The following sermons by Dr. Caldwell will help to deepen your understanding of these truths shared in the podcast today:
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Making Amends for Past Sins
How should a Christian deal with the sins, before coming to Christ, that the conscience brings to bear on our hearts and minds? What should we do when some sins we remember are 5, 10, and maybe even 20 years old? How can we deal with our emotional feelings of embarrassment, shame, pain, and guilt over our past sins?
The very moment a person turns from their sin, by faith, in repentance to Jesus Christ, all sins, past, present, and future, are forgiven. But as Christians, we know this is not the end of it all, for the entire life of believers is to be one of repentance. Throughout the rest of our lives, through the work of the Holy Spirit, our sins are brought to bear upon our hearts and minds. Many of these may include sins from our past, which can sometimes weigh heavily upon our consciences. What do we do when we are conflicted over past sins, especially if they nag at us and provoke feelings of guilt? In what situations or circumstances do we need to go back and seek the forgiveness of others and make amends for those sins? What can we do when we struggle with the pangs of guilt aroused by the conscious awareness of our lives before knowing Christ? These are some of the questions that Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot will attempt to help us make sense of this week on the Straight Truth Podcast as we seek to be open, honest, and transparent before the Lord.
Dr. Caldwell tells us it would be helpful to have blueprints for every situation so that we might instruct people in exactly what they are to do. While we don't have specific instructions, what we do have is the Scriptures. In the Scriptures, we have principles. But the application of these principles requires wisdom. Some of these issues become a matter of judgment. By the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, we develop the ability to make good judgment calls. Good judgment is judgment saturated with Scripture, which includes wisdom, which is how you apply the Scriptures in any given situation.
If we can clear our consciences by going to another and have the occasion to make amends for a wrong we’ve done, where it will make sense to the person we are going to, we should do that. If there is a barrier between us and someone else due to our sin, we should want to make things right with them. However, where no permanent barrier exists, it might be more beneficial for us to deal with the issue between ourselves and the Lord. In our pursuit of a clear conscience with/about others, we want to be as sure as we're able that the results would be positive, as in helpful or beneficial, and not destructive, even harmful or hurtful. To go back to people from 5, 10, or 20 years ago might not be for the best. There will be times when the most appropriate way to handle certain sins of the past is between yourself and the Lord. Times, for example, when you might bring injury upon another person because they have no idea of that sin.
Dr. Caldwell shares Romans 12:18, which shows that sometimes there will be things that will not be possible for us to fix, make right, or make amends for, as it depends on us. Where we can live peaceable lives with others, to the degree that we can, we should. But there are going to be situations where it isn’t possible. He also shares 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 which is an example of this truth as it relates to husbands and wives and divorce. In these texts, there is an acknowledgment of what we can do and what we cannot. Dr. Caldwell shares that sometimes our consciences will be loaded down with things we can’t go back and fix. When we find ourselves in these kinds of situations, then we go and make it right between ourselves and the Lord. If we are given the opportunity to make things right with a person or party we've injured, we always want to do that. But those times of opportunity will not always be there.
Many of the conscience issues we face can be and are often related to our lives before becoming a Christian. Dr. Caldwell shares that he does not believe that we are tasked with tracking down people from our past, searching them out to make our confession to them. If we have dealt with the sin and made it right in our heart before the Lord and we run across that person sometime later, we can gladly try to make it right with them. But, he doesn’t believe we are responsible, nor should we feel compelled to search them out.
Dealing with overwhelming guilt regarding sin calls for us to live out our theology. What we believe and why we believe it really matters. We have to be able to apply the truth of the gospel along with knowing and understanding the justification that comes to us from God through Christ. If we are truly saved then we are no longer guilty before God. In Christ, we stand before God clothed with the perfect righteousness of Christ, in whom there is no guilt. So we must ask ourselves, how do we stand before God? Are we guilty, or are we forgiven? If we find ourselves unwilling to make something right, that’s different; that’s a sin issue. We must be willing to make things right wherever the Lord calls us to. When we’ve done that, we can rest in the forgiveness of that which Christ has forgiven us. We can walk in the forgiveness that is really ours. But if we don’t, we aren’t going to have the peace of conscience that we so eagerly seek. The only way we will have relief in the emotional realm is if we apply the truth and we really believe that truth.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
answering any and all questions.
The Straight Truth Podcast is the perfect podcast for those seeking to strengthen their faith, to be informed on how to broach difficult topics with a Christian point of view, to share their faith with unbelieving friends, to challenge the status quo of their own beliefs by viewing them under the lens of the Scriptures, to interpret current news events from a Biblical point of view, and more.
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