Guilt or Grace

cross in woodsYesterday morning, I preached a sermon called “Guilt or Grace.”  The basic theme was that God’s grace can cover all our sins, and because of his grace, we can move on and live lives of vibrant faith.  For most Christians, denial isn’t our primary response to our sins.  Guilt is.  And guilt has a purpose.  But sometimes we let our own guilt and shame overwhelm us and we surrender the excitement and the joy we once had as followers of Jesus.  So, in the sermon, I tried to encourage everyone to not give up but to keep their faith.  Even those who we hold up as great examples of faith–the people mentioned in Hebrews 11–had terrible sins in their lives.  But those men and women were considered faithful.

The good news is that Jesus not only died to reconcile us to God, but Jesus continues to live to keep us pure in God’s sight (Rom 5:8-10).  He still fights for us!  So let’s not quit on him.  There are too many people who need God for us to resign our place in God’s mission.  There’s a lot of work remaining, and God can still use us no matter what we’ve done in the past.  His grace is greater than our sin and guilt!

If you’re interested in hearing the sermon, click on the sermon tab at the top of the page.  The sermon is entitled “Guilt or Grace.”  Or, just click here!


About PatrickBarber

Preaching Minister East Point Church of Christ Wichita, Kansas
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3 Responses to Guilt or Grace

  1. Mark Adams says:

    Fantastic sermon.

    I came to Christ because I was a sinner in need of a savior. I was a sinner then, I am a sinner today, and I will be a sinner tomorrow, because I cannot live a life free of sin (1 John 1:8). My faith grew stronger and I am much happier since I stopped condemning myself for the sins God has forgiven me.

    How does a Christian who is weighted down by guilt, share the joy of God’s forgiveness by grace through faith (Eph 2:8)?

    • PatrickBarber says:

      Mark, it isn’t easy to forget the sins we’ve committed even after God has forgiven us. And I’m not saying that we have to forget those things. But there is a way for our memories to be constructive rather than destructive as we keep trying to live by faith. As I mentioned in the sermon, living by faith means that we come to terms with our failures because we believe in a God powerful enough and loving enough to keep loving us and using us in His mission.

      I’m not aware of any simple way to turn our mourning into dancing, but God makes it possible. I still have trouble with guilt, and I still feel shame for my sins, and I don’t think that this is a flaw unless my guilt and shame keep me from growing in faith and maturity.

  2. Mark Adams says:

    Oh no, I would not say having guilt is a flaw. I still experience guilt, and I will never get over my regret. I totally agree with your statement, “[L]iving by faith means that we come to terms with our failures because we believe in a God powerful enough and loving enough to keep loving us and using us in His mission.” (You communicate so much better than I.) I am just saying, once you reach that point, when you truly accept that God has forgiven you, your guilt will be replaced with joy and thanksgiving. I do not know a simple way to accomplish that either. It took me about 15 years as a Christian before I reached that point.

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