“I Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins”: Psalm 32
What do we do with our guilt and sin? That’s the question that we all ask and that David addresses in Psalm 32.
Below you will find sermon resources and the sermon introduction to the sermon I preached on March 2, 2014 at Cornerstone Community Church in Hobart, Indiana.
Sermon Audio: Coming Soon
Sermon Introduction: “What Do I Do with My Guilt and Sin?”
Marghanita Laski was one of England’s best-known novelists, a secular humanists, and avowed atheist. Shortly before she died, in a moment of candor, Laski said this in a television interview:
“What I envy most about you Christians is your forgiveness; I have no one to forgive me.”
Imagine what it would be like to “have no one to forgive you…”
Everyone wants to know, “What do I do with my guilt and sin?” I introduced you to Tullian Tchividjian in a previous sermon. He’s a pastor and happens to be Billy Graham’s grandson. A non-Christian psychologist was talking to Pastor Tchividjian and said:
“I could dismiss half of my patients tomorrow if I could assure them that they are forgiven.”
As a pastor who has provided counseling to 100s and 100s of people, I say a hearty “Amen!” to that.
It’s not just non-Christians who need to hear the good news of forgiveness. I’ve counseled 100s of Christians who feel like they have committed such horrible sin that God could never forgive them, never accept them. As Christians, we need to understand the forgiving heart of our heavenly Father. I’ve shared with you before about the Christian woman I was counseling years ago who said:
“Pastor Bob, some sins are so deep that even the love of Christ can’t touch them.”
Theologically, this guilt-ridden Christian women knew better. But in her soul she felt unforgiven and unforgivable.
Theologically, we know that our God is a forgiving God. In fact, one of the earliest statements of faith of the church—The Apostles’ Creed—includes the following truth as a central doctrine of Christian belief:
“I believe in the forgiveness of sins.”
Let that phrase sink in and hit home. Do you and I believe it, not only theologically, but personally?
“I believe in the forgiveness of sins.”
King David believed in the forgiveness of sins. However, there was a time in his life when he refused to confess his sin. Psalm 32:3-4 tells us the result:
“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4).
When David kept silent about his sin, he experienced God’s heavy hand of conviction.
But we also read in Psalm 32:5 what happened when David finally relented and repented:
“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).
That’s why I worded the big idea, the main point, of today’s message like this:
We will each experience the hand of God: either His holy hands of judgment, or Christ’s pierced hands of forgiveness.
That may sound “harsh,” however it is the truth of God’s Word. And it is the most loving truth we could ever believe for ourselves or share with someone else.
Every one of us in this sanctuary struggles with sins we have committed in our past. We each can stop and think about the guilt and shame that haunts us. In fact, some of us don’t have to stop and think—because the haunting rarely stops.
And many of us struggle with besetting sins that seem to overwhelm us right now. Satan is all too thrilled to whisper his lies to us, “Your besetting sins are so deep and they come back so often that even the love of Christ can’t touch them!”
We have a choice: we can either remain guilt-ridden, or we can confess our guilt and receive God’s forgiveness in Christ. We will each see ourselves either as sinners in the hands of an angry God, or as sons and daughters in the palms of our forgiving Father. Today, through understanding and applying Psalm 32 to our lives, let’s each leave here experiencing the tender touch of Christ’s gracious forgiveness.
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What do you do with your guilt and sin?
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