PSALMS | Soundtrack for our Souls | Summer 2021 | Jeff Potts - Hope Community | Psalm 32

August 8, 2021 Speaker: Jeff Potts Series: PSALMS | Soundtrack for our Souls

Topic: Old Testament Passage: Psalm 32

One of the things I love about the Psalms is that it deals with real life. 

If you want raw emotion, read the Psalms. If you want pain, redemption, grief, joy, fear,  resolve, etc, read the Psalms.  

One of the real life topics we see in Psalms is forgiveness. 

Forgiveness: an active and intentional decision to absorb the cost of a debt owed to you by  releasing the debtor as if they owe you nothing. 

In Psalm 32, we see asking for it, forgiveness being granted, and the impact of both. 

I have titled this sermon: “Freedom in Forgiveness,” and I think there are many people who  are looking for just that. 

Have you ever been hurt so bad that you thought it would be impossible to forgive? • Have you ever hurt someone so bad that you thought it would be impossible to be forgiven? • Are you experiencing a friend or family member who has abandoned their faith and is living in  a way that constantly bring pain? 

Have you lost a friendship because of repeated sin? Have you tried to forgive only to be hurt  again? 

Has the collateral damage of sin built up over the years to the point to where you don’t see  any possibility of change? 

How can we have healthy, God-honoring relationships between broken people when wounds  of sin are fresh and deep? 

Friends, there is hope. 

There is freedom in forgiveness, both for the FORGIVEN and the FORGIVER. 

Now, if you are watching the Olympics and wake up your wife from cheering too loud,  or if your son throws up on your friends couch, forgiveness can be a relatively quick  process. 

If we are talking about adultery, abuse, or years of deception; this is going to take some time. • The bigger the damage and pain, the longer the process, and I think the more people that  need to help and be involved. 

Forgiveness acknowledges sin, accepts repentance of sin, and assists in change from  sin. 

Asking for forgiveness in repentance gives freedom from past sin and allows us to live  differently. 

Granting forgiveness enables us to live in freedom and love in spite of the sin and damage  that has happened to us. 

Read Psalm 32 - Pray 

We need God’s forgiveness

Verse 1. 

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”  • We need forgiveness because we sin.  

Sin is outright rejection of God’s authority in our lives. 

Wayne Grudem defines sin as “any failure to conform to the moral law of God in act,  attitude, or nature.” 

Sin is missing the mark.  

It is a failure to live up to the people God has called us to be and a failure to submit to his  laws to us. 

Sin is a reality for every person, both in nature (who we are) and in action (what we do)  (Romans 3:23, Romans 5).  

The consequence of sin is punishment and separation from God, as evidenced by Adam  and Eve in the garden (Genesis 3).  

Sin is nasty, vile, damaging, quick spreading, and incredibly contagious. • Small sins stack on top of each other to become huge. You can commit sin while trying to  get rid of other sin.  

We need forgiveness because our sin is really bad and we have no shot to fix it ourselves. • But we do try to fix it ourselves… 

Bullseyes in town  

This is how we try to deal with our mistakes and sin. We shoot and then paint the bullseye  around where we hit. We try to diminish our faults and failures and lie to ourselves and  others that we are without fault and actually correct in everything we do. 

Then, when that doesn’t work, we say that everyone can have their own truth, which means  that everyone hits the bullseye whenever they want, unless a mass amount of people make  a spontaneous decision that you din’t hit their bullseye in their timing.  

But the reality is that we all know that we fall short. We know the world is broken and  hurting and in pain, and that is a direct result of the original sin of Adam in Genesis 3 and all  of the sin that we have brought to the table ourselves.  

The passage speaks to forgiveness as a covering effect for us.  

“Blessed is the man whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”  • Kids needing bandaids all the time.  

Similar to a bandage, the sin is being dealt with. It is being healed. It is being worked out.  Does it take time? Sure. But is it getting better? Yes. 

So, forgiveness is good and desirable for us. 

Notice the point we made in the beginning. We don’t only need forgiveness in and of itself.  • We don’t simply need to forgive ourselves.  

We need forgiveness from God. 

“Blessed is the man against whom THE LORD counts no iniquity”  • God is the standard. He is in authority. 

God is God and we are not! 

God is omniscient, which means he knows all of your and my stuff. 

God is omnipotent, which means he has the power and authority to punish our stuff. • God is omnipresent, which means he has perfect proof of all of our stuff. • God is immutable, which means he will always hate the sin we commit against him • God is holy, which means he will always stand for what is right and true no matter the  circumstances in a persons life.  

