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Should we feel guilt as Christians?

Is guilt meant to bring us to repentance? Is guilt the same as sin in Hebrews 10:22? The ESV translation seems to indicate that it is.

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The KJV is an accurate rendition of the Greek.

KJV Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

The ESV adds the word ‘clean’.

ESV Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.

EVIL

‘Evil’ is the correct translation.

From Strong’s:

Evil 4190 poneros from a derivative of 4192 (ponos – pain); adj

The Greek word appears some 76 times and is translated in the KJV -evil 51 times, wicked 10 times, wicked one 6 times, evil things 2 times, misc 7 times
It means:
1) full of labours, annoyances, hardships
1a) pressed and harassed by labours
1b) bringing toils, annoyances, perils; of a time full of peril to Christian faith and steadfastness; causing pain and trouble
2) bad, of a bad nature or condition
2a) in a physical sense: diseased or blind
2b) in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

GUILT

Guilt – From the Oxford English Dictionary: n.
1.The fact of having committed a specified or implied offence.
2.a culpability.
2.b the feeling of this.

We have all sinned and are therefore all guilty before God whether we actually feel guilty or not.

The KJV makes this clear.

KJV Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

From Strong’s:
Guilty 5267 hupodikos from 5259 (hupo - under) and 1349 (dike - vengeance, judgment, judicial decision, esp. sentence of condemnation); adj
Meaning:
1) under judgment, one who lost his lawsuit
2) debtor to one, owing satisfaction to
2a) of liable to punishment from God

The ESV obscures the issue by substituting ‘held accountable’ which does not carry the force of actually being guilty and already condemned.

ESV Romans 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Because all have sinned we are all condemned to eternal death.

Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die.

Romans 6:23... the wages of sin is death;

In this situation the question is asked:

KJV Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

The ESV drops the word ‘men’ (temporarily forgetting that it is supposed to be ‘more accurate’)

ESV Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

The answer is given:

KJV Acts 2:38... Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,

ESV Acts 2:38... “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins,

Baptism, following belief of the gospel and repentance, washes away all previous sins. We rise out of the waters of baptism free of sin and by extension free of guilt; for we are no longer guilty. We begin a new life with a conscience freed from the evil of our past wickedness.

KJV 1 Peter 3:21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

By submitting to baptism our sins are remitted and our conscience is no longer burdened with them. It is the ‘answer of a good conscience’ rather than ‘an appeal... for a good conscience’ as the ESV translates it.

ESV 1 Peter 3:21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Our conscience is freed from guilt on the basis that we have obeyed the gospel in the ordinance of baptism. This is a parallel to Hebrews 10:22

KJV Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Jesus Christ’s one sacrifice covers all sins; unlike the sacrifices under the Law which had to be repeated. Each year there was a ‘day of Atonement’ for the priesthood and nation.

KJV Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;

ESV Hebrews 9:9 (which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,

The use of the ashes of a red heifer to make clean those defiled by touching the dead is shown to be a figure for the cleansing of the conscience from defilement with the dead works of sin.

KJV Hebrews 9:13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

ESV Hebrews 9:13 For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Jesus washed us from our sins in his own blood.

KJV Revelation 1:5... Unto him that loved us, and washed (3068 louo wash) us from our sins in his own blood,

Notice that the ‘more accurate version’ ignores the Greek.

ESV Revelation 1:5... To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

Baptism washes away our sins and we begin a new life with a conscience void of offence towards God. In this new life we try to maintain a conscience void of offence.

KJV Acts 24:16 And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence (677 - aproskopos - without offence, blameless) toward God, and toward men.

The ESV waters down the meaning by substituting the word ‘clear’.

Acts 24:16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

After baptism we will still sin but our sins can be forgiven by confession in prayer.
If our conscience convicts us of having sinned we can ask for forgiveness and can have confidence that we are forgiven.

KJV 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

ESV 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

KJV Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.

ESV Luke 11:4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.

This is the part that our conscience, enlightened by the commandments of Christ, plays in our lives.

KJV Romans 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

ESV Romans 2:15 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them.

KJV 1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

ESV 1 John 3:21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;

In conclusion - if we are freed from sin by the sacrifice of Christ we are freed from the guilt of having committed the sin because God no longer counts us guilty.

ESV

As far as the ESV being a 'more accurate translation', I commend you to compare just a few examples with Strong’s Concordance in your hand and judge whether the ESV is more faithful to the Greek text than the KJV:

KJV Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart (2588 – kardia – heart) bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

ESV Matthew 12:35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

KJV Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

ESV Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

KJV Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

ESV Luke 11:4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

KJV 2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.

ESV 2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.

KJV 1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

ESV 1 John 5:19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

KJV Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

ESV Mark 3:29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”—

KJV Luke 23:14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault (158 aition – fault) in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:

ESV Luke 23:14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him.

KJV John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.

ESV John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

KJV 1 Corinthians 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

ESV 1 Corinthians 11:27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord.

KJV Jude 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

ESV Jude 1:5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

I hope you have found this helpful.

May God bless you,
Glenn,
www.thisisyourbible.com

 
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