Are You Feeling Guilty – Part 1

Kevin CauleyThere are two kinds of guilt in the Bible. There is the feeling of guilt when our conscience condemns us—subjective guilt. There is also guilt for doing something objectively wrong. This guilt isn’t a feeling; it is a state of being that results from having sinned. It is the criminal that is pronounced guilty by the judge – objective guilt. The word “guilt” is found 79 times in the New King James Version. Seventy-eight times it refers to objective guilt. Once it refers to someone feeling guilty (Zechariah 11:5). The Bible uses the word “conscience” in association with the subjective feeling of guilt. The word “conscience” is found 30 times in the NKJV, and only in the New Testament. When our conscience accuses us (Romans 2:15), we feel guilty.

The work of Jesus eliminates guilt of both kinds. First, the offering of Jesus blood eliminates objective guilt for those who believe and obey the gospel. Jesus said, “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Peter said to the guilty in Acts 2:38, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Second, our guilty conscience is also cleansed by Jesus. Hebrews 9:14 states, “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” This means that holding onto guilt is a choice we make for irrational reasons. Moreover, guilt prevents us from doing God’s work of evangelizing the lost. Let go of guilt, and get to work.