“ that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting people’s sins against them [but canceling them]. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation [that is, restoration to favor with God].”
2 Corinthians 5:19 AMP
So many people walk around with the heavy weight of guilt upon them. They feel bad because they know they have done wrong, they know they aren’t good enough for God and they know that no matter how hard they try, they always seem to mess up or they never seem to measure up. The good news is that God reached out to mankind through Jesus and reconciled the world to Himself – we didn’t have to make right with Him; He made right with us. He reached out to us before we ever thought of Him.
The only way that God could reconcile Himself to us is by not counting people’s sins against them [but cancelling them]. Sin was a big problem that stood between God and mankind, and justice demanded that sin be paid for. It seems to be wired into our operating systems that when we do wrong we know we need to pay for it. If someone steals or kills, we deal with that individual through the laws in our nation and through the judiciary system. And so it makes sense that we would feel some sense of guilt before God when we do wrong and that we would expect to have to pay for it. Guilt is a feeling of having committed wrong and can lead to feelings of condemnation and shame.
The good news is that God has reconciled the world to Himself through Jesus and has canceled people’s sins and is no longer holding them against anyone. I know that’s difficult to digest for many of us, especially if you’re well grounded in a performance-based mentality. Jesus came to rescue us from our sins – something that we certainly could not do for ourselves.
“The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29 AMP
“And He [that same Jesus Himself] is the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours alone but also for [the sins of] the whole world.”
1 John 2:2 AMPC
Jesus is the sacrificial Lamb who came to take away the sin of the world! Jesus dealt with sin on the cross for all people, for all time – yes, for the sin of the whole world! Jesus didn’t only deal with the sins of the Christian but the sins of every person no matter what their religion, failures or sexual-orientation. 2 Corinthians 5:19 says that God reconciled the world unto Himself. The greatest prophet that ever lived (John the Baptist) said that Jesus was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). In 1 John 2:2 we see that Jesus didn’t only pay for our (Christian’s) sins but for the sins of the whole world.
Here is a great identity truth for all people: We are forgiven! That means we are not guilty! The good news that we are sent to preach is that God has dealt with sin and we are forgiven because of Jesus and His sacrifice for us! Does that mean that everyone is automatically saved and will go to heaven? Certainly not! We are all forgiven, but not all saved! In order to be saved you have to believe in your heart and confess with your mouth:
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Romans 10:9 NKJV
Salvation is a gift that has to be received by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) in Jesus Christ who is the only way to salvation (John 14:6). All sin is forgiven and we are declared innocent for the wrongs that we have committed. But, there is one sin that is not included in Jesus’ sacrifice and that is the sin of not believing in Jesus (John 16:9) which brings salvation. The only sin that sends someone to hell is the sin of unbelief: not believing on Jesus who paid for our sin so that we do not have to.
No matter what you have done, you do not need to walk around with any feelings of guilt, condemnation or shame. There is no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1) because He took what you deserved so that you can get what He deserves (2 Corinthians 5:21). You are not guilty! You are innocent!