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GRACE BIBLE CHURCH
The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.
From the week ending 04/06/03

The Angelic Conflict
Part 21
The Doctrine of Guilt. Part 4.

We have been studying The Results of Succumbing to False Guilt under Point 4 in our continuing study of the Doctrine of Guilt.

Guilt separates us from the grace of God and tears us down. Therefore, the believer must understand two basic doctrines-the doctrine of justification (we are declared "not guilty" and perfectly righteous) and the doctrine of eternal security (our salvation is eternally secure and can never be lost). Our relationship with the Lord can never be changed, but our fellowship with Him can be hindered by guilt.

ROM 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When a believer lacks confidence in the spiritual realm, satanic accusations will interfere and interrupt the believer's spiritual progress. However, the Lord never changes, and He will never reject His child.

EPH 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

HEB 13:5b For He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."

Unfortunately, there are many believers who are convinced that God is angry at them for something that they have done. However, God's relationship with us is based on the perfect finished work Jesus Christ on the Cross, and not on our own pitiful attempts to please Him. It is not who and what we are that matters; it is the perfect faithfulness and immutability of our God.

ROM 7:18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me [in my flesh].

JOB 8:5-6 "If you would seek God and implore the compassion of the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, surely now He would rouse Himself for you and restore your righteous estate.

Believers must understand that the Lord Jesus Christ died for their sin, but also that He died for their guilt. When people are plagued by guilt, they look for others to whom they can transfer their guilt.

PRO 17:15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.

The end result is that they become more and more guilty themselves.

JER 17:9 "The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it?"

Point 5: Satan uses guilt to manipulate the believer into evil. 

If believers would only realize that their most serious problem is coming under the influence of evil instead of the influence of doctrine, they would be delivered once and for all from the sin issue. Our problem is not sin because sin has been dealt with at the Cross by the Lord Jesus Christ; our problem in this life is evil.

Evil is a policy and program of Satan and his kingdom that motivates the believer to develop a false sense of morality. It is legalism, self-righteousness, emotionalism, and religion. The issue that Satan is concerned with is not the sin issue, but creatures operating in their own power rather than divine power. The believer can be motivated by guilt to perform works in his own power, and guilt can manipulate the believer into arrogance. Unfortunately, most believers today function under the energy of arrogance, emotionalism, guilt, condemnation, fear, worry, or revenge motivation, all of which is evil and must be overcome by the power of Bible doctrine.

PSA 140:2 &ldots;who devise evil things in their hearts; they continually stir up wars.

There are several important factors we must learn concerning evil.

1. Evil resides in the heart and must be dealt with.

2. Deliverance from evil results from respecting the Lord.

3. Those under the influence of evil will be under the influence of deception. When you are most under the influence of evil, you are least likely to realize it.

4. A believer who is positive toward doctrine will turn away from evil no matter how many of his best friends or closest family members are involved with it.
PRO 14:16 A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is arrogant and careless.

5. Believers who become involved with evil go astray from the Lord.
PRO 14:22 Will they not go astray who devise evil? But kindness and truth will be to those who devise good.

6. A wise believer has nothing to do with those influenced by evil.
PRO 22:3 The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it.
1CO 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Evil companions corrupt good morals."

7. The wise believer goes to the house of God to listen; the evil believer goes to sacrifice.
ECC 5:1 Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil.

8. Bitterness and jealousy result from evil and reside in the hearts of those under their influence.
JER 4:18 "Your ways and your deeds have brought these things to you. This is your evil. How bitter! How it has touched your heart!"

9. Character, integrity, and honesty protect the believer from being influenced by evil.
MAT 5:37 "But let your statement be, 'Yes, yes' or 'No, no'; anything beyond these is of evil."

10. Evil thoughts produce evil works no matter how good the works appear to be on the outside.
MAT 12:35 "The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil."

1TH 5:22 Abstain from every form of evil.

Point 6: The solution to guilt is grace orientation. 

Evil is the policy of Satan, whereas grace is the policy of God, HEB 3:12, "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God."

Just as grace and doctrine represent the genius of God in relationship to the human race, so evil represents the genius of Satan in relation to the human race. The soul is the battleground of every believer in the Church-age, in this intensified stage of the angelic conflict. As we have seen, divine viewpoint is thinking doctrine, which glorifies Christ; human viewpoint is thinking evil, which dishonors Christ.

Recovery from sin is instantaneous through the use of 1JO 1:9, but recovery from evil takes a long time through the perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. The origin of evil is Satan's genius in devising a system to oppose God and to give creatures credit rather than the Lord. The goal of Satan's plan is to beat Christ to the Millennium with his own production of a perfect world.

PSA 84:10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand days in the cosmic system. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of evil.

PSA 121:7 The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul.

The real issue that the believer has to face, where Satan uses guilt to deceive the believer, is grace versus evil. The issue before the Royal Family is this: Are you influenced by doctrine, or are you influenced by evil?

Evil as Satan's policy is the means by which false doctrine is inculcated. The arrogance of legalism is the vanity of the "unique experience" and erroneous emphasis on human achievement. This begins with self-righteousness, which produces the arrogance of legalism, and the Apostle Paul deals with extensively in Galatians and Romans.

When dealing with guilt, we have seen that neither our genetic heritage nor our childhood is ever an excuse for failure to follow God's plan or the way our life has turned out. As believers we cannot allow ourselves to be occupied with past failures, except to learn from them-never to blame others for them, PHI 3:13-15. Past failures must never become present handicaps. In eternity past, God provided His solution for our guilt, and that solution is grace. The essential element for living in freedom from guilt is understanding grace (EPH 2:1-10).

JOH 8:32 "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

TIT 2:11-12 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.

ISA 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners.

Never forget that our Lord Jesus Christ "bore our sins in His body on the tree," and as 1PE 2:24 says, "He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world."

The Lord only wants us to name and cite our sins (1JO 1:9) and move forward to what lies ahead.

PSA 51:4 "Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight."

In God's plan, God must give and we must be the receivers, and grace makes it very difficult for us to take credit for anything at any time.

Sadly, many believers are so guilty about the mistakes of yesterday that they never enjoy the mercy and compassion of the Lord today!

2CO 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be a sin offering on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Grace is the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, the flashing forth of grace. He came to restore all that was lost in the fall. It is God's grace being manifested to us that brings Him glory in the angelic conflict. God does some of His best work on us when we are most aware of our hopelessness and unworthiness.

Remember that anything God does results in His glorification. God does not depend on us for His pleasure or His glory. God is not glorified by our system of human works. He is glorified by meeting our every need.

PSA 50:15 "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will glorify Me."

2PE 3:17-18 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

This concludes our study of the Doctrine of Guilt.

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