Summary: What is involved in confession
“The Power of Confession”
Intro: This morning we want to talk about confession. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the hospital this week. Funny things can happen in hospitals. One of my favorite stories is about the time the Pastor Dan went to visit Mrs. Johnson. Now, Mrs. Johnson was elderly, and was recovering from surgery. As Pastor Dan visited with her, he looked over and saw some peanuts. Now, Dan just loved peanuts. And he hadn’t eaten anything all day. So, as Mrs. Johnson went on and on talking about her family, Dan reached down and slipped a few peanuts into his mouth. Mrs. Johnson went on to tell about her time as a schoolteacher, and Dan slipped a few more peanuts. About halfway into her telling him about her petunias, Dan had finished off the bowl of peanuts. Now, Dan felt might bad about this. He knew he should say something, but he was just too embarrassed. He was getting ready to leave, and before he left he said, “Mrs. Johnson, I’ve got a confession to make. I saw your peanuts there, ad I couldn’t help myself. I’m afraid I’ve eaten the whol bowl of them.” Oh, that’s okay, Mrs. Johnson replied, I know just how you feel. I love them too! The only problem is that anymore with my false teeth, I can’t eat them; I’m afraid the only thing I can do is to such the chocolate off them.
Sometimes, we find out more than we want to know when it comes time for a confession! Yet, confession is a very important part of our lives. Let’s read in the book of 2 Chronicles about confession. -2 Chr. 6:1-3, 14-31, 7:1-3, 11-22
God is seen here as he inhabits the temple as a God of power and might. He is good, and all that he does is good. And he is a God who looks ahead to the future. As all the people come to worship, God plans ahead for their failure. Does God want them to fail, NO! But he knows they will. And when they do, God makes provision for forgiveness and restoration. It is found in a process called “confession.”
I. What is confession?
In the Bible, confession can be seen both in the sense of affirming truth, such as Rom. 10:9 - That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
It is also used in the sense of confession of sin.
When there is confession, God is praised, sin is acknowledged, and faith is declared.
In the NT, the idea is that of “saying the same thing” - that we admit that our sin is just as bad as God says it is.
There are some people who have a hard time with that. Brother Frank came up to the pastor one day and admitted, “I’m having a hard time preacher. I tend to stretch the truth a little bit.” The pastor said, “Oh, I can help you with that. Let’s pray about it together.” They knelt together and Frank said, “Lord, I’ve got a little difficulty in stretching things a little.” HOLD it right there, the preacher said, “Why don’t you just tell the Lord you’ve been sinning by lying?!” We like to call sin anything but sin.
*Confession begins by calling sin as it really is
*confession involves seeing ourselves as we really are
Pharisee/Publican - Luke 18
"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
*confession also involves seeing God as He really is
Is. 6 - In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."