Summary: Confession is an invitation to undergo Liberation Treatment! There is poor health and well-being in the church and community-at-large. The answer to holistic well-being is addressing psychological and spiritual blockages
“I Have Something to Tell You” (Confession – Sermon 7)
Scripture: James 5:13-20 (The Message)
Text: James 5:16, Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.”
Liberation Treatments are becoming commonly known treatments for people suffering with Multiple Sclerosis. The condition known as Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCVI), according to Dr. Paolo Zamboni, Italian founder of the Liberation Treatment, is a condition where the jugular and azygos veins are blocked which could be one of the causes of MS. He believes that Liberation Treatment repairs the blocked veins that are connected to the central nervous system.
The protocol for treatment requires that
-- Patients must sign a consent form stating they understand the risks
-- Assess the patient’s condition prior to treatment
-- Procedure is outlined
-- After procedure, the attending physician will discuss results with patient, further assessments to evaluate effectiveness of the treatment and blood thinner prescriptions are provided for a time after the procedure.
Today we’re going to look at confession. Confession is an invitation to undergo Liberation Treatment! There is poor health and well-being in the church and community-at-large. The answer to holistic well-being is addressing psychological and spiritual blockages not visible to the naked eye. In the Presbyterian Medical Center in Manhattan, N.Y., there is engraved the words: "All healing is of God; physicians only bind up the wounds." This is a work that God does with our involvement through confession and forgiveness, the end result leading to a relationship with God that is free of blockages and obstructions.
Addressing these blockages will help attain a healthier YOU! There are risks of course:
• You could become contagiously joyful!
• People could look at you ‘strangely’ and think you’re ‘odd’ or you ‘have a few loose screws’ if you know what I mean!
Confession started at Golgotha which, as stated by author Richard Foster, “came as result of God’s great desire to forgive…Jesus knew that by his vicarious suffering he could actually absorb all the evil of humanity and so heal it, forgive it, redeem it…This was his highest and most holy work, the work that makes confession and the forgiveness of sins possible.”
Professor and Southern Baptist minister Dallas Williard explains that “Confession is one of the most powerful of the disciplines for the spiritual life. But it may be easily abused, and for its effective use it requires considerable experience and maturity…”
We must be careful not to understand confession as telling the deep dark secrets and sins of your life to every person you meet. Some people like to tell because of the emotional and social attention they get from it. There’s almost a sense of pride in telling their gory story. Confession is an act that makes attempts to mend, make well and move on. It should be carefully shared and selectively divulged with very trustworthy people who know what to do with your story.
Confession is hard for us. There are people here today who have stories to tell; stories that need to be told so you can be healed; so you can live a whole and peaceful life. But you’ve not told your story. I understand why you hesitate to tell your story. You see we have a problem in the church that is a problem of judgement and loose tongues. Foster recognizes it when he says, “Confession is a difficult discipline for us because we all too often view the believing community as a fellowship of saints before we see it as a fellowship of sinners.” You are right that many people in the church think they’re better than you and will cluck their tongues and wag their heads that you could be “like that”.
Please be encouraged today to be told that not all of us will cluck our tongues and wag our heads. Some of us are very familiar with Galatians 6:2 and understand the value of trying to restore gently those caught in a sin, because we know how easily we can be tempted and find ourselves where you are. Some of us won’t judge you but will love you and help you, if you’re willing to confess your sins and get on the road to recovery.
As for the whole church we need to shift our thinking and begin to see the reality. The reality is we are a company of sinners first who are on the road to sainthood.
When we think of confession most of us may go back to the time in our lives when we first came to Christ. We confessed our sins, received Christ’s salvation and are now heaven-bound. Confession is often viewed as the necessary step leading to forgiveness that gets us ready for heaven. But we miss something very wonderful when our understanding of confession goes no further than that. We must change our thinking to learn that confession is something to help us to live life today.