Christians know when Christ became sin and died on the Cross, the blood of His sacrifice washed away the sins of those who profess faith in Him. When our sins are forgiven – and the slate of our past is wiped clean – we’re also given the benefit of a clean conscience.
Scripture reveals God’s position on this to be clear: “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
Those who don’t divest themselves of the guilt of the past tend to have difficulty dealing with adversity.
“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
During a time of testing, a Christian’s heart and mind must focus on God; prayerfully discerning His purpose, listening for His guidance, and receiving the lesson of His instruction. A guilty conscience forces one to unnecessarily focus on the past, instead of looking to the future with God.
Believers must trust the promises of God that result from their faith: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Believers must also accept that a clear conscience is the byproduct of genuine faith in Christ, and the forgiveness of our sins: “In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men” (Acts 24:16). Forgiveness of sin and a cleansing of conscience aren’t separate events; they happen simultaneously.
Enslavement by the past – after a profession of faith – calls into question one’s trust in God. Faith and trust in God are requirements for spiritual growth, the very purpose of His testing.
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a
new creature; the old things passed
away; behold, new things have come.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ~