Tim Conway 1 year ago. Mack Tomlinson 6 years ago. Bob Jennings 1 year ago. Ryan Fullerton 3 months ago. Ryan Fullerton 8 months ago. Mason Vann 6 years ago. Ryan Fullerton 7 months ago. Don Currin 1 year ago. Tim Conway 2 years ago. I want to speak to you this morning about secret sins. And what I'm talking about is sins we hide and we hope no one will know about, or at least we hope no one who matters will know about.
In a Christian, these sins - sins that we hide - painfully rub the conscience raw and they eventually sear the conscience so that it can no longer feel. Secret sins may be responsible for deflating your spiritual joy. Secret sins not only do that, but they drain our spiritual power for life and ministry. And secret sins also demolish our spiritual fellowship. It's amazing - you can always be in community, but if you're hiding something, you will always feel alone and never enjoy fellowship from God's people.
Worst of all, secret sins separate us from God. In a Christian, secret sins separate us from the warmth of God's smile. Now there are Christians who stand in grace, but because of secret sins they're holding on to, they never really feel the warmth of God's love.
And of course, there are many who are not Christians and who won't become Christians not because they have some religious or philosophical objection to Christianity but because they do not want to expose their secret sins to the light. Carson put it many people don't come to Jesus not because they have some actual philosophical disagreement with Christianity, but because they're sleeping with their girlfriends.
Worst of all, there are those who think they are Christians but are not. They live a double life. They're going to church. They're playing the game, but behind closed doors, their lives are dominated by secret sins in the present or the memory of some secret sin in the past. And I want to first of all begin by showing you how secret sins are spoken of over and over in the Bible. This is something that afflicts God's people.
This is not something that is a rare occurrence among God's people. This is something that God points out repeatedly in His Word because it's something that repeatedly infects His people and drains their joy, drains their fellowship, and ends their effectiveness and their praise in the world. Proverbs tells us in Proverbs - and I'm going to go through a lot, so you may jot them down, but you won't be able to get there in time. Proverbs , "Whoever conceals his transgression will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Secret sins we're told in Psalm are known to God.
It says in Psalm , "You set our iniquities before You; our secret sins in the light of God's presence. Numbers - this verse is haunting. There's nowhere in the universe that you can dig a hole deep enough that God won't know everything you've done and can't unearth it anytime He chooses. Jesus tells us in Matthew , "I tell you on the day of judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak.
For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned. Or, by our words, it will be proven that we weren't at all. You might think, well, this is the Gospel. Under the Gospel there's no more dealing with secret sins, but actually Paul tells us in Romans that "according to his Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus. He has actually been appointed the end time Judge of all of our secret sins. And of course, you and I don't know each other's secret sins. You and I don't know who this sermon might be meant for; who it might point out. Of course, it's meant for all of us, because even if God has allowed you to come clean of every single secret sin in your life, you are to be the bed of mercy that those whose sins are exposed get to lay down on and find grace in their time of need.
But we don't know each other's secret sins and the Bible tells us that. It tells us in 1 Timothy some people's sins are obvious, going before them to judgment. But the sins of others surface later. But they do always surface. Ananias and Sapphira's lying about how much they gave surfaced in a matter of a few hours. David's sin with Bathsheba surfaced over the course of a few months. Judas' stealing from Jesus and the Apostles didn't surface for years, but eventually it did surface. And we're told there's coming a day of judgment where every single thing that's private and hidden will become public and out in the open.
So there is no secret sin in the universe that will not in due time be open and laid bare before the entire world. Now I want to be used this morning by the Holy Spirit for your good. I want to be used by the Holy Spirit to uncover secret sins. And I'm not going to name anyone's names this morning. It's not my job to from the pulpit point to someone who I think is keeping a secret. Rather, I'm going to trust that the Holy Spirit will do His work. You remember what we're told His work is? John , "When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.
I promise you that no matter what sin might even be brought to your mind now as I've been speaking, bringing it out will be less painful than keeping it in. In fact, bringing it out will bring you a future you never thought could be as good as it will be because God meets with secret sins - He meets with all sins with His mercy and His grace. And I want to speak to you this morning about this from a very famous story - the story of King David, the king of Israel, and his adulterous affair with Bathsheba. And I'm going to tell you this story under five headings.
