And take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
Volume 20, Number
In this issue:
Judas regretted betraying innocent blood for 30 pieces of silver (Matt. 27:3). Yet, his regret led him to commit suicide (Matt. 27:4-5). Peter regretted denying Jesus three times, weeping bitterly when he remembered the Lord’s prediction (Matt. 26:75). His regret led him to repentance, renewed faith and devoted service (Jno. 21:15-19).
The sorrow and subsequent action of Judas and Peter gives us clear insight into the difference between feeling regret over sin and having godly sorrow over sin. The sorrow of Judas was a “sorrow of the world.” He felt badly over what he had done, but his remorse did not stir within him an urgency to reorder his thinking and repair his conduct. Such “sorrow of the world produces death” instead of yielding salvation (2 Cor. 7:10).
On the other hand, Peter was “sorry in a godly manner.” His sorrow produced repentance that led to his salvation, generating in him fruit that reflected his change of heart (2 Cor. 7:10). Once fearful of men, he (and his fellow apostles) went on to boldly preach the gospel (Acts 1:8; 2:14). Repentance means we think differently about the sin we have committed. Godly sorrow over our sin compels us to change our mind toward our sin (repent of it) and start doing the will of God (Lk. 3:7-14). Godly sorrow moves us to repent of our sins, which brings divine forgiveness (2 Cor. 7:11; Acts 8:20-24).
The parable of the two sons in Matthew 21:28-32 shows the difference between regret and repentance. The first son regretted disobeying his father and changed his conduct (21:28-29). This illustrated the sinners who believed the preaching of John and repented of their sins (21:32). The second son said he would do his father’s will but did not (21:30). Like him, the Jewish religious leaders said they would do God’s will, but when John preached the way of righteousness they did not believe him. Neither did they repent after seeing others believe and repent (21:32).
Regretting your sin is not repenting of it. Is your sorrow godly? Well, what does it cause you to do? Rationalize, justify, hurt yourself and others? If so, that is not godly sorrow. Or, does your sorrow lead you to change your thinking and your behavior? Godly sorrow leads to repentance and redemption. Whether we change our mind and conduct toward our sin shows whether or not our sorrow is redemptive.
Not everyone is content to let God have the final word. Some believe God continues to reveal Himself to them through visions, dreams, feelings, experiences, voices, church councils, and the like. He does not (Heb. 1:1-2). Others claim they believe in the completeness of the word of God but then deny it by adding to or taking away from its teachings. Many are simply dissatisfied with the completed word of God (Jude 3). This is evident by observing the epidemic proportion of the religious division in the world.
Here are some ways one may show dissatisfaction with the complete and final revelation of God’s word. Let us examine ourselves lest they characterize us.
1. Foolish and ignorant disputes (2 Tim. 2:23). This person is not satisfied with the Bible’s explanation of things. He is convinced that spirituality is defined by seeking for the unknown and the unknowable. He does not know this shows a lack of faith in what God has revealed (Deut. 29:29). Refuse such questions, “knowing they generate strife.”
2. Fables (1 Tim. 1:3-4; 4:7; 2 Tim. 4:4; 2 Pet. 1:16). A fable is fiction, an invented story. People have believed countless fables in the name of religion. The New Testament exposes every spiritual invention of men for what they are – mere fables (Gal. 1:8-9).
3. The commandments of men (Titus 1:4). Authority for spiritual things must come from the word of God for it to be approved by heaven (Matt. 21:25). When men establish and impose religious commands on others it is a clear sign they are dissatisfied with the commands of God (Matt. 15:1-9; Col. 2:20-23).
4. Selfishness and pride (2 Cor. 2:17; 4:2). Some preach the gospel with hidden agendas and evil motives (Phil. 1:15-17). These are not satisfied to let love for truth and love for men’s souls motivate them. Instead, the truth only satisfies this person when he can use it for a personal advantage.
5. Spiritual immaturity (2 Pet. 3:15-18). This person may be convinced his doctrine is correct (though unsupported by Scripture) because he lacks proper grounding in Bible knowledge. We must “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord” or we can become headstrong and dissatisfied with what God’s word teaches.
