The Joy Of Forgiven Sin.
“Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight!” – Psalm 32:1 NLT
One of the inevitabilities of life as a follower of Christ is our own sinfulness. We have inherited a sin nature and it shows up uninvited and without warning on a regular basis in all of our lives. Sometimes our sins are small and appear relatively harmless. Other times, even we are appalled at the extent of our own capability to commit sins that are offensive to most men, let alone God. Our sin natures are always doing battle within us, fighting with the indwelling influence of the Holy Spirit. Paul put it this way, “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions” (Galatians 5:17 NLT). The battle within us is real and the presence of our sin nature is easy to recognize. We see it in the sins we commit on a daily basis, both sins of commission and omission. We don’t do the things we should do and we do those things God has forbidden us to do. But here is the good news: God is fully aware of our sin nature. He knows that we are sinners, which is why He sent us a Savior in the form of His own Son. God has set us free from slavery to sin. We no longer HAVE to sin, because we also have a new nature within us. He has given us His Spirit, to indwell us, fill us, and empower us to live a life that is no longer sin-saturated, but Christ-centered. We now have the capacity to NOT sin. We can say no to sin. “We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin” (Romans 6:6-7 NLT).
But the truth is, we still sin, because we still have three things contending against us: Satan, the world, and our own sinful flesh or our sin nature. John reminds us, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth” (1 John 1:8 NLT). So sin is still inevitable, but avoidable. Yet when we do sin, there is hope. We have forgiveness available to us. We need only confess or admit our sin to God and He offers complete forgiveness. Confession is not telling God something He does not already know about us. He knows everything. He sees all our sin. Confession is agreeing with God on the presence of that sin in our lives and acknowledging our need for His forgiveness. David said, “I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt” (Psalms 32:5 NLT). That word for confessed is yada in the Hebrew and it carries the idea of both knowing something and making it known. As we become aware of sin in our lives, God asks us to acknowledge or make it known to Him. That is confession. Attempting to hide it or deny it is ridiculous because God already knows all about it. When we refuse to confess it, all we miss out on is the forgiveness. As part of His sanctifying process in our lives, God is always revealing the sin in our lives. It is like He is taking a flash light and shining it into the recesses of our lives in order to point out the hidden remains of our sin nature that still reside there. When He reveals our sins to us, all He asks is that we agree that we see them, acknowledge or confess their presence to Him, and ask for His forgiveness. And the good news is, that is exactly what we receive. David says, “what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt,whose lives are lived in complete honesty!” (Psalms 32:2 NLT).
David loved the forgiveness of God because he knew how much he needed it. He was a sinner just like you and me. He did not always do what God wanted him to do and he sometimes did those things God did not want him to do. But David knew the reality and blessing of confession and forgiveness. And he warns us that we need live a life of confession as well. In fact, he gives us these words from the Lord Himself as a way of encouragement, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control” (Psalms 32:8-9 NLT). God is guiding and directing us how to live. Part of that process is exposing the sin in our lives so that we might be made aware of it and then confess it to Him. It is for our own good. To refuse to see it, acknowledge it, and confess it would make us like a senseless horse or mule that needs the pain of a bridle and bit to make it do what it is supposed to do. Confession is meant to be comforting. It leads to forgiveness. It frees us from guilt. It restores our relationship with the Father. And it brings us joy. So why wouldn’t we confess our sins readily and regularly?
Father, I confess to You that I do not confess often enough. I sometimes try to ignore my sins as if they are not that great. But I know that I need to see them and confess them to You. They are a constant reminder to me of my need for You. I cannot cleanse myself. I cannot sanctify myself. I cannot get rid of my sin by myself. Only You can remove the sin that remains within me. Only You can conquer the sin nature that still does battle with me daily. So I want to learn to confess more regularly and readily, so that I might enjoy the blessing of Your forgiveness.. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men