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 3 - The Cost
"If we confess (say the same thing about) our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9).
"Is it possible that our Father's first gaze upon sin would rest anywhere other than upon His dear Son, and the price He paid to atone for sins?"
Why would God begin all consideration of sin by directing attention and focus first to the Lord Jesus Christ?
We must consider the cost. If the Lord Jesus made atonement for sin in the manner declared by Scripture, how could we expect our Heavenly Father to begin consideration of this most solemn matter in any other way?
"He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:3-6).
The book of Revelation refers to Christ as "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). This clearly does not refer to the atoning event that necessarily occurred in space and time, that is, our Lord's suffering and death on the cross of Calvary. It may rather reference the truth of how central the cross was and is in God's heart, and in "the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ephesians 3:11). Our Father sees history through the lens of His beloved Son's redeeming work, including His death for our sins. If, in His eternal perspective that transcends time and space, the Lord Jesus is "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," God had purposed and provided a way to forgive and redeem from sin before sinners even existed.
Little wonder then that communication of the Gospel must always begin not with the fact that we are sinners, but rather that God supplied a Savior before we required salvation. This sequence of "Savior first/then sin" also includes the believer's confession of sin. When we become aware of unbelief or disobedience, our first gaze must be upon the Savior and His grace rather than upon sin and our need. We must join our Father and say the same thing about sin as He says. Our Lord paid a cost too high for any other focus to justifiably initiate our confession and repentance. Indeed, the Father who so loves His Son sees Him at His right hand, bearing what some have called "the only imperfections in Heaven," namely, the wounds Christ suffered for us in His atoning death. Let us prayerfully ponder this for a moment, and then ask ourselves, "Is it possible that our Father's first gaze upon sin would rest anywhere other than upon His dear Son, and the price He paid to atone for sins?"
We rightly confess our sins by first confessing our Lord as the salvation from our sins before we even existed. We consider His perfect life, His sorrowful agony and forsakenness, His bearing of our sins, His being made to be sin for us, and His death despite being "the Prince of life." Only in this most holy and solemn of lights do we literally say the same thing about our sins as God says, thus making possible acknowledgement, godly sorrow, repentance, and restoration based on setting, or resetting, our gaze on the Lord Jesus. We join our Father in His Christ-focused holy observance, finding our hearts saddened by genuine contrition, but then revitalized in assurance of forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration to the path of righteousness. Yes, to confess our sins, to say the same thing about them as God says, begins with the exaltation of the Lord Jesus and the emphasis upon Him that began our relationship with God, and maintains our fellowship in times when we wander.
"His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."
(I Peter 2:24)
"For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him."
(II Corinthians 5:21)
"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith."
Tomorrow: Part 4 - Godly sorrow and contrition
Weekly Memory Verse
"Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee."