Guilty Conscience

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What does the Bible say about having a guilty conscience?

The Bible does not look favorably on a guilty conscience.
  • A guilty conscience does not acknowledge what Jesus Christ did on the cross. When Jesus died and rose, He was the ultimate sacrifice, offering complete atonement and forgiveness for humanity for those who accept Him as their Lord and Savior.

    The Bible states emphatically that those who accept Jesus, and draw near to God can have their hearts purified from a guilty conscience. Hebrews 10:22 says, “Let us go right into the presence of God, with true hearts fully trusting him. For our evil consciences have been sprinkled with Christ's blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.”

  • A guilty conscience has the wrong focus. Having a guilty conscience places our eyes on ourselves and it causes us to have adverse attitudes.

  • A man who suffers from guilt wrote: “I can attest to what it is like to have a guilty conscience and the disharmony and lack of joy guilt has brought into my life. When I suffer with a guilty conscience, I feel bad about everything. I dwell on the guilt instead of following the instructions of Philippians 4:8-9: ‘And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.’”

  • Satan enjoys it when you have a guilty conscience. 1 Peter 5:8-9 says, “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.” It is Satan’s way of binding the soul, preventing us from accepting, recognizing, and walking in the ways of God.

  • A guilty conscience revolves around fear and anxiety. Instead, we can come before God, their heavenly Father and cry out to Him, and obtain mercy and grace. God’s love and ways overcome the guilty conscience and its treachery on the soul. 1 John 4:17-19 shares this: “And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world. Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that his love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of his loving us first.”

  • A guilty conscience brings condemnation on ourselves because our eyes are on what we do or have done and not fixated on what Jesus Christ has done for us. 1 John 1:7-10 says, “But if we are living in the light of God's presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”


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