Is there such a thing as a person who in the core of his being has never experienced the sharp pangs of guilt, and/or regret? I am personally persuaded that no such person exists that can, if he is honest with himself, truthfully admit that he has never experienced the pangs of guilt and regret, and that most of us, (again, if we are honest) deal with these two negative spiritual realities on a frequent basis.
Why Do Men Deal Continually With Guilt and Regret?
First of all I would suggest to you that you need to be thankful that because of conviction of sin you do feel guilt, shame, and regret. Yes, I know that this may sound morbid, but the truth is, if you do not deal with guilt and regret, it means either you are a perfect person with no faults, and who offends neither God or man, or that your heart is hard, and you do not have conviction of your failings, whether they are large or small. I have long ago determined both by the Holy Scripture and by my personal observation of life that there are no perfect people, but that all men are born sinners, and practice sin. In short terms, that means that we are all by nature corrupt, and therefore sin against both God our creator, and our fellow man. This truth is reality in the earth today. It has been reality since our father Adam sold us into sin about 6,000 years ago, and will continue as a reality until that age that is to come, when we who are hidden in Christ shall see Him at His coming, and we shall be changed. Hallelujah to the Lord, how I praise Him for this sure hope that one day I will be free from all the limitations of this mortal body. I can not describe to you the exceeding hope and desire that resides in my heart to experience that ultimate of all experiences, to see Christ our Lord with my own eyes, and at that time to put aside mortality with all of its corruptions, and to receive from Him a complete new body made like unto His very own. To be at that point without sin, all the limitations of this mortal body, and not even tempted by sin. Amen, that will be the day!
If We Are Sinners By Birth and Deed, How Can We Live Free From The Pangs Of Guilt and Regret?
This my friend has been a universal question from the beginning, every since our father Adam sold all of his children (the human race) into sin. It is a universal question that all religions in one form or another attempt to address. I do not believe that the answer to this question can be found in any, or all the philosophies of men, nor can it be found in “religion” per-say, (which all add up to man’s attempts to either bring God down to them, or lift themselves up to God) but I do believe that God our Savior has prepared an answer for this problem, and the answer is revealed by the Holy Spirit as we look into the Scripture. The answer is found purely and only in the face of Jesus Christ. The answer is what the Scripture refers to as the EVERLASTING GOSPEL. Gospel meaning, “good news”. Both the religious traditions of men, and the many common and individual philosophies of men attempt to cover up, or put aside the pangs of guilt and regret, but I say to you only Jesus can completely take these negative qualities away, leaving absolute complete peace, joy and rest in its place.
So What Is This Good News?
I will offer to you a one word answer to that question, and that word is JESUS. The Bible reveals that He, and He alone is the answer for a guilty conscience, and He, and He alone can ultimately take away the pangs of guilt, shame, and regret. Oh yes, men have invented an exceeding number of ways to “cover up” guilt, shame, and regret. However, you will find all of them to be man centered, and not God centered, and you will find that although they may temporarily take your mind off from your guilt, shame, and regret, they can not, and will not take these negative realities away. For these negative spiritual realities to taken from you, leaving in their stead peace, joy and rest, this can only happens when one calls upon the name of Jesus, placing their faith wholly upon the promise of God to receive forgiveness of sin. At that time the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) enters the new Christian, taking up residency in his body. The new Christian has become a house for the Spirit of God. The new Christian’s spirit has come alive, in that before this time it was dead because it was cut off from the life of God because of the person’s sins. The new Christian has experienced what the Scripture refers to as being born again.
If One is Born Again, Does That Mean That He Will Never Feel The Pangs Of Guilt and Regret?
No, not at all. But it does mean that when a Christian fails (sins) he can go back to Jesus by faith and lay his sins down at His feet, receiving from Christ forgiveness. The Christian can then by faith (I should add that the Holy Spirit who lives within the Christian will aide him in this process) again accept from the Lord the qualities of joy, peace and rest. All of which are beyond human comprehension. For the peace, joy, and rest that the Holy One offers are all completely beyond a person’s ability to understand. How the Holy Spirit ministers these qualities to the Believer can not be understood, but they sure are both good and sweet. You might say that this “washing” is like unto a person’s continuing need to bathe his body. We, as Christians need on a continuing basis to come back to the Lord, and have our sin “washed away” by the application of the blood of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit cooperating refreshes our spirits with renewed joy, peace and rest. We who have come to Jesus by faith are truly saved and belong to Him, even though we have to continually deal with our sin, and when we do, we experience again and again the sweetness of His forgiveness. Yes, our hearts cry out and mourn over our sins, and we wish we did not sin, and that we did not have to over and over again go back to Jesus to be again washed in His blood. Be encouraged, we need to remember that we have not yet experienced the fulness of our salvation, but that the complete consummation of our salvation can not, and will not be experienced by the Believer until Christ returns. At that time the dead in Christ shall rise to occupy a new and spiritual body, and those that belong to Him at His coming who have continued alive until that time will be changed. Mortality and corruption will at that point become a thing of the past, and we will forever put on immortality and incorruptibility, all of this according to the promise of God, and is because of His great love for us.
I have spoken in these few paragraphs of great and profound realities, but these words, and these truths will do you no good unless you by the application of faith receive these realities into your life, by first receiving Christ our Lord as your Savior, and then beyond that by keeping His word in your heart. Then, as you are convicted by the Holy Spirit you can by faith go to Christ and be cleansed from sin. This is the true bottom line of how to experience real and lasting freedom from guilt, shame, and regret, and I should add there is no sin to dirty, or to great for Jesus to forgive. There is no pit to deep that Jesus can not reach down and lift the sinner out of his own filth and failure, cleansing him, so that the Christian might be presented spotless and pure before Christ at His coming. Amen!
Gregory A. DeHart
Consider: Ro 3:10, Ro 3:23, Heb 9:14, Ps 51:6-12, Ro 5:12, 1Jh 3:13, 1Co 15:51-54, 2Co 5:14-21, Rev 14:6, Acts 4:12, Jh 14:6, Jh 3:1-13, 1 Co 6:11, Rev 1:5, 1 Jh 1:7-10
Gregory A. DeHart is a Bible teacher who sometimes writes under the pen name of Watchman. Gregory is the sponsor of http://AnAmericanWatchman.blogspot.com, a site dedicated to examining social issues,the preaching of righteousness, and the practical unfolding of the mystery revealed from the Bible of how marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church. For a Bible based life perspective please feel welcome to visit our site, and please feel free to contact us, or post a comment. If you have been moved to consider playing apart in this ministry please feel free to contact Greg DeHart at 907-373-0355, (Alaska time) or [email protected]. There are needs, and ways to expand this ministry, but I need help to do it.