Reproof and Repentance

2 Samuel 11:27b-12:15    |   Sermon Resources   |    14 February 2021



We will take a break from Acts this week to look more closely at one of our church’s goals for the next 5 years: “We desire to see every member have at least three meaningful, transparent friendships in the church.” A sermon entitled Reproof and Repentance doesn’t sound much like a Valentine’s Day message, but in a way, this message is about the essential role that meaningful, transparent friendships can play in our lives.

On the first Sunday of 2021, Intervarsity Campus Pastor Tyler Brown challenged us in reference to a sermon on David’s son Solomon, “Don’t divorce acclaim from accountability.” If Solomon, the wisest and one of the richest kings who ever lived had a crack in his foundation that led to massive damage, if Samson, the strongest man in the Bible, fell into temptation, and if David, the man after God’s own heart – our story this Sunday – fell into sin, you and I had better recognize that we need accountability. None of us is wise enough, strong enough, or godly enough to live without accountability. In this story, the Lord graciously calls David to account through a man who I would hold out to be a true friend of David.

It is easy to want friends who will cover up your shame. But that’s like asking the cancer surgeon to lie and tell you and your family that you don’t have cancer when there is in fact a malignant tumor that is soon going to kill you. Surgeons and oncologists don’t always give us good news, but they are concerned for our welfare. The prophet Nathan’s news was far from pleasant, but his desire was to cut out the cancerous tumor in David’s life and save him from eternal death. If you are wise, you will want a Nathan in your life.

– Pastor Dave Phillips

Discussion Questions

  1. What makes for a meaningful friendship?
  2. Why do you think no one had called out David for his sin? Why is it especially important for a leader to seek accountability?
  3. Do you have Nathan in your life? If not, what steps will you take to work toward this end?
  4. What methods did Nathan use to help David to recognize his own sin?
  5. How has the Lord used a friend in your life to steer you back on course when you were lost?
  6. Look at the characteristics of worldly sorrow versus true repentance. Spend some time asking the Lord to point you to true repentance.
  7. Ask a friend to share one area where they see room for growth in your life.


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