Although our relationship with God is secure when we place our faith in Christ, our fellowship is blocked when we sin against him.
When we fail to confess our sin, it hinders us from fully experiencing our relationship with God.
When we become aware of our sin, we can to turn to God, confess our sin, and receive his forgiveness.
I want my students to…
- KNOW: That sin blocks our fellowship with God but does not stop the relationship. Confessing our sin restores that fellowship.
- EXPERIENCE: God’s love and forgiveness that comes from turning to him and confessing our sin.
- DO: Begin confessing sins on a regular basis.
NOTE: Make sure everyone has something to write on and a pen or pencil for this study.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leding this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leader like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
Think of a relationship you really cared about that became broken.
- What was that like?
- How can that be like our relationship with God?
READ THIS TOGETHER:
Leader Note: This is a lot of reading but it sets them up to understand confession better as well as the Bible passage.
Just like our actions can hurt a relationship with another person, sin can affect how we relate with God. The good news about being a Christian is that Jesus forgives all our sin, but the bad news is that we still sin every day. This study will help us know what to do about this.
There is a difference between our relationship with God and our fellowship with God. Our relationship as God’s child never changes once we trust in Jesus (just like you never stop being your mom’s child). However, sin affects our fellowship with him and the way we know his love and forgiveness.
The Bible is full of people who cared about God and promised to follow him, but then messed up. Israel’s King David is an example. He loved God, but then slept with a woman who wasn’t his wife. To cover it up, he had her husband murdered. When his friend found out, he called him out on it. Suddenly David realized how far he was from God and was broken-hearted about it. He wanted to follow God, but could God ever forgive him? Yes! David confessed his sin to God, which restored his fellowship with him. David wrote a song in Psalm 32 to express how he was feeling about that. Let’s read it.
1. Describe how David feels physically in verses 3-4.
His bones wasted away. He ached. He groaned. He felt God’s hand heavily upon him, and his strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
2. What caused him to feel this way?
God was showing him his sin, but he was still trying to cover it up.
3. What did he do to deal with his sin?
He admitted his sin. He didn’t cover it up any longer. He confessed to the Lord. The word “confess” means to admit sin and guilt.
4. Inverses 1, 2, and 5, what is God’s response to David confessing his sin?
God forgives his sin.
5. In verses 1 and 2, how does David feel after confessing his sin and receiving God’s forgiveness?
He feels happy instead of guilty.
6. In verses 6 and 7, how does David respond after being forgiven and relieved of his guilt?
He praises God for taking care of him. The distance with God is gone.
Once we invite Christ into our lives, we have a RELATIONSHIP with him. No one can ever take that away. No matter what you do, your RELATIONSHIP with God doesn’t change. However, our FELLOWSHIP with God is broken when we sin. Kind of like when you lie to your parent, you are still their child, but there is a distance between you and them. When you confess your lie to them, and they forgive you, the FELLOWSHIP is restored. The same is true in our FELLOWSHIP with God.
7. How does it affect you and your fellowship with God when you hold onto a sin and don’t confess it?
Allow the group to discuss. For instance, using the example in the paragraph above, we feel guilty and heavy when we lie to a parent. It affects our fellowship with our parent and most importantly with God. We may avoid them or not enjoy being in their company.
8. Read 2 Corinthians 5:21. What does God do through Jesus to let us experience his love and forgiveness?
He places our sin on Jesus and gives us right standing with God. This removes the barriers to experiencing his love and forgiveness.
9. Read 1 John 1:9. Just as David experienced God’s love and forgiveness when he confessed his sin, we can too. Confession involves three things whenever we become aware of our sin:
So let’s try it out…
Here is an activity to help you experience God’s love and forgiveness right now:
CALL IT SIN – Write down on a piece of paper a list of the ways you have sinned.
Let your students know that this list is just between him or her and God. No one else will see it.
CALL IT FORGIVEN – Write down 1 John 1:9 over your list and thank God for forgiving your sin. Then rip up the list and throw it away as a reminder of how God has taken away your sin.
CALL ON GOD to change you – Pray and ask God to change you and take back control of your life.
Confessing your sin isn’t just a one-time thing. Whenever you become aware of sin in your life, practice the three Cs so you can continue to connect with God.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.