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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Let Love Replace Guilt

I live in a community where some churches practice their religion under a heavy cloak of condemnation. There are strict rules of dress code and shunning others who don’t follow their beliefs. I recently attended a funeral at one of their churches. It wasn’t my first time so the shock and sadness of what I witnessed wasn’t as heavy as before; but I left there thinking how similar I once was in my thinking about sin and acceptance.

Theologians call it sin-consciousness. In other words, it’s when our thoughts (which culminate into actions) stem around all the things God hates, instead of balancing our lives with His love.

It’s true, God hates sin. Sin separates us from Him, and He hates it. But Jesus said He didn’t come into the world to condemn it, but to save it. God so loved the world (not hated the world) that He provided a path of life and freedom back to Himself through His Son Jesus.

You know this. (I hope you know this.) I know this. And yet, sin-consciousness is a real plague among God’s people. I fell in its trap in my early years and have found myself at it’s edge time and time again despite what I now know about God’s love, forgiveness, and grace.

The writer of Hebrews said, “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year” (Hebrews 10:1-3 NKJV, my emphasis).

If you keep reading this chapter, the point is that the blood of bulls and goats couldn’t possibly sanctify us (make us right with God). But please look again at the portion I emphasized in bold above: “…make those who approach perfect…” with “…no more consciousness of sins…”

Pause and think about what we just read. The writer said the blood of animals couldn’t perfect us or remove a consciousness of sin. So isn’t the assumed reality that the blood of Jesus CAN and DOES these things for us?

Yesssss!

When we allow our thoughts to gravitate to sin, instead of the covering of sin, it’s no wonder we live under a cloud of guilt, condemnation, and heavy burdens of religion. BUT, if we allow our thoughts to gravitate to Jesus, and His precious blood that cleansed us and continually makes us right with God, we’ll find ourselves living under the shadow of the One who loves us (instead of a dark cloud of sin-consciousness).

And the natural by-product of this is that we want to please the One who saved us and set us free. So when temptations and sin knock on our door, we’re actually less prone to answer it because now we are righteous-conscious. And if we do fall, the Bible says God will forgive and cleanse those who repent of their shortcomings. In other words, He’ll remove the sin and the consciousness of it.

So I hope you will remember today that the blood of Jesus makes those who approach perfect — and the worshipers, once purified, have no more consciousness of sin because love has replaced guilt.

Copyright © 2019 Daphne Delay, used with permission.

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