Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Breaking Chains

 Wednesday, August 24, 2022 Some material taken from The Bondage of False Guilt

Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.  Romans 5:1-2 NASB

Breaking Chains

When God looks at us, He does not see our sin, guilt, and shame. He sees our redemption, our righteousness in Him, and our immeasurable value to Him as His child. We don’t see this when we look in the mirror. We usually only see all the flaws - physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental. We can find ourselves in a perpetual cycle of shame and false guilt. This is not what God had intended for His children who are made new in Him, who get a whole new identity when we become His. He sacrificed His Son on the cross so that we could live free – no bondage and no chains.

If we are to break the chain of false guilt, then we must embrace Christ's
atonement rather than our own. – Van Houser

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 Our overactive consciences and false guilt keeps us from truly embracing this and believing it is for us, not someone else. The Bible clearly teaches that Christ's atonement was for our sins, while we were in our most despicable state. His atonement was not only given to those who got their act together. It is for all of us who don’t! God knew then and He still knows today that we will never be perfect because perfect does not happen this side of heaven. Perfect is reserved for God, Jesus, and eternity. When we get to heaven we will be made whole but not before.

 Even though we hear that Salvation and atonement are gifts and there is nothing we can do to earn it, we still strive and feel relentless shame and guilt, instead of His relentless love that He intended for us. We are seeking self-atonement or striving to measure us in our own eyes.

When we strive for self-atonement, we are basically saying that Christ’s atonement for us was not enough, and we believe we need to do more to “qualify” for His love, salvation, and eternal life.

Some beliefs that are typical of seeking self-atonement are:

A belief that God will love me even more when I do enough to earn it…

My performance matters regarding my salvation…

His grace is not free, I must earn it…

My works are just as important as His finished work in me…

Isaiah 64:6 confirms that we are not capable of our own righteousness. Only someone with clean hands and a sinless life can cleanse us, redeem us, and He gives us His righteousness as His child. It is only because of Him that we are made righteous.

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. Isaiah 64:6

Only God can break the chains of false guilt, shame, and every other sin. Only Christ’s atonement and what He did on the cross will give us the acceptance, love, mercy, righteousness, freedom from guilt and sin, and the inheritance we so desperately seek to earn. As with every other circumstance in life, He is the only true source of hope to be found. So hope in Him. Trust in Him. Release yourself from having to prove your worth, value, and goodness to yourself, and to a world who does not look through the lens of our Heavenly Father. You are already righteous and have unfathomable worth in His eyes.

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