All sin is ultimately an act of rebellion against God (Psalm 51:4). As a result, we desperately need God’s forgiveness. If our sins are not forgiven we will not inherit the Kingdom of God (Matthew 25:46; John 3:36, 1st Corinthians 6:9-10).
 
Jesus died in our stead to atone for our sins, but unless we reach out and actually accept His offer in faith we forfeit His offer of forgiveness.
 
It is like if somebody put money in a bank account for us and this person told us that he has freely given us a huge amount of money that is sitting in an account ready for us to come and take it. Even though it has been put into our account we still have to do our part to receive it, we must first believe that this person is telling us the truth enough go to the bank and ask for the money; and it is when we have withdrawn the money that we receive it. If we did not have any faith that this person was telling us the truth, we would probably not even bother going to the bank. It is only when we reach out in faith and accept what God has freely given to us that we actually receive His forgiveness.
 
In order to receive God’s forgiveness, we need to understand some things about God’s laws for sin is the transgression of the law and it is sin that we need to repent of and be forgiven for. We must first sincerely repent of our sins, ask for forgiveness and then have FAITH that Christ’s sacrificial death atones for our transgressions. In order to RECEIVE His grace that pardons our sins and washes us completely clean we must believe with all of our hearts that He is able and willing to forgive us if we are sincerely sorry for those sins and we are willing to go forth and not commit those sins any more.
 
The apostle Paul had much to say about God’s grace and he exemplified in his own personal life the fact that even though he had been a violent man before being struck down on the road to Damascus, he was forgiven and had freely received God’s grace. He did not let the fact that he had done so much damage hold him back. He was very transparent about the kind of person he had been in the past in all of his epistles, but he also talked about how he had accepted God’s grace knowing that his debt had been paid by Christ’s sacrificial death. He had faith that all of his past sins had been forgiven and that he had eternal life in God’s Kingdom to look forward to because of what his Savior had done for Him.
 
Here is what he said about his own life:
 
Ephesians 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 
3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 
3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: 
3:10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,
 
1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 
1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 
1:14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 
1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
 
Paul was not only a teacher of God’s mercy and grace but he himself was a prime example as a recipient of those things to those he taught. He was an object lesson for others who had been forgiven of very grievous sins and his own personal life demonstrated to the brethren the power of Christ to forgive. He exemplifies for all those who read the book of Acts and all of his epistles of what it means to be forgiven of horrible sins and then to accept God’s abundant grace and turn one’s life around to do the will of the Father from then on.
 
Paul completely turned his back on his past way of life and went forward to the newness of life that God has in store for those who put such things behind and seek to change their lives to reflect God’s righteousness. Paul teaches us the way to becoming like Christ and how one can attain to the resurrection to spirit through the power of Christ’s death and resurrection if we never give up. Even though we may not be perfect yet, we are to keep striving to overcome our human nature all our days so as to eventually become perfect as God is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)
 
This is what Paul had to say about how to go forward and not let a burden of guilt hold  us back:
 
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 
3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 
3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.
 
Paul was able to encourage other believers who had been the worst of sinners to live according to faith because he himself had walked in their shoes doing similar things as they did. He could therefore hold himself up as a model of God’s grace for them for he could say with conviction “see, if God can forgive me and wash me from my horrible sins and make me a new person, He can do that for you as well.” And that is the message that he encourages and comforts all believers who read his epistles. He is able to exhort all of us to look to Jesus Christ as our Deliverer and Savior who saves us and helps us to be over-comers.
 
1 Corinthians 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,  6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
 
Paul told his followers that the people who did such things would never be permitted to inherit God’s Kingdom. But because they had repented and had been forgiven, they were washed from the filthiness of their sins. If they continued to walk in the Spirit and not in the works of the flesh, there was now hope for them that they could have a part in the Kingdom of God; for they were now set apart and had been made holy by the means of Christ’s sacrifice for them.
 
1 Corinthians 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
 
In his letter to those living in Rome Paul explained this even further, that those who are forgiven and who now walk according to the Spirit are no longer under the death sentence which is God’s divine punishment for all those who break His law. Because of what Christ has done for us by dying on the cross, we are no longer condemned to die the eternal death if we have repented and have been forgiven and then commit to sin no more for the rest of our lives.
 
