Rhythms: Confession
Message by Michael Hearn

Lead Pastor

January 27, 2019

Sermon Notes

We all too often view the believing community as a fellowship of saints before we see it as a fellowship of sinners. We feel that everyone else has advanced so far into holiness that we are isolated and alone in our sin. 

The reality of our brokenness is illuminated under the light of the glory and majesty of God.  

  • In Isaiah 6, Isaiah says, “Woe is me.” He was the noblest man in the nation of Israel. 
  • Paul says, “O wretched man that I am! Who will free me from a body of death?” in Romans 7:24. Paul was the best of us… but Paul always saw himself as the worst sinner in the room. 

When we gather, we must understand that we are a broken people in need of a merciful God.  

  • We bring our deception, negative attitudes, weaknesses, dishonesty, selfish, unkind, fleshly, disloyal selves before God. 

The confession of sin is the platform that allows us to enter worship. 

But! If we know that the people of God are first a fellowship of sinners, we are freed to hear the unconditional call of God’s love and to confess our needs openly before our brothers and sisters. We know we are not alone in our sin. The fear and the pride that cling to us like barnacles cling to others also. We are sinners together. 

In acts of mutual confession, we release the power that heals. Our humanity is no longer denied, but transformed.  

When we gather together, we must come to grips with our own sinfulness. 

Psalm 51 

David is confronted by Nathan over his sin with Bathsheba 

This is the perfect model for what confession and repentance looks like. 

David’s tone is brokenness, deep guilt, remorse over his sin, and pain. 

  • Sin made David dirty and he wanted to be clean.
  • Sin made David sick and he wanted to be well.
  • Disobedience made David lonely and he wanted to be reconciled.
  • Rebellion made David fearful and he wanted to be pardoned. 

In Psalm 51, David is a man who is dirty, sick, lonely, and afraid all as consequences of his sin.

In Psalm 51, we will see the three foundational pieces needed for Biblical confession:

  1. We must see sin for what it is.
  2. We must see ourselves for who we are.
  3. We must see God for who He is.

We must uncover our sin so that God will cover it. 

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Psalm 51:1-5

  • David acknowledges His sin is against God. (vs 4) 
  • How evil is our sin? 
  • Even the simplest of “sins” has creation-shattering consequences (i.e., eating of the fruit in the garden).
  • David knew his sin deserved judgment. (vs 4) 

Humility is understanding your sin and realizing it deserves judgment.  

  • David understands he is responsible and is guilty before God. (vs 1-3)
  • Have mercy on me…(vs 1) 
  • blot out my… 
  • wash me… 
  • my iniquity (vs 2)…my sin (vs 2)…my transgression (vs 3)… David uses every word for sin. He is taking full responsibility. 
  • David understands the reality of his depravity. (vs 5) 

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 

We must see God for who He is. 

David knows he deserves whatever comes…but he desperately appeals to the character of God…he needs God’s grace…his appeal is to the mercy and the love of God. 

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Psalm 51:1 

6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 9 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Psalm 51:6-9 

God desires for us to be conformed to the image of His Son. God wants us clean from the inside out. God looks inward notoutward. This goes past the action into the heart’s motives (vs 6). 

David recognizes that God has the power and desire to cleanse Him (vs. 7-9). 

  • Purge me…wash me…heal my brokenness… 
  • David knows what God wants and prays God’s will back to Him. 
  • David knows God is willing to desires to forgive. 

For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you. Psalm 86:5 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits 3 who forgives all your iniquity…as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:2-3, 12 

This is Davids communication… his communion with God. 

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Psalm 51:10-12 

David just wants to be right with God and freed from sin. 

David knows that this is the only way for God to delight in Him and wants God to be delighted in Him (vs 19). 

Self- Examination vs. Self -Deception 

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8 

10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 

How do we examine ourselves? We must look in the mirror and ask God to show us the truth. The mirror is the Word of God. Our thoughts, feelings, attitudes, actions must be evaluated under the microscope of the word of God. 

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 

  • The mirror of the holiness of God. 
  • The mirror of the glory of God. 
  • The mirror of the Spirit of God 
  • The honesty of the people of God 

The object of self-examination is the heart. 

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalms 139: 23-24 

And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. Mark 7:20-22

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 1 Corinthians 6:19 

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 2 Corinthians 13:5

We must uncover so that God will cover. 

What we uncover God will cover, but what we keep covered God will one day uncover. 

God’s grace will only be applied to the areas you uncover.