We all know what guilt feels like. But what the world says about guilt and what God says about guilt is completely different. Jamie said, “People will do what they can to convince you your guilt is misplaced. But that doesn’t work. It doesn’t give us what we need. We all want a sense of forgiveness for the past. We all want to be ready to meet God.” Read Romans 2:7. Have you ever felt guilty and asked God for forgiveness and immediately felt better? Why or why not? How can asking for forgiveness show an act of reverence to God? Discuss.
Jamie spoke of four facts bringing a criminal to believe in Jesus. First, he feared God. Read Luke 23:39-40. Why is it important to fear God? Explain, then read Psalm 111:10. “Fear is not the highest motive, but it is the beginning motive, and it is a legitimate motive.” What might having a fear of God look like in the Christian walk? Discuss.
Read Romans 3:13-18. Jamie said sin eventually numbs the conscience and Romans 3 traces the downward spiral of it. How have you seen sin make you crash and burn in your own life? Read Jeremiah 6:15. What differences do you see in a sinful life and one of God? Discuss.
Sydney J. Harris said, “Once we soothe our conscience by calling something a ‘necessary evil,’ it begins to look more and more necessary and less and less evil.” What are the dangers of playing off sin? Discuss and list three examples. Read Romans 2:8 and Hebrews 10:31. The Bible warns of a sinful life and the wrath of God. Discuss a time where you saw these verses lived out among you or through others. How did it make you feel?
If you listened to Jamie’s sermon, you know how he spoke of Jesus’ composure, and you must admire it. Read 1 Peter 2:23. Jesus kept His composure the entire time, before and during the cross, and this criminal studied Jesus up close and personal through it. Look at what the criminal next to Jesus said in Luke 23:41. We KNOW it’s rare to admit his guilt. Jamie said, “Here’s a great principle to remember. The closer you get to the perfection of Jesus, the more you’re going to be aware of your imperfection. The closer you get to the holiness of Jesus, the more you’re aware of your need for forgiveness and your total dependence on Jesus.” The criminal requested forgiveness. Read Luke 23:42 and Ephesians 2:8-9. What is something you need to admit to God? You don’t need to know all the answers, you only need to know Jesus is your Savior and He died for YOU, and HE LOVES YOU.