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July 24, 2022 12:01 am
King Herod was restless, unable to escape the guilt he bore for putting John the Baptist to death. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his expositional series in the gospel of Luke with a discussion on the nature of guilt and the only way it can be resolved.
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Every one of us come into this world with the guilt problem.
The question is how do we deal with it will say what what we did really was not certain that I can find so many of my friends have done the same thing and this is acceptable in our culture and we give all these reasons why this behavior is okay not a sin, so we deal with the guilt by denial.
Nobody likes so we come up with all kinds of ideas and philosophies to make it go away. When we soon though we experience feelings of guilt because were actually guilty look chapter 9 we read about King Herod, experiencing the guilt of putting John the Baptist to death, as will discover today. True guilt can only be remedied by one thing Dr. RC Sproul. This brief little interlude Luke describes a man who is haunted by guilt and well it was that he should be haunted by guilt for his guilt was connected to an atrocity that was committed under his rule. Now that we might recall that particular atrocity. I'm going to take a moment you will want and read Mark's accounts of what had gone before. This events in chapter 6 of Mark's gospel verse 14 we read as follows King Herod heard of it, for Jesus name had become known.
Some said John the Baptist has been raised from the dead. That is why these miraculous powers are at work in him. Father said no he's Elijah and others see as a prophet like one of the prophets of old, but when Herod heard of it. He said John whom I beheaded has been raised for it was Herod who had sent and sees John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife because he had married her for John is been saying to Herod. It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife and Herodias have a grudge against them and wanted to put him to death, but she could not because Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man. They kept them safe when he heard him, he was greatly perplexed and he heard him gladly opportunity came when Herod on his birthday, gave a banquet for his nobles and military commandments of the leading men of Galilee, and went Herodias's daughter came in and danced. She pleased Herod and his guests, and the king said to the girl asked me for whatever you wish, and I will give it to you and he filed her whatever you asked me, I will give you up to half of my kingdom and so she went out and said to her mother for what should I ask. She said the head of John the Baptist. She came in immediately with taste of the king and said I want you to get me at once, the head of John the Baptist on a platter and the king was exceedingly sorry, but because of his oath and his guests, he did not want to break his word to her immediately. The king sent an executioner with orders to bring drugs that he went to beheaded him in the prison and brought his set on a platter and gave it to the girl. The girl gave it to her mother and when John's disciples heard of it. They came and took his body and laid it in a tomb. Now obviously this is one of those grizzly macabre stories that we read anywhere in the New Testament is the brief word of background about it.
Herod, one of the sons of Herod the great was given 1/4 of his father's kingdom house. Leslie was called a tetrarch and part of that rain was including Galloway and he had been married to a neighboring kingdom's daughter and the marriage was arranged chiefly in order to secure a political alliance with this neighboring country with whom over the centuries Israel and had intermittent bouts of conflict, but in order to bring peace between the two countries. Marriage was arranged between the daughter of the king of one and the king of the other namely Herod etc. but after the marriage was arranged.
Herod's side turned away from his wife and toward that of the wife of his brother whose name was Herodias, and so he dismissed his wife and illegally and immorally and against the law of God took his brother's wife, Herodias, for his own wife, and when that happened.
John the Baptist was a prophet publicly demolished Herod for this immoral action and Herod's were told was fearful of John the Baptist. He had enormous respect for John the Baptist. We recognize the John the Baptist was a righteous man, and, indeed, a holy man but his wife, Herodias couldn't stand this public humiliation that came at the denunciation of her illicit marriage to Herod that was made by John the Baptist and so she labored endlessly for her husband to arrest John the Baptist keep him in custody where he couldn't do them any more harm.
If you read the pages of the Old Testament, it can't help but see the parallel between this episode and the way Jezebel constantly was all over her husband Ahab to go after the prophet Elijah because Elijah had spoken against the practices of Ahab and his wicked consort Jezebel. So this is Ahab and Jezebel really do work and this ugly chapter in the New Testament takes place well, we can see was Herod surrendered and acquiesce to the wishes of his wife in place drawn under arrest and held them in the cell and then the occasion came for the celebration of Herod's birthday.
