Why can’t we stop feeling guilty after sinning

Why can’t we stop feeling guilty after sinning?

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“The devil makes it his business to keep Christians in bondage, bound and gagged, actually imprisoned in their own grave clothes!” – A.W. Tower

For you to feel guilty after sinning means you have a conscience, a living one.

Note: When you feel guilty even after asking God to forgive your sins, which He did, you’re a child of God, just that old Satan is playing games on your mind. Satan loves to intimidate, torment, and silence believers. He makes you afraid of your past sins, then magnifies the memories of your spiritual failures. Always remember that the devil will do anything and everything in his power to bring you back to his kingdom.

There was a day I sinned against God. Immediately, guilt took over me, I was so ashamed of myself, that I couldn’t eat, and couldn’t even pray at first. I felt so dirty and disgusting. I felt disconnected from God and it was as if God was a million miles away from me.

I managed to pray, confessed, and repented. When I was done praying, guilt swept over me again, I struggled with feelings of guilt and condemnation. That I began to doubt if God ever forgave me.

Have you ever felt this way? You felt guilty, you confessed genuinely but you are still feeling guilty. You tried to take your mind off it, but it doesn’t work. You tried praying it off, then the guilt increased. You feel you’ve failed God again and you wondered if you can ever be free.

I have learned to talk back to the devil on this score. I say, “Yes, devil,  sin is terrible – but I must remind you that I got it from you! And I remind you, devil, that everything good – forgiveness and cleansing and blessing – everything that is good I have freely received from Jesus Christ!”

A.W. Tozer.

I also learned to talk back to the devil anytime he taunts me about my past sins!

Romans 8:1,2 – “1. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Here’s an interesting discourse. I’d like to take you back in time, precisely to the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve in Genesis 3:7-10(KJV).

[7] And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons.

[8] And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

[9] And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

[10] And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.

Emphasis on Genesis 3:10

As innocent as the first Adam was, they had a quick pricking when they erred, a sense of feeling bad. It’s called “conscience”. Every human has a conscience. It’s like an inherent police force that brings us to a place of remorse and judgment. God designed it so in every man.

The moment we do what isn’t right, we know from the inside and this feeling of guilt reminds us of our wrongs. It is there to bring us back right on track and not to hinder us.

Why can’t we stop feeling guilty after sinning

What happens when you sin after being saved?

When a Christian sins, one of the things that will happen is that he will be convicted and feel guilty for his sins as the Spirit of God works to call him to order and bring him back home. Guilt is a sense of wrong after doing wrong and can be likened to godly sorrow. He will not feel free in his spirit again as he knows that something has gone wrong and his relationship with God is endangered. This is why he doesn’t seek to cover up with religious activities, prayers, evangelism, and all such acts. Such breaks down before God in true penitence seeking to be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Let’s look at what the scriptures have about this in 1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

However, we must not take this as a license to sin willfully. See this scripture; Hebrews 10:26-27

[26] For if we sin “willfully” after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

[27] But a certain fearful looking for judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Is eternal salvation true?

Living in this sinful world brings a lot of temptations across our ways for which God provides grace and avenues for victory. At moments of carelessness and forgetfulness, the saint can sin which is a transgression of the law of God.

In John 8:31

[31] Then said Jesus to those Jews “which believed” on him, If ye “continue” in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

Salvation is guaranteed only “if we continue with Christ.” He that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved.

We are not given unconditional eternal security as the word of God makes it known that the soul that sins will die unless he repents.

Our salvation is therefore dependent on our abiding in Christ and abstaining from all appearances of sin. Once saved, forever saved irrespective of how you live your life is a false doctrine!

Is it possible to live without sin?

Yes! It is through God’s grace and the help of the Holy Ghost.

I heard of this analogy, “Can a fish survive outside water? Can a fish live in water and not drink water? The world is full of sin so we cannot live without sin, we only ask for mercy every time, even God knows we’re humans.” This is the lie the devil uses to tie many in the bondage of sin.

A Christian is saved by grace and also sustained by grace. Salvation does not make it impossible for him to sin, it rather empowers him to live above sin as he detests sin and wants to have nothing to do with it. He lives day by day, trusting the grace of God to see him through as he fellowships with the Lord daily and seeks to please him at all times.

Romans 8:11

[11] But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead “shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

When you repent of your sin, you’re translated into a new kingdom. It’s a new birth, you become clean and stainless before God (your past is totally wiped and forgotten) which is the ultimate. Joy fills your heart, there’s a spring of peace that calms your spirit. The devil at this point begins to bombard our minds with guilt so we are soon weary. That’s why we need to take advantage of the authority we have in Christ, and feed our souls with the word of God, at some point you’ll have to constantly affirm your place in Christ.

It is natural to feel guilty after a wrong deed or several wrong deeds. However, there’s no sin too big God cannot forgive.

God in His Love does not want us to sin after we are saved and he has provided his saving and sanctifying grace to cleanse and keep us clean. He expects us to live holy lives and wants us to be blameless before him. When we sin because of carelessness or foolishness, He doesn’t want us to stay away from him (which is what the devil wants), rather, He wants us to run quickly to Him to be cleansed in His precious blood. No sin can be so great that the blood of Jesus cannot wash and that the sacrifice of Christ cannot be atoned. Guilt is not repentance, it is not enough to feel guilty, confession and repentance are what is required of you. Throw away that guilt, instead, yield yourself to the mercy of God.

Is there any difference between sin and guilt?

  • Sin is the transgression of the law. That is a violation of God’s law and commandments. The act of doing what is not right. 1 John 3:4

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

  • Guilt is the regret we felt after doing something wrong. After the effect of wrongdoing.

What happens after I repent? How can I stop feeling guilty?

When believer sins, the devil works overtime to move him from guilt to condemnation by suggesting that he hides from God like Adam or tells God to depart from him like Peter. He will keep showing him why there is no way to go back, why God will be so unhappy that He will reject him or how others will be disappointed in him if others should hear. However, that is not the voice of God. God moves us from guilt to repentance which is what godly sorrow produces in us.

After we have repented and made our ways right, it is possible for guilt to still linger but we must keep in mind that once God forgives, He also forgets that we sinned as we are justified by Christ. We must therefore forgive ourselves and accept God’s forgiveness. Other times, guilt lingers because of restitution that needs to be made or confessions that have not been made, it will therefore be good to confess to a spiritual leader or the offended person to have a conscience void of offense towards God and man. If guilt remains after doing these, it is time to pray it away and live in liberty wherewith Christ has made us free. If the Son, therefore, shall set you free, ye shall be free indeed.

Romans 10:9-10

[9] That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

[10] For with the heart, man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.

1 John 1:9

[9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

It’s a conscious effort.

Know that the word of God declares you free, hence, make your mind believe the word more than your feelings.

I am saved, but I still feel guilty, why?

I am saved, but I still feel guilty, why?

“…with the heart man believes unto righteousness.”

You may feel some shades of guilt probably because of the following;

1. Fear of your terrible past

2. Lack of complete belief in the word of God

3. The devil who’s the accuser of brethren.

Once there is repentance, God is more willing to welcome such back into the fold, forget the past, wash the heart and give more grace to live a victorious life.

To be free from guilt, do this in Hebrews 10:22

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

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