The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 6/27

Posted on | June 27, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 6/27

 

Scripture reading: I John 1:5–10

A Wretch Like Me

I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover myiniquity; I said, “I will confess

my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. (Psalm 32:5)

 

In a culture permeated with the philosophy of moral relativism, real confession of sin is hard to find. Even in the church, we seem to be only vaguely aware of our true moral condition. Contemporary “confessions” often sound something like this:

 

Lord, I’m certainly not perfect, you know. None of us are. I have been involved in a few activities that have been unwise and inappropriate. I need help with social skills and networking because some of my interpersonal relationships are strained. And like everybody else, my thoughts sometimes wander to topics they shouldn’t. I’m trying to modify some of my behavior patterns, and I’d like your help in managing my emotions better. Oh yes, I’d like to target holiness as a growth area. Amen.

 

That’s not confession! It’s psycho-babble cloaked in spiritual mumbo-jumbo.  Frankly, it would be better not to pray at all than to bring such inanities into the throne room of heaven!

 

The Greek word confess literally means “to say the same thing,” “to agree.” When we confess our sins, we are simply agreeing with God about his assessment of our attitudes and behaviors. We may not know the truth about ourselves, but he does.

 

_ Every inclination of our heart is only evil all the time. (Genesis 6:5)

_ Our hearts are more deceitful than we imagine. (Jeremiah 17:9)

_ None of us is righteous, no, not even one. (Romans 3:10–12)

_ If we claim we are without sin, we deceive ourselves. (I John 1:8)

_ Even our “righteous deeds” are tainted with sin. (Isaiah 64:6)

 

We are so twisted and perverse that we do not realize how twisted and perverse we really are! This makes real confession not only difficult, but impossible. And yet until we recognize the depth of our problem we will never be able to experience the depth of Christ’s cure. Until we confess our sins we remain trapped in them.

 

I know of no better place to begin learning how to confess our sins than those ancient words found in The Book of Common Prayer. Thousands of Christians have found the vocabulary of The Prayer of Confession to be a means of grace to their sin-sick hearts.

 

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker of all things, judge of all men: We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness, which we from time to time most grievously have committed, by thought, word, and deed, against thy divine Majesty, provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against us. We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings; the remembrance of them is grievous unto us, the burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life, to the honor and glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

 

Confession is like taking out the garbage. Once is not enough.

 

 

My need is the most glorious possession

I have outside of Christ himself.

—Eugenia Price

 

point to ponder Having no sins to confess means having a lot of sins to confess!

 

prayer focus The ability to see yourself as you really are.

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