Guilt runs rampant in the body of Christ. Though you already know you often feel guilty, it's important that we say it, because you would be surprised how often we miss it. In fact most of my pastoral counseling is offered to people who feel guilty. I did my clinical training at the Harvard Experimental Hospital in Boston. In almost every patient, I found a significant problem with guilt.
Defining the problem
Right now, many of you are feeling guilty about one thing or another: what you said to your wife last night; the time you spanked your kids and they didn't deserve it; the lustful thoughts in your mind. Or maybe you did something years ago and nobody knows. If a great sign should be put over your head, telling the world what you'd done, you'd absolutely die. Maybe it's lying or cheating on your income taxes. Maybe it was a little thing, but it's eating away at you, making you feel anxious, hurt, down, or depressed. But if you are a believer, hear me: you don't have to feel that guilt.
The requirement for forgiveness
First, before I go a step further, I want to say something to the unbeliever. You should feel guilt, because you have yet to take care of your sin. But, let me offer a word of hope to you. I want you to note in our text that the hope of forgiveness has been extended to you—but with a requirement. Hebrews 10:14: "For by a single offering he [Jesus] has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." The word "sanctified" means "set apart unto God."
Every once in a while, someone will come to me and say, "Pastor, I've been trying to do some of the things you say when you teach the Bible, and they simply don't work." Now, the presupposition of my teaching is that every word of the Bible is absolutely ...
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