Remember to make this a guilt free, no condemnation day. When we allow guilt in, then that guilt takes on a life if its own, forming our decisions we make, taking us from His rest back to our works. We live by faith (what Jesus has done to deliver us completely) not by sight, (which is being persuaded by circumstances and what we see, relying on what we can do in our own effort.) accept your 100% pure INNOCENCE today, because you ARE innocent. You are not guilty; your decisions are right when they are based on your innocence! Circumstance may scream differently, but truth trumps circumstance! You will be so much better off because of your decision to believe the truth of the gospel! Be careful not to listen to the voice of FEAR and GUILT, those two voices create problems, not solve them. Look to the answer, He loves you, meditate on His love, for ONLY His love removes ALL fear in our hearts.
The other day I let guilt creep in and I clearly saw my decision I made was based on guilt and not God’s love or peace. Wow that can change the direction of our ship in a hurry. Always innocence and peace, and no guilt ever!!
For example: a woman leaves her husband because of abuse (any kind) and religious zealots begin to heap guilt upon her, throwing scripture at her, yelling “you must reconcile, you must forgive!” So out of guilt the woman returns home to reconcile (at least on her part, for the husband is not even a Christian in this example), for what, more abuse, and probably intensified as well. The legalistic religious zealots were equally abusive because of their pride and ignorance of God’s love and grace. As a matter of fact, Jesus was much harder on the legalistic bible toting, church going, mask wearing, luke warm (mixing law and grace) so-called Christian, than the woman at the well who had five husbands. What did Jesus do, He loved her and never condemned her, and she was set free by HIS LOVE! He didn’t even tell her to dump her boyfriend and reconcile with husband number five, nor the first husband. Jesus said “I did not come to condemn (as the religious zealots do) the world, but to SAVE the world. Like it or not, God’s love is UN-CONDITIONAL or without obligation, and when this woman walks, where is Christ? Hidden in her, in God, when she walks, He is with her, matter of fact he gave her the strength to walk out to freedom, and He will vindicate her too. God is so good!!!
Now however, let me share another example of how our innocence (righteousness) also affects our every decision. The same person mentioned above, leaves an abusive relationship, and she knows she is the righteousness (innocence) of God in Christ, she also knows God never ever ever created anyone to be abused or controlled by another human being, but to be absolutely innocent and free. She is a FREE woman already because of her knowledge of Gods love and grace, she knows God loves her unconditionally and has made her FOREVER innocent, and she knows that no religious zealot can rob her of her innocence! Wow what a smart woman! Anyway, when she is attacked by the legalistic zealots, she remains in peace, because she knows that she lives by faith (the persuasion of God’s word in her heart that she is unconditionally loved, innocent, and yes holy) not by sight, no matter what the circumstances look like, no matter how many so-called religious friends have betrayed her. God’s love for her and her persuasion of her innocence given to her will cause her to prevail and be vindicated!! No abusive husband or betraying religious ex-friends can stop the hand of a loving mighty protective Father, to save her and her children!
Do you see now how our everyday decisions are given life by what we believe? Guilt brings life to the wrong decisions, and innocence brings life to the right decisions. The word agape which describes the God kind of love, is also defined; “as a shepherd leads His sheep to REST.” Knowing who you are in Christ as a result of His finished work of the cross, unveils His love for you, without condition, or obligation; thus making you free. This person is freer than her very accusers. Yes she has been led to that perfect place of Rest, by His love! Her and her Father are sitting together with their feet up on the ottoman in her Fathers favorite resting place; the temple of her heart, as He declares her victory. Now that is amazing grace, from an amazing Father, and the finished work of an amazing Son, delivered to us by an amazing Holy Spirit!! Wow His love takes my breath away!!
Guilt or innocence? Do you see the importance of knowing who you are in Christ? I know I mentioned those pesky religious zealots many times; they are the ones who think they know what is best for you, based on the law. They mix law and grace, and then try to intimidate you with their rules. They are easy to spot, and will tell you they believe in grace BUT, you have to follow this rule or command, pray hard, among other things to please God, and get God to accept you. Eph 1:6 says you are accepted in the beloved. When? When Jesus paid the price and finished the work. No amount of efforts, works, rules or commands will bring God’s acceptance, because you are always and forever accepted, and God is always pleased with you “just as you are!” Now that is a greater relief than Rolaids!
We love because He first loved us. Under the “law” we were told to love The Lord God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” Is this possible 24/7? Nope you can’t do it. After the Cross, grace says in 1 John 4:10 “In this is love, NOT that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (satisfying sacrifice) for our sins. The legalistic tries to earn God’s love and acceptance, which means they MUST perform through works and self efforts. The Grace person rests (Heb 4) in the truth that Jesus did it all at the cross, and there is nothing left for them to do, no works or efforts to perform, just rest in Him.
