Pray of Confession
The Bible furnishes us with Many Examples:
David --- Psa. 51:1-4, "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 4 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."
Isaiah --- Isa. 6:5, "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts."
B. We are Commanded To Confess our sins to God.
1. Confess of sins was Central to the Levitical Worship.
Lev. 5:5, "And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing:" --- (Specifically)
2. The Model Prayer (Lord's Prayer) includes Confession of Sin as one of it's Essential elements.
"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors."
C. God Suspends many of His Promises because of a Lack of Confession of Sins.
God Cannot Fail To Keep His promises, but He Can Delay The Fulfilling to them until He finds the right people to grant them to:
Lev. 26:40-42, "If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me; ..... if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity: 42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land."
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."
D. For God To Suspend The Remembering of His Covenant With Us, Because of A Lack of Confession of Our Sins --- Is A Powerful Demonstration of How Important This Part of Our Prayer Life Is Unto God.
I. Christians Should Confess Their Sins Unto God Because -Honesty Requires It!
A. We, like Paul, are the Chief of Sinners:
1. We Breath iniquity like air and Drink it like water.
2. We Offend against God's Law and God's Nature constancy.
B. David even pleads with God to forgive his "Secret Sins".
Psa. 19:12, "Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults."
C. Think of just a Few of Our Sins:
1. Sanctimoniousness of Christians.
2. Pride --- Self-Love.
3. Questionable Business Practices.
4. Desire To Succeed At Any Cost.
5. Lack of Passion, Love, And Zeal for God, His Name, His Cause.
6. Lack of Love For The Brethren --- Love For Your Neighbor.
7. All Sins of Omission.
D. However, I do Not have to Prove Your Sinfulness to you. If the Holy Spirit has not Already done that, there is Nothing That I Can Say or Do to make you understand it --- The Spirit Alone Can Convince You of Sin.
E. Listen to Lancelot Andrewes from his celebrated Private Devotions:
"Merciful and pitiful Lord, longsuffering and full of compassion, I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned against Thee; O wretched man that I am, I have sinned, Lord against thee much and grievously, in observing lying vanities. I conceal nothing: I make no excuses. I give Thee glory, O Lord, this day. I denounce against myself my sins. Indeed I have sinned against the Lord and thus and thus have I done (here he would fill in the particulars). I have sinned and perverted that which was right and it profited me not. And what shall I now say?"
How many such Honest Men do we have in our ranks Today?
F. Honest men are Few and Far Between in this world when it comes to talking about Themselves.
1. This is why Popular Psychology with its therapies has so Little Power To Change Human Problems.
2. It proceeds on the Assumption that Man Is Basically Good and he has Within Himself the Ability to Solve his own Problems.
3. However, Only Forgiveness can Relieve Guilt and Only God can Offer Forgiveness.
II. Confession of Our Sins Is Also Necessary In Order ToKeep Healthy and Happy Our Relationship With God.
A. Peace with God Requires Our Confession to him of the sins that we have committed against Him.
B. Then, the Bible Requires us to Confess our sins To One Another --- Why?
1. It is Not Enough That We Know (admit to ourselves) that we have done wrong.
2. It is Not Even Enough That We Restore any loss we may have caused others.
3. We Must Also Confess To Them Our Wrong! --- Why?
C. Because, our confession to them is the Real Embodiment of True Humility and Love.
1. For True Confession of sin to take place, we must be in a Position of Distinct Disadvantage.
2. We place ourselves Below Another Person --- that is Humility and that is Love.
3. Humility and Love are the Prerequisites of any Genuinely Happy, Holy, and Fruitful Relationship.
D. You Cannot truly repent Without Confession, because confession is the full Demonstration of the Real Spirit of Repentance.
1. Without Confession --- Heartfelt and Unqualified --- you only have Sorry For Having Been Caught or for the Consequences of your deed.
2. This is Not a genuine Sorrow For The Wrong that was done.
E. It Is Generally Much Easier To Confess Our Sins To God Than To One Another.
1. Because God is Holy and Sinless --- a Just Judge.
Our brother is as Sinful As We Are .....