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] to them which are in Christ Jesus, [those who are called and are faithful] who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 
1:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 
1:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 
1:4 That the righteousness [and justice] of the law might be fulfilled [kept by us in BOTH the letter and the spirit]  in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 
Modern day Christendom does not understand this profound truth, and instead teaches that God’s laws have been done away with, or that because Christ fulfilled the law we do not have to keep it anymore and that the teachings of the Old Testament about those laws are no longer relevant to those who are under the New Testament. The Protestants teach that the laws of God were “nailed to the cross” when Jesus was crucified and are therefore no longer valid. This just does not make any sense but this is what they teach to justify the fact that they do not have to keep God’s commandments, especially the Sabbath commandment. This teaching is typically taught to their adherents and one of their justifications for teaching this is because of a misunderstanding of what Paul wrote in Colossians 2:14 “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
 
Most of the mainstream religions of this world assert that the commandments as listed in the Old Testament are Jewish religious laws which were only presented to the Jewish people and do not apply to Christians whom they consider to be “Gentiles”.
 
But Christ nowhere teaches that His laws are done away with anywhere in the New Testament, in fact He teaches just the opposite. Certain Scriptures have been twisted to try to make them fit their definition of sin. God does not make up laws and ordinances in the past and then make up laws that are contradictory to those very commands at some other time.  His is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
 
In fact we are all familiar with what Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount; the Beatitudes that He expounded upon on that day are actually spiritual applications of the Laws of God, the laws that are contained in the Old Covenant. (See Matthew 5) 
 
Jesus explicitly said that:
 
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill [to keep].  5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
 
If we correctly read what Colossians 2:14 says, Paul is actually teaching definitely does not say that the Torah (God’s Law) was nailed to the cross. It does say that the debt that we incurred when we sinned, is what was nailed to the cross (if we repent), not the laws that define what those sins are.
 
Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 
2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.
 
In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he was explaining that the indictment for sin against those who repent is what has been nailed to the cross. Those that have applied the sacrifice of Christ’s blood over their repented-of sins are no longer subject to the legal indebtedness against them (the penalty against them), for Jesus paid for that penalty with His own death on the cross. It is the penalty for breaking God’s laws that has been dropped by nailing it to the cross at the crucifixion and death of Jesus, NOT God’s Law.
 
Many misunderstand the true definition of grace and twist what Paul said as an excuse for believing that they do not have to keep God’s Sabbath and the Holy Days and refuse to even consider the fact that these commandments are commanded for all mankind to observe and have not been done away with. It is part of our human nature to balk at the idea that we must keep all that God commands and to keep the whole Word of God.
 
Romans 8:5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 
8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 
8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
 
Paul in many other places confirms that he is not against the law of God, nor does he ever teach against it, but rather exhorts true followers to obey all the laws of God and praises what the law does for us and says that it is HOLY, JUST and GOOD! This is important to know in conjunction with what it means to be forgiven and to have faith that God forgives us, for one needs to know what it means to transgress against God’s law and recognize when we have broken them and then to be heartbroken enough to seek God’s forgiveness when we sin. Here are some verses that validate that Paul was absolutely not against God’s Law:
 
Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
 
Romans 7:12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
 
Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
 
Because of the misunderstanding of Paul’s words in the Colossian 2 passage, many mainstream theologians diminish the need for believers in Christ to study and adhere to the Old Testament because they falsely teach that “we are now under the New Testament of mercy and grace and therefore the Old Testament is irrelevant”. This is a grave travesty for the words of the Old Testament are just as God-breathed as the New Testament which is built upon the foundation of what was laid down in the Old Testament. Many verses in the New Testament tell us we absolutely ARE TO KEEP all of God’s commandments and that they are just as valid now as they have been throughout all time.
 
Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
 
John 14:15 if ye love me, keep my commandments.
 
1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
 
1 John 2:4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
 
1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
 
1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
 
2 John 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.
 
Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
 
Are the commandments that are listed in he Old Testament still valid for modern day believers, those who profess to be true Christians and followers of Christ? Of course they are, and to live according to all the laws of God along with the ordinances, statutes, and judgments (with the help of His indwelling Holy Spirit) is what is instilling within us God’s divine nature. Keeping all of God’s laws (in the letter and in the spirit) is also training us to become highly qualified teachers in the Millennium and in the Main Fall Harvest of Humanity for these are things that we will be teaching to all the world. God does not change and He does not change His mind about what constitutes righteousness.
 
Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
 
What does all this have to do with receiving Christ’s forgiveness? This false teaching about the laws of God being done away is how modern day mainstream “Christian” churches deal with the quilt of sin. Rather than just humbly admitting that we have been wrong and accepting that Christ came to die to pay the penalty for all of our sins and that we are freely forgiven if we go forth sincerely repentant of those sins, the preachers of these mainstream “Christian” churches teach that the law is done away and that we do not have to keep them. They therefore can justify in their minds that we do not have to feel guilty for not keeping God’s Sabbath or His Holy days or any of the other commandments that would be inconvenient for us to keep. It goes back to the sin of Adam and Eve of choosing for ourselves what is right and what is wrong.
 
Most of the people in the world do not accept Christ’s forgiveness because they do not believe that they have anything to be forgiven of. If the law is no longer necessary to keep (as they see it) then they forfeit what God offers in way of forgiveness and they stay unforgiven; in their ignorance they refuse to have God’s grace poured upon them. This is Satan’s deception that he has passed upon the religions of this world so that mankind rejects the truth in regard to repentance and forgiveness of sin. The adherents to these worldly relgions refuse to accept the forgiveness of their sins that Christ came to earth as a man to provide as a way out of the death sentence that Adam and Eve incurred for themselves and their descendants when they took for themselves the determination of what is right and what is evil by taking of the fruit of the forbidden tree.
 
We know that most of humanity is under the sway of the evil one at this time and God will call them and open their eyes according to His timetable. But until they come to the knowledge of what it takes to be forgiven and then walk in the ways of God, they will remain unforgiven and will reap the consequences of believing in lies about God’s laws and in refusing to acknowledge that we have all broken them and need the atonement of Jesus’ sacrifice.
 
But what about us? those whom the Father is calling at this time need to come completely out from Satan’s deceptions and the kind of teachings that keep us from fully accepting the fact that we truly have been forgiven. We need to be like Paul who can forget those things that are behind and reach forth unto those things which are before and never live under a guilt trip for the sins that we have genuinely repented of that are in our past.
 
It is only by the blood of Jesus that we can be forgiven, no amount of keeping God’s laws now or in the future will erase the things that we have done; and neither will regret, or wishing that we could go back and redo the mistakes that we made in our past undo the sins we committed. Only Jesus has the power to forgive sins. And His forgiveness is enough; enough to cleanse us, heart and soul; enough to set us free of the burden that we may be carrying.
 
We have the precious privilege of going to the throne of grace and RECEIVING God’s abundant pardon for those things that we regret and we can pick ourselves up with God’s help and go forth in newness of life knowing that we are no longer under condemnation.
 
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] to them which are in Christ Jesus, [those who are called and are faithful] who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 
8:4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 
Acts 13:38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 
13:39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
 
If we lack the faith that He is willing to forgive us for all of our sins we will be susceptible to guilt and depression. But that is not the worst thing that can happen. Without faith it is impossible to please God and if we are not pleasing God we will forfeit our opportunity to be in God’s Kingdom. The Father has callled us to do His work and the first line in our work it to believe on Jesus.
 
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
 
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
 
John 8:30 As he spake these words, many believed on him. 
8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 
8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 
8:33 They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 
8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 
8:35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
 
Jesus told the blind men who wanted healing that their healing would be according to their faith and when it comes to forgiveness, that, too, is according to our faith.
 
Matthew 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
 
It is not the law of Moses that saves us, it is the sacrifice of Christ that atones for our sins that saves us, but then that is not an excuse to remain in the sins we have been forgiven of. God, through the apostle Paul’s teachings, is very clear about this.
 
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
 
Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 
6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 
6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
 
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. 
2:17 But if we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. 
2:18 For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 2:19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
 
Paul goes on to say that when our old nature dies, we can then live by faith in Christ who comes to live within us by the power of His Spirit. It is because He loves us that He gave Himself that we may live. It is through His sacrifice that we are able to live by grace if we are allowing Him to live in us.
 
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
 
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye
6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
 
When we can forgive ourselves for the things we have done, we can go on with our lives. If we become overwhelmed with guilt we will become stagnant and we will not grow for we are not living by faith. We will be constantly concentrating on what we did wrong in the past rather than going forward in life with our focus on seeking God, going after His truth, and striving to live in His righteousness. When we wallow in guilt over our past we demonstrate that we do not really have faith in what God says about His power to forgive. Holding against ourselves what God has forgiven is rejecting that forgiveness.
 
