Freedom from a Guilty Conscience
A guilty conscience is one of the “weights” that the runner must “lay aside” in the Christian race (Hebrews 12:1). The apostle Paul wrote to his son in the faith, “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5).
The following seven questions can serve as a personal study guide. For further benefit, pray over these passages and journal your observations and insights on a separate page (or reformat this study in your word processor).
1. How do you gain God’s righteousness?
“Therefore, having been justified [declared righteous] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:1
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
2. Who purchased your righteousness?
“For He [God the Father] made Him [the Son] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
3. How many of our sins were judicially pardoned through your salvation?
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13,14
4. Does God want to cleanse His children of their failures?
“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ Says the LORD, ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.'” Isaiah 1:18
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7
5. What blessings do you have in Christ?
“But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption–that, as it is written, ‘He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.'” 1 Corinthians 1:30,31
6. What is your new spiritual identity?
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9,10
7. What should be your attitude toward the past?
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:11-14
Divine favor is not a license for intentional wrong doing; grace draws us into God’s love and motivates cooperative obedience. Christ declared, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21).
To maintain a clear conscience, stay focused on your union with Christ (John 15:1-8). Embrace the Cross and confess known sins (Luke 9:23; 1 John 1:9). Accept God’s cleansing by faith and forgive yourself!