People come to me who have been a Christian for many years, but have never heard about how to get rid of the results (guilt, anger, bitterness, fear, frustration, unsettledness, anxiety, etc.) of their sin. They asked Jesus into their heart when they were young and were immediately filled with joy and gratitude, but slowly, over time, the glow began to fade and now things are as bad, or worse than they were at the beginning.
Life as a Christian
Saved, Justified, Forgiven, washed clean, Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 6:22).
Disobedience – SIN
- Disobedience – not doing what he’s said to do
- Doing what he’s said not to do.
- Doing partly what he’s said to do
- Reinterpreting what he’s said to do.
What Happens when we Sin?
Discipline – Heb 12:5-11
How Does God Discipline Us?
Drop in joy—Ps 51; 38:1-8; 32:1-5
What Do We Do?
Confession – 1 Jn 1:9; Ps 51
- Confession to say the same thing. Admitting that you have done it and no one else. There was no excuse, you did it on purpose as an act of rebellion. You have no excuse, no reason.
- Along with confession is Repentance (Acts 17:30) and Restitution (Ex 22:1-15; Lev 5:14-6:7; 24:17-22; Num 5:5-10).
Forgiveness – cf above. God cleanses us from all unrighteousness.
- Forgive: 1) To excuse for a fault of offense; to pardon. 2) To renounce anger or resentment against. 3) To absolve from payment 4) To refuse to remember (Heb. 10:15-17)
- Reconciliation: 1). To re-establish friendship between. 2). To settle or resolve a dispute. 3). To bring (oneself) to accept.
What about our forgiving ourselves?
- We don’t forgive ourselves, we accept God’s forgiveness. We also immitate him in forgetting and not holding it against ourselves any more (Heb. 10:17-18).
Feeling like we belong again?
Rise in Joy – Restored fellowship
We understand that we have, once again, come home to God where we belong. Like the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32.
When we Should confess our Sin
None at all. II Pet 2:20-22.
- Big pile of stuff on the floor of your house. How do you clean it?
- God wants to be in fellowship with you more than you do with him.
Get out a piece of paper and your Bible and ask God to reveal to you your sin.
- Every sin.
- What about sin that you can’t remember?
- Unknown sin (1 Pet. 4:8; Ps. 103:14)
HIS SON JESUS DIED SO THAT GOD COULD HAVE FELLOWSHIP WITH YOU!
- Danger—Sets you up for a bigger fall, and sooner.
During your quiet times
- This is the goal of the Christian life. As soon as you sin you acknowledge it as sin and go on.
- The sin will come less and less, though the temptation will increase, and the sins you do commit will be of less consequence.
- Growth occurs during times of obedience, not during times of sinfulness. Nor during times of confession of sin. You already knew that was sin, that’s why it was sinful.
- God is very serious about sin. We have a tendency to think of our lives like the Non-Christians think about theirs. Jesus was beat up and died because of our sin. We need to keep that in mind as we go about our daily lives.
- God is very serious about his love for us and his desire to have fellowship with us. We need to realize that and strive to understand how great a love he has for us.
Ideas of Satan for why we don’t need to confess our sins.
- Justify the sin – It was really the right thing to do in this situation. I didn’t want to look like a goof, so I went along with the idea.
- Excuse the sin – It was really wrong, but I didn’t think we would get caught. I didn’t think anyone would get hurt. Sin is not wrong because people get hurt, it is wrong because God says its wrong. People get hurt because it is wrong.
- Hide from God – Maybe he won’t notice. Adam and Eve. Or us avoiding each other in order to avoid the pain of the guilt.
- Pass the buck – Why did God put me in the situation in the first place? Adam said, the Woman you gave me caused me to sin. Ultimately, God gets the blame.
- Put it off – Usually because we are too proud to admit that we sinned. Or we don’t want to face the music of our actions.
- Vague terms – Confess without really acknowledging the specific sin.
- Mistakes – It wasn’t really sin, I just made a mistake – an error in judgment. I didn’t mean to go so far, but before I knew it, my hand was on fire.
- To many and I can’t remember them all.
- Nobody’s perfect and I’m going to do it again anyway so why confess it? – Don’t really believe it was as bad as God thinks it was. We really need to take God seriously and our actions seriously too.
- I’m too proud to make restitution – Ex 22:1-15; Lev 5:14-6:7; 24:17-22; Num 5:5-10.
- Bitterness – Eph. 4:31-32; Heb 12:15; James 3:14-16 An evil root that if not dealt with will grow and infect not only your life, but also the life of the church.
* These notes came from a lecture by Douglas Wilson about 40 years ago when we were both in the Navy. The Bible study leader didn’t come one night and Doug filled in for him by teaching this.