HOW TO SOLVE THE SIN PROBLEM
Psalm 32:1-5 (NKJV)
The Joy of Forgiveness
A Psalm of David. A Contemplation.
1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity,
And in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old
Through my groaning all the day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah
5 I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I have not hidden.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Various people have various problems. Some people struggle financially, others struggle with their health, some have emotional and mental problems. If we were to open the floor to discussion, we could all share our own sad stories of pain, heartache, suffering and trouble. While it’s true that we all have burdens which vary from person to person, there is one common denominator. There is one reality with which we all struggle day by day: We all must deal with sin!
If we were perfectly honest, we would all have to admit to some besetting sin. Whether we like to think about it or not, whether we own up to is or not, we all struggle with sin on a daily basis. Now, when we, as believers sin, we will have to deal with it. Sin, in the life of the believer, will cause much problems that it must be dealt with.
And, there are only two ways to deal with sin; man’s way and God’s way! If we deal with sin man’s way, we will try to hide it and kept as a secret so that we can relish it and continue to enjoy it some more, or just so that we can pretend that it never happened. This method always leads to disaster and possibly to death, 1 John 5:16. The other method is God’s way and it is the method which is discussed in this passage. When we handle our sin in God’s way, then it is handled correctly and it will ceased to bring pain and destruction into our lives.
In these verses, David is dealing with the sin he committed with Bathsheba. He tells us how he handled his sin and how he received cleansing. By the way, this Psalm is most likely a companion to Psalm 51. In that Psalm (Psa 51), David offers his prayer of confession and repentance. Here he shares the lessons he learned in dealing with his sin with you and me. He is also fulfilling a vow he made to the Lord, Psalm 51:3, “Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”
Let’s look at these lessons David learned and let them teach us HOW TO SOLVE THE SIN PROBLEM.
I. V. 3-4 THE PROBLEM OF CONCEALED SIN
(Ill. Unconfessed sin produces problems in three realms of life.)
A. v. 3 The Physical Realm – David tells us that his sin produced problems in his flesh. He says that he became like an old man physically. The sad fact is this: Sin will take a physical toll on the sinner! I am not just referring to the drunkard or the drug addict. I am not just referring to the person who abuses the body with tobacco or even overeating. I am referring to the toll that is inflicted on the body by the sinner as he tries to cover up his sin. Notice that David refers to his “groaning”. This word refers to the cry of distress. While David’s sin was “unconfessed”, there was something in him that was crying out in distress. There was something that was seeking for relief. While he tried to hide his sin, the worry and fear that he would be found out took a physical toll on his body. I am convinced that many people who spend a lot of money at the doctor and at the pharmacy would do better to spend some time at the altar confessing their sins before God!
B. v. 4a The Spiritual Realm – Whether we like to think about it or not, there is a heavy spiritual price to pay for sin in our lives! David says that God’s “hand was heavy” upon him. This refers to chastisement! Whether you like it or not, or whether you believe it or not, God will chastise His children when they entertain sin in their lives, Pro. 3:11-12; Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:5-11. If we refuse to deal with our sins, then the Lord will.
(Ill. Of course, there is a practical aspect to this matter of the spiritual problem of sin in the believer’s life. When there is unconfessed sin in a life, the prayer life is hindered, Psa. 66:18. The shout is gone! The power is absent! The appetite for the things of God is gone!
(Ill. Psa. 34:8. There are only two classes of people who do not have an appetite: those who are dead and those who are sick! So, if your spiritual appetite is missing, you are either sick or dead!)
(Ill. This is a dangerous situation! Imagine not being able to pray for people! Imagine others watching your wayward life and learning how not to live for God! Imagine your children never hungering for the things of God because they never saw you living for Jesus! Spiritual problems abound when there is unconfessed sin in the believer’s life!)
