Guilt and Guilt Feelings

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for’” (vv. 6–7)  – Isaiah 6:1-7

Paul’s account of the internal struggle between the flesh and spirit in Romans 7:14–25 has helped us understand that while there has been a true change wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, we will nevertheless be tempted and succumb to sin throughout our lives….

Knowing that he continually falls short of the righteous demands of God, the Apostle exclaims, “Wretched man that I am!” (v. 24a)—a frank admission of his feelings of guilt for his failure to live in conformity to the Lord’s revealed will. Paul’s discussion of sanctification and admission of guilty feelings in Romans 7 offer us a good place to take a break from our study of Romans in order to look at the broader issue of experiencing guilt. Dr. R.C. Sproul will help us do this from a biblical perspective as we base the next week or so of studies on his teaching series Guilt and Forgiveness.

When the subject of guilt comes up, it is important for us to distinguish between guilt and guilt feelings. Guilt and guilt feelings are not identical, for many times people are guilty of something for which they feel no guilt or remorse. It is also possible to feel guilty when one has not done anything wrong. The human psyche is complex, and because of our sin and our limitations, what we feel does not always line up with what is true.  View article →