Text: Romans 1: 14-16 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
The Fields are white and the laborers are
C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;"
2 Corinthians 7:6 Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
2 Corinthians 7:7 And not by his coming only, but by the consolation wherewith he was comforted in you, when he told us your earnest desire, your mourning, your fervent mind toward me; so that I rejoiced the more.
2 Corinthians 7:8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season.
2 Corinthians 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
2 Corinthians 7:11 For behold this selfsame thing,
that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea,
what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what
vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have
approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
Father, Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN
Introduction: "Now I rejoice, not that you
were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance."
As we begin this message, I want to say something to you about my purpose, and more importantly, your purpose, for being here. I often hear people say, "Man, you sure did step on my toes today, I really needed to hear that!"
I understand what people mean when they
say that, and I appreciate it. But, I did not come here just to make you feel
guilty about your short-comings and sins in regards to your relationship with
You see, if every Christian in this room right now were completely honest they would have to admit that there is some area in their relationship with God that needs improvement. I have to be completely transparent and tell you that there are lot's of areas in my life and relationship with God that need to be improved.
The question you face right now is this: what are you going to do about your guilt? I am here this week, not to make you feel guilty, but to be an instrument that God can use to bring about a genuine change in your life. Experiencing a feeling of Guilt about our sins does absolutely no good unless it motivates you to change your heart! And, God wants to change your heart so that you can experience true revival!
We are going to look at a passage right now that is going to help us understand the seriousness of the decisions we need to make over the next few days in these meetings. Revival is not a time when we get the preacher from down the road to come in and do some of his best messages so that we can punish ourselves through guilt and then go back to doing the same old things we were doing after things get back to normal!
Revival services are for the church; they are times when we must soberly reflect upon the condition of our personal and corporate relationship with God.
Revival services allow the Holy Spirit to deal with us by pointing out the areas of our lives that do not please God - that is if we are open to that.
Revival will only come when we make a genuine commitment to change those things that the Holy Spirit points out to us through Christ who strengthens us!
Are you ready for that? Are you tired of being stirred but not changed? If your answer is no, then you are wasting your time by coming to these meetings.
If you are not ready to change then you
might as well send me home right now and cancel the services. But if your answer
is yes, then let us see what God tells us we need to do in His word.
In this passage, we are going to examine three basic truths that will help us understand that God wants the conviction we feel in our hearts to produce a change in our actions. I am going to ask that you get out your pen, pencil, crayon or lip stick and write these truths down as we go through them. They are going to be like building blocks for everything else we do this week.
Give brief background on four letters to Corinth..Paul sent Titus to Corinth with the third (Flaming) letter. This is the one that Paul is referring to in this passage.
The first truth is..
I. GUILT IS A MEANS TO AN END AND NOT AN END IN ITSELF (v. 9)
1. Paul rejoiced, not because his letters to the Corinthian church made them feel bad, but because the letters forced them to deal with the issues they faced as a church. They certainly had plenty of issues to deal with!
(1) There were divisions in the church..I am of Paul, I am of Cephas..
(2) There were "super saints" in the church trying to run the show.
(3) There was sexual immorality in the church - incestuous relationships..
(4) Lawsuits among the members - couldn't deal with their problems so the turned to the world
(5) Marital problems (Ch. 7)
(6) These were just a few of the problems down at Corinth Baptist Church
2. There is a difference between "godly" sorrow, and "worldly" sorrow - "worldly" says, "I am sorry that I got caught!" - "godly" says, "now that God has helped me see these sins, what does He want me to do about them?"
3. God doesn't just want to make us feel guilty about our personal and corporate sins, he wants us to deal with them!
(1) He doesn't just say, "I think I'll let ______ squirm for a little while, then I'll let him/her off the hook!"
(2) God comes to us and says, "What are you going to do about this sin? Do you it is affecting our relationship with each other."
4. I believe that God has some issues he wants you to deal with today..(personal & corporate sins)
The second truth is..
II. REPENTANCE IS THE ONLY TRUE REACTION TO GUILT (v. 9)
1. Paul not only rejoiced because the Corinthians finally came around and dealt with their sins, but that they followed through with a genuine repentance.
(1) A false repentance (worldly) is one that never gets beyond the emotion of guilt.
(2) You may feel sick to your stomach for a while, but you know the feeling will soon pass.
(3) In turn, Satan uses that against you, he comes to you and says: "Your Ok now because you felt bad about what you did. Don't worry about it.
2. The word used here for repentance however means: A change of mind, a change of heart, a change of attitude..I'm sorry and I am going to do something about it! I am going to change with God's help!
3. Paul even brings salvation into the picture - not that he questioned their salvation, but that when we are saved, It is not our guilt that brings leads to salvation, but the decision to turn from our sins and accept God's free gift of eternal life!
4. God wants the conviction you may be feeling in your heart to produce a change of mind and attitude!
The third truth is..
III. VISIBLE CHANGE IS THE EVIDENCE OF REPENTANCE (v. 11)
1. Paul not only rejoiced because they followed through with genuine repentance, but that there was visible change to prove their repentance. Sorrow produces repentance and repentance produces a changed life.
(1) They went from laziness to diligence - being quick to do what was right.
(2) From guilt to a clear conscience through confession of sin.
(3) From apathy to indignation over their spiritual condition.
(4) From a lax attitude about sin to fear lest their sins be repeated.
(5) From mediocre to having a vehement desire to do what was right in God's sight.
(6) From indifference to zeal in turning back to God.
(7) From indictment over sin to vindication.
2. They were no longer just stirred by the words of Paul, they were changed by them! They brought forth fruits worthy of repentance!
3. Are you going to be stirred by my words or are you going to be changed by them when you leave this place???
(1) Are you going sit there and be lazy or will you be diligent?
(2) Are you going away from here with guilt, or are you going to lay your guilt at the foot of the cross?
(3) Are you going to remain apathetic (unresponsive) about your spiritual condition or are you going to get upset?
(4) Are you going to have a lax attitude about sin, or will you leave with a healthy fear of God?
(5) Are you going to just sit there mediocre or are you going to have a vehement desire to do what is right?
(6) Are you going to be indifferent, or will you be zealous and turn back to God?
(7) Will you continue to be indicted over your sins, or will you be vindicated by the Holy Spirit?
4. God's desire is for you not to leave this place the same as you came in! Will you let him have His will and way in your life???