God is Greater Than Our Hearts - 1

It is GOOD When Our Heart Condemns Us

1John 3:20

September 6, 2020 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.     Introduction (1John 3:20)


A.   Sad Fact… Our Heart is Very Good at Condemning Us


1.    It is bad enough when…


a.     Satan accuses us – that is his thrill


1)    He sees everything you and I do in secret, and loves to point it out to us and God

2)    Revelation 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.


b.    The world’s culture mocks and accuses when we fall –  everyone laughs when we fall and backslide, and say a foul word, or lose our temper, or laugh at a filthy joke.
This culture is hypocritical in its judgmentalism against Christians

c.     Family has no compassion for us when they see us at our worst at home

d.    That is bad enough


2.    But when it is OUR OWN HEART condemning us, it is unbearable!


a.     We don’t even NEED the devil to do accuse and point the finger at us and judge us and condemn us

b.    We don’t even need our friends or family pointing out our hypocrisies

c.     OUR OWN HEART accuses us – it knows itself – it is part of our conscience, and it acts like judge and jury AGAINST us


B.   What does it feel like when our heart condemns us?


1.    We feel CRUSHED under the weight of the wrongs we have done

2.    We feel GUTTED like a fish on a table, emptied of all life

3.    We feel GUILTY, condemned, judged as wrong

4.    Overwhelmed and beaten, knocked down and unable to get up

5.    Without hope

6.    Ruined!

7.    It is Unbearable!


C.   So, How Does a Christian Survive It? How do we deal with it?


1.    You can’t ignore it – sin never lets you get away with it – it has to be dealt with!

2.    I know how the world tries to deal with guilt…


a.     So the world turns to drink and drugs

b.    Tries many counsellors and counselling

c.     With a lot of lying and fake acting amongst “friends” at the pub and on fakebook – no joy, no contentment, no life

d.    And worst of all, the world handles guilt with constant failure


3.    But can a Christian actually handle a condemning heart?

4.    YES!

5.    And we can do it in victory! When it is done God’s way!


D.   I Intend to Prove to You that it is GOOD for us to feel condemned


II.   An Example… (Luke 22:54-62) Peter is our example of having a condemning heart


A.   Simon Peter is a grown man, in his early 30’s


1.    A hard working fisherman, able to work all night long

2.    Casting a net constantly and drawing it in, hour after hour, doing it week after week, since he was a teen

3.    He is a prominent disciple of Jesus – an Apostle even!


B.   And yet, here he is, DENYING even knowing Jesus, not once, but THREE TIMES

C.   And then in the end, Peter loudly CURSES Jesus’ name with his own mouth – PAUSE…

D.   It was at that moment that he sees Jesus turn and look right at him – STAB!


1.    Peter is stabbed from within! Guilty, gutted, crushed, ruined, no hope now of ever being with Jesus again

2.    Walks away from Jesus and everything he had loved for the past 3 ½ years

3.    And notice… Peter WEPT BITTERLY


a.     Weeping is a deep sorrow, that cries abundant tears

b.    Peter wept “Violently”, which means, with convulsions - heaving

c.     Couldn’t stop crying – his heart was condemning him over and over and over


4.    That was how low Peter felt


E.    How does he handle that? How does he recover from that? It should have stopped him dead in his tracts and ruined his Christian life and destroyed his faith!


III.         Message


A.   The Many Problems with the Human Heart – we’re not basically good like everyone says


1.    It is Deceptive and Desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?


a.     It lies to you without thinking about it – deceives YOU, and everyone around you

b.    And it is BEYOND wicked (not just “sinful”) in its deepest, darkest chambers


2.    Imaginative in the worst ways (Jeremiah 16:12; Genesis 6:5) – it dreams up sins


a.     Jeremiah 16:12  And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:

b.    Genesis 6:5  And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

c.     NOW you know why most people HATE the Bible – because it exposes our HEART

d.    It makes us look bad


3.    Loves darkness (John 3:19) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

4.    Is blind to its own nature and wrongdoing – so quick to accuse others but never itself

5.    Untrustworthy (Proverbs 28:26) He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

6.    The Source of all our worst troubles (Proverbs 4:23) Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are [ALL] the issues of life.

7.    The Source of all sins that we commit (Mark 7:20-23) – every sin is already IN every one of us, and just waits to be activated!


a.     Mark 7:20-23  And he [JESUS] said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. [LOOK AT THE LIST] For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.


8.    Is like a MAGNET to sin (James 1:14) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

9.    Is our RUIN (James 1:15) And when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

10. The worst thing is that it turns on us! And when your heart DOES turn on you and condemn you, it is deadly!

11. *** So, Whatever you do, do NOT follow your heart! *** Follow Jesus!


B.   Yet, Thank God FOR the Human Heart!


1.    With all its flaws and problems, it is needful/necessary to be human!

2.    With a heart, we are MORE than just skin and bones…


a.     More than just “chemical reactions”

b.    More than just animalistic drives and urges like evolutionists try to make you believe


3.    God designed us with a heart!


a.     With our HEART we LOVE – the greatest emotion!

b.    With it we believe God

c.     And, it is what feels guilt when we have done wrong!

d.    And those are good things


C.   So, When Our Heart Condemns Us


1.    Accept it. Condemnation Needs to be Accepted / Yielded to / Confessed


a.     Not resisted, and argued with!

b.    King David tried to ignore his heart’s guilt. Acted like he had done nothing wrong in


1)    Adulterous act with Bathsheba

2)    Lying about it - Covering it up

3)    Murdering the woman’s husband, Uriah


c.     Then wrote… Psalm 32:5  I acknowledged my sin unto thee [DIDN’T ARGUE, EXCUSE MYSELF, OR BLAME OTHGERS], and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity [AWFULNESS] of my sin.


