Dealing With The Feelings Of Guilt

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Hi D____,
Thank you for your question. You ask:

While I would not use the word ‘hell,’ I certainly would agree that “judgment is now on the house of God,” and that judgment is a “fiery trial which will try me” and will burn out of me all of the “wood, hay, and stubble” in my life.

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [ as] a thief, or [ as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end [ be] of them that obey not the gospel of God?
1Pe 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
1Pe 4:19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

There it is. I “commit my soul to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” I know that God loves you and He loves me. I know “he is working all things [ in your life and in mine] after the counsel of His own will.” So what do I have to be worried about. Even my sins are working His will, and “it is not me doing it but sin in me… that is in my flesh.”

Rom 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
Rom 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that [ it is] good.
Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but [ how] to perform that which is good I find not.
Rom 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
Rom 7:21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
Rom 7:22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

The scriptures teach, from Genesis to Revelation, that mankind is a captive to the law of sin which is in mankind’s flesh. The Truth be told, we cannot even sin without God working all things after the counsel of His own will. You scream blasphemy? Look at what Joseph told his brothers about the sin they committed in selling him into Egyptian slavery:

Gen 45:4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Gen 45:6 For these two years [ hath] the famine [ been] in the land: and yet [ there are] five years, in the which [ there shall] neither [ be] earing nor harvest.
Gen 45:7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Gen 45:8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Joseph did not give his brothers a pass. “You sold me into Egypt.” Joseph caused his brothers to “give an accounting” of what they had done. That actually took 17 more years to do, but they finally did give an accounting, out of their own mouths, of what they had done to their brother:

Gen 50:15 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
Gen 50:16 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,
Gen 50:17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
Gen 50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we [ be] thy servants.
Gen 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Joseph’s brothers give an accounting of the evil they did and then are told that “It was not you but God… and God meant the evil they did for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”
That is how I deal with the sins to which I once was a slave. I now know that all sin is “meant for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” in Christ.
So we see that all of Rom 7 is written on the premise of verse 5:

Rom 7:5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

When Paul says “in the flesh” he is not meaning that we are not now still in “vessels of clay.” What Paul means by “when we were in the flesh” is when we were still slaves to our flesh and being dominated by our flesh. But Rom 7 is preceded by Romans six, where we are told:

Rom 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Rom 7 is also followed by Rom 8, which tells us the same thing:

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Am I still sin? Am I still “sinful flesh and blood?” Yes, indeed, and I die daily to that “sinful flesh and blood,” just a Christ “took up His own cross and died daily to His own sinful flesh and blood. But just as Christ proved, sin can now, through Him living in us, “no longer have dominion over us” (Rom 7:14). Christ proved that being sin, and being dominated by that sin, are two entirely different things.

Rom 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

If Christ’s flesh were not the same sinful flesh as ours, then there is no point being made in telling us that he now condemns sin our our flesh. But because His was “the same… flesh and blood as the children” (Heb 2:14-17), He can now live His life in our sinful flesh and overcome sin in our flesh just as He overcame sin in His own, “same as the children… sinful flesh and blood.”
I do not know if you have been given that dominion. I can speak only for myself, and I can honestly tell you what Paul tells us right there in Rom 7. I too, once felt there was no way ever to dominate sin or die daily. I too, once knew that sin was reigning in my mortal body, and I could not make war with the beast I knew I was. But I can also now say this with the apostle:

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

For many long, trying years I did not “walk after the spirit.” But the day came when I realized that I had been given dominion over sin in my life, and it was a day of great relief to have, at long last, the peace of mind that I would, Lord willing, never again be dominated by my flesh and would instead “walk after the spirit.”
I can honestly say that “on a daily basis” I am no longer the slave to sin I once was, and that just as Joseph was one day subject to the Potipher and the captain of the prison, and then the very next day, was their Lord and Master, I too, was given that same dominion over that taskmaster that was my flesh.
Now why are we ever subject to our flesh and “the sin that is in our flesh?” Do we have any say over our own sins? We saw above that Paul taught that sin is not by choice and is often “what I would not do.” So we now know that “God creates evil… even wicked men for the day of evil” in each of us” (Isa 45:7 and Pro 16:4).

Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

That should serve to give you some sense of God’s sovereignty over even your sins.

As for having been spirits before we became flesh, that is a doctrine which flies in the face of all revealed that is revealed in scripture, which is summed up in this verse:

1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
1Co 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

I do not “speak with authority to gain followers,” I simply bear witness to what is written. It is another false doctrine which denies that we can know the truth. When we deny that we can know the Truth, we are condemning ourselves and saying we cannot know Christ, who said:

Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

No, not all truth all at once, but we are able to try the spirits as we encounter them, simply because we “know the truth.” If we cannot know truth, then there is no way to try spirits.

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

I hope this is all of some help to you.
Your brother in Christ,

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