Enjoying the Journey
My second year in college I enrolled in a Greek class. It met at 7:00 in the morning. Now, I don’t think English well before 8:00 a.m., much less Greek! Nevertheless, it was a required course and one for which I am now truly grateful.
There are many technical things about Greek that I do not remember, but I will never forget the first “word study” I was assigned. It came from a most familiar verse, 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
What a verse! What a principle and a promise! I have had to obey it and claim it thousands of times through the years. Even believers are still sinners in need of forgiveness and cleansing. Relationship is settled; fellowship must be maintained.
But that word…confess. I thought I knew what it meant.
To ____. You fill in the blank with your preconceived idea! We all have them.
In fact, it means none of those things.
Confess means to “say the same thing.” It simply means to agree with God. To say the same thing about my sin that He says. “Lord, you are right. I am wrong. This is wrong.” That is confession.
And the moment a man sincerely confesses, the moment he comes into agreement with God, the moment he steps into the light of God’s truth – God says he is forgiven and made clean! You do not have to convince God to restore; He is waiting to do so! There are not enough tears or promises or pleadings to gain God’s mercy. The mercy and grace of God are freely available, if we meet the condition.
A few days ago I began this new series of posts on the daily necessities of the Christian life. We began with daily worship. (Read the first article here.) Over the last few days I have been reminded in my own life and in dealing with others of the desperate need for daily confession. Apart from addressing sin every day we can never address a holy God. Confession and worship are always connected.
Those who desire to walk with God soon realize that as long as we are in sin cursed bodies and a sin cursed world, we have to deal with sin. Our sin. And the only way to deal with sin completely is to repent of it – to come clean with God.
Repentance is not an event; it is a way of life. Repentance is for every lost man, and it is for every saved man. It was the message of the prophets. It was the subject of the first sermon Jesus ever preached (Matt. 4:17). It was at the heart of the gospel message (Acts 20:21).
But it is more than just the message of salvation; it is the means God has provided for us to walk in light. Search the Scriptures. The vast majority of times that the word repent is used it is in reference to God’s people! It is the necessity of believers! I need to repent…and so do you.
It was D.L. Moody who famously said, “Keep short accounts with God.” In that one statement is the secret to daily victory and spiritual power. Sin piles up so quickly. Unconfessed and unforsaken sin is the cause of broken fellowship with God and brokenness in so many areas of our lives. It is a cancer.
Remember that the Old Testament sacrifices were offered every day. Praise God our perfect Sacrifice, the Lord Jesus Christ, was enough! But, why was there a need for daily offerings? Daily intercession of the priest? Daily observance? Because man needs daily cleansing from his sin. That truth has not changed though the ages. I need the mercy of God every day! His mercy is available through the sacrifice of Christ and accessed when I confess my sin to God.
David understood the need for daily confession of sin and daily mercy. He wrote, “Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily” (Psalm 86:3). David did not just need mercy when he had committed adultery and murder. His confession was not limited to Psalm 51. He sought to stay close to God every day. And so must we.
Confession must be done every day! “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath” (Eph. 4:26). Make things right before the day is done. Even better, do not wait until the end of the day to confess your sins. The moment the Holy Spirit arrests your attention and convicts you that something does not please Him, stop and confess that sin to God. Daily confession is best done many times through the day.
At every moment of confession there is cleansing.
There are certain things without which life could not be lived every day. Water. Food. Rest. This principle holds true in the spiritual realm. The life of Christ cannot be lived through us apart from daily confession and cleansing of sin.
Daily Challenge: For the next week set aside a specific time every day to get alone in a quiet place. Ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal to you the sin in you. Read His Word and allow Him to show you by His Spirit where you have failed Him. Then call each sin by name. Call your sin what God calls it and claim the promise of 1 John 1:9. Daily confession brings daily cleansing.