In this article I’ll wrap up my four-part series on guilt.
“So what do I do with my guilt?”
Short answer: give it to Jesus–Translation: let Jesus take responsibility for your guilt. What sense does it make for you and Jesus to be punished for the same Sin?
Long answer: for those who are used to operating under guilt and manipulating others using guilt, walking away from guilt as a lifestyle is a process.
The secret lies in this simple statement:
“For he[/she] who has died is freed from sin.” – Romans 6:7
Everybody in the religious community has heard or spoken the phrase made popular by Jesus in the Gospels “deny him-/her-/your-/one’s self” and most people equate the idea with any one of several levels of discipline, self-control or ascetic practice to demonstrate a high level of “spirituality.” And it goes without saying that the human species would’ve gone extinct quite a long time ago without the ability to focus on a critical task while ignoring the normal appetites and impulses of the body (referred to in the Bible as “the flesh”).
But that’s NOT what Paul is referring to in Romans 6:7. Man has tamed and domesticated virtually every creature under Heaven–except for himself, and (thank God) because of the gift of Intelligence the human species continues the fight for self-mastery.
But self-mastery is not death. Only death can free a human soul from Sin.
“Are you advocating some sort of spiritual (or even physical) euthanasia or suicide.”
No; that would be sin. But to continue in the Christian analogy of the Cross of Christ, tell me something: have you ever considered the fact that it is impossible for any person to crucify themselves?
(light comes on)
If Jesus had killed himself (sinning against His own body), His sacrifice for Sin would NOT have been accepted. Jesus was unjustly accused, convicted and executed for crimes HE DID NOT COMMIT by men far worthier of death than He was…and He allowed them to do this to Him of His Own Volition.
Now in Romans 12 Paul does encourage his readers to offer their bodies to God as a “living sacrifice.” However Paul assumes that the reader has first took part in the Death of Christ as demonstrated in the public proclamation of baptism. From that point forward, Paul admonishes his Christian readers to “reckon” themselves (to conclude with firm conviction that they are) dead to Sin (and therewith to Self) and alive to God through the historical Death, Burial and Resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
Now we come to The Great Nexus of The Gospel missed by all religious folk and far too many Christians…
Self-crucifixion (like suicide) is unacceptable, illegal and Biblically prohibited.
Self-denial (fundamental to the world’s way of achieving progress) runs the risk of falling into Pride–the fountain of all Sin.
The true Bane and Destroyer of all selfishness, self-obsession and Sin is the Love of God: the Transcendent Unity that exists between the Members of the Godhead! Everything the New Testament describes concerning the Person of Jesus Christ is written to bring the isolated Sinner to the simple realization that he/she is LOVED UNCONDITIONALLY by their Creator Who only sees Himself in them.
This IDEA becomes experience when the Spirit of Christ is poured into the believer without measure (John 3:34). The Fullness of the Spirit, which is the Very CORE of The Gospel, is minimized, mitigated and explained away by today’s “Christianity.”
Once you’ve partaken of Christ in this way, the same old religious status quo will no longer suffice, and you will exclaim with the Apostle Paul “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life!” (Romans 2:29; Romans 7:6; 2nd Corinthians 3:3; 2nd Corinthians 3:6).