Jesus sets us free from the power of sin and guilt. He wants us to live a healthy and wholesome life. Yet, he knows our makeup and our nature. He realizes we are sinners and that we’ll always struggle in this life with feelings of guilt; some phantom and some real. But He died on Calvary’s cross to pay the penalty for our sins and to deliver us from the punishment for it, the power of it as we grow in God’s grace, and from the presence of it completely in paradise. Yet, the process of being delivered from its power is dependent upon our comprehension of the depth of God’s love for us. As our roots sink down into the rich soil of God’s love (As Paul prays for us) we come to a deeper and deeper appreciation of His vast, immeasurable love for us. John writes in the opening verses of the Book of Revelations a commendation of praise to Jesus for His love. In Revelation 1:5-6 we read, “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Guilt made Adam and Eve blame each other for their sin.  Guilt and shame made them try to cover their sin and guilt made them run from and hide from the God who made them and loved them. Although the relationship continued, the trust was never the same. Yet, God in His grace provided a covering; the skin of a sacrificed lamb. Because of the blood of the sacrificed Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, we can have perfect and complete forgiveness. But our guilt must be confessed. “If” and only “if we confess our sins…” we receive God’s forgiveness. John also tells us that “if we say we have no sin” we lie, and we’re not walking in the truth.

Today, in keeping with the practices of Adam and Eve, we hide from our sins. We run from God. We blame others for our problems, yet we live enslaved completely. We live with the punishment, power, and presence of our true guilt. Yet, we scream “I’m free, I’m free.” Cecil Sherman writes, “These days there is an all-out assault on guilt. Some schools of counseling have declared war on guilt. If you have it, you are trapped in an old, repressive way of thinking. Get rid of guilt. Free yourself from the baggage of a Puritan morality, and you will fly like a bird. You will be un-caged, loosed.” He goes on to warn us, “Watch this trash talk. Guilt is to the soul as nerves are to the body. Guilt awakens you to moral danger as nerves alert the body to a burn or a blow. You are in moral danger when you are guilty.” Guilt is not the residue of “bad religion.” It’s God’s alarm clock to wake us to the reality of our sins. Guilt, true guilt, is God’s wonderful gift of His grace to move us to confession and repentance that results in real life, a life in which we’re set free in all ways imaginable.