Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Choose to Change #4: Repentance over Guilt

Ezek 33:11-12

INTRODUCTION

Over the past three Wednesday we have looked at some choices that we, as believers, need to make in our lives in order to please God.

We have seen how we need to choose to have right attitudes, to live with a real purpose.

To have perseverance and to live by faith.

Now I want us to see that another important choice for us is to choose repentance over guilt!

I. DEFINITION OF REPENTANCE.

A. Repentance is not an emotion, but is an attitude that leads to a specific action.

1. It is an attitude that chooses to confront failure rather than to ignore it.

2. It is not just a one time action, but it is an attitude that confronts and deals with failure in every area of our lives.

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:8-9)

3. Repentance isn't very popular today, because it requires us to honestly confront sin.

B. THE PROBLEM WITH GUILT.

1. Guilt is an emotion that can have devastating effects upon us.

2. It affects us physically, emotionally, and mentally.

a. David said, "When I Kept Silence, My Bones Waxed Old Through My Roaring All the Day Long. {4} for Day and Night Thy Hand Was Heavy upon Me: My Moisture Is Turned into the Drought of Summer. Selah." (Psa 32:3-4)

b. Even psychiatrists and psychologists recognize that awareness of wrongdoing often produces prolonged feelings of remorse and self condemnation.

"For Godly Sorrow Worketh Repentance to Salvation Not to Be Repented Of: but the Sorrow of the World Worketh Death." (2 Cor 7:10)

3. Failure to repent means we carry guilt over our sin and suffer the consequences of it.

4. Guilt changes or often breaks our relationship with others.

5. For the believer it will cause us to avoid God out of fear of punishment.

"And He Said, I Heard Thy Voice in the Garden, and I Was Afraid, Because I Was Naked; and I Hid Myself." (2 Cor 7:10)

II. CHOOSING AN ATTITUDE OF REPENTANCE

A. Identify areas of failure. (where we fail to meet God's standards)

"Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart: Try Me, and Know My Thoughts: {24} and See If There Be Any Wicked Way in Me, and Lead Me in the Way Everlasting." (2 Cor 7:10)

1. These could be our relationship with God.

2. Our relationship with our parents or brothers and sisters.

3. Our relationship with our husband or wife.

4. Our relationship with our children.

5. Our relationship with others.

"Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; (24) Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. " (2 Cor 7:10)

B. Acknowledge Our Failures to God.

1. Whether our guilt involves others or not, it certainly involves God.

2. All sin is against God.

"Against Thee, Thee Only, Have I Sinned, and Done this Evil in Thy Sight: That Thou Mightest Be Justified When Thou Speakest, and Be Clear When Thou Judgest." (Psa 51:4)

3. We must humble ourselves before God and acknowledge our sin and our need for forgiveness.

"If We Confess Our Sins, He Is Faithful and Just to Forgive Us Our Sins, and to Cleanse Us from All Unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

C. Accept His Forgiveness.

1. The greatest truth in the verse we just read is that God always is faithful.

2. His forgiveness is unconditional.

3. The devil will try to convince us that God could never forgive us for what we have done, but God said just the opposite!

"Blessed Is He Whose Transgression Is Forgiven, Whose Sin Is Covered. {2} Blessed Is the Man unto Whom the Lord Imputeth Not Iniquity, and in Whose Spirit There Is No Guile." (Psa 32:1-2)

4. For the believer, there is no record kept of the debt that God erases!

"As Far as the East Is from the West, So Far Hath He Removed Our Transgressions from Us." (Psa 103:12)

D. You must forgive those who have sinned against you.

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: (15) But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matt 6:14 15)

1. This is not a choice, but a command.

2. That isn't easy, but it is always best for us.

E. Repentance is the actual turning away from known sin.

1. It is possible to do all of the other things we have talked about and really not repent.

2. Repentance involves a turning away from evil.

3. It is a change of thinking that results in a change of direction in our lives.

4. When David asked for God's forgiveness he also asked that God do something else for him.

"Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God; and Renew a Right Spirit Within Me." (Psa 51:10)

CONCLUSION

The challenge for us is that we choose repentance over guilt.

God has an answer for dealing with sin.

It is confession, repentance, and forgiveness.

The one and only way to overcome guilt!