Summary: Confession... part of the process of acknowledging the Holy Spirit's work bringing us to repentance, Some Thoughts from "Keep On Believing"

In Jesus Holy Name October 21, 2018 Series: Luther’s Small Catechism Redeemer

Text I John 1:8-9

“Thinking the Things of God”

Confession: Facing the Truth about Yourself

Are you willing to face your past?

The hardest truth you’ll ever face is the truth about yourself. Most of us do whatever we can to keep from facing hard truth about ourselves. It’s always easier to pretend and play games. It’s never easy to come to grips with your failures.

The hardest truth you’ll ever face is the truth about yourself.

Truth rightly told ultimately leads me to God who is Truth. God does not lie, and no liar can stay in his presence (Revelation 21:8).

After being in the ministry for almost 40 years, I have concluded that the first step in solving personal problems is having the courage to tell the truth. The people who dare to tell the truth about themselves are the people who begin to get better.

Is it painful? You bet!

Is it scary? Of course!

Is it easy? No way!

But those people who swallow their fear, endure the pain, and decide to take the hard road of truth are the ones who get better.

Jesus in John 8:32, said: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” One counselor who reflected on this verse added a phrase:

"The truth will make you free . . . but it will hurt you first.”

Our human conscience is an odd thing.

It’s the moral barometer of the heart that senses when we’ve done wrong.

Everyone has one. (Thoughts from Keep on Believing)

It’s not a matter of religion or education or geography or ethnic origin.

If you’re a member of the human family, you were born with a conscience.

It’s part of God’s original design.

You get a conscience by virtue of being born on planet earth. Conscience is like a street light that flashes green, yellow and red. You can still run the red light if you wish, but you know you’ve done something wrong

John wrote: If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Nobody, not you, not me not nobody likes to be told they have been wrong and need to repent.

You see the problem is simple. A person who needs to repent is a person who has done something to repent of. Now the world like to soften these repent able acts by renaming them. By calling them: errors, mistakes, lapse in judgment. The Bible refuses to play that game of euphemisms and labels these acts for what they are… sin

Sin is upsetting to God. Sin drives a wedge between the Creator and His disobedient children. Broken ethics, broken commandments destroy relationships. Sin which when left untreated calls for condemnation and leads to diminution. Sounds pretty harsh, doesn’t it. Of course it does.

Unfortunately in our culture our ears have become accustomed to the

phrase: “God is a God of love. He would never send any one to hell.” But people who make that statement believe that God has no right to judge their behavior.

Because the average person’s aversion to repenting, many Christian pulpits have now decided it’s in their best interest to avoid talking about sin, repentance, and damnation. Pastors have found that people in their parish and pews like them better if they preach a message which refrains from accusation and allegation.

Many years ago I heard a story of a church that had a new pastor. He was a straight shooting pastor who believed in condemning sin, broken commandments and calling for repentance. Forgiveness which comes only through faith in the crucified and risen Jesus was offered. He did a good job. But even so there were some of his people, including some of his church officers, who wer upset with his directness.

On day a delegation made an appointment to see him. They entered his office, shut the door…which is always a bad sign. And they began: “Pastor, you are a great guy, but we would very much appreciate it if you could find a way to tone down your messages just a bit. With all this talk about sin and hell, repentance and remorse, contrition and confession you’re scaring people. We don’t think it is anyone best interest to be sacred this way.”

The pastor listened carefully to the people and then, when they had run down, he asked if they would excuse him for just a minute. When that minute was given, he made a bee line for the custodian’s closet and came back with a gallon bottle of bleach, a gallon bottle identified with the typical skull and cross bones.

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