Faithlife Corporation

When Sinners Say - Lesson 08

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When Sinners Say “I Do”

Lesson 8

1.            2 Samuel 12:1-15 – Nathan confronts David (“Mr. Sin-and-Spin”)

“The three qualifications of a good surgeon are requisite in a reprove (“soul-surgeon”): He should have an eagle’s eye, a lion’s heart, and a lady’s hand; in short, he should be endued with wisdom, courage and meekness.” (Matthew Henry, The Quietness and Meekness of Soul, pg. 113)

2.            A “soul-surgeon” applies wisdom to his/her decisions:

a.    A wise surgeon chooses the right time to confront – not every moment is a “soul surgery” moment.

b.    Marriages grow sour (go south) when spouses engage in “soul-surgery” casually and carelessly – “soul-surgery” in sweet marriages thrives on informed consent of the patient!

c.     Sweet marriages survive the surgery of reproof by running some diagnostic tests first …

·         Have I prayed for God’s wisdom and acknowledged my need for His help in serving my spouse?


·         Are my observations based upon patterns of behavior or merely a single incident?

·         Am I content to address one area of concern, even if I’m aware of several?

·         Am I committed to making incisions no larger than absolutely necessary?

·         Am I prepared to humbly offer an observation rather than an assumption or conclusion?

·         Is my goal to promote God’s truth or my preference?

3.            A “soul-surgeon” shows courage when confronting:

a.    “If we avoid confrontation, we’ll just get confrontation anyway, because sin unaddressed is sin unconfined. In an attempt to preserve peace, we sow war.” (pg. 127)

What are we afraid of when it comes to confrontation?


What are the three rules of communication in marriage (Eph. 4:15)? (1. Keep speaking; 2. Keep speaking the truth; and 3. Keep speaking the truth in love)

·         The “attempt to preserve peace” is a biblical goal (Rom. 12:18), but there’s a difference between true peace and “fake” peace.

·         “Fake” peace is the absence of conflict (remove the troublemaker), not the resolution of issues!

How does Prov. 14:4 apply?

b.    Courage is needed throughout the “soul-surgery” process: confrontation, repentance, reconciliation.

Is having a “hassle-free” marriage a biblical goal for our marriage? Why or why not?

·         Caring for our spouse in the moment of confrontation involves using words and a manner of delivery that encourages repentance NOT the winning of an argument!

·         Repentance isn’t ultimately about us at all – it’s becoming so aware of God and His character that we turn from our sin and pursue righteousness.

·         Seeking forgiveness from those we’ve sinned against, sorrow for our actions, and changing our future behavior is all part of repentance. (See 2 Cor. 7:8-10)

·         Unresolved issues in conflict is like stopping a good movie or losing a good book before the final chapter wraps things up.

4.            A “soul-surgeon” employs meekness (gentleness) to facilitate healing:

a.    The NT speaks often of meekness: Matt. 5:5, 2 Cor. 10:1, Gal. 5:22-23, Gal. 6:1, Eph. 4:1-2, Col. 3:12, 2 Tim. 2:24-26, Titus 3:1-7, James 1:21, 1 Pt. 3:15.

How would you define meekness? Passivity? Weakness? Vulnerability?


·         Harvey defines it as “… power harnessed by love. It is an expression of humility that will not bristle or defend when challenged about motives.” (pg. 130)

·         Meekness in marriage is often displayed by seeing the futility of responding to sin with sin.

·         Meekness in communication:

1)  Being annoyed is not an invitation to speak (Prov. 12:16)

2)  A soft answer has more power than a wrathful tongue (Prov. 15:1)

3)  Gentle speech encourages life (Prov. 15:4)

If “soul-surgery” is not performed with the ultimate goal of smoothing things over, but to connect our spouse to God (a noble goal), why is it so hard to do that?


·         Our spouses need to know that we are more confident in God’s ability to break through to their heart and mind than we are in sin’s ability to continue its deception.

Leaving the change of our spouse in the hands of the Lord is not an easy thing – why?

b.    David’s response shows his understanding of Nathan’s meekness:

1   Have mercy upon me, O God,

     According to Your lovingkindness;

     According to the multitude of Your tender mercies,

     Blot out my transgressions.

2   Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

     And cleanse me from my sin.

3   For I acknowledge my transgressions,

     And my sin is always before me.

4   Against You, You only, have I sinned,

     And done this evil in Your sight—

     That You may be found just when You speak,

     And blameless when You judge.

5   Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

     And in sin my mother conceived me.

6   Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts,

     And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

7   Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

     Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8   Make me hear joy and gladness,

     That the bones You have broken may rejoice.

9   Hide Your face from my sins,

     And blot out all my iniquities.

10  Create in me a clean heart, O God,

     And renew a steadfast spirit within me.

11  Do not cast me away from Your presence,

     And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

12  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,

     And uphold me by Your generous Spirit.

13  Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,

     And sinners shall be converted to You.

14  Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,

     The God of my salvation,

     And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness.

15  O Lord, open my lips,

     And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.

16  For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;

     You do not delight in burnt offering.

17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,

     A broken and a contrite heart—

     These, O God, You will not despise.

18  Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion;

     Build the walls of Jerusalem.

19  Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness,

     With burnt offering and whole burnt offering;

     Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar.

What part(s) of this psalm reveal a “soul-surgeon’s” wisdom, courage, and meekness?

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