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Los Lunas Cornerstone

Church of the Nazarene

Faithful to Forgive (2 Samuel 12)

    Last week’s message was about David’s Great sin: coveting and lust, which lead to adultery and murder. Despite David’s heart and his intention to always be within the Lord’s Will, we know from what we’ve seen about his life so far was that there were temptations that were waiting for David, and if he wasn’t on guard, he could allow one of those temptations to become sin, which is exactly what happened.
    Today, we’ll look at what happens when David’s sin is discovered and he’s confronted with what he has done and faced the consequences of his sin.
    I’m going to be in 2 Samuel 12 today, and it picks up right where we left off last week.
    2 Samuel 12 starts with the prophet Nathan going to David to tell him a little story, “There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb Which he bought and nourished; And it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, And was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, And he was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd, To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him; Rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
    This was meant to be a sort of parable of David’s sin, with David being the rich man in the story who took the only wife belonging to a man, Uriah, who only had the one wife, while David had many.
    David immediately saw how unfair, how wrong and despicable the rich man in the story was, and he told Nathan that the man who had done this deserved to die, that he had to make restitution because the thing he did had no compassion.
    This was Nathan’s response to David, “You are the man!”
    Immediately, David is confronted with his sin. Nathan makes it known that the Lord knew what David had done, and He had revealed it to Nathan.
    Now, David’s story is highly relatable, even if you’ve never committed adultery and had someone murdered. When David is confronted with his sin by Nathan, we could learn a few things about the way David responded. See, what we see David go through is the process of holiness, and I want to make sure we understand what this process is.
    David is confronted with his sin in the first 12 verses of this chapter, and because Nathan tells him that David was the man who had done wrong, David is convicted of his sin. Conviction means that not only was David told that he was guilty of wrong-doing, but he accepted that He had done wrong. He knew that he was guilty and didn’t try to pass it off as someone else’s fault. He didn’t try to pretend that he was above being called out just because he was the king.
    There will be times in your life when you will be convicted. At some point, you are convicted of sin. The Spirit does this in many ways. Sometimes He uses the Word of God. Sometimes He uses that small voice that speaks to the darkest parts of your life. Sometimes He uses another believer, another brother or sister in Christ. Sometimes He uses a well-timed worship song. Conviction comes in many forms, but if you are a believer in Christ, you know what conviction feels like. It’s that pain that you feel in your soul that tells you you’ve done something wrong against the Lord and there’s no way you can deny it because He sees your heart.
    At other times, you’re convicted of an area of your life of consecration. If you’re taking notes in your bulletin, that’s your first blank. This is a word that we use in the church sometimes that is important to understand because it’s an important part of our walk with Christ. What it means when you CONSECRATE yourself, or a part of your life, is that you give that, whatever it is, to God. You give control of a part of your life, or hopefully, your whole life, to God for His control. When you do that, you should no longer be in control of that part of your life. God is the one who directs, guides, and calls.
    Again, if you have a relationship with Christ, you know what this type of conviction feels like. It’s not the same as sin conviction, but when it happens, you know that it’s very clear that the Spirit is asking for you to give something to Him. It might not even be a sinful behavior. He could ask for longer time spent with Him in quiet times. He could ask for deeper study of His Word. These are good things, and all things that He could ask for when He convicts you that something needs to be given to Him.
    This is the first step in the process of holiness: conviction, either for sin or for consecration. Conviction will come. There will always be something that the Lord wants to change in us. Always. Until the day we die and are glorified and with the Father in eternity, He will always want to change us to refine us and fill us with a greater capacity for His love.
    When conviction comes, we have choices for how we will respond to that conviction. The first choice you have is to IGNORE the conviction. That’s your next bulletin blank.
    Even if you have been a Christ-follower most of your life, you can at any point choose to ignore the conviction of the Spirit, either to repent of sin or to consecrate, or give, part of your life to deeper intimacy with the Spirit. Ignoring conviction is always an option, and sadly, I have seen even life-long, and seasoned Christians choose to ignore conviction, usually because they didn’t like the source it came from.
    The greater response though, is to accept the conviction, and REPENT through humility. Repent is your next bulletin blank. This is the choice I would urge all believers to take, no matter how difficult and painful it might be, no matter what it costs, no matter how hurt our pride is in the process, always humble yourself and repent.
