Main Idea: God wants the conviction we feel in our hearts to produce a change in our actions.
Introduction: “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance.”
As we begin this series of meetings, I want to say something to you about my purpose, and more importantly, your purpose, for being here. I often hear people say, “Man, you sure did step on my toes today, I really needed to hear that!” I understand what people mean when they say that, and I appreciate it. But, I did not come here just to make you feel guilty about your short-comings and sins in regards to your relationship with God.
You see, if every Christian in this room right now were completely honest they would have to admit that there is some area in their relationship with God that needs improvement. I have to be completely transparent and tell you that there are lot’s of areas in my life and relationship with God that need to be improved.
The question you face right now is this: what are you going to do about your guilt? I am here this week, not to make you feel guilty, but to be an instrument that God can use to bring about a genuine change in your life. Experiencing a feeling of Guilt about our sins does absolutely no good unless it motivates you to change your heart! And, God wants to change your heart so that you can experience true revival!
We are going to look at a passage right now that is going to help us understand the seriousness of the decisions we need to make over the next few days in these meetings. Revival is not a time when we get the preacher from down the road to come in and do some of his best messages so that we can punish ourselves through guilt and then go back to doing the same old things we were doing after things get back to normal!
Revival services are for the church; they are times when we must soberly reflect upon the condition of our personal and corporate relationship with God.
Revival services allow the Holy Spirit to deal with us by pointing out the areas of our lives that do not please God – that is if we are open to that.
Revival will only come when we make a genuine commitment to change those things that the Holy Spirit points out to us through Christ who strengthens us!
Are you ready for that? Are you tired of being stirred but not changed? If your answer is no, then you are wasting your time by coming to these meetings. If you are not ready to change then you might as well send me home right now and cancel the services. But if your answer is yes, then let us see what God tells us we need to do in His word.
In this passage, we are going to examine three basic truths that will help us understand that God wants the conviction we feel in our hearts to produce a change in our actions. I am going to ask that you get out your pen, pencil, crayon or lip stick and write these truths down as we go through them. They are going to be like building blocks for everything else we do this week.
Give brief background on four letters to Corinth…Paul sent Titus to Corinth with the third (Flaming) letter. This is the one that Paul is referring to in this passage.
The first truth is…
I. GUILT IS A MEANS TO AN END AND NOT AN END IN ITSELF (v. 9)
1. Paul rejoiced, not because his letters to the Corinthian church made them feel bad, but because the letters forced them to deal with the issues they faced as a church. They certainly had plenty of issues to deal with!
(1) There were divisions in the church…I am of Paul, I am of Cephas…
(2) There were “super saints” in the church trying to run the show. Illus. Hanz and Franz from SNL
(3) There was sexual immorality in the church – incestuous relationships…
(4) Lawsuits among the members – couldn’t deal with their problems so the turned to the world
(5) Marital problems (Ch. 7)
(6) These were just a few of the problems down at Corinth Baptist Church
2. There is a difference between “godly” sorrow, and “worldly” sorrow – “worldly” says, “I am sorry that I got caught!” – “godly” says, “now that God has helped me see these sins, what does He want me to do about them?”
3. God doesn’t just want to make us feel guilty about our personal and corporate sins, he wants us to deal with them!