CONFESSION OF SIN

Unimpeachable justice

Book of Life2

“Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.” Psalm 51:4

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Samuel 15:1-31

We have heard of men who have confessed their guilt, and afterwards tried to extenuate their crime, and show some reasons why they were not so guilty as apparently they would seem to be; but when the Christian confesses his guilt, you never hear a word of extenuation or apology from him. He says, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:” and in saying this, he makes God just when he condemns him, and clear when he sentences him for ever. Have you ever made such a confession? Have you ever thus bowed yourselves before God? Or have you tried to palliate your guilt, and call your sins by little names, and speak of your crimes as if they were but light offences? If you have, then you have not felt the sentence of death in yourselves, and you are still waiting till the solemn death-knell shall toll the hour of your doom, and you shall be dragged out, amidst the universal hiss of the execration of the world, to be condemned for ever to flames which shall never know abatement. Again: after the Christian confesses his sin, he offers no promise that he will of himself behave better. Some, when they make confessions to God, say, “Lord, if thou forgive me I will not sin again;” but God’s penitents never say that. When they come before him they say, “Lord, once I promised, once I made resolves, but I dare not make them now, for they would be so soon broken, that they would increase my guilt; and my promises would be so soon violated, that they would sink my soul deeper in hell. I can only say, if thou wilt create in me a clean heart, I will be thankful for it, and will sing to thy praise for ever; but I cannot promise that I will live without sin, or work out a righteousness of my own. I dare not promise, my Father, that I shall never go astray again.”

For meditation: Does your confession of sin to God include the excuses of a King Saul or the acquiescence of a King David, the man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)?

Sermon no. 86    16 June (Preached 15 June 1856)

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Climbing the mountain

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‘Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?’ Psalm 24:3

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 12:18–24

From lofty mountains you can look on that side and see the lakes and the rivers; and on this side the green and laughing valleys, and far away, the wild black forest. The view is wide, but what a view is that which we shall have in heaven! There ‘shall I know even as also I am known.’ Here ‘we see through a glass, darkly;’ but there ‘face to face.’ And chief and foremost, best of all, my eyes shall see the King in his beauty. We shall behold his face; we shall look into his eyes; we shall drink love from the fountain of his heart, and hear the music of his love from the sweet organ of his lips; we shall be entranced in his society, emparadised on his bosom. Up, Christian, up, Christ waits for thee! Come, man, tread the thorny way and climb, for Christ stands on the summit stretching out his hands, and saying, ‘Come up hither;’ ‘to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.’ And there is this sweet reflection—all that we shall see upon the top of the hill of God shall be ours. We look from earthly mountains and we see, but we do not possess. That mansion yonder is not ours; that crystal stream belongs not to us; those widespread lawns are beautiful, but they are not in our possession. But on the hill-tops of heaven, all that we see we shall possess. We shall possess the streets of gold, the harps of harmony, the palms of victory, the shouts of angels, the songs of cherubim, the joy of the divine Trinity, and the song of God as he rests in his love, and rejoices over us with singing, and God the Eternal One himself shall be ours, and ours for ever and for ever.

For meditation: Since the Lord Jesus Christ has ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9–11), the Christian should set his affection on things above where Christ sits (Colossians 3:1–2). The best thing about ascending to heaven is that the Lord is there (Psalm 139:8) in all his love and beauty (Revelation 21:22–23; 22:3); the worst thing about descending to hell is that the Lord is there (Psalm 139:8) in his just wrath and judgment.

Sermon no. 396          16 June (1861)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

THEY LEAD HIM AWAY AND HE BORE OUR INIQUITY OF US ALL

Morning

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“They took Jesus, and led him away.”
John 19:16

He had been all night in agony, he had spent the early morning at the hall of Caiaphas, he had been hurried from Caiaphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, and from Herod back again to Pilate; he had, therefore, but little strength left, and yet neither refreshment nor rest were permitted him. They were eager for his blood, and therefore led him out to die, loaded with the cross. O dolorous procession! Well may Salem’s daughters weep. My soul, do thou weep also.