First, David sins and scrambles. Second, God knows and exposes. Third, God forgives and disciplines. Fourth, David pleads and presses on. And finally, God restores. And so let's begin first with David sins and scrambles. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah, but David remained at Jerusalem.
This is going to become important actually in my last point. They were promised that they would be able to destroy their enemies around them and have peace in the land. And it was the custom that in the spring - of course when the weather was better - that that's when kings went out to war.
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And notice the author points out that that's when "kings" went out to war. But the king in this story - King David - we're told decided he was going to sit this one out; that he'd had enough years of war, and he would just send a general to handle the skirmishes that were happening on Israel's eastern front.
And what we have here is an instance that reminds us that very often where sin enters into our lives is when we're not taking our place on the front lines of the battlefield that God has placed us in. It's very common that the place sin comes into our life is when we're avoiding the battle that God has called us into. We're told in 1 Timothy that there was a bunch of widows who really should have gotten remarried sooner than they had, but because they refused to get remarried they became idlers going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips, busybodies, saying what they should not.
It's amazing how much trouble you can get in when you slip back from the front lines of the battle God has placed you in. It's amazing how much trouble you can get yourself in browsing the Internet at work when you should be working, or gossiping on Marco Polo or iMessage when you should be washing the dishes. Neglecting what we are called to do is one of the great places sin will slip into our lives. And all of this is one more proof of the old expression: idle hands are the devil's playground. And so there's David. Not doing what he should be doing. Idling around on the roof of his castle.
And in v. And the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, 'Is this not Bathsheba? The daughter of Eliam? The wife of Uriah the Hittite? Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness. Then she returned to her house. When you're a king, you see, you decide, you speak, and things happen. And as you read the text you notice that's what goes on. He saw. He sent. She was taken. She came. He lay with her. She went home. As one commentator pointed out David is the actor.
David is in control. David gets what he wants. And it's amazing what we can get from all of our control. It's probably important to notice that all David got was one brief moment of passion. Here for a moment and then gone. And I want to know if you are holding on to secret sin, are you getting anything more than a brief fleeting moment of pleasure from what you're holding on to. And if you held on to it and no one ever found out about it - in fact, if you got the whole world of pleasure, would it be anything compared to your soul?
Anyway, all would have been fine humanly speaking if that was all that happened. Bathsheba and David might have run into each other later on, exchanged furtive glances, but everything would have been hidden. But sin has an amazing way of sticking its head up and revealing itself.
You notice that Bathsheba sends a note to David saying, "I am pregnant. And of course, the folks in the palace would begin to whisper about exactly who "somebody" had been. And that's how life works. A drug addiction shows up in the withdrawals in the bank statement. Embezzlement shows up when fresh eyes look at the books. Abuse shows up when someone gets a bruise makeup can't hide. Anger says, "I was here," when it leaves a hole in the wall. Laziness and lack of self-discipline are exposed when the report card comes home.
And of course, adultery is revealed by pregnancy. So David scrambles. He knows he will use that kingly authority that brought Bathsheba to him to bring Bathsheba's husband back home from the front lines. And David thinks: aha, there's a plan! I'll bring a soldier back home and that soldier will do what soldiers do when they get back home to their wife for a night of furlough. He'll go home to be with Bathsheba, and then she'll be pregnant and I'll be off the hook. They'll ask who the kid looks like.
They'll decide: must look like Bathsheba. And all will be clear for David. His sin will stay secret. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going One, he probably felt quite clever. He was sending the soldier home to be with his wife.
All will be hidden. But we actually know from Psalm 32 that he felt another way. Psalm 32 is a poem that David wrote about how horrible he felt during this time of hiding his sin. Psalm 32 says, "For when I kept silent my bones wasted away, through my groaning all day. For day and night, Your hand was heavy upon me. My strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
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I wonder if there are any others here who feel the same way. But then David runs into a problem. Uriah is a nobler man at this point than David is. He won't go to sleep with his wife. He says, hey, while the ark of God, which was the symbol of God's presence is on the battlefield - and while my buddies from my platoon are risking their lives and sleeping in tents, I'm not going home to be with my wife.
