Have you ever been watching TV when a “Breaking News” segment comes on? There’s always dramatic music and special graphics. What I’m about to share with you isn’t breaking news. Honestly, it’s not even news.
Here it is: People are human and humans make mistakes.
That includes Christians and Christian parents, and it includes Christian pastors who are parents. The lesson I’m sharing with you I learned the hard way – by making mistakes.
Confession is a vital part of spiritual development.
Why do many people get uncomfortable talking about confession? One obvious reason is this: It means having to admit I did something wrong.
As someone who has followed Jesus for almost 40 years, here’s what I’ve learned … Spiritual transformation cannot begin without confession.
Our passage this weekend gives us a good framework for processing the idea of confession. It’s written by a close friend of Jesus – Apostle John. He’s writing about people whose lives don’t match their words.
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. – 1 John 1:5-7
Our framework for understanding confession doesn’t begin with introspection. It begins with God himself. In terms of wrongdoing, what does God have to confess? Nothing!
The apostle says, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” In computing terms, it’s what we would call WYSIWYG: what you see is what you get. With God, there’s not even a shadow of deception.
God is light. Jesus is the light of the world. As followers of Jesus, Christians are called people of light. We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness. As such, we are called to walk in the light.
This new relationship with God is what purifies us from all sin. I wasn’t rescued from darkness because I found my way out. I was rescued from darkness because Jesus died on the cross. And this is where confession comes in.
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins … – 1 John 1:8-9a
There are two kinds of sinners: One who knows they are a sinner and admits it and the one who doesn’t. At its most basic level, confession means to admit the truth. People who avoid confession are choosing deception instead. Most often, the only person we deceive is ourselves.
God responds to confession and deception very differently …
9 If we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. – 1 John 1:9-10
Why is confession is at the heart of the gospel? Confession breaks our allegiance to the darkness. I must get to the point of confessing my need for a Savior. I have sinned, rebelled, and been disobedient towards God. I must also confess that I am not able to save myself. Finally, I confess that only Jesus is Lord and Savior.
Parents, how do your kids learn about confession? By how well you model it.
Spouses, how do you build a marriage on trust rather than suspicion? By practicing confession.
How do you get started in a relationship with Jesus? By confessing that you need a relationship with Jesus.
Experience and Background
- Professor at Warner University
- masters in business administration (mba)
- presenter at the WFX National Conference
- former president, Church Planters of the Rockies
- helped start 2 for-profit tech companies
To get a better feel for my style and personality, you can watch past sermons on our YouTube channel.
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I’ve written a few books that might help! You’ll find books on preaching, leadership, Ephesians, as well as my first novel. Follow this link to learn more.