Summary: Exposition of Ps 32 regarding confession of sin to God and others
Text: Psalm 32, Title: The Joy of Spilling Your Guts, Date/Place: NRBC, 2/20/11, AM
A. Opening illustration: Driver: Yeah, I’ll bet he told you I was speeding, too. Commentators two reasons for the absence of “confession” 1) Independence and privacy 2) Perfectionism and guilt b/c we should’ve overcome, Pilgrim’s Progress, the relief Pilgrim felt when his burden was loosed from his back at the cross, and it rolled down into the open sepulchre not to be seen again
B. Background to passage: How many of us long for a guiltless, God-approved, healthy, spiritually vibrant, holy, forgiven life? How many of you can recall a time this week where you confessed a sin to another believer in order to achieve this end? A teaching psalm regarding the forgiveness of sin that comes through confession. David speaks of a time when he initially didn’t want to confess/repent, and the guilt was tremendous; and the freedom, release, and blessings that came once he submitted to it. In fact the main thrust of the entire psalm is vv. 3-5. Note the close relationship b/t confession and repentance.
C. Main thought: with all these benefits, we should revive the practice of confession
A. Theological Joys (v. 1-2)
1. David mentions three theological (things between you and God) results from confession of sin: 1) forgiveness, 2) propitiation, 3) and justification. He says that you will be blessed, or “happy” or “joyful” if you have your sin (3 words for it here) forgiven. The punishment that would be due you because of sin is no longer required of you. It is closely linked to propitiation which means anger is appeased, spent, and satisfied. This comes from the word “covered,” which came from the covering of blood on the mercy seat that was between the presence of God above the ark and His law in the ark. God is no longer angry anymore; His wrath has been spent (on Christ on the Christ for all the sin of the world for all time). And finally David says that God will not impute, or count, or credit sin toward a person’s ledger against them. Believers who confess and repent will receive a clean slate, instantly! Fair? No, but righteous, because of Christ! We are justified by God as He pronounces us “righteous” or “not guilty” because of Christ!
2. 1 John 1:8-10, Pro 28:13, Jer 3:12-16,
3. Illustration: The king turned to the guard and ordered, "Set this guilty man free. I don't want him corrupting all these other innocent people." in the movie Braveheart, as they tortured and killed William Wallace, they told him if he would just confess, they would have mercy on him and just kill him; but God’s mercy is absolute forgiveness, propitiation, and justification, Who is Ed Hochuli? He is a veteran NFL referee who made a terrible call in a Chargers - Broncos game. Instead of hiding or covering up his mistake, he fully admitted it and apologized. Matthew J. Darnell on Yahoo Sports said, "It's hard to hate a guy who knows he screwed up and feels bad about it."
4. If you desire a right relationship with God, you must enter into the kingdom on the vehicle of confession of sin. You must agree with God that He is holy, you are not, and in and of yourself, there is no hope of eternal life for you. You must have a knowledge of how you have offended God and others. You must name your sin before God, identify it as sin, be genuinely sorry that you have offended an absolutely holy Being, and be willing to turn from it; only then can you be forgiven; and only then because of Christ. But along with that comes the fact that God is not angry at you anymore, and your account is cleared, paid in full, and your sin will never be “imputed” to you. If you already a genuine believer, confession is also needed to maintain a close fellowship with God, as He is continually revealing areas that we fall short. Been forgiven? Born again? Saved? Confessed?
B. Physiological Joys (v. 3-4)
1. David knew that the hand of the Lord was heavy upon him. This is the disciplinary hand of the Lord. In his state of unconfessed sin, God was convicting him, his conscience was afflicting him, and possibly God was allowing adversity into his life to bring him to a fresh humility and contrition. The discipline of God is always for our good and to make us partakers in His holiness. And thus all this spiritual pressure was building up, and David was unyielding, and his physical body began to feel the results of it all. He was exhausted (no energy), he was in distress as his body groaned for relief from the stress. He spoke of his life as drying up. Mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically drained. Long term guilt is nearly intolerable for your body and mind.