Looking at a Bible feels intimidating. We know the truth is in there, but we don’t know how to find it or where to start. That’s why for the next 6 weeks, I’m going to focus on 6 steps to spiritual growth. Today, we are going to learn the first step in spiritual growth: How to confess sin, without feeling guilty, even if you feel like the worst sinner out there!
How to confess sin without feeling guilty, even if you feel like the worst sinner out there!
One thing I love about the Bible is how it uses everyday things we know about to teach us something about God.
Throughout scripture, there is a parallel between the world’s justice system and God’s justice system.
I don’t know much about the Canadian justice system. The only contact I’ve had with it is signing our wedding certificate and then signing the mountain of paperwork when we bought our home.
I know there are laws for just about everything.
The reason we have laws
We create laws so that everyone in society has the same idea of what is ok and what isn’t and those who break the law have to pay the consequences.
I’ve had a few pricey speed tickets to pay- a consequence of driving too quickly.
If you’ve ever had to pay for any type of ticket, I want you to say ticket in the comments below. I want to know I’m not alone!
Just like earth, The Bible lays out God’s law and the consequences for breaking those laws.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death,
In other words, the consequence of sin (breaking the law) is death.
The Bible also tells us in Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
We have all sinned, and we all deserve to pay for our sins. The payment for sin is death.
This sounds like bad news, but thankfully, it doesn’t end there. I actually left a part of
Romans 6:23 out, the FULL verse is:
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23
This verse gives us some hope in telling us that there is a gift we can receive from God that would give us eternal life.
John 3:16-18 makes it more clear for us
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.John 3:16-18
The gift God sent us is Jesus Christ. He came to die in our place. The only thing we have to do is believe we are sinners and ask God for forgiveness. When we do that, we are automatically pardoned for our sin.
It’s not that the consequence was lifted, but the payment was already paid in full– Jesus Christ died on the cross for us.
Have any of you read/or seen The Hunger Games?
I’m a huge fan of the Book The Hunger Games. If you haven’t read it, or watched the movie, I don’t want to ruin it too much, but at the start of the movie, this town is holding a lottery. Picking one girl and one boy to play in the hunger games. The girl who is picked is named Pen. No sooner is her name called- than her sister speaks up and volunteers to take her place in the hunger games.
The one slot had to be filled with one girl, and Katniss takes the place of her sister.
What Jesus did for us is so much better than the Hunger Games. But, He also took our place.
We deserve to die. We read why earlier- because we sin and death is the consequence for sin.
But, God loved us so much, He sent His son to take our place. Jesus came to die in my place and in yours.
Now, you might be sitting there and thinking, Anne, I thought you were going to talk about how to confess your sin without shame or guilt.
I’m getting there. But before I go into that, it’s important that everyone understands 2 things:
Jesus WILL forgive our sins
The bible tells us in 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When we confess our sins, we are no longer guilty. How awesome is that?
So, if you are sitting there feeling shame or guilt, it’s for 1 of 2 reasons.
1. You haven’t confessed your sin yet– it’s either you never asked God to forgive your sins, or you have, but there is something you’ve done that you know God is against God’s will and you haven’t confessed it yet. Is there an unconfessed sin in your life? If there is, confess that right now.
2. You don’t actually believe God has forgiven you and so you still feel guilty even when you have been freed.
I’m going to repeat that: If you have confessed your sin and still feel shame and guilt, then it’s probably because you don’t actually believe God has forgiven you and so you still feel guilty even when you have been declared sinless.
You know it in your brain, but not in your heart.
Don’t worry, the second is very common, and that’s what I’ll focus on for the rest of this session.
So, if you have confessed your sin and still feel guilty, what should you do?? I’m going to share with you 3 things: Are you Ready?
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3 things you can do if you still feel guilty of sin after you have repented
1. Ask God to examine your heart:
Maybe there is a sin you committed you don’t know about and the Lord is allowing you to feel guilt so you can root it out and repent.
If you are not sure how to do that, the Bible has some great verses that tell us exactly what to say.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.Psalm 139:23–24
I know these types of prayers can be scary, but The Lord isn’t about playing games. If you feel guilty, then there might be some unknown sin and you can ask God what that is.
2. Go back to scripture and read about who God is:
One of the ways you can stop feeling guilty is to go back to scripture and read the truth about who God is and what He has done. This helps us remember who God is and what He has promised us.
There are many verses you can go to for this and I’ll share with you 2.
- Romans 10:9 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
- Jeremiah 33:8 ‘I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against Me and by which they have transgressed against Me.
I love that these verses use the word ALL: doesn’t leave any wiggle room for our brains to say: but what about the time……… (I’m sure you can finish the sentence)
3. Test your feelings:
The Bible tells us we can’t trust our feelings.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?Jeremiah 17:9
Just because you feel guilty doesn’t mean you haven’t been forgiven. So, assure yourself of the truth. Focus on what you know of God and let that guide you.
We also know the Devil is the father of lies. He would love nothing better than to have us sitting in guilt doing nothing. So it’s important to test what you hear, and who you hear it from.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.1 John 4:1
Recapping: 3 things you can do if you still feel guilty of sin after you have repented
- Ask God to examine your heart
- Go back to scripture and read about who God is, and what He has done for you
- Test your feelings:
Can you see how these 3 steps can free you from guilt?
The Bible is clear, we are sinful and we deserve to die. But Jesus came to take our place- He paid for our punishment.
Once we are saved, we are cleansed and declared righteous. Any voice you hear that continues to make you feel guilty after you have repented of your sin isn’t from God.
So replace the lies with the truth. Focus on God instead of your sin.
Do you have a personal and thriving relationship with The Lord?
If you said no, or want to grow in your faith, I have something really special for you.
I’ve put together a webinar for you called: 4 Simple Steps to a thriving relationship with The Lord,
In this webinar I’ll tell you:
The exact steps I took to change my relationship with God
How asking a few questions unlocked the key to a thriving relationship with God
How to discern the best way for you to connect with God
If you want a closer relationship with God and aren’t sure where to start, register for this FREE Webinar.
Click here to get all the details and get your FREE ticket.