Q&A: Dealing with guilt from the past

Q: I’ve got a question for you. I’ve tried to lay down my past…my problem is that some of the really bad things that haunt me were done after my conversion. I’ve repented, and I struggle and fight the old man daily, but I don’t “live” in the things I’m referring to…yet I can’t shake the “unworthy” feelings…or the nagging doubt as to my actual salvation…just thought I’dget your take on that.

A: Thanks for your email. I do not believe that guilt, condemnation, shame, or discouragement are from God. When you feel those things, you have to take those thoughts captive and remind yourself what the truth is because scripture tells us that “in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And scripture also says….. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Zero condemnation. Ever!

God gives us conviction not guilt. Conviction is from God and is always very specific about something you have just done or are preparing to do that is not pleasing to God. Conviction is never condemning. Guilt is from the enemy and is a general sense that you are bad and unworthy, and that God is mad at you.

If you are feeling the conviction from the Holy Spirit telling you that you have sinned, then all you need to do is repent and turn away from that sin. If it is guilt from the enemy that you are experiencing, then take those thoughts captive and believe what the truth is.

Scripture clearly teaches the principle of “once saved, always saved.” We do not believe that there is anything a person can do to earn his/her salvation and therefore believe that there is nothing they can do to lose it either. Salvation is a free gift from God. Even the faith we have to believe is given to us by the father (Eph. 2:8-9). And once you have crossed over from death to life and truly entered into a relationship with Christ scripture is clear that nothing can separate us from Him.

I hope I have answered your questions. If I can help you with anything else, please let me know. I hope you have a great week.

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