Summary: God gives the grace to face the issues and problems of the past
We all have regrets, according to Dr. Richard Kinnier of Arizona State Univ. The most common regret was not being a better student, not studying more. Other common regrets include not being more assertive, not having more self-discipline, not taking more risks, not spending quality time with families. One surprise showed up: money appears to be insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Dr. Merrill Douglass, Homemade, April, 1990.
Common examples of regrets
* Relationships – Broken relationships with children or family
* Divorce – Death of a relationship
* Sinful behaviors
* Mistakes that haunt us
* Poor choices for career and lost opportunities
* Not following the direction of God
"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death." -- 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NIV)
“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4
You have died to sin
The penalty of sin is death. Jesus died on the cross as the ultimate act of grace to pay the penalty of sin. The sin that plagued your past has been forgiven by Christ. The moment that you confessed, it was nailed to the cross and removed from your life.
Why do so many people struggle with their past?
Many people cannot seem to move beyond their past. The main problem is that they are so focused on the things of earth that they have forgotten the view of eternity. Many get themselves wrapped up in things that draw their attention away from the things of God. Too many people allow their past to hold them back.
You are a product of your past but you do not have to be a prisoner of your past – Rick Warren
The past is washed away in the cleansing flood of redemption through the blood of Jesus. The past is forgiven and forgotten when it is confessed. God no longer holds our wrongs against us. The past no longer has power over our lives. When we allow the past to continue to control the way we live, we are ignoring the promise and the power of Christ. Jesus promised that we would be given a new life because the old life was crucified to the cross with Him. The old life was buried with Christ and the new life is symbolized in the reality of an empty tomb.
The old life is everything that comprised our lives prior to finding Christ. It is everything that led us down a path of death and destruction. The old life was corrupted by the reality of sin. Sin is doing those things you know are wrong. It is missing the mark or missing the target. In essence, sin is living off the target of God’s standards. We fall short of God’s standard for living and are in a desperate need of grace.
When Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross to pay the price for sin, He gave Himself for three key reasons of grace.
1.) Jesus mended the broken relationship between God and humanity
2.) Jesus provided the needed resolution with God
3.) Jesus removed the separation that sin created – He bridged the gap
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
As Jesus hung on the cross, He nailed our old life there with Him. The life we knew before Jesus is dead. The moment we chose to accept Christ, the old existence felt the hammer’s swing. The moment Jesus exchanged His life for ours, our old life found itself hanging on the cross. The old life that was corrupted by sin, died with Jesus on the cross. The old life bound for death and destruction was buried with Jesus. The life of sin died with Jesus and was buried with Jesus. The old life is never meant to make a come back.
If the old life died on the cross with Christ, why are you so worried about it? If the old life died on the cross with Christ, why do you let it continue to control you? If the old life died on the cross with Christ, why do you let it hurt you?
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! Horatio G. Spafford
The old life is dead and has no hold on us any longer