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The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
From the week ending 03/23/03

The Angelic Conflict
Part 19
The Doctrine of Guilt. Part 2.
Hosea 5:15-6:1

We are continuing our study of the Doctrine of Guilt, as a part of Satan's plan to deceive the human race. By way of review, under our Definition and Description in Point 1, we defined guilt as:

1. The fact of being responsible for an offense or wrongdoing.

2. Culpability for a crime or lesser breach of regulations.

3. Remorseful awareness of having done something wrong. 

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we know that we have peace with God, and He does not remember our sins.

There are three directions of manipulation in the life of any believer under the guilt complex of sins:

1. The manipulation of yourself (your own guilt trip). 

2. Guilt used by others to manipulate you. 

3. Being converted to legalism, and then becoming a manipulator of others. 

Point 2, which we have already begun, is Discerning True Guilt from False Guilt. Whether you realize it or not, God the Holy Spirit is working within you, otherwise you never have any changes in your life. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, God is at work within us even when we are not filled with the Spirit.

Even when the Holy Spirit is not controlling your soul, He still has the ministry of conviction to reveal to you any choices and changes that need to be made. It is important to recognize the difference between legitimate conviction and condemnation. One is a true guilt; the other is a false guilt. Conviction is God revealing something to you so it can be corrected. Condemnation is the kingdom of darkness accusing you of being unworthy to receive blessing from God.

1. The tool that is used for conviction is the Word of God. The tools that are used for condemnation are accusations and slander.

2. The agent for conviction is usually God's man, the pastor, but can also be another positive believer friend. The agent for condemnation will be your enemies.

3. The issue and concern in conviction is the condition of the sinner, and rescuing you for your own well-being. In condemnation there is a claim against the sinner. It is the injury itself, requiring a debt to be paid.

4. The singular focus of the episode of conviction is God, whereas the focus of condemnation continues to be sin and the sinner.

5. The objective of conviction is freedom whereas the objective of condemnation is slavery.

6. The orientation of conviction is that it is said directly to you, and you only. The orientation of condemnation is that it is said to others about you, and said to you indirectly.

7. The direction of the engagement in true guilt is toward God for washing and renovation, and away from the sin nature (repentance); this is conviction.

ISA 55:6-7 Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the LORD, and He will have compassion on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

In condemnation it is false guilt toward sin, sticking your face in your vomit, forcing you to keep staring at your shortcomings, and causing you to hide from God.

GEN 3:7-10 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" And he said, "I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself."

An excellent illustration of this attitude is Job's wife in JOB 2:9, "Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!'"

8. The tone of conviction is quiet, resolute, focused, calm confrontation, as demonstrated by the prophet Nathan when he faces King David in 2Sa 12. Nathan presents the conviction in a dogmatic but gracious manner and then returns home to mind his own business, rather than spreading the news to everyone he knows.

2SA 12:7a,13,15 Nathan then said to David, "You are the man!"&ldots; Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has taken away your sin; you shall not die."&ldots; So Nathan went to his house.

The tone of condemnation is a loud, repetitive, chaotic, multi-headed, emotional attack.

MAR 15:3 The chief priests began to accuse Him harshly.

LUK 15:1-2 Now all the tax collectors and prostitutes were coming near to Him to listen to Him. And both Pharisees and scribes were constantly complaining about it, and said, "This man welcomes prostitutes and dines with them."

9. The analogy for conviction is the hospital where we go to heal, whereas the analogy for condemnation is the prison where we hurt.

The Hospital:

Hosea 5:15-6">HOS 5:15-6:1 I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; in their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. "Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us."

JOH 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly."

The Prison:

MAT 18:28-30 "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, 'Pay back what you owe.' So his fellow slave fell down and began to entreat him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will repay you.' He was unwilling however, but went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed."

10. The remedy conviction seeks is three-fold:

1. Rebound, acknowledgement to God.

2. Repentance, which is to change your mind.

3. To develop a reliance on God's power to change things (through the filling of the Holy Spirit and Bible doctrine).

2CH 7:14 and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

PSA 119:28-29 My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Thy word. Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Thy law.

The remedy that condemnation seeks is:

1. Punishment.

2. Changing or modifying your behavior (human good, religion).

3. Manipulation into doing what your attacker wants.

GAL 4:17 They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out, in order that you may seek them.

GAL 6:12 Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply that they may not be persecuted for the cross of Christ.

11. The future outlook for conviction is hope where we "think the best, hope all things."

1CO 13:3-7 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

The future outlook for condemnation is despair where we are told and convinced, "You'll never change."

MAT 23:3-4 "And they tie up heavy loads, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger."

12. The state of mind at the end of conviction is peaceful, relieved, and grateful, resulting in more energy for your spiritual life, and more motivation to stick with God's plan and Word.

LUK 19:10 "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

However, there is no end to condemnation. The state of mind continues to be shame, nervousness, insecurity, conflicted mentality, weariness, a vague sense of unease, and a frantic need for works and rituals.

PRO 27:15 A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike.

We need to understand that God may be at work within us through this criticism and conviction. We need to identify true guilt and false guilt, Holy Spirit conviction versus the condemnation of man.

Point 3: The causes of false guilt. It is who we are, not what we do, that produces guilt.

ROM 7:23-24 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

Guilt can be devastating when not handled properly. It can start at an early age, with many children being brought up with condemning guilt and therefore having difficulty handling Holy Spirit conviction when it comes. Guilt can reproduce itself into a greater condemnation, which eventually destroys the confidence and personality of a child. As the rebuke continues, the child begins to feel inferior to others; he loses confidence, and begins to search for answers. The statements that we make to one another, including our children, are very powerful, PRO 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue."

We all have areas of doubts, insecurities, and uncertainties in our lives because we all possess an old sin nature. It is never wise to compare ourselves with others. Comparison only produces feelings of guilt and inadequacy in a person's life. We cannot afford to give in to someone who is being used to guilt us into things that will take us away from doctrine. For many, every reproach or correction arouses a feeling of guilt even in the critic as much as in the one being criticized.

1. Many parents use guilt as a method of disciplining and correcting their children, EPH 6:4.

2. Satan accuses God's people to try to make them feel guilty, REV 12:10.

3. Sin can make a person feel so guilty that they hide from God and separate, GEN 3:7-10.

4. Being too concerned about what others might say produces guilt, JOH 12:42-43.

5. Receiving something you did not earn or deserve produces guilt. We even become double-minded in that we adopt the "elder brother syndrome" (LUK 15:21-30) against ourselves when we receive unmerited favor.

6. Guilt also results from being pressured to do something you do not want to do, ACT 20:21-26, PRO 25:26.

7. People experience guilt due to their feelings of inadequacy or some type of inferiority complex. We must remember that adequacy in any area of life only comes through God's power, 2Co 2:14-16, 3:4-6.

There are even many more causes for guilt, which we will study in more detail. It is vital to our Christian walk that we are educated and prepared against the subtle deceptions of guilt, so that we are not experientially separated from the grace plan of God.

MAT 11:28-30 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."

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