Confession Brings Freedom

September 23, 2006

CONNECTING with my Lord
Is God’s forgiveness conditional or unconditional?
- Conditional upon repentance – cf. Luke 17:3
- Christ’s prayer on the cross was just that, a prayer – not a statement that would contradict His Word about repentance

Do the following verses support your answer? [READ each one]
 Psalm 32:3-5  Romans 3:23
 1 John 1:9   Proverbs 28:13-14
 1 Peter 3:18

Why is forgiveness AND restoration possible?
Because Jesus fulfilled the redemptive qualifications and became the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)
CONNECTING into my Life
Which of the seven “A” do you find the most difficult? Why?

Why does God ask us to go to others and ask for their forgiveness when we have sinned against them?


Is there anyone with whom you need to seek forgiveness? _____ If so, who?  __________; Write out what you need to say to them in seeking their forgiveness:


What question(s) do you have regarding biblical confession of sin?


CONNECTING into my Church!

Prayer Time: Pray for our church and ABF that we would be quick to confess our sins one to another and handle problems biblically!


Confession Brings Freedom
1) A gracious and gentle attitude can help us prevent and/or resolve most conflicts
2) God uses conflict to reveal the idols of our heart
 Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
* The seven A’s of Confession:
> The more serious the offense the more thorough the confession.
1. ADDRESS everyone involved  (Lk. 19:8 – Zaccheus)
2. AVOID if, but, maybe, or perhaps  (Psalm 51)
3. ADMIT specifically
Sinful desires/idols:
 Inherently sinful cravings or attitudes: pride/lust/greed/ hatred.
 Good things that we want too much, without which we feel we cannot be content, fulfilled, secure, or happy.
Sinful words: [Reveals what is in our heart!]
 Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
 Matthew 15:18 "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.”
 Harsh, reckless, or worthless words.
 Grumbling and complaining.
 Falsehood—any deception or twisting of the truth.
 Gossip—revealing/discussing personal information about others with people who aren’t part of the problem or solution.
 Slander—speaking wrongly
Sinful actions:
 Not keeping your word (broke our commitment)
 Not respecting authority (ultimately against God!)
 Not treating others as you want to be treated.
4. ACKNOWLEDGE the hurt: Express sincere sorrow for the way you affected others.
 2 Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
5. ACCEPT the consequences   (Lk. 15:19; 9:8)
 Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
6. ALTER (change) your thinking and behavior (Eph. 4:22-32)
Put off & put on principle: The principle of replacement!
7. ASK for forgiveness and . . . allow time  (Gen. 50:17)
 Genesis 50:17 'Thus you shall say to Joseph, "Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong."' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father." And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Example:  Marriage Restitution – needs HOPE!
Caution: (1) Don’t use this as a mechanical check-list, and (2) don’t use it just to get the weight off your back or to transfer guilt!
END OF DVD – Open Discussion/Small Groups
CONNECTING IT – Group Discussion
‘confession’ = (literally) to say the same thing about sin that God would say;  What are some of the things that God says about sin – include both the ‘reality’ of sin and the hope we have to overcome it, and how?

 Reality – [sin is against God, it offends people, breaks up relationships, hinders the cause of Christ, consequences are HUGE (eternal, even current consequences, etc.)]
 Hope – [forgiveness is available, restitution is possible, God’s Word is our source of truth, the Holy Spirit will help us, etc.]
How? Progressive sanctification – dealing with the thoughts & actions that are not pleasing to God (put off / put on)
Why is confession of one’s sin so difficult?
[various answers – pride, stubborn, fear of consequences, etc.]

What aspects of the character of God and the Person and work of Jesus Christ could we focus on (really meditate and think about) that would help us solve problems in a biblical manner?
[various answers – His holiness, grace, mercy, patience, power, knowledge, presence, etc, + the redemptive process (Christ humbling Himself, crucifixion, resurrection, Lordship!)

