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)

14 comments:

satire and theology said...

'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.'

Now you just need the Rootkit Zero Access Viruses...

'Thank you for taking the time to post your comments on my blog.'

Welcome.

Dr. Russell Norman Murray said...

We are wise in Christ to have a prayerful forgiving desire/attitude toward self and others but you are correct only God can forgive sin/sins in a final sense.

Jeff said...

Satire and Theology,

Now you just need the Rootkit Zero Access Viruses...

No thanks. I have enough problems as it is. Hope you get that resolved. Sorry my suggestions didn't help.

Jeff said...

Dr. Russell Norman Murray,

We are wise in Christ to have a prayerful forgiving desire/attitude toward self and others but you are correct only God can forgive sin/sins in a final sense.

Spoken like a true Doctor of Theology.

Once we take our sins (and burdens and problems) to Christ, we should leave them at His feet (or on His cross), and not 'take them back.' We should trust that He has forgiven us. We should surrender everything completely to Him.

In a more 'worldly' sense, I have heard advice that can be helpful, such as: Don't beat yourself up over it, or don't take yourself too seriously. Such advice is not from the Bible, but can still prove helpful.

Again, from a 'worldly' perspective, it has been said that we all fail. And that is not always directly because of sin. For example, sometimes we fail to respond because we were unaware of something. Case in point: it only took me 3 years and 4 months to reply to your comment here: Sin Prose. : )

Greg said...

Hi, Jeff! At least you haven't been away as much as I have! LOL! I agree with what you said about forgiveness; to try to forgive ourselves is actually rebellion against God. Paul (I think) said that if our concience is clear, then we have confidence toward God... but only if He is the one who cleared it!

Dr. Russell Norman Murray said...

Dance!

General Jenkins (as opposed to Col. Sanders) good to see on FB you are back running so here you go...

Report on 2011 decline in pageviews from 2010 and apparent fix

Problem of evil viruses

Calvin on Augustine (Controversy)

Blessings.

Walk time.

Jeff said...

Thank you very much for those, Dr. Murray.

I have my regular computer back, after more than 2 months. I have sound again. I no longer have a computer that runs at archaic speeds. I can now play first-person shooter games on the Internet with my brother and my cousin again.

Jeff said...

Thanks, Greg!

I agree with what you said about forgiveness; to try to forgive ourselves is actually rebellion against God. Paul (I think) said that if our concience is clear, then we have confidence toward God... but only if He is the one who cleared it!

I agree!

I was sick for a week, plus my cousin (sister to my cousin that I mentioned above) who was 2 years younger than me died a week ago from a Pulmonary Embolism. She just suddenly dropped and died right there. But thankfully she was a strong Christian, and I know I will see her in Heaven some day. The funeral was this past Friday, but I had to work.

I keep meaning to add a new blog article, but so far, Facebook and emailing has kept me busy, as well as playing CounterStrike and Day of Defeat with my brother and (other) cousin.

Accepted Again said...

Hi Jeff,
good to back. I last got to your blog mid 2009. I'm glad you are still a Christian. I enjoyed your analysis on self forgiving. i think it could be something to do with vocabulary as to what people need to do, to accept they sinned then what, asking God for forgiveness AND BELIVEING THAT GOD HAS REALLY FORGIVEN because He is faithful and just to forgive. this kind of believing may be a strugle in others and they need to convince themselves that really, god is just and faithful to forgive so it may "feel" like self forgiveness. I think proper words to decribe such a scenario are usually not so close....
best regards

Jeff said...

Accepted Again,

Thanks for your comment. You may have a point, as far as the wording. But I suspect that the idea of "forgiving yourself" may come from influences from psychology, New Age aspects, and Eastern religion, where the tendency is to 'empower yourself,' to raise man up toward God's level (and, at the same time, lower God to man's level), and to emphasize man's own decisions and free will while de-emphasizing, downplaying or even denying God's sovereignty. But again, your point is taken, and it may have to do with people's understanding.

Morgan Nascimento said...

Olá, parabéns pelo blog!
Se você puder visite este blog:
http://morgannascimento.blogspot.com.br/
Obrigado pela atenção

Anonymous said...

Right on Jeff. We need to understand how truly humanistic our culture (and "psychology") is. We are not God that we can forgive ourselves. It is sad to see so many prominent pastors siding with this self-forgiveness philosophy.

Jeff said...

Anonymous said...

Right on Jeff. We need to understand how truly humanistic our culture (and "psychology") is. We are not God that we can forgive ourselves. It is sad to see so many prominent pastors siding with this self-forgiveness philosophy.


Thank you very much for your comment, and I agree.

Jeff said...

Thank you, Morgan Nascimento, but unfortunately, I do not read Portuguese.