In this sermon, Assistant Pastor Chris talks about the implications when we give in to temptation. We should confess and be forgiven. Here are some excerpts:
When I think about my sins laid out before everyone, it is the emotional anguish of feeling the shame and guilt of the world looking at me with disgust. And this is the same reason I never confessed any sin to anyone for so long. I was afraid. Oh I was so afraid. I was so afraid that if I ever told anyone any of my sins secret or public I would drown in the shame and guilt. For I thought the only solution was to heap condemnation upon a sinner until he stops sinning. Not to say it worked but it seemed to me as the only solution I saw the Christians exercise when it came to sin…
You see, the scholars are not in agreement on that judgement day what will happen to the believer. Some say that because Jesus has washed away all our sins there will be nothing to read. The slate of sin will be wiped clean, there will be no judgements read. Others believe the opposite, our sins will be read just like everyone else.
Let’s say, for today, that it is true, all our sins are laid out. But instead of feelings of guilt and shame we are set free. We are set free because everything that was once in the darkness has come into the light. And God, keeping to His word, says “Jesus will forgive us of our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Because, instead of shame in guilt from God our father, it will be LOVE. Love that He scoops us up and embraces us. “I know you did that, I know what you thought, and I still abundantly love you as my own. You are my child and I have removed any barrier that would have kept us from a beautiful and deep relationship for all eternity. Won’t that be amazing! And we can experience that now too. Verse 8. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us”
I am going to end with two ways I think we can experience the relief of anguish and burdens. or sins we have committed. Both of them have been incredibly transformative in my life. The first is maybe the more difficult of the two but is abundantly powerful. The first is to confess our sins to one another. As John writes here to confess our sins, in the book of James is even more clear. He says we need to confess our sins to one another…so that we might receive healing.
That could mean physical healing but I also believe that is healing of our desire to sin and keep sinning. It is healing when we speak our sin out loud and receive not what we expect. It is healing when we expect the hammer of condemnation and receive the words of the Gospel from friends. There is a powerful, freeing moment when our community looks us in the eye and says, “You are forgiven. Christ’s blood has wash away your sin. We and God love you deeply!” This has happened with close friends and in my marriage and each time has brought healing to my life in deep ways.
The second is that we need to be confessional to God. The words we speak, the things we think, the things we didn’t do. The way we have thought poorly about ourselves… everything. Confess it before God and receive His forgiveness and assurance of pardon. We are sinful, forgetful people just like all the stories of the Israelites we read in the Scriptures. We need to be reminded, sometimes daily, of the good news of the Gospel Jesus offers to those who come across the sin in their life.
I asked the question in the beginning, “But what if we give in to temptation? But what if we give into sin?” The answer is confession. We drag it into the light. We speak it out loud for our ears to hear it and in doing so, we kill the power of sin over us and let the love of God and His grace wash over us “purifying us from all sin.” Is it not His “kindness that leads us to redemption?” To that, I say amen and amen…
Pastor Chris has a lot more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear this sermon in its entirety.