Handling Guilt

The Most Tortured Conscience Can Find Peace

By Grantley Morris
Adapted with permission by Talmid Ben
She had been a stripper, prostitute, drug addict and demon-possessed witch. It was hard to imagine a perversion or Satanic form of depravity she hadnít wallowed in. Two thousand years ago, Messiah agonized on a Roman cross, shedding his life-blood for those very sins. She continued in her extreme degradation. Finally, she joined herself to Yeshua, by faith trading her wickedness for Messiah's holiness. One day Yeshua appeared to her and said, ĎYou are a chaste virgin in my sight.í
None of us have an infallible conscience. In fact, most of our consciences are at times wildly inaccurate. If you want Scriptural proof of this, youíll find plenty.

So when facing guilt feelings, the most important thing is to establish whether your guilt is real or imaginary. Tragically, most people stand guilty before God and are hardly aware of it. They wrongly imagine that if there is a heaven, they have a good chance of going there. On the other hand, there are countless thousands whom God regards as spotlessly pure and innocent, and yet are riddled with guilt feelings.

We must clearly differentiate between deceptive feelings and spiritual reality.

You have every right to feel guilty and fearful before God if:

1. You have not asked Godís forgiveness for your sin, trusting Yeshua to have paid the full penalty for your sin by dying on the cross for you. Messiah alone is capable of the divine miracle needed to wipe out all guilt.

2. You do not want God to take your sins from you. To refuse to be delivered from your pet sin is like a drowning man stubbornly refusing to let his rescuer drag him from the water. If you have no intention of giving up a particular sin, youíll die in that sin. The sins you love are as deadly as the sins you despise.

Everyone who is not trusting Yeshua for forgiveness, or does not want a sin-free life, is guilty before the Judge of the universe, regardless of how they feel.

If, however, you have met these two conditions, Godís smile is upon you. Any pangs of guilt or fear you suffer are simply an illusion Ė like fearing thereís an intruder in the house when it was only the sound of the wind. The feelings might exist, and they might be most unpleasant, but they are groundless. They have no correspondence to reality.

Just to be sure, letís briefly expound these conditions for spiritual cleansing. Then weíll move to some exciting facts.

1. You must believe the Scriptures that teach that Yeshua, and only he, can remove your sin. (He alone can pay sinís penalty because he alone has no sins of his own for which he must suffer.)

2. Once you put your faith in God, trusting that he is infinitely wise and good and always has your best interest at heart, [more] the only logical thing is to resolve to follow his leading on every matter, regardless of how scary and costly it may sometimes seem. This is simply a decision. A state of mind. It means that despite some sins still seeming attractive, you decide that Godís way is best and sign over to him control of your life. It means refusing to enjoy the Ďbenefitsí of past sin. You will repay money you have stolen, not let people to continue believing a lie you have told, and so on. And it means shunning the hypocrisy of wanting Godís forgiveness while refusing to forgive someone else. (The issue for forgiving others is so crucial that it is dealt with in detail in a special webpage.)

Sinís full penalty is death, and the sinless Son of God died for you. Why punish yourself? Heís already taken your punishment! Are you morally bankrupt? No way! Paid in full is stamped over your every account. By joining yourself to Yeshua, a divine exchange takes place in which Yeshua takes your sins upon himself (thatís what killed him) and his perfection becomes yours. The holiness of Yeshua floods your entire being, flushing out every trace of sin. That makes you spotlessly pure and perfect in Godís eyes. Almighty God can embrace you and delight in you as intimately as he does his own eternal, sinless Son. Every whiff of sin is obliterated because Yeshua died for your every sin. This central spiritual truth is expounded over and over in Bible. Scripture repeatedly promises this to you, but no where does it say you will feel that it has happened. The whole of the Scriptural faith is about choosing to believe spiritual reality instead of your inner feelings.

It is worth prayerfully studying, and even memorizing, the Scriptures listed in the above link, because this is a crucial area of spiritual attack. Just as Yeshua was tempted in the wilderness and he overcame by believing and quoting the Scriptures, so you will be tempted over this matter and you can overcome by clinging to the dependable Word of God. Satan will disguise the true nature of the temptation, but it is actually a temptation to believe God is a liar. The Deceiver is trying to fool you into believing that God lied when he said that all your sins are forgiven, when Yeshua said that all that come to him he will not cast out, etc. Donít blacken Godís name by entertaining such a thought.

No one can be any more guilty than the nicest person

No matter how horrendously evil you might have been, by Godís standards, you are no more guilty than anyone else. We were all dead in our sins, says Scripture. You canít get any deader, than dead! Without exception we were all a total write-off.

Relative to each other, some of us seem fairly innocent and some seem very guilty. But this is by our sinful standards. Itís like someone who has murdered twenty people feeling superior to someone who killed two hundred people. Perfection is Godís only standard. We get just one shot at living a perfect life and we have all blown it. We have all missed the mark. Whether we missed the mark by a millimeter or a kilometer, means nothing. We all missed, and thatís all that counts.

On the other hand, when you receive divine forgiveness through Yeshua, no one can be more forgiven than you. Although outside of Messiah, we all stand condemned, in Messiah, we each stand spotlessly pure before the Holy One.