So even after confession of our sins to God and resolving that we will sin no more, do we still sometimes feel guilty? Do we serve God or our feelings? If we truly have faith in God’s power to forgive we will not waste time feeling guilty. If we come to know the truth that God is merciful and quick to forgive us when we come to His throne of Grace seeking His forgiveness, we will be set free from the bondage of guilt feelings. The heavy burden that we carry will be lifted. God is not like people for He forgives and He forgets; He chooses to forget. If we still have feelings of guilt after confessing and repenting, than we need to pray to God to help us to increase our faith and to deliver us from the lies of the evil one.
 
 
The Importance of Accepting God’s Forgiveness
 
When we look at who we are and we hate ourselves for the things we have done because we refuse to forgive as Christ has forgiven us, it shows that we really have not accepted the truth about what Jesus’ power to forgive. If we harbor undue guilt and shame over the past, we do not have an accurate picture of what Christ has actually done for us and it is denying the work that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross! 
 
If our sins are forgiven and we have genuinely repented, then we need to see ourselves as separated from those sins; it is Satan, who is our adversary, that tries to constantly remind us of our past and will put thoughts in our head that continue to beat us up over sins that were supposed to be blotted out by Christ’s atoning sacrifice for us. If we cannot forgive ourselves for the mistakes we have made, we will not experience the breakthrough that we need to be totally set free.
 
Christ’s sacrifice is a most precious gift and when a recipient of that gift receives it gladly and with joy, God is glorified and the Bible says that even the holy angels rejoice when a sinner repents and is forgiven.
 
Have you ever given someone a valuable gift that cost you a lot of time and money, something that was very special and you anticipated the day you could give it to that person whom you loved dearly? When the day arrived and you gave this person your gift but he or she just set it aside, perhaps even ignored it, or mocked it; how did it make you feel?
 
This attitude made us, the giver, feel diminished and of little importance and that what we had given was completely unappreciated. The recipient of our gift had no sense of what the tremendous value of our gift was.
 
When we fail to forgive ourselves, we ignore the gift of the Father’s Son’s sacrifice that God so graciously has provided for us. Think about how our heavenly Father feels when He looks down and sees His children walking around devaluing the most precious gift He could give them and they are still carrying a guilt trip over things that His beloved Son shed His blood so that they could be forgiven and set free from those things.
 
Many passages in the Bible make it clear that failing to forgive ourselves of our past mistakes/sins is denying the sacrifice of Christ. When God’s Word tells us plainly that we have been washed clean with the blood of Jesus and that our sins are removed through the atoning work that He did for us, yet we still harbor guilt for our past sins, then we are saying, “I do not really believe that God is willing and able to forgive me of my sins; my sin is too great for Him to forgive it and I still hate myself for what I have done!” This just should not be if we are the called of God and we have been given the knowledge of who He is and what He is about. When we are forgiven we are a new creature in Christ.
 
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 
 
If we do not see ourselves as a new creature in Christ then we are lacking in faith. We will be hindered and held back from freely and confidently living out who we really are in Christ! We will not be a true witness of what it is to be forgiven and given the hope of redemption as Paul did in his lifetime.
 
To be free of quilt, it is also vital that we have a clean conscience in order to feel worthy to approach our heavenly Father and that we never hesitate to live the life that He wants for us. Paul did whatever was necessary to keep his conscience clear through repentance and God’s forgiveness; believing God’s Word that gives us God’s promise that He will forgive us if we acknowledge our sins, repent, and ask for His forgiveness.
 
Acts 24:14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: 
24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. 
24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.
 
Paul wrote in his letter to the Hebrews in regard to conscience:
 
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
 
When true believers fail to accept forgiveness for their sins it will put blinders on our spiritual eyesight and our faith will dissipate. If we cannot receive Christ’s forgiveness of our sins it will cause us to see things through the eyes of guilt, shame, and condemnation and we will suffer a guilty conscience. This will do damage to our faith and cause us to go blind spiritually. The apostle Peter spoke of this very thing, warning us as well. We are to put our faith in God and in what He says.
 
