Faithlife Sermons

The Joy of Forgiveness


David’s Story

David was a mighty king, and by 2 Samuel 11 he had accomplished a great deal and God had blessed him with a powerful kingdom and a blessed life.
He was respected by his soldiers, loved by the people of Israel, and blessed by the Lord. So when spring came, when it was the time when kings go out to battle, David decided to stay home for this one. He had earned the right to stay home, he thought. Joab and the others could handle this one. He should have known better.
He wasn’t really looking for any thing particular as he was lingering on the roof of his house one evening, but when he saw the young girl bathing in the distance, he should have known better than to linger even longer. By that time his flesh was taking over and his desires were becoming too strong to suppress.
He shouldn’t have sent his servants to get her and bring her to him. He shouldn’t have slept with another man’s wife, but it was just once slip, right, no one needs to know.
He shouldn’t have been surprised when she informs him that she is has conceived and a baby would be born. This man of God should have known what to do now, come clean, confess your sins to the Lord and to those you have sinned against. Deal with the consequences and seek forgiveness and restoration.
But that is a hard road to trek and David thinks he has a plan to hide from these sins. Bring Uriah, her husband home, so he could sleep with his wife and cover up David’s transgression. But Uriah is a man of honor and refuses to sleep in his own home when his comrades are still in battle.
Here is his chance to come clean, to confess, to begin the process of restoration, but David again chooses darkness rather than light. He calls his most trusted general and tells him to send Uriah to the front line and then pull back so that he would be killed. David murders Uriah to cover his own sin.
In an effort to show himself honorable, David goes and marries Bathsheba, likely feeling a sense of relief, he had done it, he had covered over his sin…but had he?
Psalm 32:3–4 ESV
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah


Maybe it was after each successive sin that David felt the weight of guilt and shame, and the ache and anxiety of staying hidden.
After he slept with Bathsheba, did he lay in his bed, physically hurting over his sin.
Or maybe it wasn’t until he found out she was pregnant. Did he groan over the destruction he had caused to this woman, her marriage, and his own relationship with the Lord who had called him and cared for him.
It could have been when Uriah refused to go to Bathsheba. The heaviness of his own sin maybe got confused with frustration and anger toward Uriah for being such an honorable and noble man.
Sometimes the worst person to run into when we are deeply convicted is the guy who is passionately following the Lord.
Surly by the time he heard the news that Uriah was dead it all came rushing on him with clarity and deep pain.
Reading the account in 2 Samuel 12, it took Nathan the prophet coming to David with a fictional story of injustice before it finally hit David.
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” 2 Samuel 12:13
Psalm 32:5 ESV
5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
The physical effect of David’s sin and his remaining in the darkness with it were significant. It is not something to take lightly or to brush off as not all that serious.
Perhaps the reason you feel guilty is because you are guilty. The answer to your guilt problem is not rationalization or self-justification, but forgiveness. The price of forgiveness is repentance. Without it there is no forgiveness and no relief from the reality of guilt.— R.C. Sproul
Until David was willing to confess his sin to the Lord he was going to live under it’s weight and carry around the guilt of offense against God.

There is JOY in TOTAL forgiveness.

Psalm 32:1–2 ESV
1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
David dives deep into his dictionary to describe the horror of sin and the greatness of God’s forgiveness.
Our concept of sin is often incomplete, or, even, flawed in our culture.
We can think of sin in terms of the BIG categories like sexual sins, greed, lying, and more “obvious” sins. In this case we just need to avoid those.
We also have the tendency to think of sin as little screw ups here and there that God rolls His eyes at and tells us “you should be doing that!”
But to grasp just how spectacular God’s grace and forgiveness really are, we have to understand more fully what sin is.
In these 2 verses, David uses 3 words to describe sin and 3 words to describe/define forgiveness.

