Breaking Free From Guilt & Shame (Romans 8)

by Chris Ryan

Signs I struggle with Guilt and Shame:

  • I feel distant from God
  • I feel like giving up
  • *I am highly performance conscious
  • I have high anxiety levels
  • I am so tired
  • I don’t deal w/ compliments or gifts well
  • I feel as if I don’t belong
  • I’m afraid of being deserted
  • I use a lot of negative “self-talk”
  • I don’t allow myself to make decisions
  • I am over-responsible: It’s all my fault
  • I can’t have guilt-free fun
  • I feel inadequate or a failure (see myself in “victim mode”)

Guilt: “I did something bad (wrong).”

 Shame: “I am bad.  My identity is wrong.”

As a believer, I need to rest in the reality that:

1. God forgives me CURRENTLY.

“Therefore, there is now…” Rom. 8:1a (See Heb. 10:14)

2. God forgives me COMPLETELY.

“Therefore, there is now no…”  Rom. 8:1b

no here in Greek here means: “as strong as all time”

– can’t be undone

3. God forgives me LEGALLY.

“…condemnation…” Rom. 8:1c (See Rom. 8:33)

-condemnation is a legal term – criminal/crime

This means:

  • God does not REJECT me when I fall
  • God is not SURPRISED BY me when I’m inconsistent
  • God does not PUNISH me when I sin

What’s the difference b/n punishment and discipline?

What’s the difference b/n condemnation and conviction?

4. God forgive me  ALREADY (IT IS COMPLETED).

“…for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Chris Jesus the law of  the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son…” Rom. 8:1-3

So …what do I as a Christian when I sin?

  1. Remember Christ is your advocate (Romans 8:33)
  2. Confess (acknowledge) sin and “agree” with God’s grace on you
  3. Remember you are forgiven and work on forgiving self.
  4. Make step to move forward out of sinful patterns. (chose to not be powerless).

How can I tell if I am sensing the Holy Spirit conviction or Satan’s accusations?  Here are some observations summarized below.

     Condemnation/Punishment               Conviction/Discipline

  • Purpose:  “Payback”; assign guilt            To correct; promote growth
  • Attitude:   Anger                                          Future
  • Result:      Fear, guilt, hostility, death      Security, growth
  • Source:     Satan                                            Holy Spirit

for believer)

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Cor. 7:10

“And Joshua said, ‘Ah sovereign Lord…O Lord, what can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies?…The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Stand up!  What are you doing down on your face?  Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep…Tell them, Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow…’” Joshua 7:8-11

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness…” Rom 8:26

“Who is he that condemns Christ Jesus…is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Rom. 8:33,34

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” 1 John 2:1

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of God, and the authority of his Christ.  For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” Rev. 12:10

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus” Rom. 8:1

So why not sin?  What happens when a Christian sins?

  1. Conviction (John 16:8; Acts 2:37)
  2. Hurts others and myself (Gal. 6:7-8)
  3. My fruitfulness is limited (John 15:4)
  4. Loving discipline from God (Heb. 12:9-11)

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