Confession and Forgiveness
The Only Road To Restoration*
1 John 1:9
There is not a single marriage or family here that does not sometimes say things in anger that are mean or hateful. Or that does not from time to time let the other one down; even if by mistake.
That hurt or mistake may be an affair or a forgotten anniversary, or words said in anger. Whatever the case, when these things enter a relationship and bring about distance,
coldness, and isolation.... what is the road to restoration?
Is it to simply wait, and let time heal the wound or enlist others on your side
Confession/Forgiveness... that is the road to restoration.
Let's "look into the spiritual mirror of the Word of God and discover the required road to restoration when sin enters our lives." 1
We usually reserve use of the word sin for offenses committed against God, breaking commandments or doing things that we know are contrary to His will.
But... WE ALSO SIN AGAINST OTHERS.
When you speak in anger and use words designed to attack the self worth of another, or meant to cause them pain, you have sinned against God and there is no doubt that it is against the other person.
When you have an affair you sin against God but there is no doubt that it is committed against your spouse.
Sin can come into our relationship with God, or with another person, or both.
"The Word of God promises hope in what appears to be a hopeless situation. Walk through the scriptures with me as we travel the walk of restoration. We need a road map. The following is a road map taken directly from the scriptures." 2
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not utter(y be cast down;
for the Lord upholds him with His hand. Ps 37:23-24
Understand what this is saying...
1. God has already chosen the path of obedience, the path He would have us travel. It is not left up to us or the majority.
2. When we are on that path, the straight and narrow, God takes great delight in our life. The reverse is also true... when we are off that path. God takes no delight in us, just pain.
3. "Though he fall" you will fall/ sin. No matter who you are, you WILL FALL! God realizes that, but he takes no delight in it, nor does He wink at it.
4. God will not abandon you when you sin... there will be a disruption in the fellowship, you will lose his blessings, you will lose the intimacy with God, you will lose the peace of God. BUT... you will not be rejected like a broken jar... God will not be by you, blessing you (so you will return) But he will not give up on you.
5. Imagine that I take you to the top of a fifty story building and hang you over the side. I offer you a choice.. hang onto this rope OR have the rope tied around your waist. Which would you choose?
You don't hold onto God by your good deeds and perfection.
He holds you by his GRACE.
So now, let's look at what to do about the sin that has come into your relationship with
God, or your loved one, or your friend or both.
CONFESSION TO GOD -THE KEY TO FORGIVENESS.
"'f we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us fi'om all
unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9
CONFESSION BEGINS WITH THE LORD.
The word “confess” means "to be in agreement with". We are to be in agreement with God about our sin... they are sins, they are wrong, we are guilty.
This is not a natural response.. it is foreign. We naturally make excuses or blame others.
Like kids making excuses for homework missing... "plane was hijacked."
Until we realize that it is sin, ADMIT that it is sin, distance and strain will continue between us and God.
Only when we ADMIT and CONFESS it can God forgive it, remove it and restore the fellowship with us.
I John I: I 0 says, "If we say that we have not sin,((or until we admit that we have sin))
we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us."
Satan's only hold on us as Christians is the shackles of unconfessed sin. Once we confess the sin, the shackles are torn asunder and we are released, set free.
You do not have to worry about rejection..."he shall not utterly be cast out."
"he is faithful and just to forgive... cleanse
"Though your sin be as scarlet they shall be as white as snow."
You don't have to worry that God only accepts perfect people.. "God commended his love for us in that WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
But... you may notice that even though you have confessed your sins to God you do not feel free, you still feel bound.
Well, your confession may not have gone far enough.
As hard as confession, true confession, complete confession is.. confession to God is much easier and safer than confession to others.
We are tempted to confess our sins to God but not to say anything to the other person or persons that we have sinned against, or others that our sin hurt.
Confession to God is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY before you can be forgiven by Him, but it is ONLY THE FIRST STEP to recovery or restoration with others.
A true confession, true repentance... He will NEVER reject. A false confession, false repentance, He will NEVER accept.
Confessions can be given for the wrong reasons.