3 Words for Sin

Transgression (Pe-sha)- to act like a criminal, rebel against authority (God)
“If loving this is wrong I don’t want to be right.”
“I know what you said God, but if feels better to...”
A part of confession and overcoming sin is to come to terms with our love of it.
We sin because we enjoy it, even if it is against God and carries a heavy burden.
Flee and fighting sin requires us to leave something we enjoy (yet causes deep pain and brokenness) to pursue something infinitely better.
It is a truly a “change of heart”.
Sin (Chata-ah)- misstep, turning away from the true path, miss the mark of righteousness
There is a sense of the unknown or inadvertent missteps we make, as opposed to the conscience rebellion as with the “pe-sha” word.
David is acknowledging the depth of his sin in that there are sins he commits that he isn’t even aware of and yet he is liable for.
Sin isn’t just the list we have in our heads, it is deeper and more invasive than we can understand or care to admit.
Brown recluse spiders in my house, we are always 6 feet from a spider…thanks Jon.
Iniquity (awon)- distortion, perversion, twisting of truth
This is the twisting of God’s standard to our own benefit or comfort.
The redefining of God’s law and what is right, true, and good.
We can see this clearly in our culture, but it is also very much a part of our own hearts and lives.
Justifying our sin because work is challenging, our kids aren’t listening, my wife isn’t making her self available sexually, my husband isn’t attentive to my needs.
I need to unwind from the crazy day so I just have a few more drinks or I just act like that on the weekends around those friends.
She is just a friend, someone I can talk to about my wife...
It is just one white lie so they don’t get mad about something stupid...
Sin is more than just a list of BIG things we can easily stay away from.
It is deeply ingrained in us and something we will never escape from
I think the reason David uses 3 words to describe sin is so that he can use 3 words to describe forgiveness.
He wants to emphasize that EVERY sin, ANY sin, no matter how big or small, secret or public, intentional or inadvertent, ALL sin can be forgiven.

3 Words for Forgiveness

Forgiven (nas-ah)- literally ”to carry away” or “raise up”
Obviously there is a connection to the cross in this word, “raising up”.
But get this, our transgression have not just been brushed over, they have been carried away.
Someone has taken the burden of sin that is OURS to carry and has “carried it away”.
If you drop a jar of spaghetti sauce at walmart someone will likely come by and say “No problem, I will take care of it” and likely won’t make you pay for it. But someone will pay the price for that sauce.
Someone WILL ALWAYS pay the price for our sin.
BLESSED/HAPPY is the one who no longer has to carry the guilt and shame of their sin, because Jesus has taken it for them.
2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Covered (Kee-sah) - to cover over, hide from view.
David is in effect saying “How joyful a thought that if I uncover/reveal my sin to you, you will cover and hide it from sight.”
He is not saying “God covers FOR us or just hides our sin so we don’t have to deal with it.”

is the gracious act of atonement by which the sinner is reconciled and the sin is a matter of the past, so that the Lord does not bring it up anymore as a ground for his displeasure

Hebrews 8:12 NLT
12 And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”
Joy in the knowledge that God will not bring out the list again one day just to make us feel bad again about our sin.
He has COVERED our sin so that His own eyes no longer see them, He only sees Jesus.
Not held against them (hah-shav) - taken into account, charged to account, held accountable for.
Blessed is the one who is not help liable for the payment of his, or her, sin debt.
Can also mean “impute” which mean to “assign or ascribe to someone as theirs”
Romans 4:22–25 NLT
22 And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous. 23 And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded 24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.
God charges our sin to Jesus’ ledger (who bore our penalty) and writes Jesus’ righteousness into our ledger and credits us with His righteousness.
And the way to receive this forgiveness is to come clean, come to the light, to confess.
Psalm 32:5 ESV
5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

There is FREEDOM in WALKING in the LIGHT.

Psalm 32:6 ESV
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.
Why wait?
There is something inside all of us that just wants to stay in the darkness, thinking it is safer there, where no one knows our struggles, our failure, and our sins.
But there is freedom in the light.
John 3:19–21 ESV
19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Freedom to pray without hindrance.
Psalm 32:7 ESV
7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
Freedom to hear the Lord’s instruction without hindrance
Psalm 32:8 NLT
8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
Freedom and true victory in the battle to conquer sin and not fall again and again.
Psalm 32:9 CSB
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.
Freedom to worship with our hindrance.
Psalm 32:10–11 ESV
10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. 11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
That freedom comes when we are willing to confess our sins to a faithful and just God, who is able to forgive and cleanse us.
1 John 1:9 ESV
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Come to the light

Why wait?
For those carrying the shame and guilt of unconfessed sin, come to the light of Jesus and receive the forgiveness that only He can offer.
You have to be tired carrying all that weight, the guilt, shame, hiding, and, perhaps, even lying (to yourself and others.)
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