[PC-USA] 2017-04-25 - True Guilt vs. False Guilt

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In the 1970s, there was a slogan by some groups who claimed that "We are all guilty." To a limited degree, that is actually true. Every single one of us has sinned and will continue to do so, until we leave this Earth.

Never one to mince words, the Apostle Paul puts it rather plainly, echoing the Prophet Isaiah in earlier times.

Romans 3:1-10 (The Message)
There’s nobody living right, not even one,
  nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.
They’ve all taken the wrong turn;
  they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.
No one’s living right;
  I can’t find a single one.
Their throats are gaping graves,
  their tongues slick as mudslides.
Every word they speak is tinged with poison.
  They open their mouths and pollute the air.
They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year,
  litter the land with heartbreak and ruin,
Don’t know the first thing about living with others.
  They never give God the time of day.

Each one of us is 100% responsible for our own sins. As individuals, we are each to account to God, and any time a sin comes to our mind, we should immediately confess it and ask for God’s forgiveness. We are all guilty every day, for none of us are perfect. If I say something hurtful, if I know that before I say that: Guilty. If I cut someone off in traffic (I don't; this is hypothetical.): Guilty. If I take the Lord's name in vain: Guilty. If I am wasteful of time or money: Guilty.

However, we are not accountable for the sins of people who lived hundreds of years ago, not accountable for our family members’ or friends’ sins, nor are we guilty for how we look, or for our race, or the place we were born. These are good examples of false guilt. In fact, whether God made you or me Caucasian or African-American or Asian or something else - to apologize for that and try to “make amends” for His work, is an insult to God, since He Is the one who created us before we were born. That kind of “guilt” is man-made and thus unbiblical. We have enough of our own true guilt to confess and make amends for; we do not need to heap on invented, false guilt.

I see sad lives being wasted, of people bemoaning that God made them a certain way, when instead, they should spending their time in living lives of usefulness to God and using everything they have, in living in ways that actually count. As Psalm 139:13-14 teaches us that He created us in our mothers’ wombs, and that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” God doesn’t intend for us to apologize for HIS work; He intends for us to spend our time and talents in living God-honoring, productive and helpful lives. God doesn’t hold us responsible for anything else - only what we ourselves do, say and can control. We must only let the Holy Spirit affix guilt to our souls, and that only for our own sins. We must not accept unmerited guilt from people. We are only responsible for our own behavior, not things that are totally out of our control. See Galatians 6:4.

The Bible warns us against taking up doctrines, rather than God’s. (See Mark 7). We are to live our lives in trust that God made us as He intended, put us where He wanted us, and gave us the abilities He will use for His glory.

To live otherwise, is to live in doubt of God’s wisdom, righteousness and justice.

Comments or Questions?
[email jan] Janice P. Moser

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