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Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Lesson Three-Sorrow For Sin

We learned in the last lesson that in order for us to really understand repentance, we have to see ourselves as God sees us. We have to admit we are sinners and that our sin is evil in God's eyes. Only the Holy Spirit can open our eyes to this truth. Remember how God opened the eyes of Saul of Tarsus when he was on the road to Damascus, intending to arrest and kill Christians. Listen again to what the Lord Jesus said to Saul, who later became the Apostle Paul:

"I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God...

Acts 26:17-18

At this point in his life, Saul was not only physically blind, but spiritually blind as well. Only by God taking away his blindness could Saul see his sin for what it truly was. This is the same kind of cure we are all in need of. For until we see ourselves as God sees us, we are blind.

One way God uses to help us see our blindness is the Ten Commandments. By looking at the standard God has set for us to live by, we can see how far we fall short. But even more importantly, it gives us a glimpse into our own blindness. Take a moment and read over the Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20. As you read the laws, ask yourself if you really believe it is necessary to keep them and if you feel they apply to your world today.

If we are honest with ourselves, we can admit to ourselves, to others and to God that we have broken these commandments. If you are unable to admit this, let me read the words of Jesus to you:

"Because you say, 'I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing-and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked-I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed: and annoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see..."

Rev. 3:17-18

When God applies this medicine to our eyes, and we are able to see sin for what it is. This will produce sorrow on our part, and also gratitude to God for saving us and showing us who we are.

We all know what it means to say "I'm sorry". But most of the time, do you really mean it? We can get used to saying those words so much until they really don't mean anything at all. When the Bible uses the word sorrow, it means to "have your soul crucified". This is a sign of true repentance. When you feel great anguish and remorse over your sin. It is like being crushed by a great weight, and the only way to have that weight taken off you is to cry out to God.

For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight-that You may be found just when you speak, and blameless when You judge.

(Psalm 51:3-4)

These are the words of King David when he had sinned against God by committing adultery with Bathsheba. David felt the great weight of sorrow. In this Psalm he is crying out to God and admitting that God has every right to judge him for what he has done. David is recognizing that God is just and holy, and that he is sinful and rebellious.

When we feel this weight and great sorrow for sin, it is a good thing. It shows that God is working in us by His Holy Spirit. By feeling true sorrow for sin, God is doing three things:

  • Driving out sin so we may have joy instead(Psalm 126:5)
  • Giving us comfort and assurance(Matthew 5:4)
  • Making Jesus precious in our sight(Luke 7:38)

    In this lesson we will pause and think about whether or not you have sorrow when you commit sin. Do you feel a great weight upon you? When you say you are sorry do you mean it, or are they just words you say? In the second part of this lesson we will look at this sorrow closer and learn four important things about "mourning" over our sin.

    1998 Pomona Youth Chapel/Pastor Tim Shultz