Have you ever been around a committed Christian who you knew was living in unconfessed sin? How did they act? What was their demeanor like? Often times their countenance gives them away. David had the huge Goliath of unconfessed sin in his life that was eating him alive. What was life really like inside the mind of the man after God’s own heart that had rebelled against the God he loved and ran from for almost a year to try to avoid the consequences? This perhaps was the biggest Goliath David had faced in his entire life! So how do we deal with our sin once we have committed it? Here are four steps to put into practice to receive cleansing and freedom from conviction all taken from the life of David.
I. The Confrontation of Sin (2 Samuel 12:1-9)
When you are guilty and someone brings it to your attention in a loving confrontation, do the following…
1. Listen to the charges
David listened when confronted. He didn’t threaten Nathan or run out of the room
2. Be receptive to the charges
Remember, God resists the proud. When we fail to acknowledge or even receive a loving rebuke that is pure pride. When pride is present, God is not present.
3. Don’t become angry at the messenger
4. Avoid denial, defensiveness, trivializing or minimizing the sin
So often people want to resist, deny, diverge, or rabbit trail off the real issue and they can become defensive about it or try to explain it away by minimizing it. None of these are biblical responses to facing ones’ sin!
5. Accept any consequence God gives
If you are dealing with someone who is not broken over their sin, they will most likely reject the consequences of their sin by becoming more hardened or resistant to God and others who represent God in their lives (spouse, parents, pastors, deacons, godly friends, etc.). You are only the messenger- do not get offended or discouraged. They are rejecting God not you! Keep a tender heart for them and pray for them.
After the confrontation of sin, there must be the confession of sin.
II. The Confession of Sin (2 Samuel 12:13; Psalm 51)
First, there must be conviction (vs. 13, Psalm 51:3-4)
Conviction- a strong persuasion or belief; the state of being convinced
When were you ever under conviction over something you did wrong? What does it feel like?
Imagine the conviction David must have had? It was almost one full year from the original sinful act and now he is finally being confronted. He may have thought he had gotten away with it, but the long arm of the Lord was ready to expose him.
Notice what David says, “I have sinned against the Lord.” I acknowledge my transgression and my sin is ever before me
Second is the confession. (Psal 51: 2,4)
Confession– means to agree with God; an oral acknowledgment of guilt
Make it simple and keep it clear by expressing it specifically to God and the other person you may have offended
Third, there must be humility
This is simply an attitude of brokenness over our sin. James captures this wonderfully in James 4:8-9. After we humble ourselves it is followed by affliction, mourning and weeping so that our laughter is turned to sorrow and our joy to heaviness
Fourth, there must be repentance (Psalm 51:16-17)
Here are the key elements of true repentance.
Elements of True Repentance
- An acknowledgement of sin
- A recognition of the seriousness of our sin
- A willingness to accept personal responsibility for our sin (unbiblical motives, feelings, thoughts, desires, and actions)
- An understanding that our sin has broken our sweet fellowship with God (it is rebellion)
- It includes a renunciation of self-trust or self-dependence or anyone other than God
- It includes an intense desire for the forgiveness from God and those we sinned against
- It creates a strong intention to live a God-centered life, to please Him and not yourself
Genuine repentance affects three areas of the inner man…
The Emotions are affected- we will feel remorse and regret
The Intellect is affected- we will think differently about our sin. We will hate it with a passion to help prevent the habitual practice of it
The Will is affected- we will make choices that prompt us to turn away from sin not embrace it
We will no longer be stubbornly disobedience. Anything less that these elements would fall short of true repentance. That’s why we don’t have to be slaves to sin any longer. We have learned to practice true repentance!
Community Connection is an outreach magazine and blog from Valley Forge Baptist to provide relevant and uplifting articles for the families and homes of Collegeville, PA and area residents. Articles are not just from staff but from other community members who’s lives have been touched by Jesus Christ. If we have been an encouragement to you please let us know at email@example.com.