As we just read the invited all the nobles and the people of great status in the environs and invited them to this birthday party and as part of the celebration, the daughter of Herodias, Salome, who presumably was the daughter from Herodias's previous marriage performed a dance in front of Herod and his guests, and Herod was so moved by this dance that in his exuberance, as we've just read. He offered up to half of his kingdom. A reward for whatever the young girl requested and so she consulted with her mother Herodias mother flexion. I asked, and this was Herodias us. Great opportunity. She says to her daughter. I want that head of John the Baptist served on a platter here and now and so she came back to Herod's said the head of the Baptist on a platter. Now Herod who had made an unlawful vow and was bad in his ethics and his theology thought that he was duty-bound to fulfill this vile what he should have done this said my bow was unlawful. All have none of this, but instead he didn't want to embarrass himself in front of his guests and failed to keep his word, so we gave the word to the executioner to go to the dungeon and there to kill John the Baptist to present his head on a platter. So in the midst of this birthday party stomachache. They brought the severed head of a prophet of God and paraded it before the guests now. John is hearing stories about this miracle worker in Galilee. And he doesn't know who he is and back to the text we read of how Herod was perplexed when he heard about what was going on of what was being done by Jesus, and he listened to the report 7 million analysis that others had given in some said the John the Baptist had been raised from the dead. Others said that the prophet Elijah had appeared as though others that one of the prophets of old had risen them when we look at the other texts in parallel text with this ring we see of these three options, one of which Herod was most persuaded was the idea number one that this miracle worker can only be John the Baptist's face come back. He's alive be alive.
I saw his head on the platter.
I had him executed. How could that man possibly be back here, but Herod was thinking within himself mass all the other explanations fall short to explain all the miracles that are taking place.
Only this holy and righteous man. John the Baptist should be doing the same. I got to meet this man got a deal with this man. Don't you feel the moral anguish that's going on here in the soul of Herod have any saying John the Baptist behind everybody pay saying that ghost of John the Baptist when he goes to bed at night when he tries to sleep. He dreams about that severed head and there's nothing he can do to get rid of the weight of this guilt that is on his head. Ladies and gentlemen. Guilt is like that guilt is one of the most powerful demoralizing paralyzing disintegrating and destructive forces in all the war and I know there are people in this room this morning who have come here haunted by the guilt that they've incurred from past sins which guilt has never ever been resolved.
I remember the very first time I administered the Lord's supper. It wasn't to a congregation assembled, such as a the first time I administered the Lord's supper was in the hospital to a woman who was dying and before I gave her the sacrament she told me that she had something to confess. She said to me that years before this should had an abortion and she told me that she was convinced that the cancer from which she was now dying was a consequence of that and of God's judgment upon her and she told me how the after she had had her first child, a daughter and she became pregnant the second time that her husband was adamant that he didn't want another child and so her husband insisted that she have this abortion and so she had her on the born baby kill and now as she was facing the grave for a matter of days. She was haunted by that guilt. I sent before you participate in the sacrament. You need to understand the gospel. Yes, abortion is an egregious is a weighty sent but it is not the unforgivable sin and we have a Savior who can forgive you of that sin and remove that guilt from you before you die and she confess that sin to God as she was forgiven by Christ to receive the sacrament that she died in faith, never forget that of the impact that unresolved guilt can have on people.
Just a week or two ago at the local abortion clinic. A woman came in this, our friend John Barrios and some of his associates were preaching the gospel, including with these women not to go through the abortion. One woman said it's okay I'm a born again Christian and Jesus will forgive me. While the sin of abortion is one thing, but I had to ask such a blasphemous presumption of future grace makes it all the more wicked she went ahead with the procedure and on my prayer for that woman is the God will haunt her day and night until she truly repents and confesses that sin not because I want God the on they serve relentlessly, but because I want God to heal her. I want her to be forgiven, but the only the only cure for guilt that I know this forgiveness is usually the last resort. We seek when we are burdened by our guilt.
The normal process is something like this. The first thing we tried to do is deny it. I will say what what we did really was not certain that I can find so many of my friends of done the same thing and this is acceptable in our culture and we give all these reasons why this behavior is okay. It's not a sin, so we deal with the guilt by denial or then we recommend while it is our guilt, but let me guy had extenuating circumstances.
