I would like to address something that affects many Christians and hinders them from developing a closer relationship with their Heavenly Father. In fact, it is one of the root causes for the lack of power in their lives and in the Church as a whole. I know what I'm talking about because this one thing hindered my own Christian walk for a long time. This thing is SIN CONSCIOUSNESS!
You've probably heard someone say at one time or another, "I'm just an old sinner saved by grace." Well, part of that is true. We are saved by grace. However, when a born-again believer says, "I'm just an old sinner", it is, in reality, an insult and a slap in the face of God and His work of grace. Romans 6:6-7 tell us, "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him (Christ), that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin; For he that is dead is freed from sin." When Jesus died and went to Hell for us He completely and utterly destoyed the power of sin. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, everything He did and obtained for us becomes ours. Therefore, Paul tells us in Romans 5:11, 14. "Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. For sin SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION OVER YOU; for ye are not under the law, but under grace" One definition of the word reckon is to 'consider something to be something'. It also means 'to suppose something to be true'. What the Holy Spirit is telling us through Paul's writing is that we are to consider that it is true, we are dead to sin. Since we are dead to sin we should not think of ourselves as unrighteous sinners any longer. We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Let's look a little further. Psalms 103:12 says, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." In fact, if you start going east you'll never get to west! Think about it. Now that's far! In Romans 10:17 Paul tells us that as part of the covenant God makes with us, "THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE." If God, our most Holy and Righteous Father, doesn't even remember our sins when we repent and confess them, then who are we to bring them up again? If we do, we are in essence telling God that we don't believe His Word is true, and that Jesus' sacrifice didn't give us complete victory over sin. That is what the Bible calls blasphemy! There is no way we can ever develop a close, loving relationship with God if we don't trust what His Word says.
If we have a sin consciousness we will never be able to stand before God as His children with confidence and boldness. As a father myself, it hurt me when my children were timid and scared to talk with me or ask me for something because they didn't think they were worthy. How much more does it grieve our Heavenly Father when we think and act the same way.
We have got to come to the place in our Christian walk where we believe, and KNOW, that our sins are forgiven and remembered no more. Hebrews 10:2 states, "That the worshippers (that's us) once purged (from sin) SHOULD HAVE NO MORE CONSCIENCE OF SINS." It doesn't get more plain than that! Once we settle this in our hearts we can do what Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us therefore COME BOLDLY UNTO THE THRONE OF GRACE, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in our time of need."
One of my favorite chapters in the whole Bible is Romans 8. The first and second verses sum it all up, "There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to them in Christ Jesus, for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus HAS MADE ME FREE from the law of sin and death." Hallelujah!