6. Satan’s deceptions (2 Cor. 11:13-15). Be assured, Satan wants you to be disgruntled with what God has spoken to you in His word by His Son. God’s completed word will completely equip you to fight Satan and be victorious over sin and death in the Son (Eph. 6:10-18; 2 Cor. 2:11). Trust His word and use it.
God warns us not to be deceived by sin and error. He speaks to us by His Son. The Bible is His complete word and is how God speaks to us today. “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” (Luke 8:8) Are you listening?
-Reprint, The Spirit’s Sword, Oct. 19, 2008
You can find the complete outline of this sermon plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files at BIBLE ANSWERS
Joe R. Price
Scripture Reading: Titus 2:11-15
1. Speak the things that are proper
for sound doctrine, Titus 2:1.
I. SOUND DOCTRINE IS PERSONAL (NOT PERSONALLY DEFINED), Titus 2:1-10.
A. Older Men, Titus 2:2. (1 Tim.
5:1; Job 32:2-9)
II. SOUND DOCTRINE IS PRACTICAL, Titus 2:11, 14.
A. Sound Doctrine is Our Pattern
in Life, Tit. 2:7; Phil. 3:14-17; 2 Pet. 1:3.
III. SOUND DOCTRINE IS POWERFUL, Titus 2:15.
A. Speak, Exhort, and Rebuke with
All Authority, 1 Tim. 4:13; 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:2 (1 Tim. 4:11; 5:7; 6:2). God’s
You can find the complete outline of this sermon
plus PowerPoint and MP3 Audio files
Joe R. Price
Scripture Reading: Psalm 110
1. Jesus quoted from this psalm
and implicitly applied it to Himself, Matt. 22:41-46.
I. CHRIST, THE KING, Psalm 110:1-3.
A. The Psalm Begins with the
Ascension of David’s Lord to His Throne (1); Dan. 7:13-14. (Acts 2:32-36;
Eph. 1:20-23; Psa. 132:11)
II. CHRIST, THE PRIEST, Psalm 110:4.
A. Appointed by God, Heb. 5:1-6.
III. CHRIST, THE JUDGE, Psalm 110:5-7.
A. Judge the Nations, cf. Psa.
2:8-12. (Providentially, Matt. 24:28-39; Acts 17:26; 12:23; 1 Tim. 2:2;
Finally, Acts 17:30-31)
Millennium Tower in San Francisco, CA is sinking at the rate of 1.5-2 inches annually. “58 stories of opulence, it opened in 2009 to great acclaim, then the tallest residential building west of the Mississippi. Though priced in the millions, the inventory of posh apartments moved quickly” (“San Francisco’s leaning tower of lawsuits,” Jon Wertheim, cbsnews.com). “Engineers have tracked sinking here since the day the foundation was poured in 2006…their data shows the Millennium Tower sinking -- 17 inches so far – and tilting 14 inches to the northwest” (Ibid). Local geotechnical engineer Larry Karp explained, “What is under the ground here at the surface is rubble from the 1906 earthquake, brick and sand and debris, everything you could imagine is down here.” The bedrock is 200 feet below the Tower, but its foundation was only “driven 80 feet deep into a layer of dense sand.” “That’s a problem,” said Karp. (Ibid)
It is the classic tale of building on sand instead of rock. Jesus taught that what we build our life on makes the difference between stability with eternal blessings and destruction with eternal demise (Matt. 7:24-27). The wise person builds his life on the rock because he “hears these sayings of Mine, and does them.” The foolish person builds his life on sinking sand because he “hears these saying of Mine, and does not do them.”
No one has owned up to why Millennium Tower is sinking. That reveals a basic lesson we wish to drive home. Until one admits he is building his life on the sinking sand of faithless disobedience he will not change. Only then can he begin to build on the bedrock foundation of hearing and doing the word of God.
Would you live in Millennium Tower? Why would you want to? It is unsafe, you will lose money and you will endanger your life. So, why are you willing to build your life on sinking sand? Listen to the teachings of Jesus and obey Him. By doing so you will be safe forevermore.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 08/20/2018
The Spirit's Sword is a free,
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA