Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guilt and forgiveness

It has been months since I have posted anything here on my blog site, due partially to spending so much time on Facebook; partially to my computer having died and having it worked on for several weeks now (apparently only the hard drive is recoverable, and I will probably lose all the data on it) and currently using an incredibly old and unbelievably slow, extremely lagging computer in its place that I kept around only for emergencies; and partially due to having to work 9-10 hours a day.

So, since I’ve probably lost all 6 faithful blog readers that I used to have (j/k, LOL), I figured the best way to attract readers again is to write something that is very controversial and might lead some to get angry and upset. So here goes (tongue-in-cheek).

Now, I don’t expect any non-Christian to agree with this, and I expect that quite a few Christians would also disagree (some even angrily) with me on what I’m about to say. But I believe that what I am about to say is completely true.

Modern psychology teaches that you need to forgive yourself. This is man’s wisdom, and to a non-Christian, it would make complete sense. However, nowhere in the Bible does it teach that you need to forgive yourself. Nevertheless, this teaching (as has some other New Age teachings, teachings from psychology, etc.) has seeped into the Church.

Actually, a Christian does not need to forgive themselves, because, biblically, you are unable to forgive your own sins, and only God can forgive your sins! Of course, you can forgive someone else if they have offended you, but if you have offended God, then only God can forgive you, because only the offended party can forgive the one who has caused the offense. What the Christian needs to do is to fully and completely trust in and accept God’s forgiveness through Christ. For God’s mercy is able, through the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross, to remove all guilt and sin. If you are still feeling guilt, then either you have not truly and fully repented of your sin and asked Christ to forgive you, or else you have not fully trusted in Christ’s forgiveness.

“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” (Psalm 103:10-11)

We must first realize that all of us are sinful:

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

“…every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood…” (Genesis 8:21)

“All these evils come from inside and defile a person.” (Mark 7:23)

“… though you are evil…” (Luke 11:13)

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:19)

However, to those that come to Christ in repentance, God is merciful:

“But if from there you seek the LORD [in Hebrew, ‘Yahweh’] your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. For the LORD [‘Yahweh’] your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.” (Deuteronomy 4:29-31)

The mission of God’s mercy was to send Christ Jesus the Messiah (God the Son) to save people from God’s wrath by paying the price that we so justly deserve to pay…in other words, to take our place, and take our punishment upon Himself:

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:4-5)

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)