God’s Total Forgiveness
The problem of Unresolved Guilt
By Pastor Ted Fellows
Berean Bible Church, Minerva, Ohio
The Problem of Unresolved Guilt.
Guilt is that moral sense of blameworthiness that we all feel when we know that we have done wrong. Guilt produces feelings of shame, rejection, unworthiness and low self-esteem. We deal with feelings of guilt with our fellow man, but we also have the problem of our guilt before God. The bible states mans universal problem of guilt before his creator in Romans 3:19.
Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
How can we resolve our problem of guilt before a holy and righteous God? How do we gain the total forgiveness of God?
A Faulty Answer!
Some feel that confession of our sins is the answer. Many either “go to confession” periodically, or “go thorough a confession process” at the end of the day, in an attempt to wipe the slate clean before God, only to have the slate get dirty again and again – thus creating a cycle of guilt, confession, and then forgiveness, which is repeated, over and over again. This doesn’t really solve the problem of guilt, but just makes them feel better for a short time.
This is a very discouraging process, for because of it’s repetition, it actually increases our awareness of our failures and short comings! It is like putting a large pot under a hole of a leaky roof. As long as we keep changing the pot when it fills up, we feel a little better, but we haven’t solved anything, and our repeated action puts us constantly aware of the problem.
What we wind up doing is putting ourselves in bondage to a leaky roof! So it is with the confession process. As long as we keep confessing our sins, we feel a little better, but have not really solved our problem of sin and guilt! We are actually increasing our bondage to our sins! We would not accept a carpenter bringing us a larger pot to fix our leaky roof, and we should not accept a temporary solution at all! Yet this is exactly what we do when we believe we must keep our sins confessed before God to gain his forgiveness!
It should be noted that at the time in the Bible, when God was dealing with the nation of Israel under the law of Moses, He did require the confession of sins. The Levitical priest served as an intercessor between the individual and God. But the law was to be a schoolmaster to point them to Christ! The law of Moses was given, not as a means for salvation and forgiveness, but rather to bring them to a clear realization of their sin and guilt! That is why, after pointing out in Rom 3:19 that all the world is guilty before God, we read in Romans 3:20,
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
This confession process is actually a form of legalism, that, rather than solving the problem of sin and guilt, actually puts us in the greater bondage to it! When we read in
1 John 1:9 that,
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We are reading a passage that is from the pen of the apostle John, one of the 12 apostles to the nation of Israel. In their program, Israel had a responsibility to confess their sins in order to be restored to a favored position with God! This was true on a personal level, (see Leviticus 5:5-6) and on a national level as well, (see also Leviticus 26:40-42).
Today, when we go back to the principal of “if we confess, then God will forgive” we are going back to a system that was never intended to relieve guilt, but rather expose it! We are also just going to increase our awareness of our guilt, and not really do anything to relieve it! Should God forgive us just because we ask him to, especially when He knows we will just do it again? God cannot just let us off the hook. His righteousness won’t allow it!
The Answer is in God’s Total Provision!
The answer to the problem of our guilt before God is found only in the total provision that God himself has already provided! Sin can’t be overlooked, it must be paid for! The Mosaic law and it’s priesthood pointed toward a one-time, all sufficient, sacrifice that would completely and totally satisfy the justice of God! That sacrifice was offered on a hill outside of Jerusalem called Calvary, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ! God offers us total forgiveness, for every sin, past, present, and future, when we place our faith, not in the confession of our sins, but in the one-time payment for them on the cross of Jesus Christ!
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past,…” Romans 3:25
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Ephesians 1 : 7
“…having forgiven you all (past, present, and future) trespasses.”
God has replaced the confession process and it’s short-term results, with the riches of his grace in Jesus Christ! God’s total forgiveness is available to you, by simply making that personal individual decision to trust in the finished work of Christ! It is that simple!
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Trust Christ today and receive God’s total, onetime remedy, for all your sin and guilt before him!
If you are saved, you don’t have to confess your sins to keep the slate clean and regain God’ forgiveness. You already have it , fully and totally! (Ephesians 1:7) Rather than pray to confess your sins, acknowledge them, and thank him for the total forgiveness he has already granted you in Christ! Then let His total and complete forgiveness free you from your guilt, and motivate you to faithfully serve Him!