Summary: This sermon is about the need for genuine repentence in the heart of every Christian.

INTRODUCTION: Condit/Clinton sex scandal


Scripture Introduction (Ante-theme): Paul’s sorrowful letter. 2nd of at least 4 letters. Send Titus as a follow up.

Proposition: Because Godly sorrow leads to repentance our counseling must cause Godly sorrow.

I. Counseling that causes Godly sorrow must never be mean spirited (vv.8-9)

A. There is no delight in their sorrow (v. 8)

1. Punishing my own son.

2. Those who revel in the punishment

B. The joy is in their repentance (v. 9)

1. PCD song “Favorite Song of All”

2. Rejoicing over the lost sheep/prodigal son

II. Counseling that causes Godly sorrow must be God focused (v. 10)

A. Godly sorrow

1. Starts with God and His holiness, not man and his need

a. Ps. 51 “Against You and You alone…”

b. Bad news of your condition, good news of God’s provision

c. I am a great sinner, Christ is a great Savior

d. Results in genuine salvation

2. Neither insincere or superficial

a. Crisis sorrow – come for awhile, things get better

b. Oprah syndrome – whoa is me!

3. Always an appropriate response to real guilt

a. There is a guilt that is not real

B. Worldly sorrow

1. Starts with self and blames everyone else including God

a. It’s someone else’s fault

b. Illustration: Psychiatrist Poem

c. Too often we don’t send people to the cross, but to a couch

2. Results in death

a. MacBeth’s wife – Out d--- spot, out. Mac to doc, “canst thou minister to a mind diseased? Pluck form the memory a rooted sorrow?” Do something!

III. Counseling that causes Godly sorrow must bring forth verifiable change (v. 11)

A. Flesh each of these out.

1. Vindication – Clear “of blame” (KJV)

2. Indignation - anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean

3. Fear - Ps 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”

4. Longing – desire (1 Pet 1:16) "You shall be holy, for I am holy."

5. Zeal – Do you have a passion for the things of God

6. Avenging of wrong - justice

B. Where are we seeing this today?

1. We do not preach sin

a. Phyllis McGinley poem

2. Superficial teaching, response, congregations = no impact on the surrounding culture

CONCLUSION: You may never be asked to serve as the President’s personal spiritual counselor.

Illustration 1

On January 26th, 1998 President Bill Clinton stood before the American people and stated; “I wanna say one thing to the American people, I want you to listen to me, I’m going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky, I never told anybody to lie, not a single time-never, these allegations are false.

In the face of insurmountable evidence Clinton retracted the previous statement and stated on September 1st, 1998, "I know that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I mislead people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.” Clinton then entered into a counseling agreement with three renown religious leaders: Gordon MacDonald, an evangelical author and pastor; Tony Campolo, author and professor at Eastern College, and Philip Wogaman, pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington.

If you found yourself being asked to counsel the president on this matter what would you do? Where would you begin? Well, our pulpits are filled with people struggling with some of these same issues. Maybe even worse. What do you do? Where do you begin? I would start by looking at Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians.

Illustration 3

His favorite song of all is the song of the redeemed

When lost sinners now made whole

Lift their voices loud and strong

When those purchased by His blood

Lift to Him a song of Love

There’s nothing more He’d rather hear

Nor so pleasing to His ear as His favorite song of all

Illustration 4

I went to my psychiatrist to be psychoanalyzed,

To find out why I killed the cat and blackened my spouse’s eye.

He laid me on a comfy couch to see what he could find,

And here’s what he delivered up from my subconscious mind.

When I was five my mommy locked my dolly in a trunk,

And so it follows naturally that I am always drunk.

When I was eight I saw my father kiss the maid one day,

And that is why I feel the urge to have things my own way.

At three I had a feeling of resentment toward my brother,

And so it follows naturally I’ve poisoned all my lovers.

But I’m so happy now I’ve learned the lesson this has taught,

Everything I do that’s wrong is someone else’s fault.

Illustration 6

And in the pulpit eloquently he speaks

On diverse matters with both wit and clarity:

Art, education, God, the early Greeks,

Psychiatry, Saint Paul, true Christian charity,

Vestry repairs that shortly must begin-

All things but sin. He seldom mentions Sin.

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