Guilt haunts many Christians. They often succumb to it. It does not let them see and enjoy the vision God has for them. When they sin or commit any trespass, they feel very despondent and cannot bring themselves to normality. Part of the reason for it is they have not forgotten their past sins even though they were saved in Christ. They let them recur in their mind. If they commit the same sins as before, they feel guiltier and feel they can never please the Lord. The Lord has forgiven them all, but the weakness of their faith gives opportunity to Satan to make them feel miserable. However, the Word of God tells us that we need not become despondent or allow Satan to abuse us. “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).
The forgiveness of our sins is an act the Lord has done it on the cross. He did it free of cost; we do not pay anything to Him for it. If we believed Him as our Savior, He has forgiven all our sin by grace, i.e. all our past, present and future sin has been annulled in Him. For this reason, He acts as an Advocate with the Father. He is helping us by cleansing in the Spirit and turning us pure before the Father. He appeals to the Father reminding Him that He has paid our debt in full. So, we need not become despondent when we sin.
We all make mistakes. We all have weaknesses. We have all acquired sin nature from Adam and Eve. There is no escaping the fact that we sin and disappoint our Father. But the truth is – we have been made righteous by faith eternally through the blood of Christ. Even though we sin, the Lord views us as righteous. It is because we were not made righteous by our endeavors or greatness, but God chose us in His mercy and grace to make us righteous. Righteousness is a rank or status God has given us before Him. He never changes it; neither does it change by what we do. And for this reason Jesus acts as our Advocate before Him. The Bible often points to us many things that lead to sin and warns not to perform them. Yet, as humans we fail in different degrees. The Lord God is aware of our frailty. And so, in awareness He beforehand offered His Son on the cross as a substitute for us so that He do not nullify the righteousness He gives.
So, next time you fail before the Lord and since you have been saved by grace through faith, know that you need not live in guilt the rest of your life. Believe God has already forgiven all your sin and repent before Him in order to acknowledge the perfect relationship He has with you, and thank Him for His unending grace. If you do this, you further fear sinning and do not consider grace as vain. God increases grace toward you so that sin is defeated.
Now that you know you can quickly be free of guilt, let us look at the benefits of a guilt-free spirit.
- God will continue to use you as His vessel to save the world. Paul said, “Namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). The moment you become His child this Word applies to you until your death. He does not count your trespasses against you. How blessed are you in Christ! Furthermore, He commits [appoint by giving understanding] to you the Word of reconciliation wherein He uses you to reunite many with Him. Each time He does not count your trespass He avails His light and blessings to you. You become a vessel for many to be reconciled to Him; for the amount of grace He showered on you becomes acutely visible.
- As a believer with guilt-free spirit you experience God’s invisible attributes [might, glory, light], eternal power [that never ends and has no equal] and divine nature [holiness, perfection]. You’ll freely and heartily accept these and by them will adore Him. They will always be with you, wherever you are and whatever you do. Nothing will be impossible to you. You can even use your imagination for all the things God promised you. You can continue being an expectant of His blessings. In your case He does not think as He does with the rest. “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:20).
- You can continue enjoying the Father’s presence and relationship. Whatever you ask He’ll be willing to give you. As His child, He never lets you slip away from Him eternally. When you sin, He makes ways to bring you back to Him. He rejoices at His forgiveness toward you. Thus, you can continue your life with Him even more vibrantly; for by grace He strengthens and revives you for it. “And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound’” (Luke 15:27).
- You can know that Christ has the full knowledge of your life for Him. You can know that you will sin again, but He will not remember it against you. You can understand He knows all your weaknesses. You realize that no matter how confident you may be regarding your faith in Him, you may still fail Him. “Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I say to you that this very night, before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times’” (Matt. 26:34). A blessing to Peter was that Jesus already prayed (advocated) to the Father concerning him. Satan wanted to sift him like wheat, but Christ chose to keep Him safe eternally. A spirit that is made guilt-free alone knows it.
- Your appeal for Christ tremendously increases. As you realize your unworthiness before Him, you all the more eagerly listen to Him. Your obedience to Him increases; you desire to submit to Him. You open the Bible and sense the urgency to listen to Him. When He speaks to you from it, you will be filled with joy and comfort. It is for this reason “all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him” (Luke 15:1).
- You never have to fear for your soul. It will end up with God in heaven. “If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:10). With this in mind you can expect to live out the abundant life God through Christ is willing to give you. You can believe that in all things He will enrich and supply you. You will never lack, as sin will have no permanent power over your spirit. For the righteousness God has given you will not be overpowered by the sin that abuses the body. It is work of His grace.