confession

Thursday - Freedom in Confession

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. – Eph. 3:14-19

 

Sin is so destructive. I hate it when I sin. My first instinct when I sin is to hide it, to ignore it or to blame someone else. It shouldn’t be a surprise to me that I respond to sin just as Adam and Eve did. Like Adam and Eve, the last thing I want is for my sin to be known.

But this is usually a horizontal response – I don’t want my family or friends to know that something is wrong with me. When we treat our sin like this, we are valuing our horizontal relationships more than we value our vertical relationship. Maybe you are like me and respond in this way because you want others around you to think you are perfect. We may never say we want to appear perfect, but our actions reveal our hearts.

Jesus’ response to our sin is quite the opposite. Like the Father in the Garden, He wants to bring the sin out into the light so it can be dealt with, and we can be free. Paul tells us that if we truly comprehend and receive the love of Christ, then we will not hide it. We will not pretend that we are not broken.

It always makes me cringe with sadness when I’m with brothers and sisters during prayer and someone responds that they have nothing to pray about…they are good. This usually indicates that this person is not in tune with their Father spiritually, or more often than not, they simply don’t trust enough to reveal where the Father is growing them spiritually.

Spend some time today with your Father. Ask Him to reveal areas in your heart that you do not trust others with and confess those. Talk to someone you love and trust, and share where God is growing you spiritually. Be reminded that Jesus offers grace and forgiveness and freedom in our confession.

Monday - Exposed By The Cross, Part II

The Cross also exposes me before the eyes of other people, informing them of the depth of my depravity. If I wanted others to think highly of me, I would conceal the fact that a shameful slaughter of the perfect Son of God was required that I might be saved. But when I stand at the foot of the Cross and am seen by others under the light of that Cross, I am left uncomfortably exposed before their eyes. Indeed the most humiliating gossip that could ever be whispered about me is blared from Golgotha’s hill; (75) and my self-righteous reputation is left in ruins in the wake of its revelations. With the worst facts about me thus exposed to the view of others, I find myself feeling that I truly have nothing left to hide.

Thankfully, the more exposed I see that I am by the Cross, the more I find myself opening up to others ongoing issues of sin in my life. (Why would anyone be shocked to hear of my struggles with past and present sin when the Cross already told them I am a desperately sinful person?) And the more open I am in confessing my sins to fellow-Christians, the more I enjoy the healing of the Lord in response to their grace filled counsel and prayers.(76) Experiencing richer levels of Christ’s love in companionship with such saints,(77) I give thanks for the Gospel’s role in forcing my hand toward self-disclosure and the freedom that follows.(78)

75-Golgotha was the place where Jesus was crucified. John 19. “(17)…and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of the Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha. (18) There they crucified Him…

76-James 5:16. “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed…”

77-Ephesians 3. “(14) For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,…(17)…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, (18) may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, (19) and to know the love of Christ…”

78-Ecclesiastes 4. “(9) Two are better than one…(10) For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up…(12) And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”