It’s cool if I get forgiven by Pastor Chris for something, but the most important thing I need  is to have forgiveness from God! 

We need God’s forgiveness.  

Read verse 2 

Now, who is the author of this Psalm? This is David. King of Israel. What sin might he be  hiding? 

In 2 Samuel 11, David sees Bathsheba. 

He lusts after her, sinning against God, her, and her husband Uriah, breaking the 10th  commandment 

He calls for her and sleeps with her, sinning against God, her, and her husband Uriah,  breaking the 7th and 8th commandment. 

Bathsheba sends word saying she’s pregnant, and so David tries to cover it up by bringing  Uriah back home to sleep with his wife and get her “pregnant.” He sins against God, her,  and Uriah, breaking the 9th commandment. 

Uriah refuses to sleep with his wife and to stay as a faithful soldier to David, so King David  sends a note to the commander of the army to put Uriah in a spot of the battle where he  would surely be killed. He sins against God, Bathsheba, Uriah, the army and nation of Israel  by breaking the 6th commandment. 

That escalated quickly!  

Now, we can all look at David and see his sin and shake our finger or fist at him. • But, I know that in my life, I have multiple times in my life that if I had the ability to I would  absolutely take back what I’ve done. 

Every single person has 5 minutes, or 5 hours, or 5 years that they deeply regret. 

And notice the language David uses in verse 3. 

“For when I kept silent” (3) 

Rather than giving it to God, he tries to cover it up himself. 

In the garden, Adam and Eve did the same thing. In Genesis 3, after realizing the mess they  made with their sin, they covered up their bodies and hid from God. 

And don’t we do the same thing? 

Speeding on I-5  

You are driving up to the outlet malls on I-5, and you happen to be driving 10 miles over the  speed limit. And you don’t happen to notice because you are answering a quick text  message. 

And then you look up and notice the police car driving right next to you. • And what do you do? Immediately drop the phone, put both hands on 10 and 2, look  straight ahead, fix the mirror, and act like nothing ever happened! 


Why? Because we are jacked up people! Even when we know that there is forgiveness  offered to us, we run and try to act like we have it all together, like we don’t have sin in our  lives, like we don’t need Jesus, and living like that is HARD. 

“My bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.”  

David has incredible guilt and pain from holding his sin. 

How many of you have read the book The Scarlet Letter?  

We have this young woman, Hester Prynne who has to wear an A on her chest for the sin of  adultery.  

And throughout the story, there is a great mystery on who the other person is that has slept  with this young woman.  

In the middle of the book, we read that the young preacher, Dimmesdale, had cut the A on  his chest while Hester Prynne had it on the outside.  

They were both guilty of adultery, they both had A on their chest, just one was hidden and  one was clear for all to see.  

At the end of the book, the freedom for Dimmesdale was showing everyone his letter before  he died in the arms of Hester.  

I think that there are all things in our lives that we never want people to see, and there are  things that unfortunately people see very clearly in us. 

The fact is that we have sin in our lives, whether secret or public, and we need to deal with  those things. 

The Psalm says that God knows our sin and lovingly applies pressure to us to bring it up.  • “For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the  heat of summer.” (4)  

David tried to hide and so God put some pressure on him. 

If you are going to act like you have it all together, God will faithfully and patiently and lovingly  put pressure on you to get you to a spot where you cry uncle.  

“Daddy dearest, please stop”  

When I wrestle with my kids, they have a code phrase they have to use. “Daddy dearest,  please stop!” And there will be a time where I will use my dad-bod to stop the wrestling  match, and I will start to tickle them. Now, they can’t do anything when I’m on them, because  I’m much bigger and stronger than them.  

But if they say, “Daddy dearest, please stop”, then it’s done.  

If we continue to resist and try to run from God or act like everything is ok, God will  continually put pressure on us and in our lives until we relent. 

He loves us too much to allow us to continue down a road of destruction and pain.  

We all need God’s forgiveness 

Is there something you are covering up?  

Friend: God knows. He is with you all the time. And when you sin, you are going directly  against him. You need his forgiveness.  

We all need God’s forgiveness. 

The path to forgiveness is repentance

Repentance is a process of change where you realize your sin, say sorry for your sin, and  faithfully change from your sin. 

Repentance is a turning. It’s going south on I-5, getting off at the exit, and getting right back  on going north. 

