Summary: It seems to be one of mankind’s innate flaws--the tendency to hide his sin and wrong. But concealing our sin solves nothing. Only by confession can we hope to experience inner peace and relief.
THE CONSOLATION OF CONFESSION
Text: I John 1: 9; Ps.32: 5
Intro: As you listened to that title you may have thought to yourself that the ideas of consolation and confession simply don’t go together. After all, we don’t normally think of confession in a positive light.
The idea of confession often conjures up thoughts of having to reveal embarrassing or incriminating facts. We would not usually see that occurrence as consoling. However, there is a certain consolation or relief that comes from getting things out of the shadows and into the light.
For one thing, confession helps relieve the weight of guilt. As long as the matter stays hidden, one must carry the weight alone. That generally results in insecurity being added to the weight of the guilt—not to mention self-hatred.
Secondly, keeping wrongs hidden requires a lot of emotional energy. Confession negates the need for that expenditure of energy. This can be seen in the fact that often, when lawbreakers have been on the run for a long period of time, and are finally captured, some actually express relief that the chase is finally over—no more acting or pretending is needed—no more looking over ones shoulder.
King David learned that there is consolation in confession of sin. As we look into Psalm 32, we will find out why David thought it better to confess his sin than to conceal it.
Theme: From his experience, David had learned:
I. THE BLESSEDNESS OF FORGIVENESS
A. The Horrible State Of The Guilty Sinner.
1. Sin is rebellious in nature.
Ps.32: 1a “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven…”
NOTE:  “Transgression means willful disobedience or rebellion…” (Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, Editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 507).
 It is certainly possible to sin unknowingly and unintentionally. But in most cases, our sin is the result of selfish and rebellious choices. James said, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4: 17).
 Some folks come into God’s house on Sundays and act like nothing is wrong, when they know they aren’t right with God. They sing the hymns, bow their head in prayer, and listen to the message, but they are in rebellion against God.
Elisabeth Elliot, at Urbana 76, told of her brother Thomas Howard. Their mother let him play with paper bags she’d saved if he put them away afterwards. One day she walked into the kitchen to find them strewn all over the floor. Tom was out at the piano with his father singing hymns. When confronted, he protested, “But Mom, I want to sing.” His father stated, “It’s no good singing God’s praise if you’re disobedient.”
2. Sin violates God’s righteous standard.
Ps.32: 1b “…whose sin is covered.”
NOTE:  The word “sin” means, “to miss the mark” (Warren W. Wiersbe, The Most Expensive Thing In The World, a pamphlet published by Back To The Bible Publication, Lincoln, Nebraska; pgs. 12 & 13).
 Any time we fall short of God’s righteous standard (and we all do from time to time), we “miss the mark,” just like an arrow that falls short of its intended target. The Apostle John said, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (I John 3: 4). The “law” referred to hear is not the Ten Commandments, but is a reference to God’s righteous standard in general.
3. Sin stems from our old nature, which is totally perverse.
Ps.32: 2a “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord inputeth not iniquity…”
NOTE:  “Iniquity implies twistedness or perversity…” (Charles F. Pfeiffer and Everett F. Harrison, Editors, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois; pg. 507).
 As Wiersbe notes, “‘Iniquity’ refers to the crookedness of sin. There is something devious and crooked about sin” (Warren W. Wiersbe, The Most Expensive Thing In The World, a pamphlet published by Back To The Bible Publication, Lincoln, Nebraska; pg. 12).
4. Sin is deceptive in nature.
Ps.32: 2b “…in whose spirit is no guile.”
NOTE:  The word “guile” refers to “…treachery: —deceit…” (James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Of The Bible, published by MacDonald Publishing Company, McLean, Virginia; #7423 of the Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, pg. 109).
Heb.3: 13 “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
 Far too many people are deceived about the danger of sin. Take it too lightly, and it may destroy you.
What happened to the great city of Ephesus? Often mentioned in the New Testament, it was one of the cultural and commercial centers of its day. Located at the mouth of the Cayster River, it was noted for its bustling harbors, its broad avenues, its gymnasiums, its baths, its huge amphitheater, and especially its magnificent Temple of Diana. What happened to bring about its gradual decline until its harbor was no longer crowded with ships and the city was no longer a flourishing metropolis?