“Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.” (Ephesians 5:25-26 NIV)
You don’t have to live with guilt, regret, or shame anymore. Too many people are stuck with memories from their past that they can’t get over. Either you’ve been hurt and have resentment or you’ve hurt someone else and you have guilt.
God doesn’t want you to carry that heavy baggage throughout your life. He wants you to be free. That’s one reason God gave us the Bible. He uses his Word to eradicate our guilt.
I remember many years ago, when I was preaching, a woman came up to me in tears. She began to pour out a very sad story to me, complete with all the bad mistakes she had made. She was distraught and weeping profusely. She kept saying how very guilty she felt.
Then I read her 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (NIV). It’s the soap-dish verse. God says he’ll give you a bath; he’ll get rid of the dirt on your life, forgive you, and wipe away your sins.
Then I took her to Romans 8:1: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (NIV). She asked, “You mean all the things I’ve done wrong in my life, God’s not going to punish me for?” Nope. “Why?” she asked. Because Jesus paid for those things. “What about those I’ll commit tomorrow?” she asked. Jesus paid for those, too.
God’s Word cleanses the dirt, cleans up my mind, and washes my body. It gets all the dirt, the junk, the grime, the grit, the shame, and the sin out of my life.
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:25-26: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word” (NIV).
Talk About It:
God has promised to forgive your sin. Have you asked him to forgive you? How do you think your life would change if you accepted God’s grace and forgiveness and let go of your regret?
by Rick Warren: Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century.
He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.