So far in this series on growing as a biblical peacemaker, what two principles do you remember the most and why?
1. [various answers] – goal: glorify God
2. [various answers] – get the log out of your eye 1st – is this a sin/preference issue; conflicts reveal the idols of our heart
What is one way that you are better responding to conflict from when you began this series?
[various answers] – Evaluating the significance of the issues – should love cover it, and ‘get the log out’ of my eye 1st!
CONNECTING to the Word – Small Groups
 What are the characteristics of a person living in Genesis 3:7-13 verses a person living in 1 John 1:5-10
Genesis 3:7-13 1 John 1:5-10
• Sewing fig leaves – attempts to cover one’s sin
• Running & Hiding in the bushes (avoiding problems)
• Excuses – fear, etc. to justify one’s response
• Blameshifting – ‘blaming God/others instead of taking responsibility  • ‘walking in the light’ = an open attitude toward the exposure of sin
• Avoids the deception of thinking “I haven’t sinned”
• Willing to confess (say the same thing)
 READ Psalm 32 and make the following observations:
What words describe the consequences on a person’s sin?
• v. 3 my body wasted, groanings
• v. 4 my vitality was drained
What words/phrases describe the correct actions in dealigng with one’s sin(s)?
• v. 5 acknowledge…, …I did not hide, I will confess …
What words/phrases describe the result of handling one’s sin?
• v. 1 blessed
What key words speak of God’s actions in the process?
• v. 1 forgiven, covered;
• v.2 iniquity not imputed (charged to one account)
• v. 5 you forgave the quilt of my sin

CONNECTING with my Lord
Is God’s forgiveness conditional or unconditional?


Do the following verses support your answer? [READ each one]
 Psalm 32:3-5   Romans 3:23
 1 John 1:9    Proverbs 28:13-14
 1 Peter 3:18

Why is forgiveness AND restoration possible?


CONNECTING into my Life
Which of the seven “A” do you find the most difficult? Why?

Why does God ask us to go to others and ask for their forgiveness when we have sinned against them?


Is there anyone with whom you need to seek forgiveness? _____ If so, who?  __________; Write out what you need to say to them in seeking their forgiveness:


What question(s) do you have regarding biblical confession of sin?


CONNECTING into my Church!

Prayer Time: Pray for our church and ABF that we would be quick to confess our sins one to another and handle problems biblically


Confession Brings Freedom
1) A gracious and gentle attitude can help us prevent and/or resolve most conflicts
2) God uses conflict to reveal the idols of our heart
 Proverbs 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
* The seven A’s of Confession:
> The more _______________ the offense the more ______________ the confession.
1. ____________ everyone involved  (Lk. 19:8 – Zaccheus)
2. _________ if, but, maybe, or perhaps (Psalm 51)
3. ______________ specifically
Sinful ____________/________:
 Inherently sinful cravings or attitudes: pride/lust/greed/ hatred.
 Good things that we want too much, without which we feel we cannot be content, fulfilled, secure, or happy.
Sinful __________: [Reveals what is in our heart!]
 Ephesians 4:29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
 Matthew 15:18 "But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.”
 Harsh, reckless, or worthless words.
 Grumbling and complaining.
 Falsehood—any deception or twisting of the truth.
 Gossip—revealing/discussing personal information about others with people who aren’t part of the problem or solution.
 Slander—speaking wrongly
Sinful _____________:
 Not keeping your word (broke our commitment)
 Not respecting authority (ultimately against God!)
 Not treating others as you want to be treated.
4. ___________________ the hurt: Express sincere sorrow for the way you affected others.
 2 Corinthians 7:10 For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
5. ________________ the consequences   (Lk. 15:19; 9:8)
 Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
6. __________ (change) your thinking and behavior (Eph. 4:22-32)
Put off & put on principle: The principle of replacement!
7. _______ for forgiveness and . . . allow time  (Gen. 50:17)
 Genesis 50:17 'Thus you shall say to Joseph, "Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong."' And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father." And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Example:  Marriage Restitution – needs HOPE!
Caution: (1) Don’t use this as a mechanical check-list, and (2) don’t use it just to get the weight off your back or to transfer guilt!
END OF DVD – Open Discussion/Small Groups
CONNECTING IT – Group Discussion
‘confession’ = (literally) to say the same thing about sin that God would say;  What are some of the things that God says about sin – include both the ‘reality’ of sin and the hope we have to overcome it, and how?

 Reality –


 Hope –


How?

Why is confession of one’s sin so difficult?

 

What aspects of the character of God and the Person and work of Jesus Christ could we focus on (really meditate and think about) that would help us solve problems in a biblical manner?


So far in this series on growing as a biblical peacemaker, what two principles do you remember the most and why?
1.

2.
What is one way that you are better responding to conflict from when you began this series?


CONNECTING to the Word – Small Groups
 What are the characteristics of a person living in Genesis 3:7-13 verses a person living in 1 John 1:5-10
Genesis 3:7-13 1 John 1:5-10

 



 READ Psalm 32 and make the following observations:
What words describe the consequences on a person’s sin?


What words/phrases describe the correct actions in dealigng with one’s sin(s)?


What words/phrases describe the result of handling one’s sin?


What key words speak of God’s actions in the process?