C. v. 4b The Emotional Realm – David tells us that he has dried up! Just like the ground after and extended drought, he has dried completely up. What a picture of the believer who has sin in his life! This is a picture of one who has lost his joy! This brings to mind problems in the emotional realm of life! Now, I know as well as anyone that there are some people who have legitimate emotional problems. Sometimes the chemistry of the brain goes haywire and there are problems that result. However, there are many people today who are suffering emotionally simply because they have “unconfessed” sin in their lives. They are always worried, wondering when the chastisement of God will come about in their lives. They are afraid that somehow the Lord will cast them away. They are nervous and they are troubled and they have no real, lasting joy in their hearts. Why? SIN! Friends, sin will steal your joy and leave you broken and bleeding spiritually. Notice what David requested from the Lord after he had sinned with Bathsheba, Psalm 51:12. David had no joy! He was suffering emotionally because of his sin and he needed help!
(Ill. It’s a fact, sin will cause you problems in all three of these areas of your life! Some of you are there right now! You are having problems physically, spiritually and emotionally and they can all be traced back to some unconfessed, un-dealt with sin in your life. You really need to hear what David says next. Why? Because if we will hear David and will do with our sins as he did with his, then we will find joy replacing brokenness. We will find peace replacing worry. We will find hope replacing fear. We will find our relationship with the Lord restored.)
I. The Problem Of Concealed Sin
II. V. 5 THE PATTERN FOR CONFRONTING SIN
(Ill. The pattern for confronting sin in our lives revolves around the word “confess.” The way to get sin taken care of is to confess sin. What does it mean to confess? The word itself means “to throw down or to cast down.” In the New Testament, the word confess carries the idea of “agreement”. When we confess a sin, we are throwing it down before the Lord and saying the same thing about that He has said. This verse reveals how confession is to be practiced by the child of God.)
(Ill. In confessing his sins, David used three words to describe the mess he had gotten himself into. These three words describe sin in all of its grossness and ugliness.)
A. Confess The Existence Of Our Sins – David says that he “acknowledged” that there was sin in his life. The word means “to know and perceive and to make known to others.” Basically, this word teaches us that we must face up to the fact of our own sin, and then we must admit that sin before God! My friends, this is the first step toward change and forgiveness! Unless we come to the place where we can admit the fact that we have sinned, we will never be made whole! Even if you never come to the place where you can be honest about the sin that is in your life, you need to know that God has already let everyone in on the fact that none of us are perfect, 1 John 8, 10. Our sin is a fact, but it will never be dealt with until it is admitted by the person who is guilty of it.
(Ill. The first word David used to describe his sin was the word SINS. This refers to Man’s Deviation. The word means “to missing the mark.” It is an archery term that refers to an arrow missing the target, Rom. 3:23. Who among us would not have to admit that we are guilty of missing the mark of God’s holiness?)
B. Confess The Extent Of Our Sins – We need to get honest about the fact that sin has invaded every nook and cranny of our lives! It prevents us from being the servants of God we ought to be. David simply did what always needs to be done with sin, he pulled back the covers and revealed his sin in all of its ugliness and its rottenness. David got honest about his sin and that is what it takes to get it made right, Proverbs 28:13, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.”
(Ill. The second word David uses is the word Transgression. This refers to Man’s Defiance. It means “to step over the boundaries”. We commit transgressions when we know something is wrong and we do it anyway. It is high-handed sin and it is open rebellion against God – Isa. 53:6. Many of us would have to admit that we are guilty of stepping over the boundaries God has placed in our lives.
C. Confess The Error Of Our Sins – The third word used by David is the word Iniquity. This word speaks of Man’s Distortion – This word means “crookedness, or that which is bent.” It refers to the natural bent in man toward evil! Our old sinful nature is always striving to do that which is wrong. This was Paul’s problem – Rom. 7:13-25, and it is our problem as well! All of us should be at the place spiritually where we can honestly say, “There is something in me that is prone to evil and often I am guilty of giving in to those desires.”
