There are two kinds of guilt: false guilt and true guilt. We experience true guilt when we do something wrong. But it is also possible to be innocent of something yet feel guilty about it—this is false guilt.
The cause of false guilt could be: the devil or our conscience. The devil accuses people constantly (Revelation 12:10). He will bring to their minds the most horrible sins and cause them to focus on their sins rather than on God’s forgiveness. False guilt can result in depression and desperation. The cure for false guilt is believing the promises of God “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). Remember that, once a sin has been forgiven, it’s forgiven for forever. God separates our sins from us “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).
The believer needs to stand on God’s promise and resist the devil “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1); “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psalm 103:8-13); “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.” (Romans 4:7-8).
The second false guilt is our own conscience. The Bible speaks of a “weak conscience” and defines it as a mistaken belief that something innocent is actually sinful (1 Corinthians 8:7-13). A weak conscience, then, is basically an uninformed conscience. In this case, the conscience should be educated by studying the Word and knowing God’s will. Then the false conscious become informed and will work according to the dictates of the scriptures rather than the dictates of culture, society of a person’s own feelings.
True guilt, on the other hand, originates from the Holy Spirit “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness“ (Hebrews 12:11). True guilt will bring godly sorrow leading to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). And repentance is part of the faith that leads to salvation (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Acts 3:19).
Once the sin has been repented of, the result is a new life in Christ “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This new life is filled with: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22,23).
In His service,
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