Repentance shows up in three phases: Consider, Confess, Change 

CONSIDER - You have to think critically and understand your sin and it’s effects. 

These are the roots of the tree. Hardly anyone thinks about the roots, but this is what gives  life to the tree. This is what makes your repentance stay long term. 

Notice the actions of David now. 

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity. (5)  

Rather than covering up his sin, he acknowledges his sin. He stops covering up his  iniquity. 

To consider is to think critically on what sin has done and how it has damaged  relationships. 

This Psalm was written after a slew of incredibly serious sins that compounded and ended  up impacting an entire nation. 

Lust. Adultery. Deceit. Murder. 

David had deeply wounded the people he had sinned against, and his relationship with  God.

“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.” - Psalm 51:3-4 

David isn’t saying that he didn't sin against others, but that primarily he sinned against  God. He thought through the effect of his sin. 

We need to consider how our sin affects us and God, and our standing with the people  we’ve directly and indirectly sinned against. 

How has my sin affected my relationship with God? 

Who specifically has my sin affected? 

How has this sin affected my relationship with others? 

What did I sinfully want when I sinned? 

What has been the result of my sin? 

Friends, this process is messy and hard and humbling, but this is where the Gospel is. • The more we understand and acknowledge and hate our sin, the more amazing God’s  grace and forgiveness is! 

CONFESSION - You must openly bring your sin out into the light 

Out of good and honest consideration comes good and humble confession • Confession alone is not repentance, but true repentance always includes an honest  confession. 

This is complete, without excuses or justification. 

“I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will  confess my transgressions to the Lord” 

No excuses. He didn’t blame his past. He didn’t blame a condition. Total ownership of sin. • David didn’t hide anything. He went before the Lord and humbly admitted his faults.  • Confession isn’t…  

I’m sorry you feel that way.  

I’m sorry I got caught.  

I’m sorry that you made me do this. 

Confession isn't throwing flowers or chocolates at the problem. 

Confession is… EXAMPLE 


Have I owned 100% of my sin? 

Have I gone to God with my sin? 

Have I gone to the person or people with my sin? 

CHANGE - You change your actions to live faithfully. 

This is what everyone sees and notices. 

Repentance is a turning. It’s going south on I-5, getting off at the exit, and getting right  back on going north. 

It’s not simply well crafted words or thoughts, but a change of behavior.  • Consider with your mind, confession comes from the heart, and change comes in your  actions. 

“Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and  holiness.” - Ephesians 4:22-24

A total turning from sin. A putting off of the old self and putting on the new self. • If you look at the rest of Ephesians 4, you see an exhaustive list of put off's and put on's.  The transformation is really obvious. 

Rather than being known as a liar, you are known as a truth teller. 

Instead of being a selfish thief, you become a generous worker. 

A habit of words that hurt turns into a habit of words that build up. 

A lifestyle of anger, bitterness, and gossip turns into kindness, tenderness, and  forgiveness. 

It's change.  

This is what real, biblical repentance looks like. And just like it takes time for fruit to grow  and ripen, change takes time to see and observe. 

That is how you take down the wall of repentance.  

Considering the effect of sin. Confessing sin. Changing from sin. 

The Psalms are for today. 

Is there something you need to repent of? 

Do you need to truly consider the effect of your sin? 

Do you need to confess your sin? 

Do you need to begin this process of change? 

We need forgiveness.  

We have a pathway through repentance. 

We have a promise with forgiveness. 

III. God forgives!  

The passage says: Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity. • God not only takes away your sins, he counts you as righteous. 

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the  law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”  - Romans 8:1  

In verse 5, God forgave David’s sin.  

Now, let's remember that David had incredible consequences for his sin. Forgiveness does not  take away the consequences of sin. 

He lost his son. He had rebellion from his other family. He had to flee his nation. The rest of  David’s life was hard as a consequence of his actions.  

But he was forgiven by God. 

God does the same with us.  

He takes our sin that is exposed in confession and covers it with forgiveness. • He says: I’m not going to hold this over your head. I’m ready to move forward. 

Like repentance, there are three phases to forgiveness: acknowledge sin, accept confession,  and assist with change. 

ACKNOWLEDGE - Forgiveness acknowledges sin  

These are the roots of the tree.  

“You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” 

God didn’t ignore the sin. 

He didn’t excuse the sin. 

He forgave it.  

Forgiveness makes a choice to acknowledge sin for what it is, absorb that cost, intentionally  put it aside, and walk in relationship. 

