• Throughout the years, you will hear a lot of sermons on forgiveness. We are told we are supposed to forgive others as Jesus has forgiven us. We are told we are supposed to forgive and forget the evils others have perpetrated against us!
• One sermon that we do not hear a lot deals with another part of forgiveness; forgiving ourselves!
• SLIDE #1
• I believe one of the most difficult things we can do is to forgive ourselves.
• We know we are supposed to forgive other people, sometimes it is hard to do, but we can usually come around to doing it.
• Forgiving ourselves is a different issue. Now we are the one who has hurt other people, we are the one who feels like we failed as a parent, or a husband or wife. We are the one who allowed substance abuse to ruin the lives of other people.
• We KNOW we have done wrong, hurt other people, destroyed the lives of others, and we want to hang on to the guilt of what we have done because we feel like by hanging on to the guilt, we are somehow making what we have done wrong, right.
• When we have sinned against others, it is hard for us to feel like we should be forgiven. Guilt overtakes us and drags us down for a lifetime.
• Sometimes we have done things to people who have since died and we were not able to try to make it right with them,
• So we carry the guilt with us feeling that somehow that will make up for past sins we have committed.
• How many people do you know who allowed not being able to forgive themselves destroy or seriously hurt their lives? Maybe you are struggling with forgiving yourself today over some past problem.
• Today we are going to look at how we can forgive ourselves. There comes a time when we need to be able to forgive ourselves and learn from our mistakes and then get on with life.
• Carrying guilt with you will not fix anything and will only hurt you. It will not change the past, it will only hurt you. It will not make the past right, it will only hurt you.
• Let’s turn to Psalm 103:10-14 as we look at how to forgive ourselves!
• SLIDE #2
In Order to be able to forgive yourself you need to:
I. ADJUST YOUR VIEW OF GOD (10-14)
• One of the things that I believe keeps us from allowing ourselves to be forgiven is the fact we have some wrong views about God.
• If we are going to be able to forgive ourselves, we must first adjust our view about God.
• Maybe we feel like God is out to get us, or that He does not love us.
• Maybe we think God is some mean guy who likes to extract punishment out of us.
• I believe we all have some negative images of God we have acquired from our childhood, church communities or other “authority” figures.
• When we look at the passage in Psalms, we can see a few things about God that will allow us to adjust our view about God.
• Let’s read out text.
• SLIDE #3
• Psalms 103:10 - 14 (NASB) 10He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. 14For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.
• Let us first look at a few things that God is not
• SLIDE #4
God Is Not…
1. A CRUEL judge (10)
• The passage tells us that God has not rewarded us according to our iniquities.
• May of us think that God cannot wait to pay us back for the wrongs we have done.
• How many of you parents want to punish your children? It breaks our hearts to have to do it.
• God is the same way. I am thankful that God does not give us what we deserve.
• If a person steals and gets caught, the judge will sentence him according to the law. If you do the crime, you will do the time.
• God is not waiting to drop the guilty verdict upon you. If you stand before God guilty, it is because YOU refused to accept what Jesus has done to pay for your sins and do your time for you.
• SLIDE #5
• 1 TIMOTHY 2:3-4 says, “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
• A cruel judge would be glad to see you pay for your sins, God has done everything He can to make sure you do not have to pay for your sins.
• SLIDE #6
• Second God is not:
2. A LEGAL ACCOUNTANT (10)
• I think we believe that God is a God who NEVER forgives and NEVER forgets.
• An accountant is someone who keeps the books for a business. It is the accountant’s job to not overlook any money coming in to or going out of the business. You want your accountant to be meticulous in their work.
• When you belong to Jesus, God does not keep record of your sins so that He can extract payment from you in the future. I know people who have had the government come back to them and ask for repayment for a debt incurred years in the past.
• The government accountants finally found the mistake.
• For the Christian, God does not all the sudden come up with a past debt you owe that will keep you out of heaven. Your debt has been paid in full!
• We are told in verse 12, as far as the east is from the west, He has removed our transgressions. The slate is clean! ACTS 2:38 says when we are immersed into Christ, our sins are forgiven!
• SLIDE #7
3. A CRUEL TASKMASTER (11)
• Many have a view of God that says all He does is give us rules we cannot keep so that He can beat us into submission.
• Many people resist God because they think that all God is out to do is to ruin their fun. They think God is someone who wants to give them an impossible set of rules to live by.
• This is not true. God gives us His Word to live by and in His word we find true freedom.
