December 13, 2019
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LET THE BIBLE SPEAK – Confessing Our Sins Part 1


Announcer: Today on Let
the Bible Speak – The Bible teaches that
we must confess our sins before God will
forgive us of our sins. What Ezra the Old Testament
priest can teach us about confessing our sins
next on Let the Bible Speak. From the churches of Christ From the churches of ChristLet k Let the Bible Speak with Kevin Presley ♪ Intro Music ♪ Good day and welcome
to the program today, this is Let the Bible Speak, a Bible study together where
we allow the Word of God to speak about the issues
that confront us today. Sin is one of those
issues, sin affects us all, and the only remedy for sin
is for God to forgive it. There is nothing
that will make right the wrongs of sin besides
God’s forgiveness. Since sin is the
breaking of God’s law 1st John three and verse four, sin must be dealt with on
God’s terms and not ours, He is the offended party not us. And the first step in
repentance and reconciliation is to agree with what
God says about our sin. The word confess in
our English Bible comes from the
Greek word homologeo which means to say
the same thing. So if God declares that
some behavior is wrong before He will forgive us
we must be able to admit that we’re guilty of what
God has called wrong, that we’re guilty in His sight. Without excuse, alibi
or rationalization, we must be willing to fully
agree with God about our sin. Well, pride so often keeps us
from being willing to do that. We admit that we sin, but with the caveat of not
identifying the actual sin, or blaming someone or
something else in the process, but that’s not what God means when He demands that we
confess our sins to Him. We have a powerful example
in the Old Testament of Ezra the priest, the
representative of God’s people, and the scribe who confessed
the sins of Israel to God. It’s recorded in the
ninth chapter of Ezra, beginning in the fifth
verse the record says, “And that the evening sacrifice, “I arose up from my heaviness, “and having rent my
garment and my mantle, “I fell upon my knees
and spread out my hands “under the Lord my God and said, “oh, my God I am ashamed, “and blush to lift
up my face to thee “my God for our iniquities
are increased over our head, “and our trespasses grown
up under the heavens. “Since the days of our fathers “have we been in a great
trespass unto this day, “and for our iniquities
have we, our kings, “and our priests been
delivered into the hand “of the kings of the lands,
to the sword the captivity, “and to spoil and the confusion
of face as it is this day.” “And now for a little
space grace has been showed “from the Lord our God to
leave us a remnant to escape, “and to give us a nail
in His holy place, “that our God may
lighten our eyes, “and give us a little
reviving in our bondage “for we were bondman, “yet our God have not
forsaken us in our bondage, “but has extended mercy unto us “in the sight of
the kings of Persia, “to give us a reviving, to
set up the house of our God, “and to repair the
desolations they have “to give us a wall in
Judah and in Jerusalem. “And now oh our God what
shall we say after this? “For we have forsaken
thy commandments.” Well, there’re some lessons that we all need
to learn from this about how God looks at our sin, and how we should
look at it as well. We’ll talk about
Ezra’s confession in our study today of what
it means to confess our sins, and I’ll return with
that in a moment. – If you would like to dig
deeper into the Word of God I’d like to provide you
with a great opportunity to do that and it’s free. Hope to hear from you today enrolling in our Bible
Correspondence Course. You don’t need to feel
overwhelmed by the Bible. If you don’t know how
to study the Bible or where to begin
in reading the Bible this course will help
get you on track. It will answer some
very, very important and fundamental
questions about the Bible and what the overall
message is about. When you enroll in the course we send out the first lesson. You take the time
to read through it and answer the questions,
you send it back to us, we’ll check it and
send it back along with the next lesson
in the course. You do it in the
privacy of your home at your own pace and
again it is free. So let us hear from you today and we will enroll you in the
Bible Correspondence Course. The people of Israel
in Ezra’s time had committed a
grave sin before God. They had intermarried
with unbelievers, which God strictly forbade. The text tells us that they
intermingled the holy race, or seed with the people of
foreign and heathen lands. That’s been the
downfall of God’s people since sneered at the
beginning of time. It was always the curse of
Wayward is Roland (mumbles) has been a temptation for
God’s people in every age. God forbade the
practice of marrying into the Gentile nations
for one thing because of the corrosive effect that
it had upon His own people. It tempted them and often did
turn their own hearts away from God and they would
be led off into idolatry. It happened again and again. Well, in this case the
spiritual leaders of Israel, were some of the guiltiest, and led the whole
remnant into this sin. It was a terrible
state of affairs. This was after the
return from captivity, and you would have thought that they would have
learned their lesson, but when Zerubabbel led
the first wave of captives back to Jerusalem
in their homeland, it didn’t take long
