Jesus Christ said, “It is written, My house shall be called a house of prayer.”

Three Things that Weaken the Believer, Part 4 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #56)

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TEXT: Psalm 32:1-5

1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

2 Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.

4 For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.

5 I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

Three Things that Weaken the Believer, Part 4 (Pilgrim’s Progress According to the Bible #56)

As we learned last week, some guilt is good. The bad feeling that we get when we sin ought to motivate us not to do the same bad thing again. The Holy Spirit also convicts us of sin; this conviction ought to cause us to confess our sins and repent of our sins. However, there is also bad guilt. This guilt comes from the condemnation or mental attacks of the devil. He specializes in tormenting believers with reminders of past failures, sins, and shortcomings. Many Christians live under a constant cloud of Satan’s accusations, believing his guilt-inducing words rather than what the Bible says about God’s children.

Sincere confession is the first step to getting rid of this bad guilt. As long as we have unconfessed sin in our lives, Satan will have a foothold to continuously attack us and tear us down. Take the weapon of guilt out of Satan’s hands by confessing and repenting of your sins today.

Second, to combat feelings of guilt, you must accept God’s forgiveness of your sins. David writes, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity…” When the Bible speaks of God’s forgiveness of His children, it is speaking of a relationship in which God no longer views that person as tied to their sin. The sin is covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, the sinner has been washed clean, and his or her relationship with God has been restored. What a blessing this is, indeed.

Many Christians confess their sins, but they struggle with accepting God’s forgiveness. We try to reconcile human forgiveness with God’s forgiveness, and that can’t be done. If you wrong somebody, you probably will not be able to enter that person’s presence without being reminded about what you did — even if you have confessed your sin and sought that person’s forgiveness. However, with God, your sins are truly forgiven and forgotten. He does not “impute” your sin to you anymore. That word means to assign. If your sin is imputed unto you, it is as though God puts a tag on you that says, “Sinner.” But when He forgives you, He takes that tag off because He no longer sees you as such.

Even after you have confessed and repented of your sin, the devil will try to make you doubt God’s forgiveness. He will tell you that God could never forgive the terrible things that you have done. The solution to overcoming this is to choose to believe God’s word instead of Satan’s lies. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If God does not forgive us of our sins when we confess them, then that verse is not true; and we know the Bible is true. Psalm 86:5 says, “Thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.”

Who will you believe — God or Satan? Satan will try to condemn you because of things you have done in the past. However, the word of God says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for them which are in Christ Jesus.” You can live a life free from guilt if you confess your sins, repent of your sins, and truly believe that God has forgiven you of your sins.

Finally, to overcome guilt, you must stop looking to the past. Not only does David say, ‘blessed is the man whom the Lord forgiveth,’ but he also says, ‘blessed is the man…in whose spirit there is no guile.’ The word “guile” means lies or deceit. It is the living of a double-life. Forgiving our sins is God’s business, but living a guileless life is our business. That is a decision that we make and that we must choose to live by each day, and seek God’s help through prayer and Bible study.

Even if you confess a past sin, you will continue to feel guilty if you intend on sinning again. If you are living a double-life, as the word “guile” suggests, you will always be bound by guilt and your walk with the Lord will suffer. You must completely let go of your past sins and your old, sinful life. Charles Spurgeon said, “The lesson from the whole is this: be honest. Sinner, may God make you honest. Do not deceive yourself. Make a clean breast of it before God. Have an honest religion, or have none at all. Have a religion of the heart, or else have none. Put aside the mere vestment and garment of piety, and let your soul be right within. Be honest.”

If you have made a clean break with the sins of the past, then you must not let the devil remind you of how you used to live. C.S. Lewis said, “We must beware of the Past, mustn’t we? I mean that any fixing of the mind on old evils beyond what is absolutely necessary for repenting of our own sins and forgiving those of others is certainly useless and usually bad for us.”

It is pointless to wallow in the memory of past sinfulness. If you dwell on that, you will always be doubting your usefulness in God’s kingdom. The devil will always be able to trip you up by making you feel guilty of something you’ve done in the past — something that you’ve confessed, that you’ve repented of, and that God has forgiven. The forgiveness of God is indeed marvelous and you may not feel as though you deserve it. You don’t. That’s what grace is. You don’t deserve it, but you accept it, get up, dust yourself off, and move on for the glory of God.

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If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to share with you briefly how you can be saved from your sins and be guaranteed a home in Heaven with God today.

First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Please understand that because of your sins, you deserve eternal punishment in hell. Romans 6:23 says “the wages of sin is death…This is both physical death and spiritual death in hell. That is the bad news.

But here is the good news. John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door.” Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.