Posts on Justification: Getting Rid of Guilt Can Crush You or Exalt Christ

I love the church series still continues with a series within a series. I love the church because it is a testimony of God’s amazing justifying grace. So from my sermon on justification I am going to write five quick posts on justification. I hope this is helpful and causes us to trust and celebrate the God who justifies the ungodly.

No matter the sin, the Christian feels guilty for their transgression against God. We can handle our guilt with faith or with the absence of faith. Here is an excerpt from my sermon 3 weeks ago on justification that seeks to explain the wrong ways to handle guilt and offers a brief glimpse into God’s answer for guilt.  The next three posts will also be fleshing out the joys of justification.

When you feel guilty, really guilty, you will do almost anything to get out of that feeling.  This is how many respond:

–       We seek to blame others (we saw it with Adam and Eve in Genesis and humanity hasn’t stopped since). Our goal when we blame: to defer the guilt, to get it off of our shoulders.

  • Sometimes this results in the horrors of domestic abuse. If you can’t fix your own pain, then you blame others with force and anger.
  • Sometimes the guilt results in divorce or shattered relationships because no one wants to humbly forgive but simply make sure the other person know they were the cause of the problem.  Know that you are your greatest problem and many don’t know where to go.

–       Many times escape is the plan whether through alcohol, drugs, food, sex, movies, video games, sports, etc…  Our hearts scream, “Keep me from having to deal with the reality of the pain I’ve caused or the wrongs I have done.”  We want them to go away but after the escape they are there again and usually accompanied by even more guilt.

–       Once some acknowledge their guilt they will try to hurt themselves through cutting, not eating, or simply depriving themselves of something they wanted but now feel no longer worthy to have.

No matter what you have done, no matter whom you blame, where you escape or how you inflict punishment on yourself, you… you, yourself, stand at the end of the day…guilty.

And if you are guilty, then death, condemnation, emotional turmoil, separation from God is your destiny.

Unless there is an answer for guilt. An answer other than escape and blaming. An answer that takes the guilty and makes them not guilty. If that is the case then we have hope. Friends, there is an answer. The answer is found in Romans 4:5 where we are called to “…trust in him who justifies the ungodly.” God makes right the ungodly. He declares the ungodly not guilty. How? When sinners trust in the punishment bearing, guilt removing sacrifice of Jesus.  This is called justification. This is the Christian’s joy because justification creates reconciliation to God.

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About Sean Cordell

Rescued from my sin by Jesus, husband to Dana for almost 11 years, daddy to Elijah (7), Jadon (5), and Mercy (1), Pastor of Treasuring Christ Church a church plant in downtown Raleigh, NC View all posts by Sean Cordell

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