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The Enormous Power of Guilt and Shame

by Bruce Avilla
(Fayetteville, TN. USA)

My favorite part of this series is part 5, and the section 3 where you are talking about Col. 2:13-14 and the “certificate of debt” being taken “out of the way”. The certificate of death is the record of charges that stands against each individual, a record of their indebtedness as sinners. The record of that sin is in our hearts and eats at our consciences with guilt and condemnation – we’re our own worst enemy when it comes to living a guilt-free life!

God offers us forgiveness through Jesus, and that forgiveness is able to take the guilt of sin “out of the way” to being a stumbling block to getting back to God’s love. I like the sentence “The forgiveness, on our part, involves the canceling out of the record of our indebtedness, removing it from our consciences, "setting us free" from our inner guilt!” This is truly the Good News of the Gospel of Christ. There is no reason for us to stay away from God’s love once we understand that HE has the key to removing the guilt of sin.

This study has a very practical application for parents disciplining their children, too. If we must correct our children in their wrongdoing, we need to give them a way out of their guilt and shame, or it can break them down with a heavy burden. Our goal as parents, just like God to us, is to bring them to a state of repentance where they understand and acknowledge their sin, ask for sincere forgiveness, and then we as parents express to them our enduring love for them, even when they have done wrong. There will still be consequences for their actions – it’s never “cheap love” – just like Christ’s death was the most costly price paid in the universe for man’s transgressions.

Thanks to Ray for your persistent digging deep into some of these word studies, and for your easy to understand explanations that always maintain a focus on the love God has for us, and for his amazing character that was displayed in the life of Jesus our Savior.

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The Greek has multiple words for forgiveness? God forgives (charizomai) whether we ask or not. Receiving forgiveness (apheimi) is by our choice.
God always forgives!