What learn we here as we see our blessed Lord led forth? Do we not perceive that truth which was set forth in shadow by the scapegoat? Did not the high-priest bring the scapegoat, and put both his hands upon its head, confessing the sins of the people, that thus those sins might be laid upon the goat, and cease from the people? Then the goat was led away by a fit man into the wilderness, and it carried away the sins of the people, so that if they were sought for they could not be found. Now we see Jesus brought before the priests and rulers, who pronounce him guilty; God himself imputes our sins to him, “the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all;” “He was made sin for us;” and, as the substitute for our guilt, bearing our sin upon his shoulders, represented by the cross; we see the great Scapegoat led away by the appointed officers of justice. Beloved, can you feel assured that he carried your sin? As you look at the cross upon his shoulders, does it represent your sin? There is one way by which you can tell whether he carried your sin or not. Have you laid your hand upon his head, confessed your sin, and trusted in him? Then your sin lies not on you; it has all been transferred by blessed imputation to Christ, and he bears it on his shoulder as a load heavier than the cross.

Let not the picture vanish till you have rejoiced in your own deliverance, and adored the loving Redeemer upon whom your iniquities were laid.

Evening

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“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 53:6

Here a confession of sin common to all the elect people of God. They have all fallen, and therefore, in common chorus, they all say, from the first who entered heaven to the last who shall enter there, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” The confession, while thus unanimous, is also special and particular: “We have turned every one to his own way.” There is a peculiar sinfulness about every one of the individuals; all are sinful, but each one with some special aggravation not found in his fellow. It is the mark of genuine repentance that while it naturally associates itself with other penitents, it also takes up a position of loneliness. “We have turned every one to his own way,” is a confession that each man had sinned against light peculiar to himself, or sinned with an aggravation which he could not perceive in others. This confession is unreserved; there is not a word to detract from its force, nor a syllable by way of excuse. The confession is a giving up of all pleas of self-righteousness. It is the declaration of men who are consciously guilty–guilty with aggravations, guilty without excuse: they stand with their weapons of rebellion broken in pieces, and cry, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” Yet we hear no dolorous wailings attending this confession of sin; for the next sentence makes it almost a song. “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” It is the most grievous sentence of the three, but it overflows with comfort. Strange is it that where misery was concentrated mercy reigned; where sorrow reached her climax weary souls find rest. The Saviour bruised is the healing of bruised hearts. See how the lowliest penitence gives place to assured confidence through simply gazing at Christ on the cross!

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Father-“Finally, I confessed all my sins to you.”

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Psalm 32:3-6  New Living Translation (NLT)

When I refused to confess my sin,
    my body wasted away,
    and I groaned all day long.
Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me.
    My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Interlude

Finally, I confessed all my sins to you
    and stopped trying to hide my guilt.
I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.”
    And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Interlude

Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time,
    that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.

Proverbs 1

New Living Translation (NLT)

The Purpose of Proverbs

1 These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
    to help them understand the insights of the wise.
Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
    to help them do what is right, just, and fair.
These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
    knowledge and discernment to the young.

Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
    Let those with understanding receive guidance
by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

Confessing instead of hiding

 

We find many ways to get around admitting our sin. We rationalize our sins away. We try to drown out the guilt with all types of distractions. But over time, our sins deplete our will to pray. David was intimately familiar with all the ways one can try to hide sin. He had exhausted himself covering up his own sins. But everything changed when he finally gave up running away from his sin: “Finally, I confessed all my sins to you.”

Like David, we can find our prayer life renewed when we freely confess our sins to God. Confess your sin and let God restore your prayer life to what it can and should be.

Prayer for today:

Dear Lord, I don’t want to hide my sins anymore; I want to confess them to you today …

from The One Year® Book of Bible Prayers edited by Bruce Barton, Tyndale House Publishers (2000), entry for January 4


On the other hand…

Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them quite so much.
AUTHOR UNKNOWN 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House