Secret Sins (and the Wounds That Cleanse Them)
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: In literature, a rhetorical question is one that is asked where the answer is self-evident. It’s the same way when such questions appear in the Bible. When Solomon, the great wise one, asks, “Who can say, ‘I have made my heart pure; I am clean from my sin’?” there can only be one legitimate response: “No one.” We have all sinned, and continue to sin. But as long as our sins are not as bad as others’, we feel like we’re doing pretty well. However, both Solomon (and Jesus) measure by different standards.
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. In what sense are we, as human beings, of tremendous worth? In what sense are we unworthy of anything good?
2. Read Jeremiah 17:9 and Romans 3:10-12. How do these sections compare/ relate to Proverbs 20:9?
3. Why are some sins practically “imperceptible” to our friends and family? Is God more or less concerned about those types of offenses?
4. How is it possible that Jesus’ “blows” cleanse away our evil?
5. What sort of relief do you find in knowing that even in the “innermost places” (verse 30) you can find complete and total forgiveness in Christ?
6. “The Christian lives with a freedom the world never experiences.” Do you believe this is true? Why or why not?
1. “My worth is not in skill or name. In win or lose, in pride or shame. But in the blood of Christ that flowed, At the cross.”
2. “Two wonders here I must confess. My worth and my unworthiness. My value fixed – my ransom paid. At the cross.”
3. Read Proverbs 20:9.
4. Read Proverbs 20:10.
5. Read Proverbs 20:13.
6. Read Proverbs 20:14.
7. Read Proverbs 20:19-21.
8. 01. Spiritually speaking, we are always far worse than we think we are.
9. “The purpose of the Sermon on the Mount is to demolish all attempts to believe that we have anything of our own that we can achieve or contribute to the divine equation. The moment that I recognize that I by my own efforts to atone, or to expiate, or to do better, or to fly right, or to do more, or to work harder, or to be nicer, are doomed to perdition – at that moment there is a release. And the release spells joy, power, significance, exuberance, happiness, creativity, love, and – come to find out – holiness.” – Paul Zahl
10. Read Proverbs 20:30.
11. In the background of this Proverbs text stands out clearly the cross-work of Jesus. – Derek Kidner
12. “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit… He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” – 1 Peter 2:23-24
02. The guilt-erasing, sin-cleansing, new-life-creating forgiveness of Jesus Christ is far better than we ever dreamed.