(Ill. For just a moment, let me remind you what the word confess means. The Hebrew word means “to throw down or to cast down.” The Greek word means “to agree, or to say the same thing.” When we put this together, we learn exactly what God wants us to do with our sins. He wants us to come to the place where we are able to say the same thing about them that He says. He wants us to confess that they are evil. That they are wrong. That they are wicked. Then, He wants us to cast them down. Whatever that sin, or sins, in your life may be, the Lord wants you to get honest about it and cast that thing down before Him. Until you are willing to do that, you will never experience His forgiveness and His bless in your life!)
I. The Problem Of Concealed Sin
II. The Pattern For Confronting Sin
III. V. 1-2 THE POWER OF CONFESSING SIN
(Ill. What does the Lord say to those who are willing to confess their sins? The first two verses of this chapter answer that question. Notice that David says that the person who has dealt with his sins is “blessed.” This word means “Happy!’ It is an interjection. What this word tells us is that there is joy for the person who will deal with his sins after God’s pattern.
Notice three blessings that come into the life of the one who will be honest about his sins and will cast them down before the Lord.)
A. It Brings Cleansing – David tells us that those who will confess their sins will experience “forgiveness” and will have their sins “covered”. The word for “forgiveness” is an interesting word. It means “to lift up and bear away.” When we bring our sin to God and tell the truth about, He will extend His forgiveness to us. That sin will be lifted up and taken away from our lives. Along with that sin, the penalty of that sin will also be removed.
(Ill. Please note: you will still reap what you have sown – Gal. 6:9!) This is a promise that is reaffirmed in the New Testament. John writes the following: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. That is a promise that every child of God ought to take advantage of this morning! Remember, if you will deal with your sins, God won’t have to, 1 Cor. 11:31!
B. It Brings Closeness – Verse 2 speaks of God not “imputing” iniquity to a person. This is an accounting word and means “to account or to reckon.” This simply reminds us that when our sins have been taken care of according to God’s pattern, He does not hold those sins against us. In other words, there are no barriers between us and God. We are able to come into His presence again and have intimate fellowship with God. No wonder David said that such a person is “Happy!”
What happens when sin is confessed is that the believer is forgiven and is brought into the presence of God. There is a restoration of fellowship and a resumption of blessing. God can hear the forgiven saint. He will move in and through their life again. He will draw near to those who draw near to Him, James 4:8.
C. It Brings Consecration – Notice that David says the forgiven person has no “guile” in his spirit. That is, there is no more “treachery”. There are no more attempt to pull anything over on God. The sinner is honest and, as a result, his whole life grows cleaner and more holy before the Lord. If you sincerely want to live for the Lord with a pure heart, the first step is to get honest about your sins and get them out into the open. When that happens, they will be forgiven and you will be restored to fellowship with the Lord. Your appetite for the spiritual will be renewed and you will grow stronger in the Lord as a result. Confession will make you clean and it will help you to live clean as well.
Please notice that by the end of this Psalm, David had his shout back! He was able to worship and praise the Lord again.
Why? Because he solved his sin problem the right way. He told the truth about his sin and cast it down before the Lord. He got it into the open and God forgave him!
If you are alive this morning, I know that God has revealed some sin or the other in your life. Isn’t it time you came to the place where you just got honest with the Lord? Isn’t it time you just came before Him and told Him everything? Isn’t it time you came and experienced His forgiveness and restoration? Isn’t it time you got back to the place where the Lord, His church, His Word, and His worship meant something to you? Isn’t it time to get the sin problem in your life taken care of?
There are some here this morning that have never been saved. You need to come before the Lord too. What you need to do is confess that you are a sinner and acknowledge your need for salvation through Jesus Christ.
Wherever this message has found you living this morning, I know there was a word for you. Will you honor the call of God in your heart and come before Him right now and get those things settled? If you need forgiveness, it is available right now. Will you get honest about your sins? Will you solve the sin problem now?