Free from Guilt

THE FREE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

The book of Romans is a complete explanation of how we are justified in the sight of God. Let’s take a trip through Romans and see how God’s grace works. We are saved by faith and made righteous in God’s sight. Our faith is not in our own power but it is in God’s power.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”—Romans 1:16,17 MEV

ALL HAVE SINNED AND ARE GUILTY BEFORE GOD

God’s grace leads us to repentance and repentance brings freedom. Repentance is a change of mind and heart followed by actions.

Do you despise the riches of His goodness, tolerance, and patience, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?—Romans 2:4 MEV

The entire human race is under the under condemnation of God’s holy law which He gave through Moses in the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy. The law proves that we all stand guilty before God. We need God’s grace!

As it is written: ” There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” —Romans 3:10-12 MEV

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.—Romans 3:21-23 NLT

GOD MAKES SINNERS RIGHTEOUS

The good news is that because of Jesus death, burial and resurrection, we are freely justified by His grace when we place our faith in Him. God’s wrath towards sin and unrighteousness has been satisfied or appeased through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.—Romans 3:24-26 NLT

WE ARE JUSTIFIED BY FAITH

There are two men of faith in the Old Testament that Paul uses to show that we are justified by faith. Abraham was made the friend of God by faith. David received forgiveness of sins under the law because of his faith. Both were counted as righteous in God’s sight, not perfect but righteous. God called David a “man after His own heart.” Both Abraham and David had personal faults and struggles with sin, they were not perfect, but they had something in common that made them righteous in God’s eyes. What is it that God requires? Simply FAITH!

The Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners. David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin.”—Romans 4:3-8 NLT

OUR PLACE OF VICTORY

Today we as believers stand in a position of peace and grace with God.

Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.—Romans 5:1-2 NLT

Like Abraham we are the friends of God!

So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.—Romans 5:11 NLT

We can walk free from sin because of God’s amazing grace!

For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.—Romans 5:17 NLT

GOD’S GRACE FREES US FROM SIN

God’s grace gives us power over sin and it’s destructive habits by giving us His Spirit. To live under the influence of God’s grace is to live under the influence of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit!

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not!—Romans 6:1-2 NLT

We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin.—Romans 6:6-7 NLT

Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not!— Romans 6:14-15 NLT

SIN NO LONGER A STRUGGLE

Romans 7 shows how frustrating it is to live under the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant Law did not give believers power over sin, it only magnified their sin nature and brought frustration. To the believing Jew who was once under the law but now is under grace the struggle with sin is over! Notice how Paul describes the struggle.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.—Romans 7:21-24 NLT

When we live under the influence of God’s grace the struggle with sin will come to an end. The answer is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and yielding to the Holy Spirit which He gave to us! Romans 8 explains how we can end the struggle with sin.

Remember that the Cross was the place of exchange: your sin for His righteousness. By fully believing and trusting in what Christ has accomplished at the cross we are made righteous.

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 MEV


Summary:

We we are justified and made righteous in His sight because of His amazing grace toward us. Faith in God’s grace and favor has fully justified us and declared us as righteous before God because of Christ! God’s amazing plan of redemption sent Jesus to the cross to take our sin to the grave, and fill us with His righteousness by His resurrection.  We are free to live our lives in complete peace with Him, yielding to the Spirit, just as if we had never sinned. This is true freedom from guilt and shame!

Discussion Points:

  • Why is it important to you that God’s heart toward you is one of grace and peace?
  • What is so good about the Good News?
  • What does it mean to be justified and made righteous in God’s sight?
  • How do we reconcile that with our current struggles with temptation and sin?
  • How would you explain to someone else how to “get right” with God?
  • How can we deal with feelings of guilt and shame, or with self condemnation?
  • Jesus preached repentance. What is repentance? Why is it so important? If Jesus has paid the price for our sin why do we have to repent and change? Could repentance be a joy?

Next Step:

Review Romans 1-7

Prayer:

Father, I thank you that your grace has set me free from sin’s power and I am righteous in your sight. Jesus became sin for me that I might be made the righteousness of God in Christ! Teach me and help me to yield to the Holy Spirit within me and turn away from sin and temptation. I will be quick to repent if I miss it and sin. I know that forgiveness is mine in Christ, and His righteousness is mine forever as well. I want to live my life for You, with You, in You. I thank you that I am living a victorious life over sin, temptation, guilt and the past, in Jesus Name.