Summary: David’s sin and cover up of his sin devastated him, but God’s forgiveness brought amazing healing.
THE EFFECTS OF SIN AND FORGIVENESS
(Inspired by a sermon by Jeff Walling of the Providence Road Church of Christ in Charlotte, NC)
A. Psalm 32:1-2 (READ)
Some years ago, two TEENAGERS with a long history of CRIME and DELINQUENCY robbed a YMCA on the lowest East Side of New York City. On the way out they saw a young man at the TELEPHONE SWITCHBOARD. They were FRIGHTENED and ASSUMED that the must be calling the POLICE. They seized and beat him SAVAGELY with BRASS KNUCKLES and a BLACK JACK. Thinking that he was DEAD, they HID him BEHIND a RADIATOR near the SWIMMING POOL and ESCAPED.
Later that evening, a woman who came to SWIM, was walking by the POOL. She SLIPPED in the man’s BLOOD, screamed, and then FOUND Donald Tippet’s BODY. He LIVED, but one EYE was so badly DAMAGED that it could not be SAVED.
Meanwhile, the two TEENAGERS were APPREHENDED and brought to TRIAL. Their PAST RECORDS assured that BOTH would get LONG SENTENCES. However, Donald Tippet did an AMAZING thing—he REQUESTED that the JUDGE allow the two YOUNG MEN to be PAROLED to his CHARGE. He wanted to give them another CHANCE. He believed they could CHANGE.
One of the boys blew his OPPORTUNITY. He COMMITTED another CRIME, was CAUGHT, and to JAIL. The other boy, however, was RESPONSIVE to Tippet’s KINDNESS. He went to COLLEGE and then, eventually, to MEDICAL SCHOOL. He became one of our nation’s leading SURGEONS—an EYE SURGEON.
A REPORTER, writing about Donald Tippet’s AMAZING STORY of FORGIVENESS, said of the SURGEON’S accomplishments: “I wonder if he ever PERFORMS one of those DELICATE EYE OPERATIONS without thinking of that NIGHT in the YMCA and the YOUNG MAN whose CONFIDENCE and FORGIVENESS changed his LIFE!”
B. FORGIVENESS is one of those WORDS that Christians use quite often, but many still have difficulty
completely UNDERSTANDING what it means to be FORGIVEN.
1. One reason we haven’t understood FORGIVENESS is because many of us really don’t know what it’s
like to be LOST.
a. Most Christians were BROUGHT UP in the CHURCH.
We had Christian PARENTS. We were REARED in a GODLY HOME. We HEARD the GOSPEL all of our lives. We were at WORSHIP almost every SUNDAY.
By the time we were EIGHT we knew every SONG that the SONG LEADER led by HEART. We could PRAY the same PRAYER that all the men PRAYED because we heard BASICALLY the SAME one Sunday after Sunday. How did we know what it was like to be LOST?
You hear these STORIES from people who became Christians later in life getting up and saying, “I was a DRUG DEALER!” “I am a RECOVERING ALCOHOLIC!”
“I ROBBED a BANK!” “I KILLED a man.” And you think, “Now that GUY was LOST!”
Then you think back on what you’ve DONE. “I TOOK a PAPER CLIP from my 3rd Grade Bible Class Teacher and didn’t tell her.” “One time I SCRAPED the PEAS off my PLATE and FED them to the DOG and told Mom that I ATE them.” “I PUSHED Johnny in the MUD!”
b. Do we really KNOW what it’s like to be LOST?
2. David was a man who understood FORGIVENESS because he KNEW what it was like to SIN.