Advent Joy Forgiveness of Sins

Advent 2022  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  45:54
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Advent Reading
Today we light the 2nd candle of the advent season. This is the candle of joy. This candle represents the joy that God has given his children. The blessing that comes not from the pleasures, treasure, or success of this world but from the true source of joy, our Lord Jesus Christ. For nothing brings more joy than believing that our Lord has redeemed his people to himself through the greatest act of love we will ever know, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. For Luke writes:
Luke 2:8–14 (CSB)
In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them,
“Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”
Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!
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Prayer
Alvina, Michelle
God’s Word Prayer Faithful Father, we begin today by giving you thanks. Your love endures forever, it never fails. Though there are many ways in which we have failed, we have not exceeded the supply of your mercy and grace. We thank you for revealing yourself to us through your word. As we open the Bible today we pray that we would hear your voice. We ask that your Holy Spirit would be at work, opening our ears to hear and our hearts to receive your word. May we be transformed into your likeness. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen.
We are in the second week of the Advent season. Last week we looked at the hope we find in Jesus. That through God’s great mercy we have been given a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus. As Christians we have the confidence that God has a perfect inheritance saved for us and we are being guarded till the end by God himself. We have hope because we believe no matter what this world throws at us. No matter how often we stumble or fall that we will see heaven and will be in a place without the stain of sin. This is all because we have a God of hope.
Romans 15:13 CSB
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
As we have a God of hope today we are going to look at the joy Christ brings. Open your bibles to Psalm 32.
Psalm 32 (CSB)
Of David. A Maskil. 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 I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel.
Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you.
Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the Lord will have faithful love surrounding him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Joy is such a simple word. Unlike many words in the bible, if i asked 100 people to define this word in their own words, their answers would be closer than most. I would guess that most definitions would have some form of good feelings and happiness. When you look at the biblical definition, it isn’t much different. In many ways the joy in the world and in the church have many similarities. But they could not be further apart in one aspect and that is the source of the joy and even deeper the reason. In the Christian world the source of joy is Jesus. We rejoice due to our relationship with the Lord and savior. The world’s joy is based on self. It is happiness that comes from things that we want here and now. This type of Joy is fleeting and is only based on the circumstances of the person. Work, health, family, marriage.
But Christian Joy isn’t dependent on the circumstances we live in, it is based on the relationship we have with Jesus.
The biblical definition of joy says that
Joy is a feeling of good pleasure and happiness that is dependent on who Jesus is rather than on who we are or what is happening around us. Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, abiding in God's presence and from hope in His word.

Joy of the Forgiven Sinner

We are going to go through David’s Psalm that he wrote to instruct people about the joy that comes from the forgiveness of sins. At the beginning of the Psalm there is a word Maskil. This word points to this as an instructive Psalm that people are supposed to listen too. It starts with the Joy of a forgiven sinner.
Psalm 32:1–2 (CSB)
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!
Your translation may say blessed or happy is the one whose transgression is forgiven. Whose sin is covered. If you are like me you find that you go through life and as you interact with other people whether it is your spouse, your kids, your coworkers, there will be times where you hurt them. Who here has ever hurt someone they loved very bad. The grief and sorrow that comes with that can be very overwhelming. What do we want more than anything else? We want to be forgiven.
David is speaking of transgressing the the moral laws of God. He has experienced the feelings of sinning against God and needing to be forgiven. The word forgiven means to lift up or to remove. When a person is forgiven their sin has been taken away. It has been removed. Not to be brought back up again. This is not how forgiveness works in our world usually. Most of the time a person will accept an apology but will hang on to the specific to bring back up when it helps them in the future.
David has experienced the love of God by the removal of his sins. He stands rejoicing as a person who is free from the charge of iniquity and their spirit has no deceit or deception.
Paul reiterated this in Romans as he had experienced the same forgiveness.
Romans 4:7–8 (CSB)
Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the person the Lord will never charge with sin.
Both of these men had much to be guilty of. Davis had a commited sin with Bathsheba and then had her husband killed. Paul had lead the charge in the killing of Christians before he had been blinded on the road of Damascus. Both both of them have recieved the joy that God has forgiven them of those sins. Even though there were consequences they were still forgiven.

