Confession is Good for the Soul

I am often reminded of my own sinfulness. I live with it everyday. I wake up and immediately begin to think about me and how life needs to revolve around me. My feelings are important. What I think is more important than what anyone else thinks. My views on things are the best views because I see them, I know them, I study to bring myself to them, and frankly, I’m right.

I hate it that these thoughts are often my default. I don’t see anywhere in Scripture where Christ once had those thoughts–even for a single moment.

Here’s the good news. By Christ’s propitiating death, I am no longer bound to those thoughts. Those thoughts no longer have rule in my life. Paul says in Romans 6:18 “and, having been set free from sin, [we] have become slaves of righteousness!” What joy that brings to my heart. What hope that brings to my soul. What peace that brings to my mind! This sends my heart then to confession.

Confession is not just “good” for the soul–it is vital! It is vital for life–real abundant life that only Christ gives!

Confession is to say the same thing that God says about my sin. I can freely do this, now that I am set free. I can freely bathe myself in the showers of slavery to Christ’s righteousness. What a cleansing this is. How absolutely refreshing this is to the deepest parts of the soul! Here and only here is where the fountain of His mighty grace shows itself flowing rivers of living water.

I love the prayers from Valley of Vision. I resort to them often when I am so overwhelmed and I need words to speak to my Lord.

This one is called “Continual Repentance.” Here are some parts of it that really spoke to me this morning:

I need to repent of my repentance;

I need my tears to be washed;

I have no robe to bring to cover my sins,

no loom to weave my own righteousness;

I am always standing clothed in filthy garments,

and by grace am always receiving change of raiment,

for thou dost always justify the ungodly;

Every morning let me wear it,

every evening return in it,

go out to the day’s work in it,

enter heaven in it shining as the sun.

Grant me never to lose sight of

the exceeding sinfulness of my sin,

the exceeding righteouness of salvation,

the exceeding glory of Christ,

the exceeding beauty of holiness,

the exceeding wonder of grace!

Living and Pursuing What is True

Christ is truth (Jn 14:6). Scripture is truth (Jn 17:17). The Holy Spirit is our guide to truth (Jn 16:13). It seems that truth is pretty important to God to say the least. Satan however is a liar–the father of lies (Jn 8:44). So, if there is anything we can say is outside of the realm of God it would be the world of deceit, the realm of lies.
John brings all of this to our attention because it is his purpose for his readers to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the very Son of God and that believing, we might have life. It is not a jump to conclude that someone who would live in faith in Jesus be a person who lives for what is true and pursues it. Just how easy is this, though? So much in life today operates out of our feelings, emotions, whims, self-serving and self-satisfying dreams. We live everyday as if this day is all about us, what we are doing, what makes us happy and diligently dodging that which would bring us discomfort. So, we erect great make-believe walls around us in hopes that the truth of our inner insecurities won’t ever have to be exposed and no one will ever have to know our struggles within. What do we do and how then should we live?

1.    Run to Christ! Let your battles of insecurities, searching for significance, and passion for inner peace be resolutely satisfied with Christ alone. That means we “cease striving and know that He is God (Psa 46:10).”

2.    Drink of the Word! Let your soul be filled with the Word. From Genesis to Revelation, the scope of Scripture is a person–our Savior, Jesus Christ. Too often we look to Scripture like a “User’s Manual.” We look for what to do, some principle to anchor our self rather then the person of Jesus.

3.    Build a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. As an unfortunate often overlooked Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit’s job is to help us understand truth. Sin can make us calloused to His great work and we are apt then to miss His guidance to the truth in life.

Live the truth and pursue what is true. Pursuing Christ and living Christ is the path to truth. That’s John’s point.