Summary: We all experience guilt. If left unchecked, guilt can cripple our lives. So what steps can we take to deal with guilt.
I. Our base text for this morning is found in James, chapter 2, verse 10 -
A. In the New American Standard it reads like this - For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all
B. In the New International Version is reads like this - For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
C. If you prefer the King James, your translation reads like thus - For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all
II. The basic idea is this, you can keep every one of the laws that God has set down, except one, and you would be just as guilty as if you had broken every law.
A. So what is the good of attempting to keep the law?
1. None, if you are keeping them with an eye towards getting into heaven.
2. For there is no man able to keep all of them.
B. That is the very reason why we need Jesus Christ.
III. So what purpose does the law serve, if it does not make us holy?
A. God’s law shows us our guilt, and need.
B. It is that very guilt feeling that reminds us of our need for something, or someone much larger and more perfect than ourselves to make us right before God.
IV. No matter how good you are, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, HE HAS BECOME GUILTY OF ALL.” You are not good enough.
V. True story from a court room in San Diego, as reported in the San Diego Union newspaper.
A. Two men on trial for armed robbery.
B. The prosecutor calls forward his first witness to the stand,
1. “Were you are the scene of the robbery sir” Yes I was, came the reply.
2. “Did you see a vehicle driving away at a high rate of speed.” Yes Sir, I did.
3. “Did you see plainly see two men in that vehicle as it drove away?” Yes I most certainly did, the witness replied.
4. “And are those two men present in the courtroom this morning sir?”
C. And before the witness could say a word, the two men at the defendant table stood and raised their hands, indicating that they were indeed the two men.
D. Case closed, trial basically over, the guilty parties confessed.
VI. But is that a typical response from a guilty party? No!
VII. This morning we are going to look at “Guilt and the Grace of God.
A. We are going to talk about what guilt is,
B. We are going to talk about the most probable response to that guilt,
C. And I want to conclude by looking at two ways to manage guilt.
VIII. Let’s look at Genesis chapter 3, beginning with verse 7 - “7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. 8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 And the man said, “The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
IX. The first man and women in all of creation.
X. The first and to date, only perfect relationship between
A. Man and God,
B. Man and women, and
C. Man, women and God.
XI. Prior to this date, however long that may have been, Sin, let’s call it disobedience to God had not yet entered into the world.
A. Perfect relationships between even the lion and the lamb.
B. But then sin and guilt.
XII. Why must we recognize and know how to deal with guilt?
A. Listen to the words of David.
B. "My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear." Psa. 38:4 (NIV)
What Is Guilt?
I. My dictionary says that the definition of guilt is “a feeling of having done something wrong or failed in an obligation.”