Sermon Summary
Let Us Press On Without Regrets

Scripture: Philippians 3:13-14

What does Philippians 3:13-14 mean “to press on without regrets”? It is to receive God’s Word and abide by it.

1. Regrets of man

The dictionary defines “regret” as the pain of mind on account of something done or experienced in the past, with a wish that it could have been different, especially in regard to our choices. It is also the disappointment or sorrow when realising the truth after the fact.
Regrets come when we don’t make the right choices. If regrets make us look back to the past like Lot’s wife, rather than looking forward to our future, they will hold us back from pressing on as Apostle Paul said in today’s passage. We regret this because we have limited time and knowledge. Because we cannot see the future, we end up making wrong choices and then regretting. Regrets prevent us from being able to sincerely give thanks to God.

2. Regrets of God

Does God regret? Unlike us, God knows the future. He is all-powerful. He is outside of time and knows the end from the beginning (James 1:17; Isaiah 46:10; 1 Samuel 15:29; Ezekiel 33:11; Exodus 32:10; Judges 2:18-23; Psalm 106:44-45; Jeremiah 1:5-10; Jeremiah 26:3; Numbers 23:19; Romans 11:29). So God doesn’t have to regret.

Yet, there are passages in the bible that says God regretted: Genesis 6:6-7; 1 Samuel 15:11, 35. In Deuteronomy 32:36, “have compassion” in Hebrew is ‘nakam’ meaning “regret”, to be sorry, to suffer grief, to repent, to regret, to have compassion, to grieve deeply as a way of expressing one’s feelings. God’s regrets are not caused by His own doing but by human sins and disobedience. Deuteronomy 32:5-6, it describes God’s children whom He has saved as misbehaving in such a way that caused God grief “nakam”.
That is why in Deuteronomy 32:7 God asked His people to remember their relationship, to remember His covenant. God’s Word opens up the path and the door to eternal life, restoration and redemption. But requires faith working together with our own free will. But when we choose the wrong path instead of choosing the path that God has opened up for us, God expresses His sorrow and grief with ‘nakam’.
God knew Adam would eat from the wrong tree, and that you and I would make a wrong choice. Why then does God do something He will regret later? It is because of:
(i) Love
Because God loves us, mankind has free will to go away from God in the Garden of Eden. Now, we need to use our free will to go back to Him. Therefore, when the bible says God regretted, it first means there is a better way we could have taken. During the time of Noah, the better way was for the people to return and choose the correct path, keeping God’s commandments.

(ii) God is waiting for us to turn back (Jeremiah 18:7-10)
When we return in repentance, God’s grief and regret will go away too.

3. Let us press on without regrets

The Bible does not mean that we must not have any regrets or mistakes, but rather that the regrets will not cause us to give up. Instead, we should live a life that will not end in regret. How?

(i) We must not be the wicked and lazy servant (Matthew 25:14-30)
The master gives 5, 2 and 1 talent to 3 different servants, and goes away. The first two servants made a profit after investing. The third servant just buried his 1 talent. The 2 servants with 5 and 2 talents had to work very hard to make a profit. The last servant was lazy. He lived a comfortable life without working to invest his 1 talent for profit. When the master returned, he was rebuked as a wicked and lazy servant, while he rewarded even more to his 2 hardworking servants.

The wicked servant misunderstood the intention of the master and only thought of him as a selfish master using them for His own kingdom. His wrong understanding of his master caused him to regret it in the end. Our wrong understanding of our Lord will cause us to regret it in the end too. Let us instead use all the talents (money & our very lives) that God has given us well before the Lord returns, so we will have no regrets.

(ii) Lazarus and the rich man (Luke 16:19-31)
The rich man lost his chance to evangelise his family, to do more with his wealth.

(iii) We must grab hold of the opportunity given to us
Ephesians 5:15-16 (NKJ) See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
Making the most of our time is to purchase the time. This requires a cost, an investment of time, energy and resources. It means to consider every step, and every moment of our life as an opportunity, that will have value and worth. This is when we can walk with God like Enoch did.
Job went through so much suffering, not only in duration but also in intensity. But Job 23:12-13 tells us that he had no regrets. Even through his suffering, Job could give thanks because his relationship with God was still good. Those who are able to repent, keep the Word of God, and have such a relationship with God as Job has will never regret.


The point is not to make any mistakes and regret, but to let those mistakes and regrets become a fertilizer. We can overcome regrets when we can forgive ourselves because the Lord has forgiven us. That is when regrets turn into repentance, when we are not reminded of our past sins but of how we can do better in the future. They become a strong foundation for greater growth, greater development and greater faith.


Pastor Samuel Kim