Summary: This was a funeral sermon given for a faithful brother who had confessed Christ as his Savior
Grace and peace to you who are in Christ,
Cancer. It is one of the more dreaded words in the English vocabulary. The mere mention of the word can give shivers to most people. Cancer is the last diagnosis any patient wants to hear from his doctor. Science has made many advancements in the treatment of many cancers, but often cancer eludes a cure. Patients who do come through treatments, must undergo many examinations. After awhile, when there is no sign of cancer, doctors may give some hope, but they don’t talk about a patient being cured. They talk about remission. Even then, there really is no guarantee that it won’t reappear years later.
As horrible and dreadful cancer may be, there is something worse. Sin is an even uglier disease. It affects and infects all people. NAME OF DECEASED knew this well. He knew what sin was. NAME OF DECEASED knew that He was a sinner. NAME OF DECEASED however knew the cure for his sinfulness. NAME OF DECEASED knew that Jesus Christ had granted him salvation. NAME OF DECEASED had the same convictions as the Psalmist had. He recognized that a forgiven person is truly blessed. He is blessed because his confession is heard by the Lord, and also because his deliverance is certain.
Theme: Blessed are the Forgiven
I. Their confession is heard (1-5)
Sin is a heavy load. Some people, not knowing to whom they should confess their sins, have had mental breakdowns. Others have had long bouts with depression because of the guilt of their sins. Sin is a load that God never intended humanity to bear. In fact, when God created this world, it was perfect. There was no sin in it. But sin soon came into this world; Adam and Eve transgressed God’s holy will. They were tempted, and they fell from that perfect existence into a sinful existence. Since then, sin has infected all men.
Sin has consequences. Scripture says, “The wages of sin is death.” Because of sin, death is the outcome of everyone who sins. The writer of Psalm 32, King David, knew that. Because of his sins, he lost a son, his family was divided, and his kingdom was thrown into chaos. Many times David sinned against the Lord. When he didn’t repent, he felt the guilt. In this Psalm, he talks about those times. He wrote, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.” Physically and psychologically he was devastated by the guilt of his sin. David was in the dungy cellar of depression. Doctors today would probably have ordered David to have some counseling and perhaps proscribed some Prozac for him. This wouldn’t have helped any, though.
David had a real problem that no one on earth could fix. He felt his sin bearing down on himself. In fact he uses three different words to describe his condition. In verse five, he wrote, “Then I acknowledged my SIN to you and did not cover up my INIQUITY. I said, "I will confess my TRANSGRESSIONS to the LORD". In David’s native tongue, these words pictured every aspect of sin. The first was a general term for sin. Literally, it was “a missing of the mark.” The LORD had said, “Be perfect as I the Lord your God am perfect.” David knew he had not been perfect. He had fallen short of that mark. “Iniquity” relates the depravity, or perversity of a person, displayed in all that he thinks, says or does wrong. “Transgression” describes the sinner who steps over the line which he was told not to step over. For instance, the Sixth Commandment states, “You shall not commit adultery.” David transgressed that Commandment when he adulterated with Bathsheeba. He stepped over the line which God said, “Don’t”.
David knew that he couldn’t “cover up” his sinfulness before God. David recognized that he was not worthy of God’s love but deserved only his wrath and punishment. David also recognized that the Lord was faithful to his promises. He knew that the Lord would hear his confession. Why? He was confident that the Lord would hear his pleas for mercy, and would be merciful because the Lord had promised to be merciful. Like David, NAME OF DECEASED was confident that the Lord heard his confession. He knew that the Lord had freed him from the bondage of his sin and guilt.
Like a doctor that is truly concerned about a patient suffering from cancer, so the Lord tends to a sinner who confesses his sin. The Lord not only hears the confession, he promises to forgive sins. He forgave David’s sins. He forgave NAME OF DECEASED’s sins. Not only does the Lord forgive sins, he promises deliverance from sin’s outcome. The Lord promises us deliverance from death by giving us new life.