Confessing Our Faults

Text: Psalm 32


I.         I John 1:8-10

            A.        Forgiveness of our sins is not automatic. God has always required action on our part to gain His forgiveness.

            B.        In this passage we learn that God wants us to confess our faults.

II.        Confession has always been required by God

            A.        In the garden, God asked man where he was and who told him he was naked.- Genesis 3:11

                        1.         It wasn’t that God did not know what had happened, but that He was giving man a chance to confess his wrongs.

            B.        Sometime later, when Cain killed Abel, God again asks Cain where his brother was - Genesis 4:8-10

                        1.         Again God shows He knew what had happened, but he wanted Cain to admit his error.

            C.        Job’s friends thought his troubles were due to some sin that Job had hidden. They were mistaken, but notice how they thought Job could regain God’s favor - Job 33:23-30

            D.        Under the Mosaic Law, confess as well as restitution was required from those who sinned - Numbers 5:6-7

            E.        God warned of the havoc He would bring on Israel if they sinned, but He also would forgive them if they confessed, humbled themselves, and made amends. - Leviticus 26:40-42

            F.        Before being baptized by John, people confessed their sins - Mark 1:5

            G.        As we have seen, confession of sin is still required under the Law of Christ - James 5:14-16

III.       Why is confession of wrong necessary?

            A.        Those who sin, try to hide their deeds.

                        1.         I Thessalonians 5:5-7 - We are not of the night (where misdeeds are hidden).

                        2.         Isaiah 29:15 - People think that if no one sees, then they are safe.

                        3.         But hiding our sins will not help us in the long run - Proverbs 28:13

                        4.         David prayed to be forgiven of his secret or hidden sins - Psalm 19:12

            B.        Confessing our sins means we understand that we did evil in the sight of God

                        1.         Psalm 32:1-5 - When we acknowledge our sins, God forgives

                                    a.         Notice the paradox - to have our sins covered, we must first expose them.

                                    b.         Notice too that the guilt of hidden sin will haunt a person.

                        2.         “What if someone finds out? I’ll never live it down.”

                        3.         Once we expose our errors, that fear is removed. It is still embarrassing, but the stress of hiding is gone.

                        4.         Only then can we heal - James 5:14-16 (read earlier)

            C.        Confessing sins makes them “real”

                        1.         I was listening to Dr. Laura the other day and she mentioned an interesting fact.

                                    a.         People call her for moral advice and typically she takes the situation that is described to her and repeats it back – but in a blunt, clear fashion that is disrobed of all excuses.

                                    b.         The surprising thing is that most people immediately distance themselves from the very thing they just said. Why? Because hearing it out loud forces us to understand what we are doing.

                                    c.         It is easy to deceive ourselves if we don’t face what we are doing.

                                                (1)       The adulterer doesn’t say, “See you later hon, I’m off to commit adultery.”

                                                (2)       No, he avoids thinking about the issue, while at the same time going where he should not.

                                                (3)       Then all of a sudden, he is “surprised” to be where he shouldn’t be, but he soothes his conscience by saying “he couldn’t help it.”

                        2.         Which leads to a simple action when we are faced with a moral quandary: Say what you are about to do and why you are going to do it out loud.

                                    a.         The simple action of confessing your deed and your motive forces you to face reality.

                                    b.         Even better, when we think we about being tempted, find a trusted friend and say exactly what is going through your head. It makes it harder to pretend - Hebrews 3:12-13

            D.        Confessing our sins show we have conquered our pride

                        1.         No one is without sin, but not everyone is willing to admit their weakness - I John 1:8-9

                        2.         God gives grace to the humble - James 4:6

                        3.         Psalm 51:17 - God wants a broken and contrite heart

IV.      The Scriptures are filled with examples of those who confessed their sins

            A.        David confessed his adultery - II Samuel 12:13

            B.        Peter, when faced with the deity of Christ, confessed his unworthiness - Luke 5:8-9

            C.        The prodigal son - Luke 15:18

            D.        The thief on the cross - Luke 23:39-41

V.        No sin remains hidden

            A.        God sees all, so no sin can be hidden from His eyes - Psalm 139:11-12

            B.        All we do in secret is in the open before God - Psalm 90:8

            C.        Every hidden thing will be revealed - Luke 12:2-3

            D.        Acknowledge your sins and return faithless sons - Jeremiah 3:13,14

            E.        God is just waiting for us to acknowledge our guilt - Hosea 5:15-6:2