#262 – TRUE MOURNING LEADS TO ONGOING TRANSFORMATION (12/1/21)
This week we have been considering the second of the Beatitudes in our discipleship series. Jesus promises,
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.’ (Matthew 5:4)
Yesterday we saw how mourning for our sin leads us to Jesus who justifies us. Justification is a legal term which means to be declared perfectly righteous through faith in Jesus.
Sanctification is about the ongoing transformation of our heart and actions. True sorrow for sin will be evident in our ongoing repentance - turning from sin.
It’s interesting to note that Jesus, when He taught us to pray, told us to ask, “Forgive us our debts”. Mourning over our sin toward God and others is to be part of our lifestyle. Is it a part of yours? How often do you remember, ask for forgiveness and repent of specific sin? Blessed are those that mourn sin rather than those who ignore it! Paul wrote of repentance,
‘Yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.’ (2 Corinthians 7:9-11)
What did their sorrow lead to?
God wants our sorrow for sin to become repentance from sin. What is the difference?
Repentance means to change one's mind and then one's actions. J. I. Packer defines repentance,
“Repentance means turning from as much as you know of your sin to give as much as you know of yourself to as much as you know of your God, and as our knowledge grows at these three points so our practice of repentance has to be enlarged.”
Repentance follows mourning for sin. We come to know what sin is by reading God’s word. Our consciences are trained as we take in God’s word and then apply it in repentance. Conversely, our consciences are hardened if we a lazy in regard to God’s word and fail to repent.
True mourning for sin includes repentance. The promise is that if we truly mourn and turn from sin, we will enjoy God’s comfort. The devil tells us that we will be missing out if we obey God wholeheartedly. The truth is that joy is found in mourning with repentance.
Is there any sin that you are mourning over which you need to repent?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY - BLESSED ARE THOS WHO MOURN
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What are you 'mourning' - finding challenging - at the moment?
Introduction - please share in your group
This week in our discipleship series, we are considering the second of the Beatitudes,
'Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted’. (Matthew 5:4)
Firstly, this is about salvation. Only those who mourn for their sin will come to Jesus for salvation and receive the comfort of justification, adoption and eternal hope.
Secondly, this is about mourning for our ongoing sin. It’s interesting to note that Jesus, when He taught us to pray, told us to ask, “Forgive us our debts”. Mourning over our sin toward God and others is to be part of our lifestyle. Those who mourn in this way will be comforted by Jesus' forgiveness and transformative power.
Thirdly, we are to mourn over sin in the world. As we see death, sickness, relationship breakdown, war... we are to mourn and intercede in prayer. Those who mourn in this way will be comforted as they see lives transformed by the love of God.
Finally, our comfort will only be fully realised at the end of history when Jesus comes and restores all things. Only when the Kingdom comes fully will we have the fullness of the comfort that Jesus promises.
1. How does God comfort those who grieve for their sin?
2. What scripture would you use to back up your answer?
3. What do the parables in Luke 15 tell us about what the Father feels toward those who truly mourn for their sin?
3. How does mourning lead us to prayer, compassion and witnessing to our community?
4. What does Luke 9:36-38 say about our attitude and response to those who don't know Jesus?
5. Are you mourning for anything that you'd like to share and receive prayer for?
Investing and inviting
i) Who has God put into your life that we could pray for together?
ii) How are you planning to 'invest and invite'?
iii) Finally, Who are you planning to invite to our Alpha Course which is beginning on the 25th January?
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