Grace Will Overcome Guilt
Pastor Gregory Swift
July 21, 2019
Daniel 9:4-5 and John 1:17 and Matthew 13:44-45
Jesus preached wonderful parables of grace to the people of his time. These parables were centered on God’s unmerited favor. Without saying the word grace, we see God’s unmerited favor of grace in all these parables. Matthew 13:44-45 says,
Jesus spoke about the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for pearls of great price; it is like a treasure hidden in a field. The grace that Jesus is teaching us is that if we pursue the kingdom of God we will be blessed by its incredible value. The Kingdom of God is the most valuable treasure we can have! Jesus comes into our hearts with peace, love and joy.
In the prodigal son we see the return of the son who was willing to work as a farm hand just to return to the home of his father, where the father greeted him with open arms. God’s unmerited grace once again shows through. We are welcomed by the Father with open arms no matter what we have done or who we are.
So; are you feeling God’s grace in your life? Do feel the love of Jesus in your life? Is your life filled with abundant joy?
What is the problem in our society today where people are not feeling the love and grace of God? What is the problem of human beings where there is so much division and hatred in the world? Some people say the problems with people are primarily economic, others say its social, and still others say its psychological.
Certainly; these may give some answers to the symptoms, but the Bible teaches the disease is far deeper and more profound. In a word, the problem is sin, rebellion against God who created us. This rebellion goes all the way back to Adam and Eve where they ate From the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the garden. Why would God even put this Tree of Knowledge in the garden? Its because the tree reminded Adam and Eve their authority to rule and subdue the earth was not absolute. With the eating of the fruit it was a tragic sin because they were trying to be like God,
Genesis 3:5 says,
They were grasping for more power and authority than God had given them, thereby making a play for the high throne. The consequences of what Adam and Eve sinning in the garden were catastrophic. God had promised that if humans ate from the tree they would surely die. What He meant is not just physical death but spiritual death. This would be a right and just punishment. A perfect and holy God cannot tolerate such evil and sin in His presence. Even worse when Adam sinned, he did it as the representative of every human being and in addition to that guilt and shame were introduced to the human experience. The pain of guilt and shame is too great for Adam and Eve to sustain, and the fear of judgment was so great.God then will banish them from the garden, where they experienced the intimate presence of God. So guilt and shame goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.
Step 1: Guilt is the Corrosion of the Soul:
So how do modern people deal with guilt? Let’s look on how we try to resolve guilt in the modern world. Being a therapist I have dealt with a lot of people who try to justify their behaviors. So how do they do it? They lower their moral standards. They lower the expectation of a virtues and turn it into vices. They change God’s commands and only observe them when its convenient. Some consider God’s laws prudish and outdated, or old-fashioned. In fact, the things we use to think of as virtues are now vices, such as self-exaltation, greed, and intimidation.Even religious people can fall into the trap of having tremendous guilt, by knowing they have gone against God so now they can only make up for by good works. We are not saved by works. Sinful people cannot be cured by being good, or doing good works,God alone cures the disease of sin. None of this is acceptable to God according to Scripture. So; then what do we do with guilt? Many people deal with guilt by drowning in it. Some people drown themselves in drugs and alcohol. 14 million people use the 12 step programs. People are trying to escape themselves and drown out the pain of our guilt. A famous American actor Marlon Brando was once young, handsome, and fit and trim, and was admired by his fans, But over the years he let himself go, and he weigh over 400 pounds. He told someone in an interview, “I am sorry for all the harm I have done, and all the troubles I have brought to others in my life.” “I have never been a good parent or a good husband.” “I have been too busy with my own life to have time for others.” “I am a guilty old man who’s ashamed of the kind of life I have led.” “There’s nothing left for me except for eating.” He was drowning himself with guilt due to all the regrets he had in his life.
Other people deal with guilt by denying it. As our society has becoming increasingly secular, it has lost respect for the Bible And the authority of the Word of God, and that has lead to a destructive moral and spiritual chain reaction. Here is how that works. If there is no authoritative Word of God…….. then there is no moral absolutes……….if no moral absolutes then there is no ultimate standards of right and wrong, if there is no standards for right and wrong………then we base our standards on society consensus……….and if we base our standards on society consensus, then we can adjust them any way we want for our own cravings and desires. We can live any way we want, and deny that guilt exists.We must be counter-cultural in dealing with guilt, as denying guilt does not work.
Other people deal with guilt by deflecting it. They blame other people for their failures and their shortcomings. They blame their parents or society or anyone that they can. This technique goes all the way back to the garden of Eden where Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. But sooner or later all these different techniques fail, and we can’t escape the consequences of our sinfulness and guilt. Jeremiah 2:22 says,
Guilt is a corrosion of the soul. How can we get rid of it? We can’t drown in it, we can’t deny it, or deflect it, We can only dissolve it in the blood of Jesus and what He did on the cross for you and for me.
Step 2: God Introduces Grace Through His Son: (Here is the Good News)
Instead of leaving us to die in our sin, God acted through His Son Jesus, and through His incarnation, death, and resurrection. God saves His people from their sin and makes everything right once and for all, finally and forever. Jesus came to address sin and He is the Deliverer from Sin. The Bible says that we are not only saved by grace we are also forgiven by grace. 1 John 1: 9 says,
Why does God forgive us? Because God is gracious and its His nature to be forgiving. All of this grace is wrapped up in Jesus Christ. John 1:17 says,
Grace comes through a relationship with Jesus. When you have a relationship with Jesus these things happen.
1. Your sins are forgiven,
2. You are infused with grace,
3. You are given a purpose,
4. You have a home waiting for you in heaven,
What happens on the inside when we claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior? When you let grace in your life you change radically. We have a new awareness of sin in our lives, (We live by God’s standards) In the O,T. lets look at what Daniel the Prophet says in the Book of Daniel 9: 4-5 regarding his sin and Israel’s sin,
What else happens when we claim Jesus as our Lord and Savior? We have a new status with God, We have a new heart; we have a new master.
To illustrate grace have you ever played the board game of monopoly. It is a very popular game. The idea is to become financially independent by buying and developing real estate property and force your opponents into bankruptcy.There is also a hazard of finding yourself in jail, and then you have to skip a turn and or pay 200.00 dollars to get out. There is also the opportunity to draw a card to Get Out of Jail Free……..this free pass! This free pass is like grace, a free gift. We deserve to go to jail, based on things we have done in the past, hurts afflicted onto others. Yet our God is so forgiving and loving He is giving us this grace by forgiving all of our sins.
Step 3: God’s Way of Handling Guilt: Grace
Having been in the psychology field for over 20 years the best way of dealing with guilt is God’s way. God is the solution!
Here’s how God wants us to get rid of guilt.
A. Freely Confess Your Sins; Psalm 69:5 says,
God himself keeps you from guilt, shame, and despair
B. Trust God’s Character: Hebrews 10:22 says,
C. Accept God’s Forgiveness; John 3:18
D. Look to Christ;
Find the liberating cure in the Gospel. Experience the Peace of God through Christ Jesus.
We do not have to let the past determine our future, We may have to live with consequences of our mistakes. But you and I do not have to live with guilt and shame, Jesus will give you another chance and you can forgive and forget the past, The Apostle Paul urges us to be reconciled to God through Christ. (2 Cor. 5:20) Turn away from all of the modern ways the world evades guilt and turn to Jesus, turn to God’s way of handling guilt through grace and truly believe that you have been forgiven by the blood of Christ, Jesus is precious, because He alone removes our guilt. Because of God’s grace, we can live free from guilt! Because of Jesus Christ peace can replace guilt, Healthy relationships restored, and addictions overcome.