Partially out of personal interest, and partially out of scholastic necessity, I recently read The Scarlet by Nathaniel Hawthorne. If you are not familiar with the story, it takes place in a New England colony with devout Puritan standards. The main character, Hester Prynne, is found guilty of adultery, and she is condemned to constantly wear a scarlet letter A on her blouse as her punishment. The red letter is a beacon of guilt, shrouding Hester in shame. Because the town cannot ignore her sin, she is always remembered for her transgression.
We all deserve a letter. We may not all be adulterers, but we are Liars, Gossips, and Thieves. We have Pride, Hatred, and Selfishness. Just like Hester Prynne, we deserve to be condemned.
Yet, none of us wear letters. Through Jesus’ sacrificial death, we enjoy the freedom of forgiveness. When the enemy reminds you of your guilty past, remind him that Christ has declared you righteous.
Ten Verses For When You Feel Guilty
Of course, there was a time when we deserved to feel guilty. Before we asked Christ to forgive us, we were in “the domain of darkness.” Now we are in the kingdom of light.
1. Colossians 1:13-14
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Once we confess our sins, Christ always forgives us. He places us in the Light, where there is no condemnation.
2.I John 1:9
3. Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
We cannot earn a position of freedom on our own. Only through faith in Christ’s sacrificial death can we experience forgiveness.
4. Galatians 3:13
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”
5. John 3:17
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
6. I Timothy 2:5-6
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.
If we desire to be guiltless, we must rely on His grace, not our good works.
6. Philippians 3:9
…being found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith
7. Ephesians 1:7-8
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
But once we are free, we will never be forced back into bondage.
9. Galatians 5:1
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
10. John 8:32, 36
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.