Monday: Not by Guilt

Over the centuries guilt has been used to motivate people to action. Evangelism leaders have often reminded us that God has given us responsibility and that we must use our God-given talents and gifts. We are told that God or the church is depending on us. If God has done so much to save us, how can we remain evangelistically inactive? All these attempts to call us to action, delivered, no doubt, with the best intentions, subtly appeal to our sense of guilt and indebtedness to God. Motivation always seems to become counterproductive when we remove the emphasis from what God has done and onto what we must do.

Read Romans 3:19-20. What did the apostle Paul mean when he said the whole world is guilty before God? What’s his point?

Image © Krieg Barrie from

The way that Paul uses the word guilty in this passage communicates the sense of accountability. He has already stated in Romans 3:10 that “ ‘there is none righteous, no, not one,’ ” (NKJV), and in verse 19 he confirms that the law makes “all the world” guilty before God.

The law’s function has often been likened to a mirror that reveals our sinful condition but which cannot provide the cleansing soap and water. Looking into God’s law, we become aware of our sinfulness and at the same time are driven to the Savior in order to receive His free pardon and cleansing.

After we come to Christ, we are no longer motivated by guilt because the guilt has been washed away, covered by the righteousness of Jesus. We stand in Him, perfect and guiltless and forgiven. Yes, we are sinners, but we have been forgiven, our guilt has been atoned for; now—based on the salvation that is ours through Christ—we are motivated to witness to others about what Christ has done for us.

Read James 2:10. What is the main point James is trying to make? How would you explain this verse to a new believer?  

The fact that an offense on one point makes one guilty of defying the God who commanded the whole law, underscores the futility of the attempt to gain favor in God’s sight through law keeping. Law breaking, even to a small degree, reveals an underlying desire to do our own will rather than God’s.

While acknowledging your wrongs you have to surrender them to Jesus, claiming His righteousness, His forgiveness, His grace, regardless of how unworthy you are. And lest you be mistaken, you are unworthy, more than you could imagine. If not, the salvation offered to you wouldn’t be from grace but from a debt God owes you (see Rom. 4:1–4), and do you really think God owes you anything?



Monday: Not by Guilt — 13 Comments

  1. Grace or debt. Not a hard choice if you think about it. Those of us who have children certainly understand that concept. Kids point out our weaknesses and teach us to be unselfish. God's love does the same thing for all of us.

  2. Hi. I believe in the Sabbath and know that if I break it, I have sinned. I want to worship on the Sabbath but have been betrayed and isolated by the church. I have not attended church over 4 months and need to go somewhere. Is it wrong to attend a Sunday worship because I have no other choice. I live in a small community town and there is only one SDA church in the area. Do I stop all together or do I go on Sunday? Please help me out.

    • Hi Silvana, remember that Jesus himself was betrayed, but he continued His mission for humanity. I do not know the church's reason for isolating & betraying you (though, this should not be the attitude of a church working to bring souls to Christ).You need to go to the Lord in sincere prayer, asking him for direction and decernment through the holy spirit. Going back to Sunday worship will not help in any way, why?.. You said beforehand that you believe in the Sabbath, so then why go against the truth that you believe. Let the love for God in your heart motivate your actions. Love and Humility is the key..!

    • Hello Silvana
      I would like to encourage you and say the church is God's place to heal each sinner. The betrayal was the devils way to seclude you. We all are imperfect so no one in church is better than the other. Pray and ask God for healing and ability to forgive those that betrayed you. God will make a way for you to worship him the correct way.

    • Hi Silvana,
      No, it is not OK to keep the Sabbath as Sunday. What you can do is watch 3abn online or on TV on Sabbath for the services and spend your Sabbath spending time with God, singing and praying to him, much like you would do in a regular service.
      It's your choice if you want to visit sometimes but, from my experience, they will no doubt say things that are not truth and regular attendance, to me, may not strengthen your knowledge and relationship with God.

    • We live for God, not this world. Go to church on the Sabbath and worship the Lord like we know...Amen.

  3. Law breaking, even to a small degree, reveals an underlying desire to do our own will rather than God's.

  4. Dear Silvana; I believe we must worship God in spirt and in Truth. He knows your heart and your thoughts. I worship Him everyday. Saturday Sunday Monday get it. We don't worship a day we worship the creater of the Day. We believers call Him Jesus. That's what's Important. JESUS.

  5. Love and obedience always go hand in hand. But suppose as a church we wait till people grow to love their Lord eventually, I think that day will never come & if it does its not in the near future. Correct me if I am wrong, how do you get people to love their God? Do you tell them what He has done for them which they already know or which convincing argument do you present?

    People in life don't just fall in love because we convince them or explain to them the good reasons why they should, but as they are brought to work together in certain activities sooner or later they are brought to a realisation that they are made for each other.

    What I mean is that it only comes thru obedience i.e active involvement in work only as in accordance with John 7:17 does state this fact.

  6. To Silvana, Please don't let the devil destroy you, we are in the last days, the Sabbath is going to be the Great Controversy. Please read the Great Controversy starting on chapter 32, Snares of Satan.
    You go to church to please God not man. God will guide you, I promise. "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God".

  7. Sylvana, you need God's wisdom to answer your questions. The people who you say betrayed and isolated you are works in progress, just like you. Maybe God is sending you to that church to show them God's love through you. We are all broken, every one. There may be others who have been hurt too, maybe you all can help bring about a positive change. Facing a problem with God is always wise. Running away solves nothing. Just remember daily to ask God to be with you, repent of your sins, and follow where He leads. God bless you.

  8. Dear Silvana, we are saved by the grace of God and not by keeping the law. We are obeying his commandments which includes keeping the law (and the Sabbath in particular to this trend) because it is God's will. Is Sunday keeping part of God's will? Definitely not. We go to church to worship God and not to please man, just pray so that the Holy Spirit will always guide you and direct you to do God's will. Have a good day..God Bless

  9. The Sabbath is a sign between God and his people, He said remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, The Sabbath is bless sanctify and set apart.


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