Summary: An expository sermon from Psalm 32 on "How To Be Restored To A Right Relationship With God After We Have Sinned."
Psalm 32 "True Confessions" Part 2
Introduction: Read Psalm 32.
What do you do when you fail God? How can or should we respond to those times when we do something wrong? How can you get back on track? How can we be fully restored into a right relationship with God after we have sinned?
This is the question that Psalm 32 answers. We began to look at the message that God has for all of us in this Psalm last week. When we looked at verses one and two we saw that restoration is something worth seeking with all our hearts. David says "Blessed is the man whose sin is forgiven." Blessed because all types of sin can be forgiven. Blessed because when that restoration takes place it is complete. Restoration is complete because our sins are "forgiven" which means the weight or burden of them is removed. Restoration is complete because our sins are "covered" which means the shame of the ugliness of sin before God’s eyes is now hidden. Restoration is complete because our sins are "not counted against us" which means they have been expunged, totally and eternally removed from the record book. Then we got to that important phrase in verse two which says that this blessed, totally restored relationship with God belongs to the one "in whose spirit is no deceit." They do not deny, excuse, ignore or hide their sin but they admit it.
They are honest with God and themselves about their wrongdoing and guilt. These are those who confess their personal and particular sins to God without any reservations. True confession brings restoration. This is the main message of this psalm. The first and final step in the process of restoration is to go to God and fully admit our sin, fully acknowledge our guilt, and fully accept the blame. The blessing and freedom of restoration only belongs to those confess.
Illustration: The banner headline across the top of one Chicago Tribune read, "Guilty Plea Sets Inmate Free." The picture showed the freed man embracing his sister, and the article told how a man imprisoned for eight years cut a deal with the state’s attorney’s office in which the time served satisfied his sentence if he would admit his guilt.
Illustration: When I was a telephone operator, a customer talked overtime on a long-distance call from a pay telephone booth. Even with my friendly reminders, he refused to deposit his overtime coins or admit responsibility for the charges. Instead he slammed down the phone, irate and verbally abusive. A few seconds later, he was back on my line--somewhat calmer. "Operator, please let me out of the phone booth--I’ll pay, I’ll pay, just let me out!"
The customer mistakenly thought I had control of the phone booth’s doors and had locked him in! He gladly paid the overtime charge and with my advice gave the booth door a hefty kick to free himself.
We can be freed by confession or locked in by denial. The choice is ours. There is a part of us that finds it very difficult to go to God and honestly admit wrongdoing with full culpability. It’s been that way since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. They tried to hide from God and when that didn’t work they tried to shift some of the blame for their sin. That continues today. We see it throughout our society: politics, sports, schools, etc. We certainly see this denial in our prisons where nearly every prisoner refuses to acknowledge responsibility.
As I was preparing this very part of the sermon I got a call from a prisoner at the Martin County Jail requesting that I begin a church service at the jail. In our conversation he told me that he had been an elder at various churches in the community and he noted that he knew various pastors personally. I then asked why he was in jail and he told me it was because he talked with his wife and she didn’t like it. That was obviously not true. And I confronted him on that. The truth is that he had violated a restraining order against him, but he refused to acknowledge one ounce of responsibility or guilt for his act. It was everyone else’s fault! I couldn’t help that man because the only ones who can be restored are those who admit their sin and accept responsibility. True confession brings restoration.
Read 1 John 1:8,9
Read Proverbs 28:13
Read Verses 3,4
Illustration: Cartoon Caption Man to clerk in Hallmark store: "Do you have a card that stops short of saying ‘I’m sorry’ yet vaguely hints of some wrongdoing.?"
It’s hard to admit when we’ve done wrong so in these verses the Psalmist gives us further motivation to admit our faults and be restored. He encourages us to come clean with God by verbally acknowledging our sins because he personally knows the heartache and trouble bought about by not going to God immediately with his sin. He tells us how troubling it was for him when he "kept silent" about his sin. He was reluctant to take his sin to God as we often are. He foolishly let his guilt, pride, or maybe even fear keep him from quickly making things right. Are you doing like David did and keeping silent about your sin? Are you allowing pride, shame or guilt keep you from being restored to God? Don’t do like David did by acting as if nothing was wrong. He tried to ignore that sense of conviction. He fooled all of his friends but God knew! Time does not heal the wounds of sin! When our relationship with God is broken by sin, ONLY confession will bring restoration.