The Two Fold Choice

David continues with:
Psalm 32:3–7 (CSB)
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
It is likely that this Psalm is in response to David’s sin with Bathsheba and Uriah and that it comes after he had been confronted by Nathan and repented of his sin. See the beginning of forgiveness is the acknowledgement of sin. David had seen his sin but had not dealt with it. It weighed on him. Made him brittle. it weighed on him and took away his strength. As he continued to fail to acknowledge it to God it became torment for him.
Isn’t that the same that we experience. When we know we have sinned, when we have missed the mark. when we have said and done things that we know are wrong. We feel the weight of the Lord on us. It feeds other issues and how we interact with others and God is greatly hindered. If a Christian does not deal with their sin it will continue to burden the believer. Until they speak to God. Even though God knows the offence the person must open their mouth.
He then says in
Psalm 32:5 (CSB)
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
There is no forgiveness without confession. Speaking of the offense to God. We see David do this in Psalm 51
Psalm 51:1–5 (CSB)
Be gracious to me, God, according to your faithful love; according to your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion. Completely wash away my guilt and cleanse me from my sin. For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. Against you—you alone—I have sinned and done this evil in your sight. So you are right when you pass sentence; you are blameless when you judge. Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.
Davis knows God’s character as a just God. He will pass judgment and hold man accountable. I hear David’s plea to God as he confesses his sin. If you have ever struggled or wondered how to confess sin this is a great example. Just tell him your sin, ask him to wash it away and in his compassion he will remove it.
1 John 1:8–10 (CSB)
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. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
David then instructs the people to
Psalm 32:6–7 (CSB)
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
Pray immediately. Pray to God. Repent, Confess, Be Cleansed. Because God is a believer’s hiding place. A believer's sanctuary the deliverer. We must be in responsive prayer to God. We must continue to cultivate a life that will lead to Joy.
Sin. Is this a dirty word? Is it a word that we speak of in shadows or not speak of at all. Can I be open with you? There are many here today that are dealing with and struggling with sin in their lives. There is shame, guilt, acceptance, confusion, and compromise. Lets be honest. Who here feels that the church is a safe place to discuss sin? You don’t have to raise you hands because I don;t believe many people feel that the body of Chris is a place that sin can be openly discussed.
Why is that? What is wrong with a culture in the church that refused to address the thing that separates us from God that weighs on us that keeps us from receiving the joy that comes from God?
This is one of the areas we must pray for God to change in this place. It must be filled with loving people that people can to come to to help work through sin. To have people who lovingly reveal our sin to us and who others may open up to get help. I have a men’s group t my house on Monday’s. That is has been going though what it means to finish strong as men. It is mostly high school and young men and the last two week we have been discussing the sins that effect us.
If we are to be the Church we must deal with sin but in a way that Glorifies God. The unfortunate story I hear over and over is that people usually get two responses to sin. Stop it. That’s bad. Do be bad anymore. or there is this immense shame and embarrassment that comes from it. God’s word tells us how sin work in our lives and how to deal with it.
I personally want to continually experience the Joy of my sins being forgiven. There is no hope for a church that does not correctly apply scripture to the sin in our lives. We need to be teaching our children to grow in their faith so that they don’t have to experience the sins we dealt with.
We are in great need of people who will lovingly walk with people through scripture to help then deal with their sins. The need is huge. There is a huge need for female helpers. As a Pastor who is male I can send messages and meet with men anytime I want and still be in a state of being beyond reproach.
But it breaks my heart that there are young women and teen that need attention and care that I cannot provide. I am praying that God will raise up women in the church to walk with hurting and growing women in our congregation. That would want training to be a safe place for them to come and work through things. If that is you please let me know. We need people that I can send these ladies too. Women and men we need to step up and help out those who are not in the same place we are.
Why to we need to deal with sin? David finishes the Psalm with this encouragement.

Encouraging Instruction

Psalm 32:8–11 (CSB)
I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel. Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you. Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the Lord will have faithful love surrounding him. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous ones; shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
I personally want to be surrounded in the faithful love of the Lord. Lets be a place of joyful shouting, a people of upright heart. A place of God’s love.
John 15:10–12 (CSB)
If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. “I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. “This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you.
How we love God is how we obey his commands. Our joy will be made complete though love. Love for God and Loving our neighbor as our selves.

Conclusion

Today is a sermon I give that part of me knows may drive people away because dealing with sin is hard and no one likes to have a mirror lifted up and to feel uncomfortable. But it is not loving of me to sit here and point to Jesus and talk in happy language and not teach about why he came. The greatest need for man is the forgiveness of sin. Jesus came to seek and save the lost
Titus 3:4–7 (CSB)
But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit. He poured out his Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that, having been justified by his grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.
We need to be a place that sinners come to experience the love of God as they are guided by the holy spirit. A place that understands the difference between being justified and the process of being sanctified. Because we need to be out side of these walls sharing the joy of forgiveness and redemption to our neighbors, family members, and co-workers and anyone else God puts in our path.
Luke 15:7 (CSB)
I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who don’t need repentance.
And I love this quote from Spurgeon
Death is no punishment to the believer: it is the gate of endless joy. Healing And Pardon, Volume 32, Sermon #1905 - Isaiah 33:24
Charles Spurgeon

Reflection

I am going to ask the worship team to come up an play for a little while. I would ask that you spend some time reflecting on today's message. Write down your final thoughts, sit in prayer of worship and repentance, fill out a connection card if you would like to speak with me more.
Let us pray.
Lets read this together.
1 Corinthians 11:23–25 CSB
For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
Romans 15:5–6 CSB
5 Now may the God who gives endurance and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 so that you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with one mind and one voice.
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