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THE UTILITY OF REMORSE

March 22, 2013

Text: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”. Matthew 5:4

What use can be made of sorrow or grieving over sin? Jesus insists on the  blessedness of that in our text, which is the second of the beatitudes. Our Lord is talking, not of the sadness of this life, but of lamenting about our own moral offenses against God. Here Jesus gives one of the foremost traits of those in his kingdom, heart brokenness over our transgressions against God.

Let me give you two examples of men in the Bible who were truly heart stricken over their sins.

Jesus told a parable about two men who went up to the temple. The first man prayed telling God about his own righteousness. The second man did not lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast and said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner”. Luke 18:13 That is true remorse!

King David was a man after God’s own heart. But, Oh, how his sins weighed on his conscience! Many of the Psalms written by David expose a heart grieving over his transgressions against the Law of God. The fifty-first Psalm is probably the most revealing. “Have mercy on me O God, according to your steadfast love: according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. (Psalm 51:1-3)

Nathan had exposed David’s adultery with Bathsheeba. When David recognizes himself as offender in Nathan’s  story  he forthrightly confesses his offense; “I have sinned against the Lord.” (II Samuel 12:13) No misdirection. No evasion. No putting the blame elsewhere. David is overwhelmed by his heinous sins: murder and adultery. A heart wearied by sin  has but one place to go: to a forgiving God! David was more interested in forgiveness than in anesthetizing a protesting conscience. He was confronted with his guilt, and he confessed it and returned for pardon.

Between the sinner in the temple and David the King there are  several pointers for employing remorse in the Christian’s life. The first is recognition of your sins. The second is seeking God’s mercy and asking Him to direct mercy toward you. Third is to recognize that mercy proceeds from God’s love.  Fourth, ask God for forgiveness. Pray that He blot out your transgressions, washes away your iniquities, cleanses you from sin.  Remember that repentance cannot be bypassed in forgiveness.  “No, I tell you: but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish”. Luke 13:3

In today’s world, Satan is succeeding in silencing the facts about sin, guilt, and eternal punishment. Moderns have been assured that sin is a myth of a long ago society. Guilt, they say, has been a manipulation of man’s superstitions. And eternal punishment is a concept that puts fear in the minds of human beings. Satan advertizes  that sin is “not so bad”,  and that righteousness is a silly concept of “legalism”. Well, friends, we are being hornswoggled. (It has been in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary since 1829.) We are being flooded with by an ocean of devilish lies. And people are believing the whole sordid mess and desensitizing their remorse over sin.

Those whose goal is heaven must realize how real sin is and how it is succeeding in ridiculing our remorse over sin.

REM

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One Comment
  1. Nancy Giles permalink

    This is a powerful message in a mini sermon. Wonderful!!

    ________________________________

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