Faithlife Sermons

Confess & Repent

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Psalm 32 CSB
Of David. A Maskil. 1 How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! 2 How joyful is a person whom the Lord does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit! 3 When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Selah 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah 6 Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. Selah 8 I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel. 9 Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you. 10 Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the Lord will have faithful love surrounding him. 11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; shout for joy, all you upright in heart.

Intro

Some feelings and emotions have a way of manifesting themselves physically in our bodies. They have a way of making us feel something almost physically.
Joy presents as a lightness or a buoyancy within
Peace, to me feels like a river is flowing with me.
Anger, makes me feel like a kettle, bursting out the top (hot face).
Guilt, a massive rock placed upon the back.
David was someone who felt this as well, as he articulates in this psalm.
Psalm 32:3–4 CSB
3 When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Selah
Psalm 32:4 CSB
4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Selah
Have you ever felt that? Have you ever felt the crushing burden of guilt?
I have!
Under the weight of my own sin.
My sin against God. Failing him. Disobeying him.
Guilt at my sin against others.
The burden of sin I’m not even conscious of;
Burden of carrying around un-forgiveness,
It’s horrible living this way, but for some, it’s thought to be the only option.
How do we get rid of this guilt?
Should we just ignore it? Rationalise it away?
Today, walking through this passage, we will se how great it is to have ones sins dealt with by God, and what the results of this are in our lives.

Sin is horrible

Psalm 32:1–2 CSB
1 How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! 2 How joyful is a person whom the Lord does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit!
Your older translation might say how “blessed”, instead of joyful, but this is one of those times where I really like the CSB, it translates the Hebrew word “as-re”, to the word “joyful” which better gets at the heart of happiness in the word.
David understand’s first hand the joy that comes with God’s forgiveness from sin.
He starts this Psalm by concentrating and emphasising on the joy that comes from forgiveness, to show how wretched sin is. The joy is so great, because before it was horrible!
David experienced the need for God’s forgiveness, most notably after all the events with Bathsheba.
It’s hard to place into the timeline of David’s life, so we don’t know whether or not it was written post or prior to the event, but either way, as David was human, he knew what it meant to be sinful.
He knew that sin separated him from God.
He also felt the pain of walking around with that sin.
Psalm 32:3–4 CSB
3 When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Selah
This metaphor really resonates with me. “Bones groaning all day long”, feeling like a hand is pushing down on you in the heat of the day.
This is what unrepentant sin can feel like.
the lesson is based on a case of experience reported in verses 3–5 where the psalmist tells about the torment he suffered when he was silent and the forgiveness he received when he acknowledged his sin to the Lord.
The burden of sin actually hurts and can feel like a heavy pressing hand (v. 4). The last line in v. 4 is difficult to translate, but we all know that dry mouth which comes with the adrenaline rush of panic, hurt, and guilt.
We might not even recognise it as being a symptom of sin; but I find so often when I’m struggling with life the most, there is often underlying sin in my life, that is adding to the burden.
Example: Unrepentant anger; lust; greed. When these things are lurking within us, they have a way of bringing us low.
The contrast between silence and speaking, in this Psalm, has a correlation with general human experience.
When one has wronged a wife, a parent, a friend, a neighbour—someone with whom there is a conscious relationship—and refuses to acknowledge it, to put the wrong into words so that it is there in speech available to be dealt with, then the wrong retained and sheltered begins to become part of one’s identity.
I’m not saying that if you have a bad back, or a physical ailment, it’s due to unrepentant sin! What I’m talking about is the
It harms and hardens and diminishes.
Where God is the other, silence is the performance of stubborn pride or of a spirit struck dumb for fear of being found out. It is the way of Adam hiding from the presence. In the silence every affliction and problem takes the form of the judgment of God: “Thy hand was heavy upon me.” Worst of all, the silence is the rejection of grace.
The lesson of confession and forgiveness is based on a case of experience reported in verses 3–5 where the David tells about the torment he suffered when he was silent and the forgiveness he received when he acknowledged his sin to the Lord.
Because the great thing is;
Psalm 32:5 CSB
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah

Confession unlocks forgiveness and freedom

Psalm 32:5 CSB
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Psalm
Confession is the knocking to which the door opens, the seeking that finds, the asking that receives.
Confession of sin to God is confession of faith in God. It is the action of trust that God is a God who keeps covenant (v. 10b).
It is language about God as well as self. If we say we have no sin, we not only deceive ourselves but we make him a liar, who is faithful and just and will forgive our sins
1 John 1:8–10 CSB
8 If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
). Faith is not like the horse and mule without understanding (v. 9); faith understands that we are sinners and God is gracious.
Faith is not like the horse and mule without understanding (v. 9); faith understands that we are sinners and God is gracious.
When one has wronged a wife, a parent, a friend, a neighbour—someone with whom there is a conscious relationship—and refuses to acknowledge it, to put the wrong into words so that it is there in speech available to be dealt with, then the wrong retained and sheltered begins to become part of one’s identity.
The contrast between silence and speaking has a correlation with general human experience. When one has wronged a wife, a parent, a friend, a neighbor—someone with whom there is a conscious relationship—and refuses to acknowledge it, to put the wrong into words so that it is there in speech available to be dealt with, then the wrong retained and sheltered begins to become part of one’s identity. It harms and hardens and diminishes. This experience belongs to the life of corporate identities as well as to individuals. Where God is the other, silence is the performance of stubborn pride or of a spirit struck dumb for fear of being found out. It is the way of Adam hiding from the presence. In the silence every affliction and problem takes the form of the judgment of God: “Thy hand was heavy upon me.” Worst of all, the silence is the rejection of grace.
It harms and hardens and diminishes.
Where God is the other, silence is the performance of stubborn pride or of a spirit struck dumb for fear of being found out. It is the way of Adam hiding from the presence. In the silence every affliction and problem takes the form of the judgment of God: “Thy hand was heavy upon me.” Worst of all, the silence is the rejection of grace.
When we confess our sin to God, he is faithful and forgives.
so David says...

Don’t hesitate

Psalm 32:6–11 CSB
6 Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. Selah 8 I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel. 9 Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you. 10 Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the Lord will have faithful love surrounding him. 11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
David wants the hearers of song to understand the joy and freedom that is on offer from God, when people repent; and so why delay?
“Pray immediately. Let great floodwaters come.” Let God be your safe place and refuge.
Let go of the burden that you have been carrying, and give it to the one that can truely deal with it;
Not just ignore guilt,
Not just rationalise thing away,
Not just try and fix things ourselves;
But hand over our sin to the one that can truely do something about our sin.
1 John 1:9 CSB
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Isaiah 43:25–26 CSB
25 “I—I sweep away your transgressions for my own sake and remember your sins no more. 26 Remind me. Let’s argue the case together. Recount the facts, so that you may be vindicated.
Ephesians 1:7 CSB
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
Psalm 103:12 CSB
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

Conclusion

I wonder what burden’s of sin your carry this day.
This psalm celebrates what is the very heart of the Christian tradition, God’s grace and forgiveness that allows for us to know true happiness. Yet amazingly, we rarely take the time to celebrate this pivotal act of daily grace, the act of confession.
Confession is pivotal to our daily lives, because it is the means that God releases us from the power of sin, and also covers our sins.
Spend time inviting people to confess.
Guilt is defined as a deep feeling of remorse for an act which may or may not have occurred in the past. Therefore, guilt becomes a past experience which is renewed in the present moment.
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