Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:18)

SOMETIMES GUILT SHOWS UP all over the offender. If you walk into your living room and find your sofa pillow in shreds and the stuffing scattered over the floor, you will probably find your new dog over in the corner with head hanging low, tail between his legs, and eyes that shout, “Yes, I did it!” Just look at him—he is guilty as sin.

After a while, we learn to fairly successfully hide our guilt from others, but we have greater difficulty getting rid of the feelings of condemnation. God installed a moral compass in us, and conscience is its voice. It testifies to the right- or wrongness of our thoughts and behaviors, bringing peace when we do right and guilt when we do wrong. Conscience is a gift from a loving God who wants us to be free from condemning guilt and live in joyful peace.

We can dull the shouts of conscience until they become only whispers, but we cannot remove the stain of sin and its accompanying condemnation.

Only Jesus provides the means of removing guilt, replacing condemnation with peace, cleansing the conscience and permitting those who believe in Him to live authentic, transparent lives of integrity, free from condemnation. God wants us to be loosed from the bondage to sin and the burden of guilt, and He loved us enough to give up His Son so we could experience this freedom.

Thank God that He loves you enough to make you sensitive to wrong.

Ken Heer has been a pastor and church leader for fifty-one years and lives in Florida with his wife Nancy. They have three children and nine grandchildren.