2. Even when we go to God, we must Be Careful that we are Not Confessing Our Sins To Ourselves and also Granting Ourselves Forgiveness.
Many Christians are Living On Self-Forgiveness and Not Real Forgiveness from God.
3. How Can We Be Certain That In The Confession And Forgiveness of Our Sins --- We Are Not Dealing With Ourselves, But With The Living God?
a. First - God grants us this Assurance through our Brother.
(1) Our brother Breaks The Circle of Self-deception.
(2) A man who confesses his sins In The Presence of A Brother knows that he is No Longer Alone with himself.
(3) Confession of sin, when it is Sincere, is the Essential Prerequisite of a Living Relationship.
(4) If this is true with man, and it is, how much more so with God, Who Looks Upon The heart and knows the full measure of our sins.
b. Second - The best way is to be Honest in our confession and make them Particular and Specific --- and we can be Sure we are not confessing to ourselves.
Suppose, you know that You Spoke Unkindly To Someone. Do we say, "Lord, I should have been more kind, I guess." Or do we say, rather, "I spoke harshly, it was inexcusable, it was a lack of love on my part, arrogance and selfish, it was a total failure to reflect Christ's love to me and an offense committed against his name. I neither loved my neighbor as myself nor treated him/her as I would want to be treated and as I condemn others for not treating me. I have condemned myself and have been made to see myself as unworthy, as hypocritical, and as a very poor excuse for a Christian. Lord, forgive me. Much as I hurt her with my words, I know full well, O father, that it is against you and you only that I sinned and did this evil. You know my heart and how full it is of myself and how little of the true love that Christ has shown me do I keep there."
III. Confession of Our Sins Is Also Necessary ForOur Own Peace And Joy.
A. Confession of Sins Is God's Divinely Appointed Means of Removing Guilt And Receive Forgiveness And Peace.
1. Peace in the heart and Love and Joy requires Humility and Confession.
2. Pride does not and Cannot produce any of these.
3. Real confession brings God's Smile, because His children are being honest and humble before Him.
B. Thomas Manton referred to Cconfession of sin as the --- "Vomit of The Soul".
1. It Gets Out of you what Spoils, Upsets, Irritates, Degrades, Endangers, and Purifies Your Inner Life again.
2. Confession is a way to great Blessing, to Peace and to Love and to Joy.
C. God The Father Laid On Christ The Iniquity of Us All --- In Confession, we, in effect, Repeat that great act ourselves.
01. Adam laid on Him his fall.
02. Abraham laid on Him his mistrust.
03. Noah laid on Him his drunkenness.
04. Jacob laid on Him his worldliness.
05. Moses laid on Him his impatience.
06. Aaron and Miriam laid on Him their envy for their brother.
07. David laid on Him his corrupt nature and his many treespasses.
08. Isaiah laid on Him the uncleanness of his lips.
09 Manasseh laid on Him the uncleanness of his life.
10. The Twelve laid on Him their fighting over who would be the greatest.
11. Matthew laid on Him his cruelty and extortion.
12. James and John laid on Him their mother's ambition.
13. Mary Magdalene laid on Him her stained life.
14. Paul, the chief of sinners, laid on Him blasphemies and persecutions.
D. No wonder Jesus said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death" for the "Lord laid on him the iniquities of us all."
E. God wants our relationship with Him to be Sincere and Close and Tender and that Requires Dealing With The Sins by which we have offended Him.
1. There Is No Joy Like The Joy of Sins Being Forgiven.
2. Alexander Whyte said, "...We Are Always Returning Home From The Far Country, And We Are Always Saying, 'Father, I Have Again Sinned.' And Our Father Is Always Saying Over Us, 'Bring Forth The Best Robe And Put It On Him."
3. How Often Shall I Forgive My Brother --- 70 x 7.
4. God Does Not Ask Us To Do Something That He Does Not Do!
F. How Can We Put On That Robe Every Day? --- By Confessing Our Sins To God, Really, Particularly, Sincerely, Without Qualification or Extenuating Circumstances of Any Kind.
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