2 Peter 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
 
One of the reasons so many of God’s people are living defeated lives and are not producing very much fruit is because of guilt. Guilt is one of Satan’s biggest weapons that he throws against us. We are told that he is the Accuser of the brethren, it is he who does not forget our repented-of sins and he does not want us to either. Guilt tears us down, it makes us feel dirty, unworthy, robs of us of our faith and confidence in Christ and it robs us of our joy and can bring on all kinds of illnesses. Jesus not only came to cleanse us from our sins, but also set us free from the guilt of our sins. If we want to live a life of spiritual victory, we need to have a conscience freed from the guilt of our past. 
 
1 Timothy 3:9holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
 
God’s Word speaks of two kinds of guilt. There is godly sorrow that leads a person to repentance which is known as conviction of our sins and then there is the kind of guilt that is destructive and can lead to death.
 
John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
 
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
 
Once a person repents, and they have faith that they have been forgiven, the guilt lifts and they feel relieved and the pain of their guilt is replaced with joy that their sins have been forgiven. Then there is the kind of guilt that comes from listening to (and believing in ) the accusations from the devil and this brings on a sense of condemnation. Satan and his cohorts love to torment God’s people by reminding them of their pasts and constantly bringing memories of those their sins to mind after those sins have been forgiven. This condemnation does much damage and it can lead to death if not recognized, repented of, and rooted out. Believers in Christ need to ignore these lies and rebuke them them with the Scriptures that debunk the things that Satan wants us to believe.
 
In this article, we will be dealing solely with the negative kind of guilt called condemnation. False guilt is actually a symptom of unforgiveness in the heart that is directed at ourselves. In the parable of the unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35, Jesus tells us how important it is to forgive those who have wronged us, and how we can be turned over to the tormentors if we have unforgiveness lodging in our hearts.
 
Matthew 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 
18:34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 
18:35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
 
And in Colossians Paul tell us that we are to forgive each other:
 
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
 
In this verse we are told to forgive one another, but the root word for the phrase “one another” actually includes “yourself”? The Greek root word allelon refers not only to “others”, but also to “ourselves” as well. The Greek word translated as “one another” is allélón (Strong’s #240) and means: each other, mutual, one another. Genitive plural from allos reduplicated; one another — each other, mutual, one another, (the other), (them-, your-)selves, (selves) together. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
 
It seems that the inability to really forgive ourselves deep down is more prevalent in the Ekklesia than we realize for there is so much baggage over the past and there is still much bitterness over the things that have happened. Many have come to the realization that we have been misled in many areas and have been deceived into believing and following after false teachings and false teachers. It is easy to want to kick ourselves for the things that we have allowed ourselves to be misled on and then go toward bitterness rather than just accepting that we were wrong, seek forgiveness and then move on with the deep awareness that we have been forgiven and to then live the truth from that day forward.
 
When we refuse to forgive anyone, including ourselves it is an open door to allow demonic spirits to torment us and bring us under their sway with feelings of guilt and other negative emotions Why is this? It is because in the parable of Matthew 18 it explains how one that refuses to forgive is turned over into the hands of tormentors (which can include tormenting spirits).
 
If we refuse to forgive anyone and are even unforgiving towards our self, we open a door for tormenting spirits to come against us because we are not really accepting the work that Christ did for us on the cross. When we refuse to forgive and we refuse to accept forgiveness for ourselves it can make us bitter or lead to severe depression, and when we become bitter with ourselves and/or we sink into deep depression we become defiled spiritually and the bitterness will tend to spread to others. For one thing, misery loves company. If we live under the burden of guilt then we will keep beating our self up and feeling bad about ourselves; then the people in our lives who try to love us are going to get beat up too, it is inevitable. Anyone who is immersed in guilt is going to be more withdrawn, more critical, more depressed and less open to the love that others want to show them than they normally would. So whoever is in our lives, whether it is our mate, our children, our friends, our co-workers, they are going to suffer right along with the one that is feeling guilty.
 
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
 
God’s Word tells us that Christ purged (that is, removed) our sin:
 
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; 
1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.
 
But if we fail to forgive ourselves, we are in essence, calling God’s Word a liar! If we live in guilt and refuse to accept God’s forgiveness when God tells us plainly that Christ had purged, or removed the sins of our past, and we still say or we feel that we are unforgiven then we are, in essence, calling God’s Word a LIE! That is why this subject is so vital for us to understand. This aspect of forgiveness is very important, Brethren, for we must forgive ourselves in order receive the forgiveness of God. And also, if we refuse to forgive ourselves, then we really do not believe that others are worthy of forgiveness either and we will be unable to forgive others when they sin against us or God. 
 
