But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Guilt and Condemnation
What is Guilt? The Webster's dictionary says, "to pay, to requite, payment, retribution, to pay, to yield, that state of a moral agent which results from his willful or intentional commission of a crime or offense; knowing it to be a crime or violation of law."
To put it in spiritual context, guilt is the initial onset that comes when we think we missed the mark, we didn't keep the law or we didn't do everything right. And with this guilt, we somehow feel the need to pay for it - which is the condemnation. Frustration also comes by trying to keep the law (Galatians 2:21) and you can read more about that in the "Frustration" session.
Guilt comes when we have not received forgiveness for whatever it is we think we did. We think we have to pay for whatever we did, so we stay in that state of guilt. Many have been under guilt about their kids, about decisions made long ago, and still carrying that guilt around today. It has become a part of their life. I know that a person who has not received forgiveness always walks around guilty about everything. In conversations, they would continually say things like, "I feel guilty about…;" I feel sad" "I feel so awful today and don't know why" "I just feel bad." These are indicators that guilt is present. But this is not to be so. Guilt was crucified with Christ. He became "guilty" for us, for our sins, yesterdays, today's and tomorrows sins. The only way to abolish guilt in your life completely is to receive the sacrifice Jesus made.
How do you receive forgiveness? First you have to know Jesus Christ as your Savior. If you don't, then you'll have a very difficult time getting free from guilt and condemnation. Then once you have settled that, then you need to "apply" the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross to your own life. You need to "receive" the forgiveness IMMEDIATELY when you feel you have done something wrong. If you don't, then condemnation comes.
Guilt is from the enemy. It's his way of pounding you on the head for doing something wrong, that he may have even told you to do in the first place! Let's say you get tempted to eat a whole chocolate cake. You are drawn to that cake because it looks so good. (Remember, the enemy tempts.) Then after you eat it, you feel guilty for eating it. The very thing the enemy tempts you on, he then "accuses" you afterward and if prolonged guilt turns into condemnation. However, if you were tempted to eat that cake, then realized afterward you should not have, simply confess it as sin (if it is sin to you) and receive forgiveness. The longer you wait to confess and receive, the more condemnation will come.
Carried guilt, even after repentance and forgiveness causes us to accuse God. We become the "accuser" - we need to confess our sins of accusation toward God. Be specific too. Name off the things that you are feeling guilty for and then apply the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross at that moment of confession. What happens is that we don't do that. We do something we think is wrong, and then think about what we did over and over, and then guilt sets in. Remember in II Corinthians 10:5 - taking every thought captive. Don't let the accusing thoughts take hold. They may come, but then you need to say, "Yes, I did that thing, I take responsibility for it. I confess my sin and receive forgiveness for it. I don't need to pay for anything at all, Jesus paid it all so I don't have to. So there devil, now leave!"
When we feel guilt, we are putting ourselves on the cross in Jesus' place! Can you truly do that? No. But that's what we are doing. We are making Christ's sacrifice of none affect. We are slapping Him in the face, so-to-speak, and telling Him we need to do it ourselves. These are lies from the enemy and each one of these thoughts needs to be taken captive and cast out of our thinking. Only Jesus can "pay" the penalty. And remember, when we feel guilty, we are trying to "pay" for our sins or whatever we did we think was wrong.
What is Condemnation? First lets look up the word condemn. The Webster's dictionary says, "To pronounce to be utterly wrong, to sentence to punishment, to pronounce to be guilty, to judge or pronounce to be unfit for use or service". And condemnation in Webster's dictionary says it means, "The act of condemning, the cause or reason of a sentence of condemnation."
What an eye opener! When the guilt starts, condemnation is just around the corner. Because first we feel "guilty" (not applying the forgiveness through Jesus immediately to our situation), then because we dwell on that initial thought, the result sets in. The manifestation of that guilt is called "condemnation" and looks like this: We tell ourselves that we are so wrong, we are so horrible, we feel unworthy to receive any good and when we do receive good, we feel even worse because we don't think we deserve it. We even pronounce to others how unfit we are, how unworthy we are, how bad we are, how we just will never amount to anything." In other words, you have placed a sentence on yourself.
