In our prior studies of recent days, we have talked about the strong parallel between ‘justification’ and ‘salvation’ from the conscience. It went like this: I come now as a Christian; I call the specific sin in my life for what it is.. it is sin; I claim the finished work of Christ; I can say, ‘Thank you’ to God, and my conscience can be at rest. Now, let us notice that in this process the real guilt is not overlooked, it is not swept under the rug. Real guilt is placed in a completely rational framework, and it is met within the framework, with intellect and feelings of morality meeting each other, without any fracture between them. With all rationality in place, and consciously in place (on the basis of the existence of God and the finished, substitutionary work of Jesus Christ), my real guilt now is not overlooked, but is accepted as my responsibility because of my own deliberately doing what I know to be wrong. Then, it is reasonably, truly, and objectively dealt with in Christ’s infinite substitutionary work. Now I can say to my conscience, ‘Be still!’ Thus real guilt is gone and I know that anything that is left is my psychological guilt. This can be faced, not in confusion, but to be seen as part of the misery of fallen man.
To say that there is no real guilt is futile, for man as he is does know that there is real moral guilt. But when I know the real guilt is really met by Christ, so that I do not need to fear to look at the basic questions deep inside myself, then I can see that the feeling of guilt that is left is psychological guilt and only that. This does not mean to say that psychological guilt is still not cruel. But I can now be open with it—I see it for what it is—without that awful confusion of real moral guilt and psychological guilt. This also does not mean that we will be perfect in this life psychologically any more than we are physically. But thank God, now I can move; I am no longer running on ice, that is the difference. It does not need to be the old, endless circle. It is not any longer the dog chasing his tail. The light is let in. Things are re-orientated, and I can begin to move as a whole man, with all the rationality I possess utterly in place. I will not expect to be perfect. I will wait for the second coming of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of the body to be perfect morally, physically, and psychologically; but there now can be a substantial overcoming of this psychological division in the present life on the basis of Christ’s perfect, and complete, and finished work. It will not be perfect, but it can be real and substantial.
Thoughts developed or used directly from the work of Schaeffer, Francis. True Spirituality . Tyndale House Publishers, Inc