Let me give you my rationale and then we try to rationalize our guilt for not talking just about abortion talking about all those couples today. The student marriage and lived together without being married in a blatant assault against the sanctity of an institution that God established and ordained, but they carry on as if there were no God or as if they were exempt. The commandments of God or the widespread experience of adultery if the New Testament. Paul says let fornication not once be named among you, as befitting saints and that the church is filled with unrepentant fornicators. We know that you know that and so the everybody's doing it excuse tries to relieve ourselves of guilt. The other problem with that guilt is the more we repeat our sins were denied, our sins are rationalize our sins. The hardened heart becomes and we become like what Jeremiah said, we have the four head of the harlot we've lost the capacity to blush. That's what impenitent staffs to us so we try all these ways and means for escape from the reality of guilt. I say this to you.
That's we distinguish between guilt and guilt feelings, guilt is objective guilt has nothing whatsoever to do with your feelings, guilt is an objective state of affairs whereby we incurred guilt when we break the law of God doesn't matter how we feel about it.
If we don't feel guilty about it doesn't matter were still guilty guilt feelings are are some effective response and it's a good thing that Herod had guilt feelings because nothing is more wicked to be a sociopath to encourage guilt doesn't really guilt about it and on the other side of the coin is forgiveness and feelings of forgiveness. Forgiveness is an objective state feelings a subjective state. I tell the story of young woman who came to me she was all beside herself because of her guilt and she confessed her sentiments uses I've prayed to God 10 times to forgive me for this sin, so don't feel forgiven. What can I do and she wanted a deep, profound theological answer.
I said let me tell you what I want to do it is what I so want to get underneath it. Confess your sin to God. She said what she is trying to tell you I've done it already 10 times it didn't work.
I said no one not asking you to ask God to forgive you again for what you fasten for 10 times. Now I want you to get on your knees and ask God to forgive you for your arrogance, arrogance just talking to be more humble Ogden groveling at the feet of God telling him how simple I am. I said yes and it did not God say that if you confess your sin, he is faithful and just to forgive that.
Have you not confess your sin, yes, but you don't feel forgiven. No I said so for you. The truth is you do not forgiven because you will feel forgiven. So God is faithful God isn't just God doesn't do what he says is going to go so your unbelief now is worse than your original sin to get it legend John. I don't care if we feel forgiven. I do care if we are forgiven feeling forgiven is a bonus so wonderful benefit, but the reality that were looking for us sinners is the reality God's forgiveness because of God forgive you your forgiven.
I want to say that every person in this room was caring, guilt, particularly if their women here who had abortions were men who aided and abetted in them. When you think would happen if Jesus came in this room and asked for a private meeting with you and you met with Jesus and you said Jesus I had an abortion Jesus, I paid for my girlfriend have an abortion. And I'm so and Jesus put his hand on your head and said your sins are forgiven go and sin no more. Let me ask you this, which should be forgiven. Of course you would be forgiven and you wouldn't be wanted another moment by your guilt. You would go out this sanctuary skipping and leaping and praising God because you would know in the forgiveness of Christ one last thing, quickly. Our session is put together a program to deal with this national holocaust of abortion on demand and were counseling people not to get abortions and all that but one of important ingredients is to dealing with people who have them and help them to be restored in their relationship with God but I don't want to think of anybody in this church, walking around, paralyze and destroy guilt for which there is humor, the mercy and the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ is the only reason why any of us can be here this new guilt can be resolved can be wiped away because of the true forgiveness that was secured only through the finished work of Christ.
Glad you joined us for the Sunday edition of Renewing Your Mind. I'm Lee Webb Dr. RC Sproul's message today is from his sermon series in the Gospel of Luke in a resource for today will be a great study companion for use you join us each week.
When you give a donation of any amount to look at her ministries will provide you with a digital download of Dr. Sproles expositional commentary of Luke nearly 600 pages of easy-to-read insights that will help you in your own study. Our offices are closed on this Lord's day, but that you can give your gift and make a request online at Renewing Your Mind.war. In the 19th century it became popular to deny any supernatural events that we read in the Bible. For example, when Jesus feeds the 5000 skeptics would say that the crowd merely share their sack lunches with everyone else. The miracle say the skeptics was that everyone became generous next week. Dr. Sproles will return to Luke to prove that Scripture is accurate in what it records Jesus miraculously multiplied five close and to finish. I hope you enjoyed his bathroom and next week here on Renewing Your Mind