Sunday, October 1, 2023

Isaiah 1:1-20

True forgiveness is a precious gift, and it begins with confession. Confessing our sins doesn’t mean reciting a shallow history of our shortcomings. It involves owning up to our wrongdoing, feeling sorrow over it, and admitting to God our specific area of sin. We must accept responsibility for wandering away from God. No matter how badly we have stumbled in sin, the Lord lovingly invites us to come back to Him. When we humbly admit to God and to others how we have sinned against them, we open the door for forgiveness. That forgiveness brings a greater intimacy and freedom in that relationship than ever before.

Starting Out:
  1. When you faced discipline as a child, did you tend to listen and consider what was said or did you tend to talk back?
  2. Practically speaking, what does it mean to confess our sins?
Read Isaiah 1:1-9:
  1. If you had been among the first recipients of this message, what emotions might you have felt after hearing God’s assessment?
  2. What examples have you seen where sin started with small disobedience and ended in disaster?
  3. God’s words promising destruction seem to portray Him as vengeful and harsh. How can we see God’s mercy and grace in this passage?
Read Isaiah 1:10-17:
  1. How does God command His people to respond to His rebuke?
  2. What warning is there for us today in the warning about “the multitude of your sacrifices” in verses 10-17?
  3. When you hear the word “justice,” what comes to mind?
Read Isaiah 1:18-20:
  1. What is the future of the penitent person, and how will it be different from their present situation?
  2. Why do you think God places such a priority on confession?
  3. How does confessing sin restore fellowship with God?
Taking it Home:
  1. What are some ways that denying or ignoring our sins will harm us? (More specifically, how does it harm our relationships?)
  2. How can you make confessing your sins a routine spiritual discipline? Share some ways this has (or hasn’t) worked for you in the past as encouragement for one another.
Additional Scriptures to Engage with this week:
  • Psalm 38
  • Matthew 11:25-30
  • Hebrews 4
  • 2 Samuel 12
  • Luke 15:11-32
  • Psalm 51