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Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CEV)

Like an old pair of shoes tossed in the garbage. Like a discarded, favorite pair of jeans. Like that car that finally gave up the ghost after years of trial and tribulation. That’s what life is like after Christ comes.

Once we were under the Law. The Law was God’s standard of living after sin entered into mankind. The Law was never meant to remove sin as much as it was an appeasement for sin.

Then grace entered the picture. Grace didn’t just appease God, Grace cleansed us. Before we became followers of Jesus we lived life according to our own conscience. A conscience based on the idea that we were the center of the universe. Right and wrong depended on what was best for us. It didn’t work. I was never intended to work.

When we came to a place in our lives where we realized our faults, we felt guilty. Guilt isn’t always a bad thing. Guilt, in a positive sense is simply agreeing with god that we made a mistake. Guilt can draw us back to him when the path we’ve taken separates us from the peace he intended for us to have. Guilt, in the positive sense, is terminated with repentance. Gone. Wiped out like an old pair of…well, you get the picture?

  • The Law makes us aware of our guilt; but Grace cleanses us, even from the memories of our faults!
  • The Law says we’ll never succeed; but Grace says we’ll never fail because of Jesus living in us!
  • The Law says we are guilty; Grace says we are redeemed!
  • The Law says you’ll never be free; Grace says you’ll never be held captive!
  • The Law uses guilt as a tool to remind us of our past; Grace uses conviction (through the Holy Spirit) to remind us of our holiness through Christ!
  • The Law focuses on external actions (rules); Grace focuses on the heart and emotions!
  • The Law says you are doomed; Grace says enter into the presence of a loving Father!

As followers of Jesus Christ we no longer need to live under the oppression of guilt even though we continue to be attacked by sin. 1 John 1:9 reminds us that ‘when’ not ‘if’ we sin we can come to the Savior and receive forgiveness. The guilt we feel before that is our Father’s beckoning us to come home to his loving arms. Not for punishment. Jesus took that. He calls us home to be restored.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, I continue to battle with feelings of guilt for past mistakes in my life. Mistakes that have hurt others. Mistakes that have hurt myself. Mistakes that have hurt you. Forgive me once and for all for those times when I’ve failed. Empower me with your Holy Spirit to live free of the false guilt Satan throws my way. Amen.

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October 2011
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