CONFESSION AND FORGIVENESS
INTRO: When we choose to accept God’s standards, we see that we’ve been wrong in our actions, our words, and our attitudes; we admit that we were wrong. We confess our sins and have genuine sorrow for our wrong choices. With genuine sorrow comes forgiveness from God. Just as God forgives us, we must also forgive those who have wronged us.
I. Confession is agreeing with God’s standard.
> Confession is to agree or to acknowledge fully.
- We agree with God’s standard – His Word.
- We admit we have a previous disagreement with God’s standard.
- At one time, we didn’t see our sin.
- But now we confess and agree with God that we were living in sin.
- We confess that our sin is wrong.
- We come to realize that we were lost.
- We acknowledge that Jesus died of our sins.
- We believe what Jesus is saying.
- We realize that it doesn’t work to do it our own way.
> When we confess our sin, we agree with God that what we did was a sin.
- Maybe our sin seems small in comparison to someone else’s sin.
- There really is no small sin.
- Unconfessed “small” sin can grow into large sins.
- We need to “nip it in the bud” before it grows into a large weed.
- We choose to “come clean.”
- True confession includes godly sorrow and a turning away from our sin.
- Godly sorrow leads to repentance.
- It is the acknowledgment and the turning away.
- If we flippantly say, “Sorry about that,” we are not truly sorry.
- Our sin will separate us from God when we are not truly repentant.
- We need to have the attitude that sin is grievous to God.
- It grieves the heart of God, and it should grieve us.
> It doesn’t guarantee that we won’t do it again.
- Sometimes we confess a sin, turn from it, and then we fall into that sin again.
- We may feel forsaken.
- We may think that God will come to the point that He is disgusted with us and reject us because of this sin.
- If we fall into a sin again, it needs to be confessed again.
- If we confess our sins, He will forgive our sins and purify us (1 John 1:9).
II. We need to forgive and be forgiven.
> We need to walk in right relationship with God and one another.
- God loves us and desires to be close to us.
- To maintain a right relationship with God, we need to have a right relationship with others.
- It is a good feeling to be in harmony with those around us.
- We have a right relationship with others when we extend grace and forgiveness.
- We need to confess and forgive others.
- “I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment” (Matthew 5:22).
- The sins – the little things – lead to judgment because they lead to greater sin.
- Anger against someone can lead to murder.
- If we are offended by someone or have unforgiveness in our family, we can become hardened of heart.
- If you are offering your gift at the altar and remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift, and go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24).
- Being in right relationship with others is so important it takes precedence over bringing a gift to God.
- Before Communion we are to examine ourselves.
- We allow the Holy Spirit to look into us and show us if there is sin inside of us.
- “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).
- We have all sinned (Romans 3:23).
- The Word has no place in us if we claim we don’t sin (1 John 1:10).
> We forgive as God has forgiven us.
- Jesus said forgiveness should be unlimited (Matthew 18:21-22).
- That is the kind of forgiveness we receive from God.
- The forgiving Father ought to be imitated by His children.
- The unforgiving person cannot expect to be forgiven.
- In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray to be forgiven as we forgive others (Matthew 6:9-14).
- Don’t wait to forgive until your brother comes to admit their wrong.
- Forgive them even if they don’t see that they are wrong.
- If they committed something against us, they might not know what they did.
- We have to choose to forgive.
- We imitate what God did for us.
- We start by practicing forgiveness on those closest to us.
- We learn to forgive others by forgiving those closest to us.
- Sometimes it is easier to forgive those who are not close to us.
- We hurt because we love that person.
- We want a right relationship with that person.
- We give the gift that was given to us.
- We choose to walk in an attitude of forgiveness.
- We won’t necessarily feel good immediately.
- It doesn’t mean that we condone their behavior.
- We can forgive and still disagree in areas where there is a difference of opinion.
- We can agree to disagree; it doesn’t mean we all have the same convictions.
- We don’t want to cause our brother to stumble.
- We need to find a balance between the two.
- We need to stop pushing others’ buttons.
- Learn to use discernment with offenses; we don’t go to others and tell them that they hurt us.
CONCLUSION: Forgiveness is a scriptural command and is essential to maintaining a healthy spiritual life. Confessing our sins and forgiving one another are constant needs. It is an ongoing process. Confession keeps us right with God and others. Forgiveness keeps us right with others and with God.