Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Listening Heart Learns About True Confession

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for your sins have brought you down.
Bring your confessions, and return to the Lord.
Say to him, “Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us,
so that we may offer you our praises.
Assyria cannot save us, nor can our warhorses.
Never again will we say to the idols we have made, ‘You are our gods.’
No, in you alone do the orphans find mercy.”
Hosea 14:1-3
Confession means to agree with. This tells us that with God, confession cannot mean making a comprehensive list of our sins and reading them off to him, the way we usually think it should be done. Confession must mean then that we are to agree with God about a certain sin his Holy Spirit has convicted us about. The verses from Hosea above show that we agree with God in three simple ways: 1) Agreeing with God (our sins have brought us down) 2) Claiming his forgiveness (forgive our sins and graciously receive us) 3) Turning to God--repentance (Assyria cannot save us . . . never again will we say to the idols we have made, 'You are our gods')

In my reading and studies, I have been profoundly affected by the book, The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth through God's Eyes by Robert S. McGee. I'm not the only one. Billy Graham said that every Christian should read this book. Mr. McGee describes confession best, he wrote:

Confession does not make us forgiven. We have forgiveness because Christ
died to pay for our sins. Confession is a means for us to experience our
forgiveness, not a means to obtain it. Confession should be done with
an attitude of repentance, which involves turning away from sin and
turning to God. Repentance is not a matter of feeling sorry just because
we got caught. True Confession causes us to reject sin because it grieves
the Lord. Confession enables us to experience our forgiveness and enjoy
our fellowship with God.
In turn agreeing with God can look like this--Turning to the LORD and taking with us words along these lines:
Lord, You are the Potter, I am the clay. I sinned when I ________________. I understand that I am completely forgiven through your precious Son's death on the cross. From your word I know and agree with you that I am deeply loved, complete, accepted and pleasing to you, even though I don't act like it sometimes. I now choose to act like the child of the King that I am. I will turn away from falsehood and turn towards the truth for you are the way and the truth and the life. I will honor your holy name by ______________________.

No comments: