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Sermon #SD06

Vain Regrets

A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:8-10


1 Corinthians 15:8-10 ESV KJV
Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me …

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Sermon Description

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones believes that meditating upon past failures is a waste of time. “If you can't do anything about a thing,” he argues, “stop thinking about it.” The Apostle Paul was a man whose past was filled with sin and his energies were devoted to harm and destroy the Christian message. Yet, with all of his past sin, Paul does not find misery in the present. His past does not affect his new identity in Jesus Christ. In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:8–10, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wants Christians to know that they certainly were what they once were, but now they are what they are now. The Christian must study Scripture, know who they are, and be prepared for these spiritual attacks, knowing that bemoaning the past can cripple in the present. Listen as Dr. Lloyd-Jones encourages Christians to ruthlessly fight against this condition so that they do not behave like a fool. The fool focuses on self and seeks to change what he cannot control. The Godly man, on the other hand, is more interested in Christ, and less interested in the self.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. It is common for Christians to suffer from spiritual depression by looking back at their past sins or wasted time before coming to faith.
  2. While it is right to regret past sins and wasted time, it is wrong to become miserable and dejected over it. We must distinguish between legitimate regret and wrongful misery.
  3. It is foolish and irrational to become miserable over things in the past that cannot be changed. It wastes time and energy and prevents us from serving God now.
  4. We should not worry about things that cannot be affected or changed. Vague regrets over the past should be dismissed.
  5. Being preoccupied with the past leads to failure in the present. We must not let the past hinder what we can do now.
  6. If we truly regret wasted time in the past, we should make up for it by working hard in the present. We should not just sit around feeling sorry for ourselves.
  7. Common sense tells us not to cry over spilt milk. Christians should apply common sense and not be more foolish than unbelievers.
  8. What matters most is not what we once were but what we are now in Christ. We should focus on our present state rather than our past.
  9. The time we came to faith is unimportant. What matters is that we are now in the kingdom of God. We should enjoy the present rather than regret the past.
  10. The mode or manner of our conversion does not matter. What matters is that we are now converted.
  11. Being preoccupied with regret over the past shows we are still focused on ourselves rather than on God and others. We need to deny ourselves and follow Christ.
  12. The reason people become preoccupied with the past is because they are not sufficiently occupied with God in the present. We must gaze upon Christ and learn of Him.
  13. In God's kingdom, what matters most is not the length of our service but our heart attitude and desire to please Him. God looks at the heart, not just outward actions.
  14. God's grace is sufficient and covers all our past, present and future. We must stop thinking in a fleshly, temporal manner and see things from the perspective of grace.
  15. No matter how late in life we come to faith, we should serve God wholeheartedly now. We do not know how God may choose to prosper our service. He can restore the years the locust has eaten.

Spiritual Depression

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.