Summary: A sermon based on Neh. 9:1-6 that emphasizes the importance of confession of sin.
“MUCH NEEDED CONFESSION” Neh. 9:1-6
FBCF – 7/19/20
INTRO – Have you ever had to fess up to something?
- Tim & I stole all the money out of wishing well at Lake Tiak-O’Khata
- Daddy made us march right back to the front desk to return the money & confess to our crime.
Vicki & I regularly watch the TV shows “Blue Bloods” & “Chicago PD.” Nearly every episode involves a confession of a crime by the bad guy. Sometimes that confession may be strongly encouraged by Sgt. Hank Voigt on Chicago PD, or Det. Danny Reagan on Blue Bloods. But when the criminal owns up to the crime & confesses, the case is closed & justice prevails.
Today, we are going to talk about the importance of confession in our lives. Truth is that we are all criminals in a sense – spiritual criminals who are guilty of breaking God’s laws, which means that confession is necessary in all of our lives today.
EXPLANATION – Open Bibles to Neh. 9:1-6.
Neh 9 is directly connected to Neh 8 that we looked at last week where the people wept as the Word was being read b/c they came under conviction when they realized how seriously they & their forefathers had sinned against God. The weight of the conviction was powerful & purposeful & led to what should be all of our response when we come under conviction of our sin – deal w/ it through confession & repentance.
All of the people had gathered together for this time of worship. At the heart of their worship was the confession of their sins in prayer & the adoration & exaltation of God. He had been so patient w/ them, compassionate toward them, & faithful to them. Their meditation on all of His gracious acts toward them was a major component of this time of corporate worship.
This confession thing is a much-needed thing in all of our lives. Mark Dever: “If you are truly trusting Christ, you can’t confess a sin for which God has not provided forgiveness in Jesus. Indeed, if you work at the discipline of confessing your sins, it should not lead to despair at all, but rather to rejoicing over the extent of God’s love to you in Christ.”
APPLICATION – Confession of our sins is an essential action to have a strong relationship w/ Jesus Christ. So let’s talk about some of the particulars of confession by asking 4 simple questions:
WHAT IS IT? – There are some different words used in the Bible for confession.
One of the Hebrew word for “confess” is a word that means “to throw” or “to cast.” It also means “to give thanks, to praise, to celebrate.”
There’s another word used in Ps. 32:5 – “Then I confessed my sins to you and didn’t hide my guilt. I said, ‘I will confess my sins to the Lord,’ and you forgave my guilt.” (NET) The word here means “to know” or “to make known.”
And there’s the NT word that means “to agree or acknowledge fully. It literally means “to say the same thing.”
So the picture we see here in Neh. 9 is the people of God throwing & casting their sins to the Lord in confession, then responding in praise, thanks, & celebration as they experience the renewing & restoration of God’s awesome forgiveness. They were making their sins known. They were saying the same thing that God said about their sins. And that’s a great picture of what we need to do, too.
WHY DO WE DO IT? – Simply put: It restores our fellowship w/ God. Think about it:
- God is patient with us – And it’s a good thing b/c we are so prone to sin. Listen to these verses:
o Neh. 9:17, 26-27, 28, 30-31
o We are just like them.
- God has provided for us, just has He had done for His people over & over again.
o This long prayer (v. 6-37) is filled w/ the stories of God faithfully providing for His people.
- God deserves praise from us – v. 6
- God has plans for us
o Jer. 29:11
It is such an amazing thing to be in fellowship w/ God & experience all that He has for us. But sin interrupts & interferes w/ that fellowship.
- It grieves Him.
- It quenches the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
- It hinders our prayers.
o Isa. 59:2 – “…your sinful deeds have built a barrier between you and your God. Your sins have made God turn his face from you so that he does not hear your prayers.” (TPT)
o Ps. 66:18 – “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”