Understanding this performance based Christianity (law) vs rest based Christianity (grace) is the crucial difference between guilt or innocence based decisions. Why? Because the law or performance requirements always scream “you didn’t do enough.” No matter how long you study, pray, nor how many times you attend church, you will always, because it is the design of the law, feel inadequate, and like you haven’t done enough, always driven to do more, to be pleasing to God. That my friend is bondage!
On the other hand, grace tells you to enter His rest. Why? Because Jesus did it all, and there is nothing left for you to do, but receive His love and blessings resulting in the “FINISHED” work.
The law of performance will ALWAYS make you feel guilty, and grace will ALWAYS assure you of your acceptance and innocence. All sins and shortcomings were forgiven and forever removed at the cross never to be brought up again. Grace says you are forgiven, and you didn’t even have to ask for it! Are you saying that I don’t even have to repent? In the sense that your asking, yes, but let me explain.
The word repent/repentance was actually added, changing the actual Greek word “Metanoia” to English “repentance.” There is a huge difference between the two. In the intro of the Mirror Translation Bible by Francois du Toit, he states the following: “For many years deliberate as well as oblivious errors in translations were repeated and have empowered the religious institution of the day to influence, manipulate and even abuse masses of people.
Consider the word metanoia, consisting of two components, meta, together with, nous, mind, suggesting a radical mind shift. This word has been translated regularly as repentance, which is an old English word borrowed from the Latin, which means penance. This gross deception led to the perverted doctrines of indulgences, where naive ignorant people were led to believe that they need to purchase favor from an angry god! Most cathedrals as well as many ministries were funded with guilt money!
English translations do little to help us understand what repentance truly is. Until Jerome’s Latin Vulgate translation, the word metanoia was commonly used. For instance, Tertullian wrote in 198 A.D., “In Greek, metanoia is not a confession of sins but a change of mind.” But despite this the Latin fathers begin to translate the word as “do penance” following the Roman Catholic teaching on doing penance in order to win God’s favor. In 1430, Lorenzo Valla, a Catholic theologian, began a critical study of Jerome’s Latin Vulgate and Valla pointed out many mistakes that Jerome had made. Sadly, the Vulgate-Only crowd of Valla’s day forced him to renounce many of the changes that he noted needed in the Vulgate including the poor translation of metanoia.”
If you don’t know that you are forgiven, or think that you must “repent” to be forgiven, then you will live under the constant weight of guilt and your decisions in life will be made driven by guilt, instead of innocence. This process will put you in the performance mode, trying to purchase, through your efforts, favor from God. This way of living will put you on a downward spiral full of “hardships, labors and annoyances” which, by the way, is the definition of evil in much of the New Testament.
Metanoia on the other hand speaks of a change of mind. Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand or radically change your (mind) way of thinking for the kingdom of God is at hand, and it is radically different from the religious way of thinking. Romans 2:4 …the goodness of God leads you to repentance. (a radical change of mind.) God’s goodness will cause you to see how good He really is, and how much He loves you, causing your mind to radically change concerning your former twisted thoughts about God. It will also bring you to the place of understanding that the sin problem was removed, and you are forever forgiven, period!
Let me make one more point about our innocence before I wrap this up. In Heb 10:1-3 “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.” Under the law there was a yearly reminder of sins. Yearly, not daily, not minute by minute but yearly. I want you to see this because we have a better covenant than a yearly reminder of sin! If there were a perfect sacrifice for sins, then the worshipers would have no more consciousness of sins according to verse 2. Verse 9 and 10 say …He takes away the first (covenant of law) that He may establish the second (covenant of grace). By that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ ONCE OR ALL. The perfect sacrifice Jesus removed the sin, and therefore the sin-consciousness thus giving us our righteousness (innocence) consciousness. The guilt was removed with the sin and we became the righteousness of God. Righteousness means innocent, guiltless, and faultless! The guilt was forever removed, and you were given the very innocence of God. Because of this innocence you have peace. Let the peace of God guide your every decision in life.
I mentioned that under the law they had a yearly reminder of sin, I also mentioned that we have a better, even a perfect covenant now. However religion tells us that the Holy Spirit will convict you of your every sin, moment by moment. Friends, if that were true, then our covenant would not be as good as the old, because then they had a yearly reminder, and now religion says we have a moment by moment reminder. That is a lie, the Holy Spirit does not convict you of sin, rather He convinces you of righteousness. Let’s examine the verse religion uses and see for ourselves. John 16:9-11 About sin, because they do not believe in Me (they is the “world” He was speaking to the disciples); About righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you will see Me no longer (you tells us He is talking to the believer, the disciples, saying the Holy Spirit will convince you of your righteousness, or innocence); About judgment, because the ruler of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him. (Here He is addressing the accuser, Satan). That changes everything when we read the verses in context. The accuser accuses, and the Holy Spirit loves you and convinces you of your righteousness! Meditate on that awhile. You are innocent, Jesus judged you “not guilty!” Don’t let guilt lead in your decisions ever again, let His innocence and peace rule in your heart and enjoy the super abundant life Jesus came to give you! Now does it make sense how you can reign in life through one Christ Jesus?