God has given us all things for our enjoyment and as Paul writes to Timothy, “Everything is created by God and is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.” However there will always be those who will sleek into the fellowship and will condemn our freedom to enjoy the good things of life like they did at Galatia. The false teachers who add things to the Gospel message are always using guilt as a means of manipulation. It corrupts the Gospel and robs true believers of their joy in life.

We all struggle with guilt. Even the man after God’s own heart was struck by streaks of guilt and condemnation. We are called to be moved to confess our sins to God for forgiveness. Our consciences help us be alert to sin and when we stay in close fellowship with God we become more intimately aware of our weaknesses and are called upon to confess them to God and he promises to forgive us (See 1 John 1:9). Further, James teaches us that real healing can come also through confession of our wrongs to each other. When we hurt someone, we find healing in confessing our sins to those who wrong (See James 5:16).

But God truly does not want us to wallow in our sins. He wants us to confess them and forsake them and get on with healthy wholesome living. But the false teachers are condemning not forgiving. They love to point out our failures of living up to their expressed standards. They rejoice in pointing out our sin but as the law’s purpose reveals, it leaves us in the pit of despair of wallowing in sin and moral failure. But Christ provides complete cleansing of our consciences. It’s His blood that cleanses us whereas all the sacrifices of the law have failed to do that. The author of Hebrews writes, “…how much more will the blood of Christ…purify our conscience.” (See Hebrews 9:14). God does not condemn the sinner. He forgives us and restores us and reestablishes our relationship with the Father. As forgiven sinners we now have the ever present work of the Holy Spirit to assist us in the walk toward Christlikeness. It is not God’s judgment and justice that draws us to repentance, but God’s kindness and mercy and certainty of forgiveness.

“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” Hebrews 10:22