How should a Christian deal with feelings of guilt regarding past sins?

 

Question: “How should a Christian deal with feelings of guilt regarding past sins, whether pre- or post-salvation?”

Answer: Everyone has sinned, and one of the results of sin is guilt. We can be thankful for guilty feelings because they drive us to seek forgiveness. The moment a person turns from sin to Jesus Christ in faith, his sin is forgiven. Repentance is part of the faith that leads to salvation (Matthew 3:2; 4:17; Acts 3:19).

READ MORE

Today in Church History

Apostolic Beheading; the Death of Paul

The apostle Paul, writing to the Corinthian church, summed up his own contribution to Christianity better than anyone else could. “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.” Wherever he carried the gospel, the church put down deep and enduring roots. He saw himself as primarily an apostle to the Gentile races.

Paul was ideally equipped for the role. In him three great cultures merged. A Roman citizen, he had entree to the entire Roman world. Steeped in Greek culture, he could convey his ideas across the Hellenized world. A Pharisee, strictest of the Jews, he carried in himself the Mosaic law and had points of contact in the synagogues of the empire.

Paul began his career as a persecutor of the faith. After meeting Christ in a daylight vision on the road to Damascus, where he was traveling to arrest Christians, his life was transformed. Christ ever after was all to him and he gave us insights into the Lord as deep as any found in the writings of the apostles who walked with the Lord. “I resolved to know nothing among you except Christ, and him crucified.” “I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless, I live; Yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” “He was the firstborn over all creation.” “That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, both in heaven and the earth and under the earth.”

In addition to his Christology, Paul pioneered the missionary tactics of the early church, brought the gospel to the Gentiles and came as close as any apostolic writer to creating a systematic theology. His Letter to the Romans has had a profound impact upon our understanding of guilt and grace, predestination and faith. Wherever reformation has come to the church the ideas of this epistle have played a leading part. His letters were prized by the early church. His fellow apostle Peter recognized their worth and included them with the other scriptures.

According to The People’s Chronology, Paul was beheaded with a sword near Rome, possibly on this day, June 29, 67. This date is open to dispute. Paul’s death has been variously placed between 62 and 67. We shall probably never know for sure.

What we do know is that he gave his life for the faith he had persecuted. At his conversion, a prophet named Ananias was sent to him to show him what things he must suffer. In an early letter he catalogued some of those sufferings. It is a long list. His beheading was but the culmination of a life of sacrifice “poured out as a drink offering” to his Lord Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:6).

SOURCE

Daily Devotional – Mortification of Sin

by John Owen – March 10th, 2019

Chapter 10
PREPARATORY DIRECTIONS
Clear Sense of Sin

2. Get a Clear Sense of Your Sin

The second direction for the mortification of sin in believers is this:

Get a clear and abiding sense upon your mind and conscience of the guilt, danger, and evil of that sin wherewith you are perplexed.

a. Understand the guilt of your sin

   1). Enormous guilt

   It is one of the deceits of a prevailing lust to lessen its own guilt in our minds. “Is it not a little one?” (Gen 19:20); “When I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing” (2Ki 5:18)—as if to say, Though this be bad, yet it is not so bad as such and such an evil; others of the people of God have had such a frame; yea, what dreadful actual sins have some of them fallen into! Innumerable ways there are whereby sin diverts the mind from a right and due apprehension of its guilt. Its injurious effects darken the mind, so that it cannot make a right judgment of things. Perplexing reasonings, extenuating promises, disorderly desires, insincere purposes to forsake, hopes of mercy—all have their share in disturbing the mind in its consideration of the guilt of a prevailing lust. The prophet tells us that lust will do thus wholly when it comes to its height: “Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart” (Hos 4:11)—the heart, that is, the understanding, as it is often used in the Scripture.

   And as lusts accomplish this work to the height in unregenerate persons, so in part in re-generate also. Solomon tells you of him who was enticed by the lewd woman, that he was “among the simple ones”; he was “a young man void of understanding” (Pro 7:7). And wherein did his folly appear? Why, he says, he “knoweth not that it is for his life” (v. 23); he considered not the guilt of the evil that he was involved in. And the Lord, rendering a reason why His dealings with Ephraim took no better effect, gives this account: “Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart” (Hos 7:11)—that is, he had no understanding of his own miserable condition. It would have been impossible for David to have lain so long in the guilt of his abominable sin, but that he had innumerable corrupt reasonings hindering him from taking a clear view of its ugliness and guilt in the glass of the Law. This made the prophet that was sent for his awaking, in his dealings with him, to shut up all evasions and pretenses by his parable, so that he might fall fully under a sense of the guilt of it (2Sa 12:7). This is the expected result of lust in the heart: it darkens the mind that it shall not judge aright of its guilt.

   And it has many other ways for its own excusing which I shall not now insist on. Let this, then, be the first care of him that would mortify sin: to fix a right judgment of its guilt in his mind.

Excerpts from Mortification of Sin by John Owen from:The Chapel Library •  chapel@mountzion.org

New Research Confirms That Abortion Hurts Women

The largely ignored findings run completely afoul of today’s narrative about how abortion is a benign procedure and the pinnacle of female empowerment.

By   24, 2018

We know it’s a lie that abortion doesn’t harm women. We know this anecdotally, from talking with mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends who have had abortions, and shared their stories of pain, doubt, shame, guilt, and suffering. We also know it from research that demonstrates quantitatively that significant numbers of women are left clinically depressed as direct result of having had an abortion…

Continued at Source: New Research Confirms That Abortion Hurts Women

Wisdom From the Psalms

March 24

Psalms 31:9
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.

Beverly felt guilty that she had not been to church for so long. Somehow things had gotten so hectic, and church had just kind of slipped away. Her husband worked six days a week, and she worked Saturday nights, so Sunday became the only day they really had together. The more she thought about missing church, the more guilt she felt, and the more guilt she felt, the harder it was to go back. She was thrilled and surprised when the pastor came past and told her how much they had been missed. When she tried to offer an excuse, he told her that he wasn’t there to scold, just to show concern.

We too often let guilt determine what our actions will be, rather than living as forgiven people. The Lord is more than willing to shower His children with mercy and grace. All we need do is ask with a penitent heart. The Lord will forgive us all that we ask.
Prayer: Thank You for Your gracious forgiving love, Lord. I am nothing without Your loving kindness. Hear me when I call out to You, Father, and be with me. Amen.
From: http://www.crosswalk.com

“Never, Never, Ever, say these 15 comments to a Victim of Abuse”

Sometimes folks with the best intentions can say the most harmful things. In this article Sue Cass points out some of those very hurtful things one should never say to a victim of abuse. In fact unless you are a trained counselor, I would recommend the less said the better. That is not to say shun the person, but to chose ones words VERY carefully.

Sue Cass is an abuse survivor and Christian author.  She blogs at Cyber Support Group https://cybersupportgroup.org, Elah Ministries Inc. http://www.elahministries.com, and Sue’s Pen2PaperBlog https://suespen2paper.com .  I recommend her books and blogs to you.

“There’s a difference between still being a victim of abuse and a survivor of abuse….

Continued at Source: “Never, Never, Ever, say these 15 comments to a Victim of Abuse” by Sue Cass