Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Why do I feel guilty?

Welcome again to my blog. I am grateful you have taken the time to visit. 
These last few weeks we have discussed our secure position before God as believers in Jesus Christ. These are powerful promises! Please review them if you have not read those blogs.
Our research has shown that Christians generally have better wellbeing and less depression than non-Christians. Why then are Christians known for feeling guilty?  This week let us discuss the problem and next week we will discuss the solutions.
Teleios conducted 2 surveys: one at a major secular college campus and another in a well instructed evangelical church. Approximately 70% of participants in both surveys felt guilty! Fortunately, the level of guilt was mild. 
All the causes of this affliction are not known. Indeed, in the church-based survey of adults the overwhelming reason for guilt was due to a believer thinking their current sin(s) had somehow separated them from God and hurt their relationship with Christ; they felt badly about it! In my experience, it is very common for almost every person I teach to have felt some level of guilt. 
Why is this the case? Well we do not know all the causes but below are some potentials:
  • We inflict it on our selves 
  • We induce it in each other
Some churches induce it through legalistic regulations. Indeed, one pastor once sheepishly told me it can be good for motivating people!
Why do Christians feel guilty? Our sins are forgiven! Can you name a verse in the Bible that says we should feel guilty? I certainly cannot.
An example I often tell my students is that I have studied Greek, the original language of the Bible, for 25 years. Until recently I did not even know the Greek word for ‘guilt’ despite all my studies! The Bible does just not discuss it!
Of course, because I told the story several times I learned of some examples. However, the few times it's used is in the New Testament and it is not related to believers’ guilt. We are not to feel guilty!
The problem of guilt can be a big one because it:
  • Teaches a lie about God 
  • Robs us of our joy of salvation 
  • Captures our emotions in incorrect thinking and takes us away from positive role of the Christian life
  • Minimizes the actions of the church
So, what is the cure? Let's discuss this next week. Thank you for joining me as always.

For questions or to view more of our research…

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

God's own possession, what a marvelous praise

Welcome again to my blog. I am grateful you have taken the time to visit. 

We’ve been discussing the results of personal salvation in Christ and why it might be associated with enhanced wellbeing. We have covered what happens at the time of salvation, as taught in the Bible, resulting in a steadfast new and wonderful position of a believer. This week let us discuss the great promise of our eternal possession by God. 
The wonderful story of our being the possession of God starts in Exodus 19:5-6 when God told the Israelites that He intended them to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation and His peculiar possession. They failed in their commitment to God and sinned against Him. Therefore, they did not become a kingdom of priests or a holy nation. However, God will keep His promise to Israel that the nation would be His eternal possession (Psalm 89; Psalm 132:11-17; Romans 11:26-29).
As we know, the sin of Israel under the law was to show us our need for Christ (Galatians 3:24). He has come and died for our sins, that through Him, those who believe on his death on the cross by faith will have eternal life. As believers, God has enabled us to become a kingdom of priests, a holy nation and His peculiar possession (1 Peter 2:9).
How can Christians do this when the Israelis could not? It is because we have the Holy Spirit given to us as a seal to our redemption and to mark us as His eternal possession (Ephesians 1:13-14).
Christ noted that as His chosen, we are in His hands and cannot be removed. We are also in God’s hands and cannot be removed (John 10:28-30). Several other scriptures also note that we are God’s possession (1 Thessalonians 5:9; 2 Thessalonians 2:14; Hebrews 10:39).
We have in general, God’s promise that He will secure us in His power unto salvation (2 Timothy 1:12; Philippians 1:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:23). 
We have covered many marvelous promises of our position as a believer that cannot be overturned, either because of legal, morphological reasons or through the direct power of God. These promises include: spiritual baptism, membership in the universal church, sealing by the Holy Spirit, adoption, justification, and now being made God's possession. 
Thank you for joining me this week and please come again next week as we continue to discuss the amazing power of God's word in our lives.

For questions or to view more of our research…