for them to compromise, and begin to take foreign wives, and plunge themselves
right back into sin. About 75 years
after they returned, Ezra led his delegation
of some 2,000 back, and he found the nation in
this sad and sordid state. The Jews were miserable lot, and when Ezra found
this to be so, he was overwhelmed
with grief and sorrow. So that verse three tells us, “And when I heard this thing, “I rent my garment
and my mantle, “and plucked off
the hair of my head “and of my beard and
sat down astonished. “Then were assembled unto
me every one that trembled “at the words of the
God of Israel because “of the transgression of those
that had been carried away, “and I sat astonished until
the evening sacrifice.” Ezra was so overcome by
the spiritual condition of his people and by
the brazenness and
gravity of their sin that he was astonished
and literally sat down for much of the day and
couldn’t even speak. He’s so overcome with emotion
that he rips his clothes, he pulls his hair, he sits
down and he hangs his head in disbelief and shame
and utter amazement. Now I want you to notice how
this man of God looked at sin. How he looked at the sins
of God’s people because this is the root of everything
that we’ll talk about today. Notice that Ezra didn’t
shrugged his shoulders, and go on as though
nothing was wrong, he didn’t pass it off
saying well you know, we’re all just poor sinners
what else can you expect, he didn’t go about acting as
though the people were right with God despite the
fact that they weren’t. The record says that those
who actually respected, and feared the Word
of God came to him, and he sat down stunned
over the sins of the nation. Do we have that kind
of reaction to sin? Or have we become so
accustomed to sin? or have we watered
down the Word of God so that we don’t see
sin like God see sin? Ezra considered this
a grievous thing, and he saw sin the way
that we all should see sin. And that’s the first
step in dealing with sin. One of the reasons that
people don’t repent of their sins today is
because they don’t think their sin is that big of a deal. They’ve been led to believe by some who water
down the gospel that their sin is not
that big of a deal. My friend you’ll never
see the need for a savior until you realize
the seriousness of the condemnation
of your own sin. In the Sermon on the
Mount Jesus said, “Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.” Now keep in mind that Jesus is revealing the
characteristics of heart, of those who will find
and enter His kingdom, when He preaches the
Sermon on the Mount, and He says blessed
are they who mourn. What’s He talking about? He’s not talking
about merely mourning over some sad affair within
our life or some tragedy, He’s referring to those
who mourn over their sins, and their estrangement from
God, their spiritual condition. And He says they’re the
ones who will be comforted because the heart that
truly feels the guilt, and weight of sin will be humble
enough to turn to the Lord in repentance and that’s
what the Lord is looking for. The psalmist David
declared in Psalm 34, beginning in verse 14, “Depart from evil and do good,
seek peace and pursue it. “The eyes of the Lord
are upon the righteous, “and His ears are
open under their cry, “but the face of the Lord is
against them that do evil, “to cut off the remembrance
of them from the earth. “The righteous cry
and the Lord heareth, “and delivereth them out
of all their troubles. “The Lord is nigh unto them
that are of a broken heart, “and save as such as be
of a contrite spirit.” well, how do you see your sin? Do you make excuses
for your sin? Do you rationalize your sin? Do you justify it by
perhaps the sins of others? Do you minimize your sin? Not Ezra. The sin of the
nation grieved him. Now listen to what he said, finally he’s able to speak
and the record says that, “At the evening sacrifice I
arose up from my heaviness “and having rent my
garment and my mantle, “I fell upon my knees
and spread out my hands “under the Lord my God and said, “oh my God, I am ashamed
and blush to lift up “my face to thee my
God for our iniquities “are increased over our head, “and our trespasses grown
up under the heavens.” He says I’m ashamed, I can’t even look
up toward heaven. Is that how we
react to sin today? You know, we should
be ashamed of our sin especially when
like the people here we should have known
better just like them, the sins of man today though
have reached up to the heavens, and we ought to be
ashamed of that, we ought to be ashamed of
the filth and perversion that characterizes our
ungodly culture today. We ought to be ashamed at
the state of religion today, and how far we’ve
drifted from God, and how religious people
have compromised the truth, and made a mockery
of the Word of God, and abused and perverted
the grace of God. We should be ashamed of how
ungrateful we’ve been to God, and how we’ve lived in
spite of the untold, and undeserved blessings
that God has heaped upon us. He continues in verse seven, “Since the days of our fathers, “have we been in a great
trespass unto this day, “and for our iniquities have
we, our kings and our priests “been delivered into the hand
of the kings of the lands, “to the sword, the
captivity and into spoil, “into confusion of
face as it is this day, “and now for a little space
grace have been showed “from the Lord our God to
leave us a remnant to escape, “and to give us a nail
in this holy place “that our God may
lighten our eyes, “and give us a little
reviving in our bondage, “for we were bondman, “yet our God hath not