    Sometimes you might find it easy to repent and be humble. When conviction comes through that still small voice, it’s easier to take that conviction because hopefully we’ve discerned that small voice as the prompting of the Spirit. It might also be easier to humbly repent when conviction comes directly from the Word of God. But what about when conviction comes from someone who you have asked to be a Spiritual authority in your life? An accountability partner, a mentor, a pastor, a close friend, or a prayer partner? When conviction comes from those people whom we have asked to speak into our lives, it can sometimes be more challenging to be humble, to hear what they are saying out of love and concern, and repent when repentance is called for.
    I’m sure it wasn’t easy for David to have his sins called attention to by the prophet Nathan. After all, David was the king! But, as hard as that can be, it’s more detrimental to your walk with Christ to ignore the conviction to repent or change than it is to swallow your pride. Always listen to conviction.
    We can take David’s example in this. When Nathan confronted David and David felt the conviction of the Spirit, this is what he said, “Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has taken away your sin; you shall not die.”
    David accepted that he had done wrong, he accepted the conviction, regardless of the fact that it came from someone who he could have considered “beneath” him. He admitted his wrong doing, and from Nathan’s response to David, we can infer that there must have been repentance in David’s heart because Nathan told David that the Lord had taken away his sin. Forgiven, as if it hadn’t happened.
    We have the benefit of looking throughout the whole of Scripture and seeing that only true heart repentance brings about forgiveness. David must have repented of the sin in his heart. He listened to conviction, swallowed his pride, and repented.
    After we make our choice, our response to conviction, to either ignore it or humbly repent, the Lord has a response to our response. If we choose to ignore conviction, then the Lord will let us make that choice. He will let us choose to ignore the prompting of His Spirit. As a believer, this is a very dangerous thing to do. Now, I can’t say for sure that a pattern of ignoring the Spirit’s prompting will put your salvation in danger…but why would you want to risk that? The Lord will let you, but it’s not a place I want to be, and it’s not a place I want you to be!
    Romans 6:23 reminds us, even as believers, that the price for sin is death! I saw a sign this week on another church’s board that, “sin is a short word with a long sentence.” But we avoid that sentence through repentance.
    If we make the wise choice, if we take David’s example and we humbly repent, God’s response is so good. We saw that when David repented, God forgave. Despite David’s horrible failure, God kept His promise to David.
    Anytime that we humbly repent and ask God to change us, we can be assured that we are also FORGIVEN because of the shed blood of Christ Jesus. Forgiven is your next blank. We all have messed up, too. We know this, or we wouldn’t be here in church on Sundays! We’re here because we know how broken and imperfect we are, and we know that we need forgiveness for our sins! But despite our own horrible failures, God keeps His promises to us!
    We have the forgiveness of sins, not because of anything we do, but because of His great faithfulness to us!
    God also responds to our repentance by the CHANGE of our hearts through His love. He loves us so much that He doesn’t want us to stay stuck in patterns of sin, He doesn’t want us to be slaves to bitterness and anger. He doesn’t want us to live lives of selfishness and devoid of compassion for those He created. He wants us to live lives of true freedom. But in order for that to happen, we have to give Him those areas He convicts us of that should be His! When we repent because of His conviction, He works to change us!
    The changed life of the Christian is perhaps one of the greatest witnesses we have of the truth of the gospel of Christ. People can naysay all they want, deny the crucifixion, deny the resurrection, deny that Jesus even existed, some go so far as to deny the very existence of God. But no one…no one…can deny the proof of a life that has been truly transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us when we give Him control over every aspect of who we are.
    But if we ignore conviction, either the conviction to repent of sin or the conviction to consecrate something in our lives to Him, we rob Him of the opportunity to make our lives a convincing witness to point others to Him. Because as we speak things in His name, if our lives, our actions, and our words don’t line up with who we claim to be, our witness will not only be ignored by others, it may actually turn others away from Christ.
    David repented, was forgiven, and I have no doubt his heart was changed and he became wiser and more in-tune with the Spirit from that point. Now, David still had consequences that he had to pay for his sin. And sometimes, that is the case. Sometimes there are still earthly consequences for our sin that remain, but, I want to end with this passage from 1 John 1:5-10, but especially verse 9.
    “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that 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 that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”

1. We want to make sure we are always asking the Lord to examine our hearts, to see if there is any unclean or unrighteous way in us. Is there anything you need to repent of now?

2. This week, think about your walk with Christ. Are you in an active pattern of consecrating (giving to God) your actions, words, thoughts?

3. Spend time this week thanking God for His faithfulness to forgive you! Reflect on some of the sins He has forgiven for you. How can you extend that same forgiveness to others who might wrong you this week?

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