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Ministry Perspective

During some reading last week, I was reminded of the importance of genuine confession. The word confession comes from two words as it was originally penned in the first century by the Apostle John, among others. The first word 'lego' means 'to say' and the other word 'omoios' means 'the same as.' Join the two and you get 'to say the same as." That is the biblical definition of the word confession. Consequently, when gripped by the guilt of sin, it is imperative that we say the same things as God would say concerning our transgression. We must not become entangled in what I'll refer to as 'camouflaged confession.'

Have you noticed how quickly we humans prefer to 'clean up' or 'cover up' the consequences of our sin before we confess them? Maybe you have never done that sort of thing. I, however, know someone who has. And I have heard others attempt the same before this 'thing' gets out of hand. Like the political pundits of our day, most want to put their 'spin' on it to make it sound better or look better than it is. One example of camouflaged confession might sound something like, 'you must understand that I was under some financial pressure when'... (you get the idea). That statement made in response to stealing from others on a business transaction or when there was too much month and not enough money in your banking account. Another might be, 'I was just trying to be a friend that would listen, and one thing led to another.' That example in response to being exposed in an illicit affair.

Genuine confession that removes the shame and releases us from guilt says what God would say about the situation of sin. Biblical confession sounds more like, 'I wanted it, or I thought I deserved it, so I took it' OR 'I am to blame for getting involved in this relationship. No one else. I take full responsibility.'

When you think about it, the latter response is unusual if not abnormal when compared to most of what we hear today. The immediate response is more often the 'spin' of trying to justify sin coming from those caught with their hand in 'the cookie jar' or caught up in relationships that are outside the boundaries of God's word.

All of us come by this sort of thing naturally. If you remember it was Adam when his sin was exposed by the presence of God who first attempted to camouflage his confession. Adam tried hiding himself from God in what surrounded him first. (Ever played hide and seek with God?) And when that proved futile because nothing is ever hidden from God, Adam then proceeded to do what every other human being since has done; he blamed the one closest to him. Adam blamed Eve for his transgression. However, if you investigate more thoroughly, you will discover that Adam was really shifting the blame to God for giving him the woman to begin with. (Ever shift blame toward God for causing things to happen?) That natural response of blaming those closest to you has been often used in the years since that first denial of responsibility.

The supernatural response is much better, especially when you understand that God loves you and there is nothing you can do to make him love you less nor is there anything you can do to make Him love you more. God desired the best for Adam and Eve and made provision for them upon their confession. God does the same for you and me. Proverbs 28:13 says, "He who covers his sin shall not prosper, but he who confesses them and forsakes them will have mercy." Mercy is the only solution for the misery of the cover-up! And mercy is only given when repentance is embraced by grace. Covering sin in our own way makes us and everyone around us miserable. Confessing sin and having it covered His way releases His mercy upon us!

Before you and I can embrace His grace and mercy, we must disown what brought the need for it. Therefore, confess your sin and He will restore the joy of His salvation. Psalm 51:12 That approach is much less costly and more rewarding than becoming further entangled in sin through a camouflaged confession.

While this may sound odd to some, God prefers repentance of sin rather than re-dedication of soul. Repentance brings about the times of refreshing that come from the Lord (Acts 3:19). It's not a public decision of re-dedication but rather the personal devotion that flows from repentance that ushers us in a closer walk with Lord. That is how we experience the warmth of intimate fellowship that was abandoned because of our personal transgression.

So, if there is a desire to return to God, there must also be a turning away from sin through confession and repentance. If you did it, said it, or thought it, then own it. Better yet, own up to it! Say to God what God would say concerning 'the issue' that has been placed between you and Him or even you and others. Admit it, acknowledge it, and then cast it away into the sea of the forgetfulness of God. His forgiveness doesn't save you again because that frankly is impossible. His forgiveness releases you from the guilt and shame of your transgression.

On the other hand, if you didn't do what you knew to do, didn't say what you knew was good and edifying, didn't think on what was honest and worthy of trust, then own it and discard it by saying the same as God would say about it and He will reward you with His abiding blessing of fellowship!

Regardless of whether it is sins of commission or omission, each has a 'distancing' effect upon your soul in your relationship to God through Christ.

As you live, learn to say the same thing as God in matters of sin. You will soon discover that your prayers and your potential will be unhindered as He 'restores unto you the joy of His salvation.'

Blessings always IN Christ,

Pstr K

Hebrews 10:35-36