When God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden there was no such thing as a guilty conscience. That is until they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Before Adam and Eve ate the fruit from that tree, the Bible says in Genesis 2:25 “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” After eating of the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Genesis 3:7 says, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
Before disobeying God and having their eyes opened to their nakedness and the differences between them and God, Adam and Eve would walk in the garden with God and have no fear or shame. Without feeling inferior and without feeling the need to hide from God or to try to rise above Him, Adam and Eve had fellowship with God until they ate the fruit from the tree.
Adam made the choice to eat the fruit and to have this knowledge of good and evil without knowing what the consequences would be. I would dare say that even if God had (and perhaps He did) explained why this would be a bad thing for them to do that Adam and Eve could not have understood the reasoning. Having had no experience with sin or consequences of sin, or with guilt or shame, there would have been great difficulty for them to understand the importance of obeying this one command.
But God did know and He did give them the command in order to protect them and to save them from the curse of death coming into the world for them. The LORD did not stop coming to fellowship with them. No. God came instead, seeking them out. God came to them and He already knew the answers to the questions that He asked them. But He asked them in order for Adam and Eve to be able to confess and to see that He would still love them and be with them. God slew animals and made clothing for them to wear to protect them. He knew that mere fig leaves would not be good enough protection for them. Also, the first blood covering took place right there in the garden as God made provision for His people. God knew from the foundation of the earth that Christ would be the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
In Hebrews 9 there is a verse that came to mind as I was awakened by my daughter after being asleep for only twenty minutes, lol. But this verse made me start thinking about Adam and Eve in the garden and how they didn’t know what a guilty conscience was until they made that first mistake and chose to see if God knew what He was talking about or not. So, I got up and I read Hebrews 9 and Genesis 2 and 3 and started writing this down. I think it is important to think about and pray about and let God reveal Himself to us in this.
Here comes the good part.
If you have a guilty conscience, have ever had a guilty conscience, or know what a guilty conscience feels like, then Hebrews 9 has the remedy for you!
Hebrews 9:14 “But Christ offered himself to God without any flaw. He did this through the power of the eternal Holy Spirit. So how much more will his blood wash from our minds our feelings of guilt for committing sin! Sin always leads to death. But now we can serve the living God.”
Another translation says, “How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
How do we have our consciences cleansed? How is there now therefore NO new CONDEMNATION to them who are saved? (Romans 8:1) The blood of Jesus cleanses us. The blood of Jesus brings life to us where the sin of Adam brought death into the world. Adam brought the knowledge of good and evil into our existence and awakened those feelings of guilt, shame and separation that cause us such pain. But praises be to God the Father! He sent Jesus to live a blameless life in the flesh and to shed His own blood for us in order to cleanse us – not only on the outside – but most of all, on the inside!
Our spirits are made alive unto God again when we accept that Jesus’ blood paid the price for all of our sins, once and for all. We don’t need a new sacrifice every time that we sin because Jesus paid for all sin with one perfect sacrificial act of love for us. As one who has attempted suicide many times due to a guilty conscience, Hebrews 9:14 and Romans 8:1 are both very powerful to me.
Sin upsets me. My own sin especially upsets me. I do not want to sin. I do not want to hurt others and I do not want to disappoint my LORD. But I know that I do. I am not perfect and I will not be perfect in my own motives or actions. While I walk this earth in the flesh I know that I am not and will not be perfect. Only Jesus is perfect and all of my hope is in Him.
I used to feel so ashamed, so guilt-ridden and so full of self-hatred. I thank God that He has changed all of that for me and that I do feel whole. I know that I am forgiven. I know that I am loved by God. I know that Jesus is my loving Shepherd.
You can know this, too.
Do you need to know this? Let us know if you want to know more. At least check out our page “The Power of the Gospel.”
You can get rid of your guilty conscience once and for all, right now God bless you and keep you!