2.    Because it is a good thing at first – it’s not a bad thing


a.     It tells us that there is something wrong between us and God. Between us and others

b.    It is like an indicator light on the car dashboard

c.     Humans NEED to feel guilt and know they have done wrong, and know how MUCH they have done wrong!

d.    Too many generations have been coddled, and protected from guilt and shame for their wrongs – it is like unplugging that indicator, or taping over the light!


1)    In the past, shame and guilt was overdone – everybody was miserable

2)    But today it is way under-done – guiltiness for sin is non-existent

3)    And People have such a wicked, hard attitude towards correction now – they HATE being corrected!

4)    You had better be careful… our children got that attitude from US parents


e.     The world NEEDS some condemnation - Some guiltiness!


1)    A RIGHT kind of condemnation – That cuts us to the heart. (John 8:7-9)  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.


2)    We need that again, where a man of God stands and preaches against lust, against anger, against hypocrisy, against disrespect, against covetousness, against lying, and all the people become guilty and soft instead of angry and hard!!!


a)    Romans 3:19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.


3)    Christians need to “welcome” GODLY sorrow for sin in their homes and lives


a)    In MEN – from teens up! Ashamed of what they watch, and think, and do

b)    And in Grown Women (1Timothy 2:9,10)  In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.


(i)      Shamefacedness – BLUSHING at exposing themselves

(ii)    Sobriety means be conscious of what everyone is going to be able to SEE

(iii)  Being ashamed of NOT being more careful

(iv)  That doesn’t mean you have to look like a cemetery

(v)    But that you have some areas of your body that are right to be ashamed of exposing and promoting! Not ashamed of your body, but of exposing it!

(vi)  Whew! It sure is quiet when stuff like this is said!


4)    Because guiltiness is the work of the Holy Spirit IN US (John 16:7,8)  Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin[MAKE PEOPLE FEEL GUILTY], and of righteousness, and of judgment:


3.    Guiltiness Calls for us to Turn away from what we are guilty of – repentance


a.     You cannot hold onto what is definitely wrong, and still be right with God

b.    2Corinthians 7:9,10  Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed [ON YOUR OWN] to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

c.     So, when your heart condemns you…


1)    Turn in faith to the Son of God who loved you and gave himself for you

2)    So that you can turn away from sin!

3)    Dump whatever you did wrong, or bought, or said down the toilet like poop

4)    Break it into pieces like an idol

5)    Hate it like God does

6)    And walk away from sin like you just came across a wasp nest – run away – flee


4.    Use the same messed up heart to believe that God is greater than how you feel

5.    THAT’S when God will sustain you


a.     It is SO opposite of what we THINK – we believe we have to be STRONG when our heart is collapsing

b.    More About this next time – it is soooo amazing!


D.   Warning! If you do not from your heart constantly repent of wrongs…


1.    If you do not constantly determine to receive correction, guiltiness…


a.     Job 5:17  Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

b.    Proverbs 3:11,12  My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:  For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

c.     Proverbs 6:23  For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

d.    Proverbs 1:23  Turn you [REPENT] at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.


2.    If you are NOT quick to repent, and receptive to correction…


a.    Then your heart will only become harder it does not get better with time, only bitter


1)    2Chroicles 36:11-13  Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD. And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.

2)    Don’t believe for a second that Christian hearts do not become hard and full of rebellion against GOD!


b.    You will mock all the kindnesses of God


1)    Exodus 8:8  Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.

2)    Exodus 8:13  And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. [PRESSURE OFF]

3)    Exodus 8:14  And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank.

4)    Exodus 8:15  But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite [RELIEF], he hardened his heart, and hearkened NOT unto them; as the LORD had said.


c.     You will only go deeper into sin


1)    Proverbs 28:14  Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief [SIN].

2)    Did you know that HARDNESS OF HEART causes most divorces (Matthew 19:8)  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.


d.    You will only blame others

e.     And, You will be destroyed in the end


1)    Proverbs 29:1  He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

2)    THAT is why I preach. THAT is why I plead with people to humble themselves and repent and believe the Gospel

3)    Because there IS a hell, and people with hard hearts go there

4)    And I don’t want that

5)    There is a better way than just getting harder and prouder in heart!


E.    Next Time, I will show you HOW God overturns condemnation into something good


IV.Conclusion and Invitation


A.   When Our Heart Condemns Us


1.    Condemnation Needs to be Accepted / Yielded to / Confessed

2.    Because Guiltiness from the heart is a good thing at first – it’s not a bad thing


a.     Tells us that there is something wrong between us and God

b.    Between us and someone


3.    Guiltiness Calls for us to Turn away from what we are guilty of – repentance


B.   Warning! If you do not from your heart constantly repent of wrongs…


1.    You need to fear walking out of here and caring less and less about your soul, God, hell

2.    You need to fear how low in sin you will end up

3.    You need to fear facing God as your judge, when He WANTS to be your Saviour


C.   Some GREAT News… The heart can be cleansed and softened and transformed


1.    It can be made NOT like it used to be, but like it is supposed to be

2.    That’s what JESUS in the heart of a repentant sinner does! Jesus SAVES them and changes them from the inside out!

3.    Ask Jesus to save you right now!