The twentieth in a series of sermons
This series of sermon follow the articles of the Belgic Confession to present an bird’s eye view of the main doctrines of the Bible.
Readings reproduced on this page:
The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1996, 1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan
2 Samuel 11:1–17 (NIV84)
1In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,
3and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”
4Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home.
5The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
6So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David.
7When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.
8Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him.
9But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.
10When David was told, “Uriah did not go home,” he asked him, “Haven’t you just come from a distance? Why didn’t you go home?”
11Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”
12Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.
13At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.
14In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.
15In it he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”
16So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.
17When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
2 Samuel 12:9–14 (NIV84)
9Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.
10Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’
11“This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.
12You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”
13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.
14But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.”
Belgic Confession Article 23: The Justification of Sinners
We believe that our blessedness lies in the forgiveness of our sins because of Jesus Christ, and that in it our righteousness before God is contained, as David and Paul teach us when they declare that man blessed to whom God grants righteousness apart from works.54 And the same apostle says that we are justified “freely” or “by grace” through redemption in Jesus Christ.55
And therefore we cling to this foundation, which is firm forever, giving all glory to God, humbling ourselves, and recognising ourselves as we are; not claiming a thing for ourselves or our merits and leaning and resting on the sole obedience of Christ crucified, which is ours when we believe in Him.
That is enough to cover all our sins and to make us confident, freeing the conscience from the fear, dread, and terror of God’s approach, without doing what our first father, Adam, did, who trembled as he tried to cover himself with fig leaves.
In fact, if we had to appear before God relying__ no matter how little__ on ourselves or some other creature, then, alas, we would be swallowed up.
Therefore everyone must say with David: “Lord, do not enter into judgment with Your servants, for before You no living person shall be justified.”56
- Psalm 32:1; Romans 4:6 55. Romans 3:24 56. Psalm 143:2
TEXT: Psalm 32 (NIV84)
1Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
2Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Selah
5Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”— and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
6Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.
7You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah
8I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.
9Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you.
10Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.
11Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!