I have known many people who hold to Justification By Faith Alone. They believe that since they said the prayer or got baptized that they are saved. That’s it. Nothing else they do matters.
They have then lived their lives after their own way, doing sins, not going out of their way for anyone else, and generally taking advantage of anyone they can.
They are eaten by guilt. Their guilt makes them even more sinful, selfish, and greedy. This adds to their guilt.
Instead of dealing with the guilt, they tell themselves happy thoughts like:
–Jesus kept the law for me.
–God only sees Jesus in me, not me.
–It doesn’t matter what I do, it only matters who I am.
–Christ fulfilled it all, He said ‘it is finished.’ There is nothing for me to do.
Although each point carries a grain of truth, when taken to extremes, it borders on blasphemy.
While telling themselves these happy thoughts, they continue to live selfish lives and be eaten by guilt.
No amount of happy thought repetition eliminates the very real guilt brought about by doing sinful things.
Typically, these people will get closer and closer to concluding they are more spiritually mature than you lowly types out there still trying to do good.
Meanwhile, there is still guilt. There is still defeat. And, unfortunately, their gospel of happy thoughts provides them no salvation from it.
True salvation offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ is way more practical and delivers people from sin. You are no longer under bondage, no longer a slave of sin. You are reborn and recreated as a servant of God, using your body as a servant of righteousness.
When you do what is right you will be amazed at how little guilt you will feel!
It’s an amazing thing!
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
I was told many times that in Christ we don’t have to feel any guilt for our sins because there is “no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus.”
That’s a nice happy thought, and absolutely untrue.
I tried it, all it did was make me feel more guilt! I already felt guilty for the sin I did, now I also felt bad for feeling guilty for feeling guilt for the sin I did! All this teaching did was double my guilt.
It wasn’t until I saw that actually I was supposed to do good, that I began to feel less guilt!
Here’s why–walking in the Spirit never leads you to do anything to feel guilty about!
Feeling guilt is a good thing: it’s God’s warning system in you telling you that you sinned. Sinning and not feeling guilt is not a sign of salvation; it’s a sign of a hardened heart and a closed up conscience, never a good thing.
Doing righteousness is the only way to stop feeling guilt. It really is. This is not rocket science.
Godly sorrow leads to repentance unto salvation. Salvation leads to being indwelt by the Spirit. The Spirit’s indwelling leads to a mortifying of the deeds of the flesh and producing fruit of the Spirit. When you walk in the Spirit you fulfill the righteousness of the law. Since you are fulfilling righteousness, there is no need to feel guilt.
It’s a beautiful thing. You should try it!