Never live easily in sin, Thweatt urges

By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist

John Thweatt says his biggest fear is that he will be so comfortable in his own sin that he will step into the pulpit one day and find that the anointing of God has left.

“We live in a day and an age of tolerance,” said Thweatt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Pell City. “But I pray we get to the place where we can never live easily in our sin. I pray that it would haunt us, that it would keep us up at night.”

That was the message Thweatt offered during his president’s address Nov. 14 at the Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting held at Whitesburg Baptist Church, Huntsville.

Preaching from Psalm 51, he encouraged convention messengers to learn from David’s confession of his sin after he had committed adultery and tried to cover it up with murder.

“It’s one of the most intimate and deep confessions we find in the Word of God. It’s like we’re getting to peek over David’s shoulder into a time of intimacy between him and God,” Thweatt said. “And thousands of years later, he’s still teaching us about sin and confession.”

‘Sin is overwhelming’

In the Psalm, David is engulfed in guilt, Thweatt said. “His hidden sin is not hidden. What he thought he got away with he didn’t … and the sin is overwhelming to him.”

It’s not an uncommon story, Thweatt said.

“I remember how many preachers have fallen,” he said. “Many who have sat in this convention with us in years past are no longer here with us because of sin.”

So often sin is exposed.

“It’s in a moment like this that David turns to God on the basis of His character,” Thweatt said. “He doesn’t pretend that he deserves mercy … but he desperately wants God’s mercy, and he comes to Him asking for it on the basis that He’s a God of love.”

Being ‘de-sinned’

In this Psalm, David is done trying to cover his tracks — he’s openly confessing that he missed the mark with active rebellion and open perversion, Thweatt said.

“We must see sin as God sees sin,” he said. “We best not justify it. We should confess it.”

Then, as David did, Christians should ask for God to wipe their sin away.

“David asked for God to ‘de-sin’ him,” Thweatt said. “I wonder if he sees his sin like spiritual leprosy, knowing that he needs God to cleanse him and purge him.”

It’s the same work God does today through the cross, Thweatt said — “He blots out our iniquities, and through cleansing in Christ, He keeps us.

“David asked God not to cast him from His presence,” Thweatt said. “He knew God had removed His spirit from Saul, and David desperately doesn’t want to lose the spirit of God.

“Learn from David and walk in holiness,” he said. “Don’t be another statistic. If you’re in the middle of open sin I want you to know God sees it. Stop right where you are. Don’t let it grow. Confess it. Admit your sin and let God begin to restore you.”