The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(Friends, the current series regarding confession of sin is centered on the meaning of the word "confession" in the New Testament, namely, "to say the same thing." We are considering what God says about our sins, and how we join Him in His grace, mercy, and truth in order to adequately confess our sins.)
Confession of Sin
Part 4 - "I Will Be Sorry For My Sin"
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).
"Genuine sorrow for sin will never begin by focusing on our ourselves. Certainly, a place exists for acknowledging our failure, repenting of it, and determining to turn from sin. However, not the first place. Not the first gaze. Not the first consideration."
"I will be sorry for my sin" (Psalm 38:18).
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ desire to know and to feel the contrition for sin expressed by the Psalmist. We may experience different measures of sorrow in emotional terms, based on many factors. However, we must recognize the dark consequences of sin, and realize we can never take the matter lightly. This raises the question: what most leads to "godly sorrow" in times of sin, repentance, and confession?
The answer lies in the Biblical definition of confession, namely, to say the same thing as God says about our sins. This directs our initial attention to the Lord Jesus Christ, the holy One who suffered, shame, agony, forsakenness, and death on the cross of Calvary for our sakes. He still bears wounds upon His hands, feet, and side as the one who made atonement for our sins by His suffering, and who "ever liveth to make intercession for us" as our eternal mediator (John 20:27; Hebrews 7:25). Amid the many consequences of sin that may bring sorrow, surely this most motivates us to realize the horror of even the tiniest deviation from the glory and will of God. Somebody had to die in the loneliest of agonies so that you and I might escape the wrath we rightly deserve. Little wonder our Father would direct our first gaze if we sin to the One who paid such a price to make forgiveness and cleansing possible.
Genuine sorrow for sin will never begin by focusing on our ourselves. Certainly, a place exists for acknowledging our failure, repenting of it, and determining to turn from sin. However, not the first place. Not the first gaze. Not the first consideration. Not if we want "to be sorry for my sin" to any degree commensurate to the sacrifice made by the Christ who bore untold sorrow in dying for our sin. As we confess our sins, we remember Calvary and we look to the throne of God where a Savior still bearing the prints of nails and a spear makes intercession for us so effectual that God is "able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by Him" (Hebrews 7:25). True repentance, contrition, and a restored walk with our Heavenly Father in loving, devoted fellowship will ensue.
The Lord Jesus serves as both "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). This blessed office includes the entirety of our walk with God. Every aspect of our salvation and relationship with God begins with Him, continues with Him, and eternally proceeds with Him. The optimum of obedience flows from His living and active presence within us as we walk by grace through faith. "These things I write unto you, that ye sin not." The contingency of confession in times of unbelief and disobedience also results from looking to the Author of all things. "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous" (I John 2:1). "I will be sorry for my sin" most sincerely occurs when we first recall our Lord's suffering and death for our sins, along with His current and eternal presence at the right hand of His Father for our benefit. Such grace and mercy remembered will go far in leading to the repentance and contrition that only happens when we confess, or say the same thing about our sins as God says.
"Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh, and having a high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
Tomorrow: Part 5 - No Excuses
Weekly Memory Verse
"Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee."