Battling the bully of guilt – Revelation 12:10

One of the blessings we have in living in the Kingdom of God is that the one who would accuse us before God is cast down.  He has no place before the Almighty.  When Jesus established His kingdom, He cast Satan down.

But guilt still plagues us.  It would rob us just as it did Little Faith in Pilgrim’s Progress.  We must stand up to guilt in the strength of Christ and not allow it to rob us of what we’ve been given.  Tonight I want us to see how guilt operates and how we are called to fight it.

Guilt is quite similar to condemnation.  It is determined by what we have done.  If you committed a crime, you stand guilty.  God’s word says we all stand guilty before God – Rom. 3:19.  Men know that have offended God’s holy laws.  The guilt is there and they must do something about it.  The ancients made a practice of placing the guilt on someone in society.  This is clearly documented in the books by French philosopher Rene Girard.  There would be regular sacrifices to appease the guilt of the people.

God gave Moses sacrifices as a picture of what He was doing with their guilt.  He gave a scapegoat who would bear the sins of the people.  Before the “scapegoat” in other societies was a person; now it would be an animal.  The final scapegoat would be Jesus who would bear the sins of God’s people.

Jesus is our guilt-bearer.  We are no longer under the shame of guilt because we have been freed from our guilt in Christ.

Nevertheless guilt remains.  We still sin and even though we confess our sin our enemy brings it back.  What does guilt do to us?

  • Guilt paralyzes us.  When we allow it to remain it keeps us from walking in the light of God’s fellowship.  It says that we are unworthy of God which in itself is true.  But because of what you’ve been given in Christ, to continue in guilt after confession is sin.  It is denying the work of Christ covers you.
  • Guilt manipulates us.  When we feel burdened by already confessed sin, we are susceptible to being jerked around because we think we must pay back the sin.  You can’t ultimately pay back your sin.  And if you’ve been sinned against, after confession has been made, you can’t expect that person to restore you.  You must look to God for that.  Many men and women live beaten down lives and are impotent to the Kingdom of God because every time that start to stand up, Satan uses the guilt of that sin to beat them up and they go back to their hiding place.  Remaining in guilt was what Judas did.  Submitting guilt to God is what Peter did.  What example do you want to follow?
  • Guilt keeps us in sin.  When we feel guilty we think, “What’s the use?”  “Why try anymore?”  But this is not God.  This is another type of manipulation.

We must fight the bully of guilt.  It has no place in the life of a believer.  There is a difference between guilt and conviction.  Conviction is from God.  When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, it is specific and direct.  It is like a surgeon who removes a tumor with a scalpel; it is direct and to the point.  The bully of guilt pretends to be a surgeon but uses a dull hammer that bruises you and renders you helpless.  When you are convicted confess your sin.  If you’ve sinned against someone, confess that too.  But don’t continue in guilt over confessed sin.

How do you stand up to the bully of guilt?

  • Confess your sin and repent – Psalm 51.  Don’t gloss over it; confess it and repent or turn way from it.
  • Train yourselves in the promises of God – Joshua 1:8.
  • Beware of the maneuvers of guilt – Job 16:1-3.
  • Stand up and fight it in the power of the gospel – Ephesians 6:10-13.


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