Summary: Do you find it easy to admit when YOU have done something wrong? If we are honest, none of us are really comfortable admitting we have done something wrong.
CALLED TO CONFESS
This morning, as we continue in our series on Dynamic Disciples, our focus is on confession,
The Oxford dictionary defines confession this way:
1. A formal statement admitting that one is guilty.
2. An acknowledgement that one has done something about which one is ashamed or embarrassed.
3. A formal admission of one’s sins with repentance and desire of absolution.
4. Intimate personal revelations.
In order to confess you have to admit you were wrong. And most people don’t like to do that.
So here is the first question: Do you find it easy to admit when YOU have done something wrong?
If we are honest, none of us are really comfortable admitting we have done something wrong.
Some people are too proud.
Some people are indifferent.
Some people think it shows weakness.
Yet James 5:16 says Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
I think this verse drags each of us out of our comfort zone doesn’t it?
We may be comfortable talking to God in prayer, asking Him to forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, but confessing to each other, that’s a little too risky. What will people think if I told them THAT about ME.
We try and maintain an image with each other, we want others to see the Church me, the Christian me, not the real me.
Outwardly we want to appear ok, yet inwardly there can be a whole load of issues we refuse to deal with.
We don’t want others to know what we are feeling, we don’t want to appear weak, we don’t want to appear faithless, we don’t want to take the risk.
Some people will try anything to avoid facing their problems and live with a sense of guilt that drags them down and steals their joy.
Second question: Have you ever felt guilty?
Have you ever been in the middle of doing something, and a thought pops into your head?
Maybe you remember something you said or did long ago? Or maybe you remember something you should have said or could have done?
Whatever the cause of the thought, it was probably followed by a sense of guilt, or shame, or embarrassment.
Maybe right now, this question has brought something to mind that you thought you had forgotten.
When we have unresolved guilt it can do great damage to us.
God has designed us to have a conscience. God has designed us to realize when we’ve sinned or messed up or failed or fallen short.
Romans 3:23-24 reminds us: For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Friends we have been set free from the penalty for our sins, as disciples of Christ, God has already forgiven us.
The bible teaches us he bore all our guilt and shame and suffering at the cross. My sins, your sins, our sins past, present and future are already forgiven.
But that does not give us a licence to behave however we want to.
Our sin, our actions, our inactions, our words, our attitudes can cause us to feel guilty. All of us continue to fall short of God’s standard in some way, and we need to examine ourselves, the way we live, the way we act, and be willing to confess and repent of our sinful ways.
1 John1:8-10 says: If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts.
The Bible tells us that when we willing sin we need to repent. To turn around, to change what we DO or THINK so that we are obedient to God.
To follow His plan, His purpose, His will for our lives, to live like Christ - that is true discipleship.
Romans Chapter 6 speaks about Sin’s power being broken in our lives. Romans 6:18 says Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
The Apostle Paul asks the question, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?
And his answer is Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?