Concealing Our Sin

Reading the Word

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.(Proverbs 28:13, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

What is the usual response to doing something wrong? We try to hide it. We believe by doing so we can deal with our sin and it will go away. This is not the case. While our first reaction is to hide our sin, doing so is the worst thing for us. The result of trying to hide it is reflected in the words of Psalm 32:1-4:

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

Rather than run from our sin or try to hide it, we need to own up to it and confess it. When we do so, we are told that we find mercy. God is a gracious God who forgives sinners. That is why he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. Jesus took the punishment that we as sinners deserve. When we confess our sins and trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, we are forgiven. Do not run from your sin. It will only harm you to do so. Instead, go to God, confess, and trust in Jesus Christ.


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Escape!

Today’s post is part of our Psalm Saturdays series from guest blogger Robert Chamberlain. You can read more about Robert after the article below.

Psalm 124:1–8 (ESV)
1 If it had not been the LORD who was on our side— let Israel now say—
2 if it had not been the LORD who was on our side when people rose up against us,
3 then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us;
4 then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us;
5 then over us would have gone the raging waters.
6 Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth!
7 We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped!
8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.


How is it that the family of Jacob escaped slavery in Egypt and became the nation of Israel? Was it because they attempted to observe the law of God? Not at all! It was purely due to the power and grace of the Lord.

If God hadn’t have been on Israel’s side, they would have been swept away in the waters of the Red Sea. And if God had given up on them, the Jordan River would have drowned them. But the Lord didn’t let the enemy prevail over His people.

Just as Israel escaped from Egypt, so we, the new covenant people of God, escape from slavery to sin and are destined for the promised new creation. Just like for them, it’s by the power and love of God that we’ll make it. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of all things.

“Lord, we’re so thankful for our salvation. We recognise that it’s all of You, and none of us. To You be all the glory, both now and forever, amen.”


About the author: Robert is a child of God, the husband of Joy, and the father of Grace. He’s from “God’s own county” of Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Writing in earnest began for Robert when a friend prophetically told him that he should write. Although he isn’t currently publishing himself on WordPress, you can read the archives at www.roberlain.wordpress.com and a few other blogs linked from there. You can also find his up-to-date notes on the YouVersion Bible App. Also, The Believer’s Post is a WhatsApp platform for Christian bloggers which you can request him to join.

Email Robert at bobjc88 @ gmail.com if you want to get in touch.

A Soft Answer

Reading the Word

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.(Proverbs 15:1, ESV)

Understanding and Applying the Word

I do not know about you, but holding my tongue is hard to do. When someone says something in an unloving way or when something is said that is just plain wrong, my first inclination is to fire back. I want to put the person in their place. And that used to be what I would do. At least, most of the time it is what I would do.

As I have gotten a little older, I think I may have learned a little bit. I have realized the truth of this proverb. When you fire back you end up in a confrontation that rarely benefits anyone. In fact, it pretty much always harms everyone involved. Instead, the better approach is a soft answer. It may mean asking questions to redirect to the truth. It may mean gently making it clear you disagree. It may even mean walking away at the moment until a better time to have a discussion on the topic. When we respond, we must always show grace and the love of Christ. We must remember that our Lord suffered for us and we have been called on to do the same for the benefit of others. It is hard to speak gently at times, but it is what we are called to do and it is for the glory of God.


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Honor or Riches

Reading the Word

Proverbs 11:16–17 (ESV)
16 A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches.
17 A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.

Understanding and Applying the Word

At first glance these verses may seem strange. It may seem verse 16 contradicts verse 17. This is the beauty of proverbs. They make us stop and think. We have to consider carefully each word if we are going to understand their message.

In the first verse, we are told that being gracious brings honor while violence brings riches. It may seem that both the gracious and the violent are receiving good things until we read the next verse. In verse 17, we are told that being kind is beneficial, but being cruel will come back to hurt you. How do we make sense of this?

Honor is far better than riches. The gracious person receives honor, which is the respect and love of others, whereas the violent gain only material wealth. They do not receive honor. The one who is kind helps himself because others will like him and help him if need arises. The cruel man hurts himself because no one will come to his aid. He will be on his own. It is far better to live our lives in grace than in pursuit of riches because honor is far more valuable than material wealth.

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The Chief of Sinners

1 Timothy 115 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

1 Timothy 1:12–15 (ESV)

12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

Understanding and Applying the Word

The writings of Paul seem to dominate the New Testament. It is through his letters that we truly gain our understanding of most of our foundational Christian doctrines. God certainly used Paul in a great way. As Paul reflected on this truth, he did so with humility. Paul understood that it was only by God’s grace that he had been able to do anything at all for the Lord. After all, he was a “blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent” of God and God’s people, but God had saved Paul and chose to use him.

 Paul knew that his salvation was fully by grace. He was the “foremost” sinner. He was not in any way deserving of salvation. It was only through Jesus Christ, the one who came into this world to save sinners, that he was saved. Paul never forgot this truth and we must not forget it either. We owe everything to God’s grace. It does not matter how much we may accomplish for the Lord in this life. We may accomplish great things or remain unknown. Regardless, all that we are and all that we are able to do are only because of what God has done for us. Jesus Christ has come into the world to save sinners and use them for his glory. Let us praise his name!

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Do Not Hide Your Sin

Psalm 325 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 32:1–5 (ESV)

1 Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

5 I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

Understanding and Applying the Word

Unrepentant sin weighs on a person. The psalmists speaks of his sin causing his bones to waste away resulting in groaning all day. He felt like God’s hand was heavy on him and his strength was dried up. He was miserable and he needed relief

Relief from sin comes when we confess it to God. He has told us that he is gracious and merciful and ready to forgive. We only need to repent. When we do that, our burdens are lifted and our lives are restored. Do not try to hide your sin from the all-knowing God. He is ready to show you grace if you will go to him.

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I Will Recount All of Your Wonderful Deeds

Psalm 91 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Psalm 9:1–2 (ESV)

(1) I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
(2) I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

Understanding and Applying the Word

O how loving and gracious our God is! Take the time to consider his kindness and grace in your life. As I read the words of verse 1, “I will recount all of your wonderful deeds”, I am reminded of the song Count Your Blessings. Let us do that and let us praise the Lord for he is worthy of our praise.

As we think of the many blessings of God in our lives, let us not forget the greatest gift he has given. The Father has given his Son for our salvation. Jesus Christ went to the cross to bring salvation and life to all who would believe. Let us lift up our voices in worship and adoration for such a great and loving God!

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Grace Carries Us Home

black home area rug

Photo by Kelly Lacy on Pexels.com

 

Reading the Word

Jude 24–25 (ESV)

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Understanding and Applying the Word

When we preach the gospel of grace we often forget that it is grace from first to last. We could not save ourselves from sin, so God sent his Son to pay our debt and save us by going to the cross. We are saved by repenting of our sin and trusting in Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Yet, that is not all. We are also unable to continue to the finish line on our own. We not only need grace to save us, but to carry us home. And that is what God does for us. He gives us the grace we need. It is God who is “able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory.”

When Jude writes about the truths of God’s grace, he does so as he breaks into worship and praise. This should be our response as well. Our God is great! His grace is amazing! He saves us and takes us all the way home. It is all abut him, from first to last.

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God Does Not Play Favorites

James 412 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

Romans 2:1–11 (ESV)

1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. 2 We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. 3 Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5 But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

Understanding and Applying the Word

God does not play favorites. All people will be judged equally and completely for all they have done. This means that no one should look down on another person in judgment. All of us are guilty as sinners and deserving of condemnation. None of us should feel superior to anyone else.

Paul spends a great deal of time throughout the letter of Romans explaining why salvation for every person is only possible by grace, not what we have earned. Our salvation is only possible because we have a sinless Savior who gave his life in exchange for ours. And because of what Jesus has done for us, our sins can be forgiven of we place our faith in him. This truth should not cause us to become puffed up and conceited, but should bring humility into our lives. The priority of the Christian is not to look down in judgment on others, but to point them to Jesus, the one who took our sin away and can take theirs away too.

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Jesus Pronounces Woes

Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees

Woe unto You, Scribes and Pharisees (Public Domain)

Reading the Word

Matthew 23:1–7 (ESV)

1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Jesus saved his harshest words for the religious elite of his day. They were the ones who thought they were favored by God because they spent their lives dutifully living by the law and holding others to the same. They were the religious legalists of their day. There was just one problem. It was all for show. Their religious devotion was to look good in the eyes of others and to gain favor from God.

The Bible teaches that we are all sinners and that we need to be saved from our sins. We cannot just try harder to do better because we are sinful to the core. Even our best efforts are as filthy rags. Even if we could keep all of the rules, our attitudes and motivations would be wrong. We need grace not better rule keeping. Jesus preached that grace was available to all who would repent of their sin and believe.

The scribes and Pharisees could not admit that they were sinners who needed to repent. Instead, they stood in their pride and resisted Jesus and tried to persuade others that Jesus was a fraud. Jesus warned these leaders of their failures throughout Matthew 23 in an unforgettable confrontation. Take the time to read the entire chapter in your Bible. How do you respond to Jesus’ teaching about repentance and faith?

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