In Exodus 9:27&28 Pharaoh makes a confession of sin..."I have sinned this time.. The Lord is right and I and my people are wrong. Pray to the Lord, for we have had enough thunder and hail."
GOD REJECTED HIS CONFESSION>»>WHY?
In 1 Samuel 15:24-26, Saul confessed his sin. "I have sinned. I violated the lord's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people, so I gave into them. Now, I beg you to forgive my sin and come back with me that I may worship the Lord."
God rejected his confession.... WHY? They were both INSINCERE.
They were not sorry, they did not intend to change, they just wanted something from God so they went through the motions.
GOD LOOKS ON THE HEART>>>He knows when you are sincere, and when you are just using confession... INSINCERE... UNREPENTANT.
BUT... in 2 Sam. 12:13, King David also sinned and he also confessed it..."I have sinned." and God accepted his confession and forgave him. WHY?
The answer is found in Psalm 51...DAVID DISPLAYED THE NECESSARY ELEMENTS OF ALL TRUE CONFESSION...
"The sacrifices pleasing to God are a broken spirit,
a broken and contrite heart-
These, 0 God, You will not despise."
'True confession, the one God accepts MUST BE SINCERE... it must come from a heart that is broken and grieving over the sin that has saddened the heart of God. Anything less is insufficient because it minimizes the reality of sin and our sincere desire to be with the Lord." 4
STEP THREE... REPENTANCE
2 CHRON. 7:14, "If My people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and
pray and seek my face, and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS, THEN will I hear
from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
Repentance means to exercise your will to turn from sin.
Pharaoh, as soon as the thunder and hail were gone... sinned again. Saul was not repentant.. he just wanted God's help to win the battle.
David was truly sorry and had every intention of changing and tried very hard. God.. and others.. can sense sincerity and insincerity
They both reject insincerity.
FORGIVENESS... THE REQUIRED RESPONSE FROM THE OTHER SIDE.
As hard, as costly, and as demanding as true confession is.. THIS STEP IS HARDER... FORGIVING.
Forgiving means letting go of the anger, letting go of the vengeance. Healing is a two-way process involving both spouses.... both parties.
Biblically, truly... once a true confession is offered, it MUST BE FORGIVEN!!!!
"Do you mean I have to forgive him for ? Do you mean I have to forgive her of , just like that, no punishment, no reprisals.. just 'BOOM', forgive them?"
Let me put it as simply as I can.... Y...E...S...!!!
True confession is not offered to gain something.....(intimacy, sex, money, help)
It can not be offered just to get accuser off your back.
YOU MUST FEEL THE PAIN YOU HAVE CAUSED THE OTHER PERSON AND BE GENUINELY SORRY AND DESIRE TO CHANGE.
THEN...."For the BELIEVER... who lives by the authority of God..(and wants fellowship with God).., forgiveness is not an option. 5
Colossians 3:13 makes this clear.
How.. when they have hurt you to the quick, when they have embarrassed you publicly, when they have hurt you in ways that seem impossible to forgive... How when you want with all your heart to hurt them back... badly, to get even, and more.... HOW then do you just turn off all of those feelings and hatred and hurt just because they confessed?
Is that really possible?
Is that really what God expects?? MATT 6:14-15
Listen to Galatians 6:1-2"If a brother is overtaken by sin, YOU WHO ARE SPIRITUAL SHOULD RESTORE HIM....
Considering yourself means going back over the past 48 hours and realizing YOUR SINS... against God
As good as your are, and as deserving as you were of the wrong done to you... the wrong done to you will NEVER measure up the wrong you have done to Him.
Whatever they did to you pales in comparison
Considering what you have done to Him, and how He has forgiven you... you forgive others.
You can't turn off the hurt and feeling faucet all at once... it will continue to drip... but over time... through more and more considering yourself... your sin... you can turn it OFF.
"The only basis for us to offer forgiveness is because we too have been forgiven by God through Christ's work on the cross." 6
This morning you are probably stuck in one place or the other... needing to confess to God
needing to confess to another needing to forgive another
Today is the day... Now is the time... This is the place...
If God has spoken...come!
(From Gerald Dahl's book)