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Sin demands to have a man by himself. It withdraws him from the community. The more isolated a person is, the more destructive will be the power of sin over him, and the more deeply he becomes involved in it, the more disastrous is his isolation. Sin wants to remain unknown. It shuns the light. In the darkness of the unexpressed it poisons the whole being of a person. This can happen even in the midst of a pious community. In confession the light of the gospel breaks into the darkness and seclusion of the heart. The sin must be brought into the light. The unexpressed must be openly spoken and acknowledged. All that is secret and hidden is made manifest. It is a struggle until the sin is openly admitted, but God breaks gates of brass and bars of iron (Ps. 107:16).
Since the confession of sin is made in the presence of a Christian brother, the last stronghold of self-justification is abandoned. The sinner surrenders; he gives up all his evil. He gives his heart to God, and he finds the forgiveness of all his sin in the fellowship of Jesus Christ and his brother. The expressed, acknowledged sin has lost all its power. It has been revealed and judged as sin. It can no longer tear the fellowship asunder. Now the fellowship bears the sin of the brother. He is no longer alone with his evil for he has cast off his sin in confession and handed it over to God. It has been taken away from him. Now he stands in the fellowship of sinners who live by the grace of God and the cross of Jesus Christ… The sin concealed separated him from the fellowship, made all his apparent fellowship a sham; the sin confessed has helped him define true fellowship with the brethren in Jesus Christ.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, 112-113.
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“So God is what He is in Himself, He does not become what we believe. “I AM WHO I AM”. We are on safe ground only when we know what kind of God He is and adjust our entire being to the holy concept.”
(THAT INCREDIBLE CHRISTIAN – A.W. Tozer Christian Publications ch 6 )
Life Examples: Hosea: A Longing for Intimacy (Hos 11:8-9)
Without questioning God, Hosea obeyed Him and took the prostitute Gomer to be his wife. Though she wandered and repeatedly slipped into unfaithfulness, Hosea obeyed the Lord and did not cast her way.
The moving poetry of Hosea reveals the longing of God for uninterrupted intimacy with His people. Can you feel the words of agony in the following words?
"How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? . . . My heart churns within Me; My sympathy is stirred. I will not execute the fierceness of My anger . . . " (Hosea 11:8-9)
God longs for an intimate relationship with you. He will do anything to get your love—and He d...
Because of a minor infraction, a shipmate of mine aboard the USS Reeves, bound for Japan, was busted one rank, fined and given extra duty for three weeks.
Looking forward to celebrating his 21st birthday on July 22, he consoled himself every night during his extra duty by reciting, "They can bust me, they can fine me -- but they can’t take away my birthday."
As July 2 approached, his excitement increased. When he went to bed on July 21, he happily repeated, "They can bust me, they can fine me -- but they can’t ta...