Simple logic suggests that our spiritual enemy, whom Scripture calls the Deceiver and the Accuser, would muster all his evil cunning to distort this simple truth. If the Evil One wanted to keep people from the wonderful forgiveness that Yeshua offers, he would try to convince them that they are not bad enough to need forgiveness. Or failing that, he would try persuading them that they are so bad that they cannot be forgiven. Either way, the result is the same. If he utterly lost that battle, and people became believers in Messiah, he would then try to get them to feel less sinful than others Ė producing bigots, arrogant fools and hypocrites. For those resistant to this attack, he would try the opposite lie, hissing that they are too sinful to be fully blessed by God or be mightily used of God. Either way, it would render them powerless. So itís obviously to the Deceiverís advantage to make you feel that total cleansing is impossible for you. Donít let him get away with such lies.

If, after God has forgiven us, we wonít forgive ourselves, we are implying we have a higher sense of justice than the Holy One. Anyone having the impertinence to make such an accusation is on dangerous ground. We are also implying that Yeshua is inadequate - that he didnít suffer enough for our sins, or that his sinlessness cannot swallow up our sinfulness. There is no shame in a forgiven person feeling guilty. That is simply the Deceiver at work. For a forgiven person to believe he or she is guilty, however, is a concern.

The rest of this webpage assumes you have made the decision referred to above, yielding to Messiah your present life and your eternal destiny. If you are undecided about this, youíll appreciate the following webpages:

You Can Find Love
Whatís in it for Me?
Iíll think about it

Exciting facts

Letís explore some of the many wonderful word pictures the Bible uses to describe forgiveness. It could prove the most thrilling experience of your life.

Some of these word pictures are from the Tanakh (Older Testament), penned because in Godís sight Messiah was Ďslain before the foundation of the earthí (Revelation 13:8). They were written under the inspiration of Almighty God, who knew how all sin, throughout all human history, would be finally dealt with by his eternal Son.

Your sins have been removed / taken away [Scriptures]

If you had a limb surgically removed you might still suffer pain that seems to come from the missing limb. Phantom limb pain is the medical term. You could remember having that limb, but it is gone forever. It could still cause you pain, and yet it is no longer a part of you.

You can also remember your sins. Their presence can seem so real as to actually cause you pain. But despite what you feel, those sins are no longer part of you. They are gone forever. This is an important concept to grasp. Let it soak into the deepest part of you by taking time out to think about it.

In contrast to the removal of a limb, Yeshua's removal of your sin does not leave you crippled. On the contrary, it heals you, like the removal of a tumor.

If you had a cancerous tumor, you would be alarmed. But if a surgeon said it had all been removed, you could have peace. You could not personally verify that every trace of cancer had been removed. You would have to take the surgeonís word. Your sins, more deadly than a tumor, have all been removed. The only way you can know this for sure is to take your Saviorís word, and that makes it not just more certain than any surgeonís word, but more certain than anything in the universe. Yeshua's word has more authority than that of any other being in any world. It is his word that spoke the galaxies into existence. He is truth. He, like no other, is utterly trustworthy. If he says your sins are removed, they are removed!

Your sins have been removed as far as the east is from the west 
(Psalm 103:12)

To the Hebrew mind, you could travel east forever and never touch west. You were once in your sin. It was once part of you. But now, God has placed an infinite distance between you and your sins. The memory might still be with you, but the sin itself is no where to be found.
. . . search will be made for Israelís guilt,
but there will be none,
and for the sins of Judah,
but none will be found,
for I will forgive . . . (Jeremiah 50:20)

Your sins have been thrown into the depths of the sea
(Micah 7:18-19)

Almighty God trampled your sins under his feet, thus destroying them, then banished them forever by hurling them into the ocean depths. The Israelitesí technology was such that anything below a few meters of water was utterly inaccessible. Anything dropped into the ocean depths was lost forever. No one would ever see it again. Thatís like what has happened to your sin. Itís gone forever.

The Holy Lord has given his word to never remember your sins [Scriptures]

You no longer need try to justify your past, or apportion blame, because it is totally erased from heavenís data banks.

Retaining the blessing

The screams of a tormented conscience can be transformed into contented sighs. Iíve prepared more for you to ensure this becomes your experience. If your troubled mind is already so soothed that you feel no inclination to read further, thatís wonderful. I beg you, however, to copy or print off this page and those listed below, in readiness for when the attack resumes.

The Evil One does not give up easily. No matter how much you feel the matter has been resolved, I assure you, the truths you have just read will gradually fade from your mind and a new round will commence in the fight for your spiritual peace and enjoyment of God.

I also suggest having in readiness many Scriptures on this subject. Mark them in your Bible. You might choose a chain reference system whereby you write next to one verse the Scripture reference to another related verse and keep adding cross references until you are back to the first one. That way, once you find one verse you can find your way to all the rest. I also suggest writing the references in the back of your Bible, displaying some on your wall, and also memorizing some.

Thereís More: More Help With Guilt

Not to be sold. © Copyright, 1997, Grantley Morris. Not to be copied in whole or in part without citing this entire paragraph. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings by Grantley Morris available free at the following internet site http://net.simplenet.com/ Freely you have received, freely give.

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How to copy or print webpages

Innocent! You are no longer the person who sinned!

Kick Up Your Heels And Rejoice! Discovering the ecstasy of a squeaky clean conscience

The shame of it all! When oneís own stupidity or inadequacy cuts like a knife

Recovery from sexual abuse Supernatural Solutions

Unforgivable? When you fear youíve committed the unpardonable sin

When a Believer Commits Gross Sin

Soothing a troubled conscience

Becoming a Winner

Beating Temptation and Satanic Attack

Enjoying Godís love

To God, You Are Special Reasons why God favors no one over you

You are loved! Knowing Godís love for you

Change of pace

Exciting webpages by Grantley Morris on many other subjects

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Scripture quotations are from the New International Version © Copyright, 1978 by New York International Bible Society