And so he sleeps on the palace floor and refuses to go home to Bathsheba. And David thinks, well, what am I going to do? So he has strategy number 2. He says, well, Uriah, stick around one more night. And David, this man after God's own heart gets Uriah drunk. Because if a soldier won't go home to his wife, well, I tell you one guy who will - a drunk soldier will go home to his wife.
The passage says, "But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. When they told David Uriah did not go down to his house, David said to Uriah, 'Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house? Shall I then go down to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, as your soul lives, I will not do this thing. In the evening, he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.
He had run up against the power that all men in sin hate - the power of a moral man. A man of conviction. A man whose heart is gripped by the fear of the Lord. If you find that men and women of deep conviction frustrate your plans and get in your way, there's a good chance you are driven by covering up a secret sin.
Anyway, the scramble continues. And it always does. Sin never stays stagnant.
Realize Secret Sins Are Pleasurable For a Season
You may think that you're just dabbling in something and that you control it. That is not the biblical picture of sin at all. If you are dabbling in something you have no idea how deep that sin will take you. Do you think for your life that David thought, "I'll murder this spring"? He just thought he was staying home. But once sin has got its hook in our cheek it can reel us in into the depths of depravity beyond what we ever thought possible.
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The Bible tells us that sin is progressive. Looking at ladies in bikinis leads to harder porn. You cuss once and you blush and eventually you find yourself swearing like a sailor without noticing. You don't report your tips at tax time and pretty soon you find yourself comfortable stealing from the store. Sin hardens and advances. Can I ask you this? If you're hiding a sin, have you ever had to sin more to hide it?
And if you've hardened your heart to sin and to hide it, how do you know you'll be able to stop? What if you keep hardening yourself? Maybe you will find yourself doing things you never dreamed that you were capable of. Sin demands more and hidden sin demands more sin to cover it, and eventually, David, the man after God's own heart, arranges a murder of Uriah. You think David ever dreamed he would become a murderer? Verse 14, "In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab that's the general and sent it by the hand of Uriah. That's calloused. And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell.
Uriah the Hittite also died. Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting. The scramble is over. The deed is covered. David gives Bathsheba a minute to mourn and then he marries the poor widow. Verse 26, "When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented her husband. And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife and bore him a son. We'll just tell people the baby was born a little premature.
The conscience is still screaming, but at least his sin is not going to scream into the city streets when Bathsheba starts wearing maternity clothes. David can rest. Except that David had forgotten - or should I say suppressed and swept under the rug of his mind the fact that God knows and God exposes. Listen to this haunting last verse. In verse 27, last part of the verse, "And she became his wife and bore him a son everything's covered , but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
You are hiding sin from the One for whom there is no darkness. Psalm - even the darkness is as light to Him. There's no place you can hide before God. He knit you together in your mother's womb and He knows the day of your death. Before a word is on your mouth, He knows it completely. There's no hiding from God. Isaiah , "Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord who do their work in darkness and think, 'Who sees us? Who will know? Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account. If you legitimize not telling your wife about your infidelity because you love her so much, you have a terribly shallow view of God.
If you're more worried about displeasing your parents than your God, then you have a very small and unbiblical view of God. If you think your boss's anger or losing your job is worse than God's discipline or God's wrath then you need a greater vision of God. David had forgotten God. God had seen and God was displeased. That is all that matters. Immanuel, if we are not a people who deal before the face of God, then we are not God's people. If we are not a people who understand that all we do and have done and will do happens before the face of God, and the most important thing in our lives is to deal with that God in integrity and truth and openness, then we are not the people of God.
We are simply one more dead church on the corner. Now what God does to David is amazing. He does not strike him dead. Both adultery and murder were worthy of capital punishment, of the death penalty in Old Testament Israel.