forsaken us in our bondage, “but hath extended
mercy unto us, “in the sight of
the kings of Persia “to give us a reviving, to
set up the house of our God “and to repair the desolations
they have, and give us a wall “in Jerusalem or in
Judea and in Jerusalem.” You see he means
they were carried off to begin with because
of their sins. God was punishing them, but God in His mercy,
He let them return, He let a remnant
return to Jerusalem, and began to rebuild the temple. He says in verse 10, “And now oh our God what
shall we say after this? “For we have forsaken
thy commandments.” That’s an incredible confession. That’s a question for the
sinner to ask of himself today. What shall we say after this? Well, there really was
only one thing to say, and that is to in shame
Godly sorrow, humility and repentance to
simply say to God we have forsaken
thy Commandments, we have sinned that’s
hard to say, isn’t it? Now we might say it if
we can generalize it, and we can lump ourselves
in with everyone else, but our pride and our self
will makes it oh so hard to say as the prophet
and scribe Ezra said, we have sinned. What do we say instead today? We might say well,
I made a mistake, I used bad judgment, I could
have made a wiser choice, or you know I have a weakness, or I’m just a human being and you know we all
sin from time to time. Friend making a mistake,
using poor judgment, struggling with a weakness
is not the same thing as saying as Ezra
did we have sinned, but you see that’s what
confession looks like because that’s what
God says about our sin, God doesn’t see our sin
as merely a mistake, He sees it as
transgression of His law, He sees as rebellion
against Him. And before God will forgive it, we have to have the
humility of heart, the contrition in our hearts we have to have and
be of such disposition that we’re willing to
humble ourselves before God, and say just as God
has said I have sinned. That’s what
confession looks like. What Ezra said long ago
on behalf of the people, that’s what
confession looks like. Remember the word
confess means to agree, or to say the same
thing as to agree with God concerning our sin. And Ezra made no excuse. He said in verse 15, “Oh Lord God of Israel
thou art righteous, “for we remain yet
escaped as it is this day, “behold we’re before
thee in our trespasses, “for we cannot stand before
thee because of this.” He say we’re left
without excuse. You’ve been good to us, you’ve shown graciousness to us in spite of our former sin, you’ve been merciful to us. And look at us now he says, “We’re before thee in
sin and in trespass.” A true confession of sin is
one that involves agreeing with what God’s Word
says about our behavior, and the Bible does
not gloss over sin, it does not sugarcoat sin, it
does not water down the sin, or make out a little
sin is not a big thing, in the eyes of God sin
is a grievous thing. If it weren’t a serious thing, why would He have
sent Jesus Christ down to this earth
to suffer and die? Do we really believe
that Jesus came and died, and suffered on the
cross of Calvary just so we could splash through
the blood of His cross, and act like sin
is not a big deal? You see real repentance
and confession of sin involves grieving over our sin, being truly sorry for our sin, but more than that the
resolve to turn from our sin, and that is where it begins if we’re to find
forgiveness of our sins and freedom from that sin
and the guilt thereof. Now Ezra not only acknowledge not only the guilt
of his people, but God’s sovereign right to
be angry and to punish them. You know King David
committed sin, and for a time he
tried to hide it, he conspired to
make the most of it, but he would not
get away with it for the Prophet Nathan
came and told him so famously God knew all
about it thou art the man, and when David finally came
to terms with what he had done and his ungodly
affair with Bathsheba, his lies, his murder of an
innocent man he fell apart, he confessed his sin
to God with no excuse. There was nowhere to
run, nowhere to hide, there was no alibi, he
had no reservations, he simply poured out his
broken heart to God in Psalm 51 and it was genuine repentance. Psalm 51 beginning in
verse three he says, “For I acknowledge
my transgressions.” You see that’s confession. “I acknowledge my
transgressions, “and my sin is ever before me.” Listen now verse four. “Against thee, thee
only have I sinned, “and done this
evil in thy sight, “that thou mightiest be
justified when thou speakest, “and be clear when thou judges.” Well, right there
is the very textbook definition of a confession. He agreed with God that
what he had done was evil, that he deserve God’s judgment. He couldn’t argue
with God about it, there was no excuse,
there was no alibi, he had done wrong, and God had every sovereign
right to punish him for his sin. You know, in the New Testament
Jesus told that famous story of a rebellious young man who ran away from his
father, from home, went off to a far country to
live in sin and debauchery, he defied his father, he went and squandered
his father’s riches on a sinful and wasted life, and when the party was over
when the revelers had gone home, when sin had used him up and
his life was left in shambles, this Jewish son got
in such a bad shape that the only means of
survival he could find was feeding swine for someone. One day perhaps it was a
hot miserable afternoon with the stench of the
pigpen nearly unbearable, the Bible says in Luke the
