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Grace and Truth Lesson 4 The Problem of Guilt


The Problem of Guilt

  1. Condemnation is the result of guilt.

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:17) The devil uses condemnation to beat us into submission to do his will. “For if our heart condemns us God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.” (I John 3:20-21) Peace and confidence are the results of no condemnation.

Christians have two natures, the flesh, and the spirit.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2) When we believed in Jesus, our spirit became alive with the Spirit of God.

As believers, we are forgiven but not perfect. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:8-9) This verse teaches us:

  1. It is our responsibility to confess our sins to Jesus.
  2. It is Jesus’ responsibility to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Developing a stronghold.

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (I Corinthians 10:3-5) 

  1. It all begins with a thought. Thoughts come from many sources, but if the devil can make us feel guilty about a thought; when we begin to feel guilty, we just bought the thought. Guilt is the hook.  It is our responsibility to be sure our thoughts are in harmony with the Word of God. The Word of God could also be called God thoughts. Fill your mind with God thoughts. (Philippians 4:8)
  2. As we choose to meditate on a thought, an emotion attaches itself to it. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) How do we think with our heart? Research has shown that any thought we think about for thirty seconds is attached to an emotion. At this point, the thought is no longer just a thought but has become a part of our emotions. We not only think it; now we feel it.
  3. A picture is attached to the emotional thought. “The imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth.” (Genesis 8:21) At this point, an image is attached to our thought. The thought has become a stronghold; we think it, we feel it, and we see it. We have become a slave to our sin. It has become like a prison.

Breaking a stronghold.

“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” (I John 1:1-2) This Scripture tells us that we do not have to sin because as Christians we have a new nature. It also tells us what to do when we choose to sin. 

The apostle included Himself in this by saying, “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Though John was an apostle and writing these inspired words he recognized his own personal need.

  1. Jesus Christ is our defense attorney in heaven’s courtroom. He defends us against any charges brought against us by the devil.
  2. The reason Jesus is qualified to defend us is He is righteous. He came to earth and lived a sinless life. He was tempted but never sinned.
  3. He is righteous because He became the propitiation for our sins. Propitiation means that the debt has been paid in full. Jesus paid the debt for our sin by dying in our place.

The word “propitiation” also became known as the “Mercy Seat” in the tabernacle of Moses and later in Solomon’s Temple. This was the place where the blood of the innocent lamb was sprinkled before God by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. Resting above the Mercy Seat was a cloud of the glory of God. “Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) 

 To break a stronghold we should replace the thought with God’s word; replace the emotion with love for Christ; replace the picture with God’s vision.

The Mercy Seat has become the throne of grace!

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