In the judicial system, guilt and condemnation is a daily routine. We can apply this to what we do to ourselves. When someone is found "guilty" then they are "condemned" (sentenced) to "pay" for their guilt. It could be jail sentence, retribution, and even death. So if you think about it. When you find yourself "guilty" what is your sentence? What are you trying to "pay?" What is the going payment these days? Loss of sleep? Self-worthlessness? Fear? Driven to please? See, in order to be completely guilt and condemnation free, the answer is simple.
Confess and receive forgiveness IMMEDIATELY.
If you are carrying around old guilt and condemning yourself for it daily, you need to confess those things you are feeling guilty for and receive forgiveness for them. ALL OF THEM! Not one thing you have done or ever will do is more powerful than the blood that was shed on the cross. If you think so, then you need to go back and re-learn what it means to be saved.
I find that when people are saved, they are saved through believing that Christ is the Son of God and that He died for their sins. They receive this truth into their heart, and now they are saved. But the second part is missed. They now have to receive that sacrifice Jesus made into their own lives and nail every one of their sins to the cross. Receive complete forgiveness at the time the sin occurs, not wait until later, or don't receive at all, otherwise guilt and condemnation comes.
I have discovered there are two kinds of Christians. Those that believe they are forgiven and those that don't believe they are forgiven. Those that believe do enter into His rest, those that believe will struggle all their lives and fall into despair and hopelessness. Which one are you? You can choose today.
I'll give you an example of my life personally.
I had felt guilty for not being a good mom for my son. If any of you have read my story in the book I wrote called, "A Matter of the Mind" you will see what I'm talking about. My son is now an adult, yet I carried that guilt still. And because of that guilt, all my life I tried, to "re-pay" him for how I was. I could never PAY for anything! All I was doing was staying in my guilt - which is sin. Because I didn't know how to apply forgiveness to my guilt! So one day while visiting my son, the Lord showed me that I needed to let that guilt go. I had to confess why I was feeling guilty. So I did. I began with saying, "I wasn't there for my son. I gave him to his father to raise him from childhood. I abandoned him." As a result of that thinking, I felt responsible for his happiness by trying to pay back what I didn't give him growing up. I realized then that I was taking on false sense of responsibility for my son's happiness. The Lord showed me that it's not my job. It was when he was a child, but those years are gone and he's a grown man now. He's over 30 years old, it's not my job any longer to provide for him or help him in his happiness. As I recognized the truth about why I was feeling guilty, and confessed them to the Lord, everything changed within me. The need to "fix" my son was no longer there.
My son and my relationship have improved greatly since then. I don't feel bad or hurt anymore (which is the same as guilt) if he doesn't call me on my birthday. I've set him free, and in setting him free I was set free too. My son is free to do and be all he wants, the way he wants, and I'm now there to enjoy him in his life just how he is. It is truly freeing my friends! And the truth is, he's God's son anyway, and it's His job to provide help in his happiness, and help him in life, not mine. I'm there for him, I can pray for Him, I can share in his life, but I'm not to "do" for him. That's God's job.
So with all that said, it's time to look upon your own life. Do you know of anything in your life that you still carry guilt about? I'm sure you can think of a thing or two. It's time to be set free.
Join me in this prayer:
"Father in Heaven, you are more than able to handle each and every sin and mistake I've made in my life. As a matter of fact, you even knew I was going to do them before I was even born! Help me get a revelation on your unconditional love. That nothing I can ever say or do is unforgivable. Help me to apply the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for my sins. Help me to receive forgiveness. I confess that I have carried guilt with me too long. I confess my guilt of ____________(Then name off your guilt). I know that I have condemned myself - placed sentence on myself to pay for that guilt - but Jesus already paid for it. I will not put myself in the place of Jesus any longer, that is sin and idolatry. I will right now receive the forgiveness of my sins that resulted in that guilt, and apply the forgiveness that Jesus wants me to have, now. And if anything from this day on happens that causes me to feel guilty, I will immediately stop and identify what is behind that guilt and take it to you in confession. I will receive forgiveness so that the condemnation will not take root in my life. Help me to stay guilt free Lord. I know that I can by applying forgiveness every day to my life. Help me Lord to get a revelation on forgiveness and receiving that forgiveness. After all, that's why you came! To free me from ALL guilt. I receive your complete forgiveness, your perfect love, joy, peace, understanding, wisdom, direction and discernment, all in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."
