Summary: Since when I was saved I have seen many so called Christians suffering from self-condemnation and guilt which is quite wrong.
Since when I was saved I have seen many Christians suffering from self-condemnation and guilt. Having suffered myself of the same I know what it means to feel self-condemned and guilty. But I don’t need to share my own experiences. The Bible explained the fact in 1 John 3:21-22 that when our heart does not condemn us we have confidence towards God. In turn this means that if our heart does condemn us, we have no confidence towards Him.
The real antidote to every sickness and diseases is the medicine I.e the healing. The opposite of condemnation and guilt is the righteousness. Righteousness and condemnation are terms that are opposite to each other. If you are righteous then you are not guilty and if you are guilty then you are not righteous. The one is the opposite of the other. In addition, the way that somebody becomes righteous declares also how he could stop being righteous. Example, if somebody in order to be righteous before God he needed to do the what God required of him, then it is obvious that failure to do it would mean that he is no longer righteous, which in turn means that he is unrighteous, guilty, worthy of condemnation. What does then the Bible tell us about righteousness? How can somebody become righteous before God? I know you may have heard “by doing good works”. But is this really what the Bible says?
“Therefore by the works of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified FREELY by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? No: but by the law of faith. THEREFORE WE CONCLUDE THAT A MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH WITHOUT THE DEEDS OF THE LAW.”
This passage, together with many others from the New Testament, is really revolutionary. Gospel means good news and what we just read such news is! As the passage makes clear from the outset, there is no way for somebody to be justified i.e. to become righteous, by the moses law (including the 10 commandments as they also are part of that law). As the Bible makes clear doing good works – even keeping all of the 10 commandments for example, though the law was much more than these - cannot make you righteous before God. This is not because doing good works is something bad but because good works were never enough and were never intended to make us righteous before Him. We cannot be righteous before God through works. If then your righteous is based on your works, this is no righteousness at all. Instead it is something self made that though it may satisfy your consciousness for a while, it has no validity before God. If you therefore feel guilty and condemned it is because you believe your works are not enough and you think that this has affected how God sees you. You may feel that He is angry at you because of what you did or you failed to do and you may feel that He looks at you and says: “how could you ever do this? You failed me. You are guilty”. This is not the voice of God dear brother and sister. God never expected that you will be righteous before Him through works. Instead He made you righteous right away, as a gift, (“being justified by His grace as a gift” (Romans 3:24)) when you believed in His Son. You are righteous NOW! Righteousness therefore is not something that we acquire gradually. Instead we become righteous at the moment we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His resurrection from the dead. It is a GIFT, not something we earned as exchange for our deeds (“a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28)).
We can also see the same fact in:
“For he [God] has made him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.”