Pentecost 4
July 1, 2001
Luke 7:36-50
"The value of a True Confession"

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INTRODUCTION:  We need to see that it is far better to give a true confession of sin than not to give one at all. He who claims to have no sin misses out on the greatest things of life.  In today's gospel lesson, the poor, unfortunate character was not the sinful woman but the "good" proud Pharisee.  His life was empty. There are many "good" Christians who claim guiltlessness but are perfectly miserable. This morning, let's consider the value of a true confession of sin.

1.   The value of being forgiven. V. 48 “And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.”

There are plenty folk in our world today walking around with misplaced as well as well-placed guilt. They feel guilty, and they experience real pain because of the pain, which they have experienced due to a life, which is lived in this world.  Our first parents Adam and Eve caused a huge chasm to be built, which separated them from their Creator. Run headlong toward sin they brought pain and suffering upon themselves; the creation, as well as future generations.

Because of this inhumanity toward humanity humankind has had to suffer through countless pains and sufferings. Think to the last time someone sinned against you. How did it feel?  It felt horrible. What’s worse; think of the pain that we inflict on ourselves when we commit sin against someone else. That pain continues to mount until it becomes unbearable.   David describes that feeling when he says in Psalm 32: “When I kept silence, my bones wasted away Through my groaning all the day long.  For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: My moisture was changed as with the drought of summer.” (vv.3-4) Now that’s a horrible feeling!

As bad as unconfessed sin might make us feel, David goes on to describe the opposite feeling; the feeling of exhilaration when our sins are forgiven.  He tells us in the same Psalm: “I acknowledged my sin unto thee, And mine iniquity did I not hide: I said, I will confess my transgressions unto Jehovah; And thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.” (V 5)

No wonder David will remind us throughout this Psalm of the joy, which comes from forgiveness when David says: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom Jehovah imputeth not iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no guile.” (Vv. 1-2)  And again, when he says: “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he that trusteth in Jehovah, loving kindness shall compass him about.  Be glad in Jehovah, and rejoice, ye righteous; And shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” (Vv. 10-11)

Transition: Confession is good for the soul. What’s better is absolution! What a joy it is to know that our sins truly are forgiven in Jesus Christ. But there’s even more that is good with a good confession. There is also the value of loving much.

2.   The value of loving. V. 47 “Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.”

This woman, loved the Savior very much. We do not know her sins. Oh, we could speculate. We could only imagine what sort of trouble she had gotten herself into. But the wonder and joy that she experienced was the way in which she loved as she experienced the forgiveness, which was offered by the Savior.

The parable that Jesus offers illustrates the point so well. The man who has little obligation is not as indebted as the one who is forgiven a huge debt. A simple yet a significant point!  Consider your sin. Jesus has forgiven it all!  Great is His love for you. Great is His compassion! We love because of His compassion toward us. “To whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”  But for that one who has been forgiven much, great is their love.

Transition: Confession is good for the soul. What’s better is absolution! What a joy it is to know the value of experiencing the Savior’s peace.

3.   The value of having peace. V 50  “And he said unto the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”   Having our sins forgiven we experience the Savior’s lasting peace.  Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.” {John 14:27}  We experience the Savior’s peace because God is at peace. God the Father is at peace because His Son Jesus Christ suffered and died in our place. The Father took our sins and placed them on the back of His own Son. Then, He took the Savior’s righteousness and gave it to you and to me as a gift!  What else could there be then real and abiding peace! No wonder the Savior says: “I give unto you: not as the world giveth,” We need not fear when Jesus comes to us with His peace.

Conclusion:  Have no fear little flock. For the Father has promised to give you the kingdom. We now have His abiding peace as we have found forgiveness and life.  The forgiveness that the Savior gives is the greatest treasure. It is of great worth and value; the value of loving, the value of forgiveness, the value of peace. IN JESUS’ NAME. Amen.

+ Soli Deo Gloria +