• SLIDE #8
• JOHN 8:32 says, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
• It is not God’s goal for you to be miserable. He wants you to be free!
• We need to change our view of God and understand that God is…
• SLIDE #9
1. A God of LOVE (11)
• We need to know that God loves us. Verse 11 tells us that God shows His loving kindness towards those who fear or respect Him.
• SLIDE #10
• ROMANS 8:38-39 says, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
• When a parent sets guidelines for their children it is because they love the child. God is the same way.
• SLIDE #11
2. A God of FORGIVENESS (12) (Hebrews 10:17-18)
• When we think of God, the word FORGIVENESS should be one of the first we think of when we think of Him.
• SLIDE #12
• HEB 10:17-18 says, "And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.
• Don’t you think that since God went to the trouble He did to forgive your sins through the blood of Jesus, that He would want you to be forgiven?
• Remember what verse 12 tells us in our text? EAST FROM WEST
• SLIDE #13
3. A God of COMPASSION (13)
• Verse 13 reminds us that God has compassion for His children, that He has compassion on those whom respect Him. The key to receiving compassion from God is for you to belong to Him!
• SLIDE #14
4. A God of GRACE & HOLINESS
• The whole reason God can forgive our sins is because of His grace.
• When you give your life to Jesus, you will still sin, but grace makes us the difference. When you fall short, God’s grace makes your pure.
• God’s holiness is the reason that our sins even matter to Him. God is without sin. God’s grace allows the Christian to stand before Him sinless!
• SLIDE #15
II. ACCEPT THE FORGIVENESS GOD OFFERS YOU (12)
• This must frustrate God to no end to see His children clinging on to their guilt when God has done something about it for us!
• SLIDE #16
1. God has REMOVED your sin (12)
• In verse 12 we are told that God has removed your sins as far as the east is from the west.
• Why should you carry what God has already taken from you when you gave your life to Jesus?
• Trying to carry what God has removed does not make sense, plus it tells God what Jesus did was not good enough to have our sins taken away.
• It is God’s job to forgive us; it is our job to accept it! I know but you do not know what I have done. You are right; I do not, but God DOES! It is like trying to rub out a spot on our shirt that has already been removed!
• SLIDE #17
2. God has FORGOTTEN your sin (Heb 10:17)
• In Hebrews 10:17, we are told that God has forgotten our sins! We want to hold on to them.
• When we played in a tournament in Affton a few years ago. I made a coaching mistake that could have cost us a game. I could not shake the guilt of that even though we pulled through and won. The other parents and coaches had put it past them and forgotten it. I tried to carry it with me.
• We do that with sin, we remember what God has forgotten and forgiven!
• SLIDE #18
III. ENJOY YOUR FREEDOM (14)
• God went to a lot of trouble and pain to save us and don’t you think He wants us to enjoy the freedom that we have in Him?
• Think about these next three things
• SLIDE #19
1. There is no CONDEMNATION for those in Christ. (Romans 8:1)
• A condemned person cannot enjoy freedom. In Christ, there is NO CONDEMNATION!
• SLIDE #20
• ROMANS 8:1 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
• You know, I did a lot of things that were not good in my life before I gave my life to Jesus.
• I know some of you did a lot more than I. Have you ever just sat back and let the feeling of being forgiven sink in? It feels GOOD to be forgiven! Let yourself enjoy the fact that there is no condemnation in Christ!
• SLIDE #21
2. Christ died to make us free. (Galatians 5:1)
• Why did Jesus die? Was it because he enjoyed pain?
• SLIDE #22
• GALATIANS 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
• Jesus died so you could be FREE! Enjoy it!
• We have had young men and women die so that the people of Iraq can live free. What a shame it would be for them to not take advantage of their freedom and enjoy it.
• We paid a great price to set them free. Jesus paid a great price to set you free. When you do not forgive yourself, you are subjecting yourself to the yoke of slavery that Jesus freed you from!
• SLIDE #23
3. God made us, knows us and loves us! (14)
• If you are carrying the guilt of the past with you, today is the day to get rid of it. Feeling guilt of things God has forgiven you of will NOT be of ANY BENEFIT to you.
• It is a bit of a slap in the face of God for us to tell God that Jesus death was not good enough for our sins to be forgiven.
• Learn from your past sins, but do not let them drag you down into the gutter. Do not allow Satan to gain a foothold in your life because you cannot forgive what God has forgiven already!
• If you are having trouble releasing the guilt of past sins, we invite you to come forward this morning so we can help you allow yourself to be forgiven.
• God loves you and He has forgiven you if you belong to Jesus!