Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Joy of the Cross: Forgiveness

Psalm 32

The Joy of the Cross

 

1.         David has committed sin, concealed the sin, and finally confessed the sin.

 

                      His relationship with God has been strained, broken, or forfeited.

 

                      Three categories/types of sin and their remedies.

 

                        A.        Transgression means willful rebellion. These are REMOVED through forgiveness.

 

                        B.        Sin means error or falling short. Sin is COVERED, put out of God’s sight through Atonement.

 

                        C.        [v 2] Iniquity (NIV “sin”) means either foolishness, defilement, or perversity. Iniquity is OVERLOOKED (for the lack of a better expression)... “whose sin the LORD does not count against him.” (Righteousness not sin is “imputed”... for those who need a theological expression.)

 

                      What is wanted and needed is a right relationship with God. The reality is sin has strained, damaged, broken or forfeited that relationship.

 

2.         Silence equals suffering!

 

                      There are two way to deal with a sin situation: Silence or repentance.

 

                      God uses “conviction” to direct us back toward a right relationship. The trouble is that conviction is uncomfortable. The natural tendency is to fight against that discomfort.

 

                      Struggling against conviction is conflict with God.

 

                      What hinders us from repenting? Pride, self-deception, busyness, lazy, stagnant, comfortable, careless, wrong view of God.

 

3.         Suffering forces a decisive choice.

 

                      Silence as deliberate denial, reasoning away, or suppression has serious consequences.

 

                      These consequences can be physical.

 

                      These consequences are spiritual.

 

                      These consequences are emotional.

 

4.         Repentance rights relationship.

 

                      Jesus paid the penalty on the cross. (The penalty could not just be removed or covered or overlooked... the price/justice must be paid.)

 

                      God wants to and can forgive you because you are more important than your offense.

 

                      In fact, during the Lent season we remember and celebrate that you are more important to God the Father than the life of Jesus (God the Son).

 

                      The hardest step is the first one: ADMIT to yourself and God (this is called “confess”) your sin.

 

“If we CONFESS our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” [1 John 1:9]

 

                      Confession is honest, transparent, fully and freely given. Confession says:

 

                                  I have willfully crossed the line in rebellion to God’s known law.

 

                                  I have fallen short of God’s holiness, righteousness, and glory. [see Romans 3:23]

 

                                  I have acted foolishly, defiled myself, and indulged myself (perversity is willful rebellion).

 

5.         The decisive choice bring change.

 

                      We are called to pray [v 6] “while you may be found.” Opportunity (from our perspective) for repentance is not necessarily open and unlimited. We can be stubborn, rebellious, and unwilling to repent... so opportunity is seasonal.


“As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” [Hebrews 3:15]

 

                      Prayer brings blessing!

 

                                  Peace – we move away from self-delusion to God’s protection. [“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble...” v 7a]

 

                                  Freedom – we move away from self-sufficiency to God’s songs of deliverance. [“... and surround me with songs of deliverance.” v 7b]

 

                                  Hope – we move from being weak and self-directed to trustful surrender to God counsel and will. [“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” v 8]

 

                                  Confidence – we move from shaky self-thought to God making us intelligent. [“Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding.” v 9a]

 

                      Salvation is something that is done FOR us and IN us as guilt is removed and joy is given.

 

6.         Choosing God brings celebration.

 

                      Sin is pardoned. See vv 1,3,7,10.

 

                      Blessing (joy) is offered to us.

 

                      Rejoicing is the result. [v 11]

 

          How is all this possible? Because of the Lord’s “unfailing love.” [v10]

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