This is what God does with us 

God doesn’t sweep our sins under the rug. He deals with them directly. And pays the price. 

Forgiveness: an active and intentional decision to absorb the cost of a debt owed to you by  releasing the debtor as if they owe you nothing. 

A couple years ago, Robert Smith made gave the commencement speech to 396 students  at the historically all-black Morehouse College in Atlanta.  

He made a promise to the graduating class of 2019 to pay off all of their student loan debt,  to the tune of $34 million.  

God has forgiven us a much greater debt than the student loans we have amassed over  time. 

GOSPEL - God did that with his Son Jesus. He sent his only son to be hurt, to die, for the  sins that we committed so that we could have freedom and life.  

He doesn’t say: "no big deal" to sin. 

He covers our sin with the blood of his Son. 

ACCEPT - Forgiveness accepts confession of sin (5)  

David confesses and God forgives. 

Jesus said in Luke 17: 

“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents,  forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you  seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” - Luke 17:3-4 • If they repent, forgive. Seems fairly straight forward. 

But how do we determine what is real repentance?  

How can we judge the validity or sincerity of the person who has just shown themselves to  be untrustworthy? 

What if the words seem perfect but the offense happens a week later? A year later? • What if they stumble over the words and don’t seem to have put in as much work as you  think is necessary? 

I am so thankful that God forgives me when I sin and when I confess poorly! 

“If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgives us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:9

He is faithful to forgive and sticks to his Word. 

He is just to forgive because Jesus paid the complete price for our sins on the cross.  • Not perfect confession. It’s a covering and a gracious act of forgiveness. 

ASSIST - Forgiveness assists with a changed life (7-9)  

When God forgives, he not only gives us the opportunity to change, but an expectation to  live differently. 

Verse 8. 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my  eye upon you.” (8)

God forgives David for going the wrong way, and then patiently, lovingly, and intentionally  shows him the right path. 

There is instruction. There is teaching. There is counsel. There is oversight. David showed real change. He thought about the wickedness of his sin. He confessed his  sin. He lived differently. And God was there to forgive him and help him to continue to walk  correctly. 

God is with you all the way.  

You might think you have done too much, run too far, taken yourself out of God’s gracious  reach, but God doesn’t leave you! He stays with you! 

He knows your sin. He accepts your confession. He helps you with change. He forgives! 

We are called to forgive

There is freedom in forgiveness for us, because we get the opportunity to fully acknowledge  the sin done to us. 

Forgiveness is a gift from God because it releases us from sinful responses. • Being sinned against does not give us license to get even or settle the score. • Forgiveness does not and will not hold onto sin. 

“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.” - Ephesians 4:31-32 

There is great danger in our hearts when we delay in forgiveness, because we put ourselves  in the position to easily sin back. 

If you want to be bitter, don’t forgive. 

If you enjoy wrath and anger, be unforgiving. 

If you want to scream at the top of lungs to tell the world what they did, or make them pay by  systematically going to their friends and telling them what happened, don’t forgive. • If you want to remain in bondage and pain, don’t forgive.  

God offers us a better way. 

Rather than bitterness, wrath, or anger, we are called to “Be kind to one another,  tenderhearted.” 

To be kind and tenderhearted is a choice to put away the opportunity or leverage you have to  get even or make the other person hurt. 

We actually have a call to be compassionate to the person who has sinned against us. 

But how do we do that? What if the hurt is real? What if the pain is intense? What has been  going on for years? How do you just be kind or forgive or be tender? 

“Just as God in Christ forgave you.”  

We are never called to do something that God hasn’t already done for us. 

That’s the gospel. When you forgive someone, you get a fresh reminder of how God forgave  you. 

You may be thinking, "BUT I HAVEN'T SINNED AGAINST GOD THE WAY THEY HAVE!" • I get it. Those thoughts cross my mind. 

But then I'm reminded, Jesus had to die for my smallest sin so I could be forgiven. 

This is not to minimize the pain or hurt you have from being sinned against, but forgiveness  helps us remember what God did for you with Jesus.  

When the hurt is real, you can keep your eyes on the cross as you walk forward in your  forgiveness.  

Look to Jesus. He is your freedom. He is your Savior. 

There is freedom in forgiveness. 

We all need forgiveness because we are sinners and broken. 

The pathway to forgiveness is repentance.  

God forgives us of our sin, and he did it perfectly in Jesus. 

Because God has done all of this for us, we extend forgiveness to others and find incredible  freedom in that.