Sermon Title: One Sinner Who Repents
Text: Luke 15:1-10
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Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?)
It’s not very PC anymore to talk about “sin.” We talk about diseases and disorders, but not disobedience. In a world that thinks less of God, it’s no surprise that many think hardly anything about some higher objective moral code to which a sovereign God will hold us accountable.
And so if we don’t have any “sinners” in the world, then we certainly have no need for repentance. And yet—no one can approach God without repenting. It’s at the very foundation of God’s reconciling work in us: he calls us to repentance.
In the sermon text, the phrase “one sinner who repents” is repeated twice (vv. 7, 10). This crucial phrase is at the heart of the gospel: we are sinners, and our journey to God begins when we acknowledge that our stance toward him has been characterized by rebellion.
We studied the text above to reflect on what the Bible teaches about our desperate need to live in a constant state of awareness of our need for contrition in the presence of a perfectly holy God.
How do I live out the implications of this passage? (Discussion starters to help with applying the sermon to our lives)
- Have you noticed that our society tends to blame something/someone else for what goes wrong? How does this reluctance to accept personal responsibility affect our response to God’s calling us to repentance? How are we tempted to blame external factors for things we do wrong?
- Near the beginning of the sermon, Chuck mentioned two kinds of people: those who are hypersensitive to their own sin and those who tend to de-emphasize or ignore their own sin. Have you noticed this distinction? Do you see either tendency in yourself? What are the problems each kind of person may face?
- How are we deluded into thinking that God isn’t as concerned about the “relatively insignificant” sins that we commit as he is with the “bad” sins that other people commit? What are some of these sins that we excuse?
- Like trust, repentance touches every aspect of our humanity. How does repentance relate to the following? (a) Our intellects; (b) Our emotions; (b) Our wills; and (d) Our actions.
- What makes repentance so hard for you to practice?
- In your prayer life, how often do you ask God for forgiveness? Are your requests for forgiveness general or specific? In other words, are you more likely to use vague phrases like, “Please forgive me for sins I may have committed today,” or phrases like, “I sinned against you today by ________. Please forgive me for that”?
- How does the cross help us see how serious sin is? And how does it help us see the lengths to which God is willing to go to take care of our sins?