fifteenth chapter and verse 17, when he came to himself he said, “How many hired
servants of my father’s “have bread enough and to spare, “and I perish with hunger? “I will arise and
go to my father, “and will say unto him, “father, I have sinned against
heaven and before thee, “and I’m no more worthy
to be called thy son, “and make me as one of
thy hired servants.” And he arose and he
came to his father, but when he was yet a great
way off his father saw him, and had compassion and
ran and fell on his neck and kissed him and
the son said unto him father I have sinned against
heaven and in thy sight, and I’m no more worthy
to be called thy son. His father lovingly
embraced him, seeing his repentant
and contrite heart he called for the best robe
and a ring for his hand and shoes for his feet,
killed the fatted calf and rejoiced with his
family and his friends. There was no meeting
in the middle, there was well the father, there was no the
father gives some and the son gives a little. No I have sinned
the prodigal said. It is on your terms
father, I have done wrong. The loving father requires
the same of us when we sin. The Apostle John wrote in 1st John chapter one,
beginning in verse eight. “If we say that we have no
sin, we deceive ourselves, “and the truth is not in us. “If we confess our sins
though He is faithful “and just to
forgive us our sins, “and to cleanse us from
all unrighteousness.” Confessing our sins means
more than revealing our sins. God already knows
about our sins, we’re not telling God anything
when we confess our sins, He knows everything
that we’ve done, He knows what’s in our heart, but you see when we
confess our sins, we’re agreeing with what God
has said about our behavior, and about our sins. And John says only if
we confess our sins, is He faithful and just
to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from
all unrighteousness. Now have you come to terms
with the sin in your life, are you ashamed of
your sin like Ezra was for the people he represented
before God so long ago , are you truly
remorseful contrite and
repentant for the life you’ve lived and the wrongs
you’ve done like David, are you honest with yourself
and with God about your sin like the prodigal
was with his father when sin had broken him? I hope we can learn from the
example of Ezra and others about the awfulness
and the shame of sin, the righteousness of God, and have the same
kind of attitude and heart concerning sin
that these did so long ago who came to God in brokenness, and repentance for
only such humility will bring one to the Lord, and only that kind of
humility will the Lord accept. In fact the sacrifice is
the Lord is looking for the Bible says over a broken
and a contrite spirit. – If you would like to dig
deeper into the Word of God I’d like to provide you
with a great opportunity to do that and it’s free. Hope to hear from you today enrolling in our Bible
Correspondence Course. You don’t need to feel
overwhelmed by the Bible. If you don’t know how
to study the Bible or where to begin
in reading the Bible this course will help
get you on track. It will answer some
very, very important and fundamental
questions about the Bible and what the overall
message is about. When you enroll in the course we send out the first lesson. You take the time
to read through it and answer the questions,
you send it back to us, we’ll check it and
send it back along with the next lesson
in the course. You do it in the
privacy of your home at your own pace and
again it is free. So let us hear from you today and we will enroll you in the
Bible Correspondence Course. – [Announcer] Subscribe
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(pleasant gospel music) Our time is about gone I do
hope you’ll join me next week, if the Lord wills we’ll
continue our look at this great confession that Ezra
made on behalf of the people and I wanna look at the
result of this confession. What happened when
Ezra and the people confessed their sin to God? And what will result
in your life and mine, when we truly and
sincerely confess our sins? What that has to do with genuine
repentance within our heart and the fruits of repentance? So we’ll talk about that
next time we’re together. In the meantime if you’d like
a free printed transcript of what we’ve
talked about today, we’ll be happy to send
you a copy of the lesson just simply get touch with us and ask for the lesson
confessing our sins, and it will be on the
way, it’s free of charge. Also remember we’re online, our website ltbstv.org. ltbstv.org it’s
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whenever you would like. Well, again thanks
for joining us I hope you’ll tell someone
else about our program either online or
broadcast in your city, and that you will
encourage people to watch, in the meantime make your plans I want you to join me
back here next time for another study
of the word of God. Until then I do pray you
have a wonderful week ahead, and that the Lord
will bless you. – [Voiceover] If you
would like a free copy of today’s sermon, would
like to receive the free Bible study course, or
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is brought to you by your friends in the
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at one of the following congregations soon. (hymns playing) (hymns playing) (hymns playing) (hymns playing) (hymns playing) (hymns playing) (hymns playing) (hymns playing)

Otis Rodgers

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