Do I need to feel guilty? Do I have forgiveness?
Do you still feel guilty, even though you have received forgiveness?
The forgiveness of sins is a gift to us because Jesus saved us by His own blood. We must accept this and believe this.
In Acts 15:9 (NCV) it is written, “To God, those people are not different from us. When they believed, he made their hearts pure.” When our heart is made pure, we also get a pure conscience. This happens by faith, it is something we have to believe, and there is nothing we have to do to earn this. We receive it when we pray for it.
If others are hurt because of something we did, we must be humble enough to ask them for forgiveness, if possible. The thief on the cross didn’t have this opportunity, but he had the right mindset and that is why Jesus opened the gate to Paradise for him. Jesus accepted the thief’s desire in place of his actions.
But we can still be troubled by our conscience and feel guilty even after we have received forgiveness. Why is this?
The devil makes us feel guilty: Resist him!
We have an enemy, the devil, who goes about like a roaring lion, looking for someone to kill. (1 Peter 5:8.) He tries to bully us into feeling guilty for past sins, even though we have received forgiveness. This is to paralyse us so that we are unable to serve God. But the devil is a liar. He sows doubt about everything that has to do with God’s kingdom. He is the old snake and the accuser of our brothers and sisters.
The devil makes us feel guilty, even though we have received forgiveness for things we have done wrong. And even after we have made things right, he makes us feel that it is never good enough. This can be especially difficult for people who have a weak conscience. But Peter says: “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.” 1 Peter 5:9 (NLT).
There is no point in arguing with Satan; we must just strongly resist him. The Bible promises that he will then flee from us. (James 4:7.) If he comes back, we must make it clear what we believe, refuse all his accusations, and tell him to go and talk to the One who gave His life for us and paid our debts. (Colossians 2:14.)
God’s word is the only truth
“Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything.” Our thoughts and feelings are misleading - we must not believe them more than we believe God! God is greater, and what He says is the only truth. Even the devil must flee away for this sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17.) Then Jesus’ peace will come in our heart, and our burden becomes light.
A firm decision
A person who doubts can't make up his mind. His loyalty is divided between God and the world. If that is the case with you, you will never be free from the devil’s accusations. (James 1:8.)
No, you must make a firm decision to serve only God, to only be loyal to God! If you have done something wrong, you must confess it before God (and people when necessary), and then you must turn away from it. (Proverbs 28:13.) It is sorrow over sin that creates hatred against sin, and this gives us the shield of faith; and with this shield of faith you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. (Ephesians 6:16.)
Then you will experience peace in the midst of the battle against sin, and the Evil One cannot touch you. (1 John 5:18.)