Sermon Outline On Psalm 32:1-11
Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you;at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.
Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
There is a story from John’s gospel (vs. 1-11) when Jesus was sitting quietly at the Temple when the Scribes and the Pharisees brought to him a woman who had been caught in adultery. The law of Moses was very clear. This woman was to be stoned to death.
Everyone gathered around with their stones in their hands. They had done this before. It was very unpleasant business, but it had to be done. They were there ready to do their little part.
They asked Jesus, “Well, what shall be done with this woman?” Jesus must have looked at them very slowly. No one there escaped the glare from his eyes. After some silence, Jesus spoke softly, “It is the law. You’re right. The law says we are to stone her to death. After all, it is the law. I tell you what. The one of you who is without sin throw the first stone. Throw it at her legs. We don’t want her to die too quickly. I’m waiting. Step forward sinless one and throw the first stone!”
They looked at one another, dropped their stones, and walked away. After all they were only human.
If you have been watching the Olympics, you know how important it is to get off to a good start. You can win or lose the competition in those first few seconds. The start is so important.
God created the world and all that was in it. God created Adam and Eve and placed them in paradise. We can’t imagine the beauty of that place and the beauty of living there. The Garden of Eden-it can’t get any better than that. There was only one no-no. They could not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The rest of the garden was theirs to enjoy.
You know the story. Along came that crafty serpent who convinced Eve to take a bite. Eve was tempted. The crafty serpent convinced her that by eating from that fruit she would be like God. She would know good and evil, just like God. So Eve chose to eat from that tree. Eve talked to Adam, and Adam chose to eat from that tree. The crafty serpent had offered them the opportunity to be what they already were. Did you notice that? The crafty serpent said, “Eat it, and you will be like God.” But wait, God had already created them in His own image. In His own image he created them. So Adam and Eve traded paradise for something they had already been given by God. Oh well, after all they were only human.
As Paul wrote to the Roman church, sin came into the world through one man (5:12). The Psalmist writes of the reality of sin. Sin surrounds us. Sin is all around us. Sin is in us.
Cheating on a wife or husband, cheating in a sporting event, cheating on a test, cheating in a business, cheating on your friend, cheating on your income tax, cheating the insurance company, cheating your God – we call it sin! Seeking your own desires at the expense of others-we call it sin! Abusing this earth, other people (with our fist or with our mouth), or our own body-we call it sin! Choosing to give God only the time we have left over-we call it sin! Willful disobedience-we call it sin! Trusting in our own initiative and ingenuity or that of others rather than depending on God-we call it sin! When the church’s focus is inward instead of outward-we call it sin!
How can we possibly sum up all the ways we sin. When we fail to love the Lord our God with all our heart, all your soul, and all your strength-when we fail to love our neighbors as our selves-when we fail to do that, we call it sin!
This Psalm illustrates the devastating physical, emotional, and spiritual effects of unconfessed sinfulness. “While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” (Psalm 32:3,4) The guilt of our sin destroys us from the inside out. This Psalm outlines what we need to do, why we need to do it, and what the results can be.
This Psalm becomes an invitation to confess our sins and to place our complete trust and dependence on God. God is described as our hiding place and deliverer. This Psalm destroys the “I’m only human” excuse.
This Psalm is explicit in its final reminder “that the ‘righteous’ and the ‘upright in heart’ are not the sinless but the forgiven… Joy and happiness derive not from our human achievement but from God’s gracious activity on behalf of sinners.”
That woman caught in adultery. She could have said to Jesus, “But Jesus, I’m only human.” Jesus could have said to her, “No, you are more than ONLY human. You are created in my image. Woman your sins are forgiven, go and sin no more.”