Summary: A great weakness of the Church is that we have fallen away from the biblical practice of confession. With help from Richard Foster’s "Celebration of Discipline" this message gives practical direction to the Church for confession.
The Spiritual Discipline of Confession
Grant van Boeschoten
August 26, 2007
ILL - Las Vegas now has a call-in “Connection Confession” line where people can call and confess their sins to a recording. America’s first confession line makes it possible, for a fee of $9 per three minutes, to record your sin and if you want to pay a little more you can listen to other people’s sins. Apparently the service is being bombarded by calls. One of the originators said, "It’s a technological way to get something off your chest without the embarrassment that comes from confessing one on one."
We as humans have a deep need to confess our sins. Un-confessed our sins weigh us down, cloud our judgment, exercise control over our actions and leave us feeling guilty.
Although the freedom that comes from confession is amazing, we still have a deep struggle with confession. We know what the right thing to do is, but we still find it so hard to do.
I’ve never met someone who enjoyed confessing their sins, and that probably is a good thing. The wrong things that we have done are genuinely embarrassing and it is difficult to admit that we could stoop to such low levels.
One of the reasons why confession feels so unnatural is the power of sin that we allow to control our lives.
Sin is a devil. It frustrates and it isolates. It provides a false sense of satisfaction that can quickly transfer to despair and self loathing. Sin wants to be kept secret. It plays mind games with you so that you will not confess it. It lies to you so that you will think that you are better off keeping it to yourself. It hides in your closet and it tries to pretend that it will not be found out.
I want for you to know the truth this morning. You cannot live under the weight of sin. You cannot live in that world of secrets and simultaneously achieve God’s purpose for your life.
Sin must be found out, it must be made known. There is a correct way to expel sin from your soul and it is found in the Bible. It is a process and it is a discipline.
If you can train your self to deal with sin in a God given way you will have victory in life.
Here it is, The Spiritual Discipline of Confession.
1. What is confession?
In a court of law confession is admitting that you are guilty. It is the same thing in the Bible.
Psalms 38:18 (NRSV) 18 I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.
The word iniquity means perversity, guilt, fault, mischief, sin. If you are confessing your iniquity it isn’t some vague thing that you might have done. “Forgive me Lord IF I have sinned.”
The possibility of a vague confession can deceive you and appeal to you. You think, “Wow, I can confess my sin without actually having to recall the embarrassing details. This way I can be made clean and no one will have to know what I did.”
It’s like admitting guilt so that people don’t know just how bad you really are. It doesn’t work though.
That’s not confession. Here is confession. I confess my iniquity. I was at fault when I swore. I am guilty for deceiving that person. I am in the wrong and what’s more, I’M SORRY. I wish that I had never done it. I wish that this thing could be taken off of my life.