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Wordwise Insight, Issue #148
November 14, 2016


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): What should Christians do about guilt feelings for sin already forgiven?

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

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Guilt Feelings

QUESTION: A Christian writes, "I have repeatedly gone back to my old ways of living two lives, and I have been a terrible hypocrite. I love Jesus, and God my Father, and I believe I am indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

As I enter my later years I have made a decision to avoid sinning in every way, but I live with the guilt of the years since Jesus opened my eyes to His truth. How do I handle this guilt?"

ANSWER: Thank you for your frank description of what's happening in your life. It's not easy to give a short answer to your question, but let me cover a few things.

1. Standing and State It's important to distinguish between these two great realities. When a person trusts in Christ for salvation, he is said to be "in Christ" as far as his legal standing is concerned (I Cor. 1:30). God sees him as participating in Christ's death and resurrection, "in Him."

He is clothed in the righteousness of Christ (Gal. 3:26-27), and has an eternally perfect standing before God (Heb. 10:14), because that standing is based on Christ's unchanging righteousness, not his own.

But the Bible also speaks of another reality, that Christ is dwelling within us, by His Holy Spirit. Paul says, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me" (Gal. 2:20). That has to do, not with our standing, but with our spiritual state.

We are to live out the life of Christ implanted within us. While our standing can never change, because Christ never changes, our state is quite different. It's to be hoped that we will continue to grow in our Christian lives. But we do stumble from time to time. Even as children disobey their parents, we disobey our heavenly Father.

We look forward to the day when ...

(To read the remainder of this article, click on Guilt Feelings.)


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

I have developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will take part in the discussion!

Through 2010, almanac entries dealt with what happened in hymn history on each day of the year. Beginning in 2011, I hope to analyze hymns from a biblical standpoint, linking to the material that has come before.

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.

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