Nehemiah 2:9-3:14; 1 Corinthians 7:17-24; Psalms 32:1-7; Proverbs 11:23
Psalms: “How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How joyful is a person whom the Lord does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit! When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. Selah Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not conceal my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance. Selah” (Psalms 32:1-7 CSB)
King David was far from being a perfect man. During his life, he committed some heinous sins: sleeping with another man’s wife, getting her pregnant, then having him killed to cover everything up. Yet after all that, David knew the joy of living as a forgiven man. How was that possible? David was able to experience forgiveness and maintain His relationship with God through confession and repentance of sin. No matter how hard we try, we cannot hide our sin from God. From the fall of man in the garden of Eden, sinful mankind has been trying to hide sin – but God knows all. David tried to cover up his sin, much like Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with fig leaves – but the longer David kept his sin in the dark, the worse off he became. But as soon as David brought his sin out into the light, confessed it and repented from it, God forgave him and David was restored.
David’s advice to his people: confess and repent as soon as possible… immediately, in fact. Sin is both a barrier that blocks God’s flow of blessing into our lives, and a cancer that slowly eats away at us from the inside out. The longer we hold on to sin, the more susceptible we are to the challenges and troubles of this life. The only way to rid ourselves of sin is through confession with our mouths, followed by repentance from sin to God. Through that act of faith-filled obedience, God will be faithful to forgive and deliver. The biblical call to salvation is not a call to invite Jesus into your heart. The biblical call to salvation is a call to confess, repent and believe – and by doing that, you begin an abiding relationship with Christ. Without confession and repentance, there is no abiding. Salvation begins with faith in Christ and His redemptive work on the cross – but it is activated as we put our faith into action by confessing and repenting. Our abiding relationship with Christ is then ongoingly maintained as we quickly confess and repent of sins as the Holy Spirit brings conviction and makes us aware of wrongs we have committed. The Apostle John wrote this in his first epistle: “If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:7-9 CSB) As we walk in fellowship with Christ, He works in us to not sin; but if we do, forgiveness is always possible through confession and repentance.
Prayer: Lord, Your desire for me is to be free from sin so that I may walk in an abundant abiding relationship with You. The way that You have provided for me to be free from sin is through confession and repentance. The temptation after sinning is to pridefully hold on to my sin by trying to keep it hidden. Your word says that it is Your kindness that leads to repentance, so I trust in your kindness and endeavor to humbly bring my sin out into the light, confess it and repent from it, that I may be free from sin to live in your life-giving abiding presence.