Last week we began a discussion that Christians often have a low level of guilt. This week let’s discuss potential cures.
The world screams that Christians surely have guilt because of all the restrictions of Scripture that must induce this emotion. Guess what? Teleios’ research indicates quite the opposite! We have shown if you know Scripture, the great freedom of salvation, and live as a Christian by faith, you won’t feel guilty!
In a survey at a large secular state university, Teleios found about 70% of both evangelical and social Christians noted they felt mild guilt while still reporting high levels of wellbeing. Interestingly, those who reported to be both evangelical and born-again (as opposed to just one or the other) had greater wellbeing. Further, those who reported they were evangelical, born-again and adhered to their faith, none had bad wellbeing and similar guilt levels as other groups.
Further, we found in a survey in a well taught evangelical church that those with greater knowledge about the Christian faith and who practiced the faith (fellowship, praise, prayer, outreach and Bible study) noted less guilt than those who did not.
We don’t know exactly all the treatments for Christian guilt, but here are a few clues that might help:
· A good relationship with God, NOT! – Understand what your relationship with God is not. It is not based on being saved by Christ and then adding a works oriented system that gives us access to God only if we feel we deserve it. Teleios research indicates this lingering doubt of God’s acceptance and having to work for His approval is the most common cause of Christian guilt (internal data, Teleios). This is not scriptural.
· A true Bible based relationship – Realize on what a relationship with God is really based. Scripture describes a secure position before God by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Therefore, assure yourself that you have trusted by faith, once for all time, your forgiveness of sins to God to salvation (II Peter 1:10). This belief in God’s forgiveness allows us to have unrestricted access to God by prayer, without fear of rejection (Hebrews 10:20-23).
· Eternally secure – Be confident in your eternal security. As we have recently covered not only does the Bible tell us we are secure (John 10:28-29, I Peter 1:4-6. Romans 8:29ff), but we hold positions that cannot be morphologically or legally undone (please see recent blogs). Indeed God causes us to persevere (II Timothy 1:12).
· Un-chargeable – No one can bring a charge against us as we are declared just; only Christ can judge (Romans 8:33)!
· Practice your faith – Studying scripture, teaching it to others, good fellowship, praise to God, and prayer allow us to have the knowledge and the right mindset of our standing before God through Christ. When you first know what you should be knowing, and do what you should be doing, the confident knowledge of our salvation follows (Colossians 1: 9-14).
Even if you have sinned as a Christian (as we all have), and even if the sin is chronic, the biblical answer is not to feel guilty but to be obedient. We are already forgiven! Otherwise, do what you should be doing and most likely you will not feel guilty.
In summary, base your relationship with God on biblical facts, not your emotions.
This is a great concept!
Thanks for joining me. Visit again next week as we start a series on the Christian life and the wonderful promises of Scripture and their benefits to us.
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