“And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.” (I John 2:28)
What do you do with your guilt? To begin with, what exactly is guilt? Guilt may be defined in two different categories.
First, there is objective guilt. This is when a person is guilty of breaking the law. Regardless of how the individual in question may feel, the objective reality is that they have broken the law and they stand guilty before a judge awaiting the penalty for their crime. They are at fault, they are to blame and they must bear the responsibility for their behavior.
Secondly, there is subjective guilt. This is the remorse the person in question feels about having broken the law. For example, they may be objectively guilty of failing to stop their vehicle at a stop sign. However, they may also feel subjective remorse and shame for having hit another car, which had the right of way, and causing pain and suffering for the other car’s occupants.
Back to our original question. What do you do with your guilt? Some people deny they have done anything wrong. Others bury their guilt and seek to place it in the remotest part of their brain. Still others seek to medicate their guilt away through drugs and alcohol. There are even those who seek to self-atone for their guilt by doing well on behalf of others.
What do I do with my guilt before the perfect law of God? This is the most important question each of us will ever ask. Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “What do I do with my guilt before the perfect law of God?” is the most important question each of us will ever ask.”
The Gospel of Jesus Christ offers the only permanent and eternal solution to the problem of the individual’s guilt. It alone offers real forgiveness of sins. What specifically is the Gospel?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ sets forth the following truths. First, God Exists. Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 45; Second, Sin Exists. Sin is any lack of obedience or conformity to the person and character of God. Sin is a debt, a crime and estrangement from God. Romans 3:9-20; 23; Ephesians 2:1-3. Third, Salvation Exists. Romans 3:21-26; Ephesians 2:4-10. Fourth and finally, One Savior Exists: Jesus Christ. Why Jesus Christ?
The blessing of abiding in Christ is because He has delivered the believer from the penalty of their sin. Meditate upon these following truths again concerning the sinless Son of God.
- Jesus Christ is the Sinless, Eternal Son of God – John 1:1-2; Colossians 1:15-18.
- Jesus Christ became man – John 1:14; Romans 1:1-3; Galatians 4:1-4; I John 4:1-2.
- Jesus Christ was born of a virgin – Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38.
- Jesus Christ lived a sinless, righteous life for sinners – I John 1:5; I Timothy 6:13-16; James 1:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15.
- Jesus Christ died a substitutionary death on the cross for sinners – Isaiah 52:13-53:12; Romans 5:1-10; Galatians 3:1-14; Philippians 2:5-11.
- Jesus Christ resurrected bodily from the dead – Matthew 28:1-8; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-11; I Corinthians 15:1-4; John 2:13-22; 11:25-26; Acts 2:22-36.
- Salvation is solely on the basis of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ, given by God the Father, through the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. Romans 3:21-26; 5:1-10; Ephesians 2:1-10; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Zechariah 3:1-5.
- Jesus Christ ascended to God the Father, Acts 1:1-11, and will return in power and glory, Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 19-22.
While we acknowledge that these truths are hated by the antichrists, they must be held dear by those who are followers of Christ.
The Apostle John writes that if believers abide in the person and work of Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord, they will not be ashamed when He comes back in power, might and glory. They will have boldness and confidence because their salvation and righteousness is centered in Him. He has removed all of the believer’s sins. There is therefore no more guilt.
What happens, however, when I still feel guilty for what I have done? How can God help me in that situation?
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “In simple terms, we must take God at His word. We must live by His truth, not by our feelings, for His Word is objective and our feelings are subjective. If He says “I forgive you,” we are forgiven, no matter how we may feel. Our enemy, Satan, loves to accuse the children of God, to remind them of their violations of God’s law in order to take away their joy. But the Bible tells us that if we resist him, he will flee from us, and we resist him by the Word of God. In all things, we must cling to this truth: God will not lower His standards, but through Christ He will forgive all those who ask Him to do so.”
If you are in need of forgiveness, ask God right now to do so. His Word says He will (I John 1:9).
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!