It is important that as recipients of the gift of Jesus paying the penalty for our sins with His shed blood that we receive that gift with joy and with heartfelt appreciation. By doing so we glorify our Father in heaven and we also honor Jesus for what He has done for us. Failing to forgive ourselves is denying or rejecting the gift of God and brings no glory and actually brings dishonor and humiliation to Jesus’ sacrificial atonement.
 
Hebrews chapter 10 is a good chapter to study in regard to forgiveness in all its aspects especially as we approach the Passover season. Passover and the Spring Festival is still a few months away but it could greatly benefit us to diligently study into this subject and to be examining ourselves to see if there be any hidden sin of unbelief in us. And if we do see that we have even a smidgen of doubt or have even the slightest of feelings of guilt over sins that were supposedly repented of, to quickly ask for more faith to believe in all the promises that God has given to us like the father that recognized that perhaps he did lack faith and asked Jesus to help him to believe even more: “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
 
Hebrews 10:1-22 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. 
10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. 
10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 
10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: 
10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. 
10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; 
10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. 
10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 
10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 
10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; 
10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 
10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.
10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 
10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 
10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 
10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 
10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 
10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 
10:21 And having a high priest over the house of God; 
10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
10:23 Let us hold FAST the profession of our faith without WAVERING; (for he is faithful that promise;)
 
We need to fully understand that our debt has been fully paid for (all of our past sins that we have genuinely repented of) and then accept the truly marvelous GIFT that Jesus has given, that we can be forgiven and then we can go on (and must go on) in newness of life that only He can provide.
 
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
 
 
Let us Boldly Come Unto the Throne of Grace to Obtain Mercy
 
Following are many Scriptures that attest to the saving work of Christ and that He came to die and shed His blood for the REMISSION of our sins, no matter how small or great they may be.
 
Matthew 26:28, For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
 
Because of the powerful work that Christ did for us on the cross, God’s Word tells us to come boldly unto the throne of grace so that we can obtain mercy:
 
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
 
The price for our redemption has been paid in full. It’s up to us receive it and realize that the blood of Jesus actually removes the sin from our record. He says that as far as the east is from the west that He has removed them. Now we need to see ourself as being forgiven and justified, which means, “just as if we have never sinned”,  it is like being given a second chance to do things right now that we have been forgiven.
 
As we learned last week and read in Luke 7, that Jesus forgave a very sinful woman. The Bible does not say, but from what the Pharisee said of her it implies that she was likely a prostitute and yet Christ freely washed her clean of all of her past sins without hesitation: “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” (Luke 7:47)
 
The above verse is just one example of how freely Jesus forgives all who come to Him who are sincerely sorry for their sins. Just like this woman who was a sinner, we are all sinners and if we take our sins to Jesus, He will freely forgive us without hesitation:
 
Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
 
There is also no sin that is too great that we cannot take to Jesus which He will not forgive, for God’s Word tells us that He is prepared to cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness if we will only turn to Him and confess to Him our sins, our failures, and our weaknesses.
 
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
We can’t earn forgiveness from God. We cannot pay for our forgiveness from God. We can only receive it, by faith, through the grace and mercy of God.
 
Luke 5:24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.
5:25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.
 
Perhaps because of our past belief systems or because Satan does not want believers to have faith that God really forgives us, some of God’s people have a hard time believing that God has forgiven them even after they confess their sins and have committed themselves to no longer do those things. They can then struggle with feelings of guilt and live under a shadow of guilt which shows that they lack faith in God’s promises.
 
If we do not have faith that God can really forgive us then we will struggle with feelings of guilt and condemnation. We may feel that we must pay God back somehow for what we did wrong.But God’s Word over and over again assures us that God is a God of mercy and that Jesus’s death paid the debt we have incurred against Him when we sinned.
  
Psalm 106:2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 
106:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 
106:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.
 
Jesus is called our Savior and Redeemer for that is what He does for those who come to Him for forgiveness. When others try to convince us otherwise we have the armor of God that is meant to protect us and to throw off the the messages of Satan that tempt us to doubt God’s Word. It does take vigilance, for we all are vulnerable if we do not stay close to God.
 
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
 
Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth  on a tree
3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jrsus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
 
This does not mean there in no penalty for sin:
 
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
In light up giving up our burden of guilt and other negative emotions we can apply what Jesus has to say in Matthew 11.
 
Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
 
If we see that we have this problem then we need to ask God to forgive us of our unbelief and ask Him to heal us for as long as we keep holding things we have done against ourselves we will block the Holy Spirit’s power from doing God’s work in us. We will not be able to grow and thrive in the kind of life that the Father has called us to. We need to open up our heart and allow the light of Christ to shine into the darkness of our spirit and to help us to remove any bitterness that may be lurking there.
 
Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 
19:13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 
19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.
 
Let us see ourselves as “a new creature in Christ” and try not to keep going back and ruminating over things with regret and guilt, things in the past that we can not go back and change (the fact that we did them). Instead we need to be reminded that the key is to see our past through the atoning blood of Jesus. We need to see our past sins (our debts against God) as marked “paid in full” by the work that Christ did for us on the cross. Seeing things with this perspective changes everything and will change our lives.  Like Paul, we will be empowered to go on to do great things for God, perhaps not so much in this life, but we will go forward into the future to a time when we will be able to do incredible things for the cause of God in the Kingdom and throughout all of eternity.
 
 
Some Bible Verses to Meditate
 
We encourage you to study the many Scriptures that talk about forgivenes, for there is indeed power in the studying and meditating upon the truth found in God’s Word. We become what we focus our minds on and what we meditate on all day long. God wants us to study and learn His whole Word and diligently apply those things to our lives. And if we do study and learn all of God’s principles we will be able to rightly divide the Word of Truth so that when Satan comes to us with his lies, we can oppose him just as Jesus did when He was tempted in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:4)
 
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
 
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
 
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
 
Colossians 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
 
Hebrews 8:12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
 
Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
 
Psalm 145:8 The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
 
1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
 
Revelations 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who… washed us from our sins in his own blood.
 
Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
 
Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
 
Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.
 
Romans 4:3 For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 
4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 
4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 
4:6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, 
4:7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 
4:8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
 
Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
 
Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
 
Isaiah 43:25 I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.
 
Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
 
Hebrews 10:22draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
 
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 
Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
 
Matthew 9:29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
 
Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.
 
Psalm 51:1 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 51:2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 
51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.
51:4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.
51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
51:8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
51:9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.
51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
 
Jesus knows everything we are doing and everything we are thinking. Nothing is hidden from him. Even so, he loves us and he died for us.
 
Psalm 139:1 O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
139:3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
139:4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
139:5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
139:6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
139:7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
139:9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
139:10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
139:11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
139:12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
 
1 Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 
15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
 
 
In Summary
 
If we fail to see ourselves as God’s sees us according to what He says in His Word, we are denying the very work that Jesus did for us when He suffered and died on our behalf.
If we have any doubt about the promise of God to forgive us, let us give it up thoroughly and not let it continue another day!
Let us accept the free gift of God and begin to see ourselves as new creations in Christ Jesus, persons whose past failures have been purchased and paid for with the precious blood of Jesus. Let us not live under condemnation but walk according to the Spirit and in the righteousness of God.
 
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 
If we, as God’s children, want to bring glory and honor to our Father and to His Son then we must accept Jesus’ gift of forgiveness with great joy, and begin to see our self as that new creation;  we must see our past failures as being “Paid in Full” by the great sacrifice that Christ made for us. We need to begin to see our self the same way that our Heavenly Father sees us: clean and forgiven!
 
We are a new creation in Christ, old things have passed away and all things are being made new. The old sinful person that we were will be a thing of the past and we will no long remember the kind of persons that we were if we yield to God’s will and His plan for our lives and go forth living by faith. Not only did God choose to forget your sins, but He also wants us to forget them as well. God’s Word tells us to:
 
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
 
The big key to being forgiven is repentance which means that we are willing to do what it takes to change to become like Christ.  We become like butterflies and metamorphose  into a new creature that breaks out of its old skin of its former cocoon/chrysalis state. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar radically transforms its body, eventually emerging as a beautiful butterfly; and with outstretched wings flies off to what God has in store for us as renewed persons, we will be born again children of God. Like Paul, we can look forward to being a butterfly rather than looking back at the time when we were just an ugly caterpillar!
 
2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
 
If we have repented of our sins, have taken them before the Lord, then we are washed and forgiven; and now we need to come to realize the great promise: that it is Christ’s prerogative to forgive us. We need to stop associating our past sins and failures with our “new creation” image, for God’s Word says:
 
Revelation 21:3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 
21:5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
 
 
Constance Belanger and James Malm
 

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