“Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him. And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us.”1 John 3:19-24 NLT
In modern psychology, most anxiety is said to be caused by “feelings of guilt.” This is distinct from actual guilt because there is no literal right or wrong in a godless understanding of the universe. The salvation that psychology offers is one from this feeling of guilt. Here John touches on this point. Guilt feelings are inevitable if you are one who is guilty. Christianity allows us to be guilty and to feel bad about it. But it also puts us into a world that continues to make sense, by placing our salvation into the hands of a god whose response to our sin and his offer of salvation is contingent. If we place our faith in him. The implications of our guilt and its consequences are removed. We now have a clean slate on which to act as non-guilty citizens of heaven. By living as free citizens, bold and unafraid, we create evidence of our righteousness to fuel our conviction that we are not guilty any longer. It all starts with belief in Jesus but ends in a life like Jesus’. Because of this, we are able to live confidently before God and man. We can now come to him as a father and be bold in his presence. We are freed to love our fellow image-bearers because we are no longer guilty of secretly trying to murder them for our own gain. This is all an outworking of our submission to the truth that Jesus is the Christ, the son of the living God.
This post first appeared at JoshMcGary.com