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Today, I would like to take a very sobering look at Proverbs 28:13.

"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses & renounces them finds mercy."

I know that there have been times in all our lives that we have hidden sin in our hearts, instead of doing what we KNOW to be right-to confess that sin right away, & ask for forgivness, before it has the ability to destroy our Christian walk.

What are some of the conditions that unconfessed sins can cause Believers?

I would like to look at what happens to a person, using the example of Peter in Matthew 26:69-76.

First: there is denial, both public & private, & lying to oneself.

"Now Peter was sitting out in the courtyard, & a servant girl came to him. 'You were also with Jesus of Galilee, 'she said.
70) But he denied it before them all. 'I don't know what you're talking about'" (NIV)

Here we see Peter making a public declaration, (& a lie!), when he plays dumb! Have you ever been caught in a lie? You, (I include myself, as well ), try to reason your way out of the situation by playing dumb? This is TWICE a denial-a denial to yourself, & a denial to those around you. When we commit a sin, we most often to reason it out-possibly by trying to convince ourself that it really wasn't that bad, & we feel that God won't be TOO upset at what we have done. The bottom line is-we are in denial-denial to ourselves & denial to the Holy Spirit, who is very good at revealing God's truth!

Now we start to get irratated! Look at verses 71-72.

"Then he went out to the gateway, where another girl saw him, & said to the people there, 'This fellow was with Jesus of Nazareth.'
72) He denied it again, with an oath: 'I don't know the man.'"

Now we start to get a little upset that people are, (& you had better believe that God is!), questioning our honesty! ("Whoops, now we are REALLY lying to ourselves AND trying to overide the conviction of the Holy Spirit, because we KNOW that we are caught in a lie!") When we swear an oath, that is a major affront to God, because we are now trying to justify our sin!

Now we see the third step-total & complete anger, (& there's denial again ). Look at Peter! Swearing, total anger, & downright hostility!

"After a little while, those standing there went up to Peter, & said, 'Surely you are one of them, for your accent gives you away.'"
74) Then he began to call curses down on himself & he swore to them, 'I don't know the man!'" (NIV)

It's pretty bad, when we get to the point that we are downright TELLING God, (for that is TRULY who we are mad at, because the Holy Spirit is REALLY convicting us now ), that we haven't done anything wrong, or that this sin isn't that bad, (or even worse), that we haven't sinned!

Now there is a common factor in every single human being that
CANNOT BE ARGUED-we all have a breaking point! There are various factors that will cause us to reach it, (primarily guilt)-but it WILL happen! The conviction of the Holy Spirit will simply be too strong to fight anymore!

This happened to Peter in a very specific way:

"Immediately a rooster crowed.
75) Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: 'Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.' And he went outside, & wept bitterly." (NIV)

*BOOM* Instant conviction-BIG TIME Among Believers-especially Believers who HAVE been caught in a sin-total & complete remorse! We realize that we can't win, we are reduced to a quivering mass, many times unable even to stand on our own two feet. We realize that we have lost, & many times, we burst out in tears of remorse.

It is at this time, that we realize that we have only one true way out-confession & repentance.

Oh, this is so hard to do, my Brothers & Sisters! It is good that we have been broken, because it opens up the way back to the Father. But it is also at the time that we are very open to the attacks of Satan as well.

This is the perfect time for Satan to get a foothold in our spiritual life! He will keep hammering into us that we have commited the Unpardonable sin, ("More on this later!"), or that we have commited this sin one too many times, & God is finished with us! And what is the result, if we believe what Satan says? Depression, sadness, & possibly even suicide. We have to make a conscious choice at this time-either believe what Satan says, or turn to the truth of God's Word!

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just & will forgive us our sins, & purify us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9 NIV)

"If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves & pray, & seek My face, & turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, & will forgive their sin, & will heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14 NIV)

"'Come now, let us reason together,' says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimsom, they shall be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18 NIV)

I want all of us to especially take a look at I John 1:9 again.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful & just, & will forgive us our sins, & purify us from all unrighteousness." (NIV)

Do we see anywhere in this verse, where it says that there are only a certain number of times that God will forgive us, & then won't forgive us any more?

NO, my Brothers & Sisters There is NEVER a time that God will not forgive us when we come to Him

I think that it might be prudent to look at Romans 6:1-2, at this time:

"What shall we say then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" (NIV)

THIS IS IMPORTANT! It is one thing to commit a sin, because we gave into temptation. But it is totally different when we make a CONSCIOUS CHOICE to sin! Paul realized that it is only when we are truly convicted of a sin that God WILL forgive us! This is the ONLY place where true forgivness can be reached! We can't deliberatly sin, & expect God to forgive us! There MUST be true CONVICTION for true FORGIVNESS!

I think that the best example of conviction is found in Psalm 51:1-19. Most of us, (me especially! ), are more than a little familiar with this Psalm! It is David's prayer to God, after Nathan had told David about his sin with Bathsheeba.

Look at 2 Samuel 12:13.

Here, David freely admits his sin, because he knows that he cannot hide from God.

Did God forgive David of his sin? Yes
Did Jesus forgive Peter of his sin? Yes.

Will God forgive us of OUR sins, if we simply confess them to Him, & seek forgivness? YOU HAD BETTER BELIEVE IT

Some of us may have commited sins as great as David or Peter.. but here is where we see the truth of the second half of Proverbs 28:13.

It is MERCY-God's mercy-that forgives us of our sin. How do we know this? Romans 5:8.

Christ Jesus, the sacrificial Lamb, the Holy & Pure Son of God, has forgivven us of every sin that we have ever commited or WILL ever commit! There is no statute on how many times God will forgive us-even if it is the same sin, over & over! The ONLY fact that matters, is that-GOD WILL FORGIVE US! He promised us He would! He shows us His mercy, because Jesus became all our sins FOR us! It is Christ's death & ressurection that has opened the door for the Father to show His mercy & forgivness to us. No one else! No one else but Jesus!

God had revealed a great truth to me, all those years ago when I was in college. I always like to refer to our own salvation & ability to come before God when we DO sin, as the "Gospel of a Second Chance." And so it is, my Beloved Brothers & Sister! And so it is!

Let us pray.

"Lord Jesus, we have seen in this study all too clearly the results of unconfessed sin, & what can happen to us when we don't confess them right away. Lord Jesus, we DO give all praise & worship for the truth of the "Gospel of a Second Chance!" You know our weaknesses, Lord Jesus. You now that we will fall, no matter how much we don't want to. Yet You WILL forgive us, if we but come before You in humblness & repentance. We come before You now, Lord Jesus! We repent of everything that may be standing between You & us, & we confess it, without hesitation! We don't want ANYTHING standing in the way of all the blessings that You have for us, if we but simply walk in Your ways alone! We desire Your blessings, Lord Jesus! Help us to see the truth that we have learned in this study from Your Word, that we may never forget the great love that You showed us, when You became our sin on that cross! May we NEVER forget the sacrifice that You made for us, so that we DO have the right to be called your Children. We ask this in Your Name & Your Name alone, Lord Jesus!

In Jesus Name!
"If my people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves & pray, & seek my face, & turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven, & will forgive their sin, & will heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14) (NIV)