How do you feel after being tempted to do something you know is wrong? Do you feel guilty, because you sinned? Are you being convicted by the Holy Spirit, or are you under attack by the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10)? As soon as we give in to any temptation, the devil changes roles from tempter to accuser. Go ahead and do it. You know you want to. Everybody does it. You will get away with it. Who would know? As soon as you yield to the tempter, the “thoughts” change to, You’re pathetic. How can you even consider yourself to be a Christian? God is through with you now. Is that the conviction of the Holy Spirit, or is that the accuser?
The apostle Paul explains in 2 Cor. 7:9,10; “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer the loss of anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
Notice that “sorrow” is used for both conviction and accusation. One leads to repentance and life, the other leads to death. If you are a Christian and sin, you should feel sorrowful. That is the Holy Spirit convicting you, and the proper response is to repent. Confession is not enough. Repentance begins with confession, but repentance means a change of mind and a turning away from sin. That leads to life without regret. I have seen hundreds of inquirers repent from the ugliest issues in their life and leave with a sense of freedom and no regret for doing so.
Judas betrayed Christ, succumbed to the sorrow of this world and committed suicide. Peter betrayed Christ three times, was convicted by the Holy Spirit, and became the first spokesperson for the church. If you have sinned and been honest with God and still feel condemned by accusing thoughts, is that God? No it isn’t, because “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Wouldn’t you like to get rid of those condemning thoughts? Go through the Steps to Freedom in Christ.
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