Confession of Wrong Doing
Text: Psalm 32
I. Each time we gather, we offer an invitation to those who desire to become Christians to do so without delay. We also offer an opportunity for those who desire the prayers of their brethren to make that desire known.
A. At times brethren use that opportunity to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness.
B. Some religions make elaborate rituals of confession. Some require discussing your sins with a member of their clergy.
C. What we desire to do in this lesson is examine the biblical foundations for the idea of confession.
II. To whom must confession be made?
A. Confession must be made to those who have been harmed by your sin.
B. All sin is against God and must be confessed to Him
1. When David committed adultery, he knew he had sinned against God - Psalm 51:1-4
2. I John 1:8-9 - If we confess, then God will cleanse us from our sins
3. It is more than an admission of guilt, confession also requires a change in our future plans - Acts 8:18-22
C. Many of our sins also harm others
1. Matthew 5:23-24 - Settle matters with you brother before trying to worship God.
2. James 5:16 - Confess your sins to one another
3. Ephesians 4:31-32 - When a brother has asked for forgiveness, we must be willing to accept his request
4. Colossians 3:12-13 - forgiving any complaint, just as the Lord forgives us.
5. For the same reason, confession to our brother must be more than mere words, there should be effort to correct the wrong we have committed.
D. At times the harm we do in our sins have a far reaching impact.
1. Each of us represents Christ and his church to the community around us. - Matthew 5:14-16
2. When we sin, we degrade the standards the church is suppose to uphold.
3. When I lie to someone, it shows a lack of moral character on my part, but it also implies that those who accept me tolerate my misbehavior. It gives the impression they approve of my wrong-doing - Romans 1:32
4. When my sin harms the reputation of my brethren, I should seek their forgiveness for causing that harm
5. A brother among the Corinthians had committed fornication, he was withdrawn from by the church, but when he turned from sin, the brethren were urged to forgive him - II Corinthians 2:5-8
a. Notice that he cause sorrow (harm) to the brethren
b. Now the brethren were to comfort him
III. Why must I confess my sins?
A. To be forgiven
1. David sought God’s forgiveness - Psalm 51:1-3
2. Confession is required to be forgiven - I John 1:9
B. To restore fellowship with God
1. Sin separates us from God - Isaiah 59:2
2. We cannot have fellowship while remaining in our sin - I John 1:6
3. Yet, if we do not confess our sins to God, our sins remain
C. When we are unwilling to admit our sin, the knowledge of our nature destroys us internally - Psalm 32:3-5
1. Without the admission of wrong, we are living a lie - Psalm 32:2
D. To restore fellowship with my brethren - II Corinthians 2:7-8
E. To restore the honor of Christ and his people
1. To admit wrong doing is to state that Christ was right in calling our misdeeds sinful.
2. Our willingness to admit wrong and do right is seen by others - II Peter 2:11-12
IV. What confession is not
A. It is not a sign of a weak person
1. It takes a strong man to admit he was wrong
2. Though David sinned, we admire his desire to do what was pleasing to God.
3. The weakness is displayed when we sin, not when we confess.
B. It is not a time to look down on a person, but a time to lend him strength - II Corinthians 2:6-8
1. The time for disapproval is when a person remains in his sin or refuses to recognize his error.
2. Once the realization comes and he is willing to admit his deeds were wrong, then is the time for healing, not further rebukes.
C. In the same light, confession is not punishment. Punishment comes upon the unrepentant.
V. What must I do to confess?
A. Have the proper heart
1. Confession requires humility - Luke 18:13-14
2. It requires sorrow, yes even guilt, over wrong doing - Psalm 38:17-18
B. It requires a hatred of the sin and a change in life
1. Must confess and forsake the sin - Proverbs 28:13
2. The Corinthian church had done many things wrong. They did not wallow in the mire of self-guilt but strove to set things right - II Corinthians 7:8-11
C. It requires trusting God’s promise - I John 1:9