Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A powerful series based on the book "Grace: More than we Deserve, Greater Than We Imagine." The series will look at the many different aspects of Grace. Part 5

Grace Happens - Part 5

December 9, 2012

They say Confession is good for the soul. But is it? How many of you really would be willing to get up here and confess your sinfulness? It’s not easy . . . is it? We struggle with it one on one. When we need to confess to a loved one that we blew it. We messed up. We sinned against them and because we sinned against them, we also sinned against God.

When we make that confession, we often like to say it in a way which will minimize the damage. We say things like “I kind of did that.” In my black and white world, either you did it or you didn’t do it, there’s no such thing as kind of. You either hit your friend or you didn’t. You stole that item or you didn’t. You said those words or you didn’t.

Plainly, we don’t like to confess. Yet, in the oldest book of the New Testament, what is considered to be the first letter written, James gives these instructions to the early church ~ 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. (James 5:16)

James doesn’t talk about how to worship, or how to take communion, or how to serve; instead he finds it more important to help the early church understand the need for confession.

When we talk about confession, we have lots of images in our heads and hearts. We may think of someone who was arrested and think of CSI and how a confession is being coaxed out of them. Or maybe you’re thinking about a moment in a confessional, where there is another person who can’t see you and they listen to your words of confession.

Most images of confession really aren’t positive. You see, the root meaning of the word confession is to say “we are in full agreement.” We are in full agreement with one another, so we pray for one another; and we are in full agreement with God. We agree that what we did was wrong, it was a sin against God and others. That’s a good reason to ultimately find healing as James concludes.

Sometimes we think confession is telling God something He doesn’t already know. That’s impossible. Sometimes we think confession is complaining. We just tell what’s bothering us and we feel better. And sometimes we think confession is blaming. We point fingers at others, so that we don’t have to point fingers at ourselves.

Basically, confession is coming clean with God. King David did this. It took awhile before he eventually came to confess his sinfulness. It’s a story which was even made into a movie, aptly called, David and Bathsheba. David made a series of very unwise decisions. Saying they were unwise is being overly generous.

The story is found in 2 Samuel 11. It was Spring time, which was the time of year, kings went off to make war. But, David decided not to go to war. He sent his soldiers, but David stayed back and took it easy while they fought. He watched the reports on CNN.

This began a series of events which led to disaster. They seemed innocent enough at first, but one problem compounded another problem. David had too much time on his hands. As he walked on his balcony, across the street, he saw Bathsheba, who was a real bathing beauty, taking her bath.

Instead of saying get her a bigger and better curtain, David told his servants to send the limo over to her home and bring her to the castle. When she walked in there was champagne chilling and rose petals on the bedroom floor. You know what his intentions were, and it seems like his intentions matched her intentions.

I’m not sure how much contact they had after their first encounter. They may have had daily or weekly visits; or maybe they didn’t see each other again. But, after awhile, Bathsheba sends David a text message, ‘I need to talk to you,’ and she tells him she’s pregnant and he’s the dad.

David does some quick thinking, because he knows her husband is off fighting in the war he is supposed to be at. Ultimately, Bathsheba’s husband demonstrates better character than David, and David can only think of one thing left to do, and has Uriah killed in battle. Then David and Bathsheba carry on like nothing ever happened. The baby was born and nobody knew anything. At least 9 months had gone by and nobody knew about this. Well, almost nobody. You see, God knew.

Now, David, the man after God’s own heart, had developed a stone cold heart. Finally, a prophet named Nathan confronted David about his sin. David had lived with this unconfessed sin for about 1 year. On the outside everything appeared normal, but on the inside, David was suffering from his unconfessed guilt and sin.

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