Have you become so accustomed to feeling the guilt and shame of past sins that you now think it’s normal?
Sometimes we think that we are not being spiritual enough unless we are filled with guilt and shame over our failures. We cling to it as though it’s evidence that we are still following the Lord. To us, it may seem like the cross we have to bear if we want to be spiritual.
There are some of us who try to cover up those feelings by doing everything we can to appear righteous, but deep inside we still feel the same. We go to church, read our Bible, and pray and yet we sense that we are not good enough. Then there are those who are quick to point out the failures of others to deflect attention away from their own.
If you see yourself as any one of these people, then God has good news for you. He does not want you to feel that way at all! The precious blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, not only cleanses you from all sin but also the regret, grief, and sorrow that goes with it.
The Prophet Isaiah painted a beautiful picture of what God does for us. He sent Jesus to be our Savior:
“To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3 NKJV, emphases added.)
All the things we may do to appear righteous are only filthy rags. That is how we appear to God when we try to be religious. The Prophet Isaiah wrote:
“But we are all like an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy rags; we all fade as a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isaiah 64:6 NKJV, emphasis added.)
There is nothing we can do on our own to make ourselves righteous and cover our guilt and shame. Only the blood of Jesus can accomplish that. His blood cleanses us from all sin so that we stand before God pure, clean and glistening white. That is the amazing power of the blood of Jesus! If we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then that is how God sees us right now. And that is also how we should see ourselves every day.
Instead of being clothed with the filthy rags of our attempts to become righteous, God has clothed us with a brand new robe that is dazzling white – as dazzling as a bride on her wedding day. The Prophet Isaiah referred to this when he wrote:
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10 NKJV, emphases added.)
When we were saved, we were not only clothed with the garments of salvation, but we were also covered with the robe of righteousness. Jesus became our covering! The Apostle Paul expressed it this way:
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV, emphasis added.)
If we have received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, then in Him we have become the righteousness of God. This is why we must clearly understand who we are in Christ! Instead of being always conscious of our past sins, Jesus wants us to be conscious of His righteousness. Every sin and failure that we have done in the past is now under the blood of Jesus. We have been cleansed from all unrighteousness. This is why the Apostle John wrote:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9 NKJV, emphasis added.)
These words should fill us with great joy, knowing that we stand before God cleansed from all sin and shame. We must be quick to confess any sin that we may do so that we will always remain pure and clean in His sight. God wants us to live completely free from sin so that we will no longer be burdened down by the weight of guilt and shame, and the grief and sorrow that comes with it.
In Christ, we are covered with His beauty and clothed with His righteousness. All the old things of the past are under the blood of Jesus and everything has become brand new. We can live in the reality of that every day!
You are holy, dear saint!
Can you see yourself clothed in the beauty of Christ’s righteousness? Let me know in the comments below!
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]