But instead of striking David dead, God begins to pursue him with mercy. He sends his most powerful weapon to slice open David's heart and to surgically expose and remove the secret sin. God sends His Word. He sent it through a man - a prophet named Nathan. He sent Nathan to tell a story - a story that would draw out David's heart and in the process expose David's sin. God came to get him out of mercy. The one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb which he had bought.
And he brought it up and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel, drink from his cup, and lie in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. This was like a daughter to this man. His one little ewe lamb. You can't be draining away your assets. I know, I'll just abscond this man's one poor little lamb.
And he turns this daughter of a lamb into lamb chops and cooks it for his rich friend. And he said to Nathan, 'As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb fourfold because he did this thing and because he has had no pity. He has snuck in to convict David. If he had come into the room of man who is now an adulterer, a liar, and a murderer, and he had just said, "You're a liar, a murderer, and an adulterer," his words would probably have bounced off of David's heart and conscience.
But he came with a story that ignited all of David's old righteous passions. David knew that a rich man who takes a poor man's only treasure is an evil man. So now Nathan on behalf of God pulls the line in to set the hook. He says in v. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the Word of the Lord to do what is evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. And I can't get into that in this sermon, but I'll just refer you to the sermons on Deuteronomy which reminds us how much God overlooked the hardness of heart in Israel even as He was getting to the main point of His salvation.
But what you see here is that God mounts up the accusation against David. I had given you everything. I had treated you like gold. And now you have hated My Word and you have despised Me. He doesn't say that David had a hard moment and He understands the pressures of being king. The video and notes are below. If it is helpful to you, feel free to use it in any way that advances the work of the Kingdom. Stop trying to convince yourself that secret sin in your life and in the church will not hinder the mission of God.
Instead, live a gospel-centered, repentance-filled life. As a pastor, I have heard it time and time again: "My sin does not hurt anyone else. We need to realize that there are no "small" sins. God refers to all sin as an affront to His righteousness. All sin brings separation. I am not having an affair and I am a not a warlock, I have those covered But look at the rest.
But, I hate my deacons and elders, lust after a bigger church, and envy someone with a better salary--let alone committing adultery in my heart. There is no difference in God's eyes between being a warlock and envying the larger church, lusting in your heart after what's on the cable channel, and hating some of the people you are called to pastor. It's sin. It saps spiritual power. It kills you, your spiritual life, and the spiritual life of your church. It is so easy for us to roll off the names of Swaggart, Baker, and Haggard Or our spouses. Or are kids.
You don't come to Liberty Mountain unless you are a Bible thumping evangelical like me. I bet we have a room full of inerrantist, Bible-toting, gospel preachers. Somebody shut Amen. And, we are going to stand on the word. But, we often forget: if Satan cannot compromise our beliefs, he is happy to settle for our character. And, that is what he is doing in your life, pastor.
And in mine. And, we need to change. Not once, but every day. But then tomorrow. Truth spoken from a compromised life is like a light shining from behind a curtain, only residual effects are made. A cross-centered and resurrection powered life doesn't get saved and then live on our own power. We, instead, die daily. And, it is repentance filled because that is how we respond to a sin sick world--but quickly and readily repenting. Even the king of an empire cannot hide his sin once God is ready to confront him with his deeds. Private sin can deliver the community of faith into public defeat.
For Israel to have success in the Promised Land, sin had to be rooted out of the camp. The church's toleration of sin leads to a communal rejection of the mission. The Corinthian Christians not only tolerated the sinfulness of the man, they were even proud of it! No wonder the Corinthians were so off base. They needed to be educated in regards to the nature of the Gospel, its life-changing power on believers, how to live as a church family, and even the very nature of biblical love.
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When you tolerate open sin in your church, you are not being loving. You are being naive. Paul tells the whole church how to handle what today's culture would have termed a "private, family matter. Your church lacks spiritual power because if it does not practice church discipline. When we do not practice a personal dedication to Christ and His mission which redeemed us, then we will not participate in with the community of faith's endeavor to turn the world upside down with the power of the gospel. I wrote to you in a letter not to associate with sexually immoral people by no means referring to this world's immoral people, or to the greedy and swindlers, or to idolaters; otherwise you would have to leave the world.
But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother who is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a reviler, a drunkard or a swindler.