Online Bible Commentary
Hebrews 10:22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water... 26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (NIV)
This passage refers to guilt. There are two kinds of guilt. There is false guilt, which comes from Satan and there is legitimate guilt which comes from God. We may feel guilty when we should not. This false guilt comes from Satan, and those who are influenced by him. God sees either good or evil. He does not see any gray area. He is the God of absolutes. If we do His will, we are doing good. If we do not do his will, we are doing evil. This evil is called sin.
People may make us feel false guilt for any number of invalid reasons. We may always be apologizing for this or that, when there is no reason for it. We should avoid false guilt by avoiding those people who are doing the work of Satan. However, apologizing about minor issues in order to maintain relationships can be useful, as long as we are not made to feel guilty.
We may also impose guilt upon ourselves. God can heal us of this false guilt if we give it away to him in prayer. Either way, if we carry around guilt when we have not sinned, that is false guilt. It can steal our joy.
Then there is legitimate guilt. When we are in a lifestyle of sin we experience legitimate guilt. That guilt is manifested as a “guilty conscience” (v.22). The word translated “guilty” here is the Greek word “poneros” which means “evil”. The literal Greek for “guilty conscience” in this verse is “evil conscience.” Guilt and evil are the same. The word “guilt” is not even in the original Greek Scriptures. The word “evil”, sin, is used instead.
The only remedy for sin, along with its guilty conscience, is “having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us” (v.22). This refers to the baptism of the heart, the baptism that occurs when we give our hearts to Jesus Christ and make Him our Lord and Savior.
If you “deliberately keep on sinning” there is something wrong. This should be a red flag. Continuing down that road will not lead you to Heaven (vv. 26-27). You are not a Christian. You have not truly repented of your sin. Repentance, turning from your sin, is required for forgiveness. When someone continues in a lifestyle of sin (evil) they experience legitimate guilt, guilt from God.
Those who experience legitimate guilt often attribute this guilt to any number of things. They may not even know that their unrest is guilt. They may blame their guilt on their parents, or the way they were raised. They may blame their guilt on society. Or, appropriately enough, they may blame their guilt on God.
To blame legitimate guilt on anything but sin is incorrect. Legitimate guilt only comes from God. It does not come from our parents and it does not come from society. Freud-based psychology of today often blames our problems on our parents. Freud was a humanist and left God out of his conclusions. To blame guilt on our parents is incorrect. Guilt comes from sin and we are not held accountable for the sins of our parents (Ezekiel 18:19-20). We are the only ones responsible for our sins, and the accompanying guilt.