Psalm 44:21 "God knows the secrets of your heart." You might as well face them too.
"Psalm 51:6 "God knows the hidden parts." Don't fear what you see, rejoice that you see them so you can be made free.
Conviction: We cannot discuss guilt and condemnation without talking about conviction. Conviction is from God. He will show you the errors of your way, then forget it. He never pounces on your head when you make a mistake. He tries to nudge you and prompt you BEFORE you make a decision, convicts you when you make a wrong decision, but NEVER gives you guilt. Why? Because He's forgiven you. A Christian is forgiven, whether they accept the forgiveness or not, that is why God doesn't condemn. We condemn ourselves by not facing the sinful things that put us in that condition. Jesus was condemned for us and so God NEVER condemns us! That's what the Devil does. So who are you going to trust? The truth that God forgives immediately? Or a lie that we have to pay for our mistakes?
Conviction is to show us the error so we can make a decision. It's not to show you what is wrong with you to make you feel bad, guilty and condemned.
John 8:9 "And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst."
Acts 24:16 "And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men."
Have you heard people say, "You have a guilty conscience." They are probably correct. It's not time to get defensive, it's time to "agree with your adversary quickly" and ask God if it is true. Wouldn't you want to be free or keep it because of fear they may be right. Our conscience also convicts us of sin. It's a good thing to get a check in your spirit; that is how the Holy Spirit guides us.
Remember when you rode in bumper cars, they had bumpers and you bounced off other cars? There were also padded walls so you couldn't go beyond the area where the cars ran. That's how our conscience works, as a pumper pads (buffers). And once you bump up against another car or the way, your car bounces off and goes into another direction. We are to be like these bumper cars and how you do that is when you "bump" into a sin, you confess it and receive forgiveness and go on your way.
Guilt and condemnation comes if you stay in that same place and keep kitting that same issue. Once you hit the wall, that is okay. The wall is there for your protection. So now take that think you bumped into before the Lord, confess it, and receive forgiveness asking Him to restore you and remove all guilt and condemnation.
Now what about the guilt that comes from something we do right? Where is the sin in that? Well, lets take a look. Why would we feel guilt for something we did right? Because we feel we don't deserve it. We don't want others to feel bad because of our blessing. These are all self-idolatry, self-loathing, false burden bearing, comparing yourself with others, victimized manifestations, self-pity, pride, etc. So you see, there is sin even behind a person who feels guilty for something good. What do we do about it? The same thing as shared before, identify the reason for the guilt and confess it to the Lord.
I will remind you at the end of each session to stop and reflect on what you have learned, not rush on to the next teaching before it has had time to really do a work in your heart. All head knowledge is only going to cause you to be top heavy! We need to allow time for the seeds planted to grow and take root into our hearts. We not only need the "knowledge" but the understanding. Understanding gives revelation, and revelation makes it a reality in our own lives. Not just head knowledge, but heart knowledge that changes us. By doing this, you are "receiving." We not only need to "know", we need to "believe and receive."
Praising God is crucial to having all you learn take permanent residence in you. We remain in peace when we are strengthened in our spirit and that happens when we thank the one we are doing all this for.
And lastly, all work and no play is not scriptural. If you become overwhelmed or "heavy" spirited, stop and take a breather. It reminds me of flooding. If the water comes too quickly it doesn't have time to absorb into the soil, causing flooding and all that water is wasted. But if the water comes softly, and just enough that the ground absorbs, then it does great good!
To return Back.