January 12, 2010

To Live is Christ — yet I still must confess my sin

Yesterday’s struggle is no more. It was not that I yielded up my will. All I did was confess my sinful attitude, and God does what He always does. He changed my heart.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8–9)
Many times I have behaved as if I were the Savior. I became aware of sin and tried really hard to overcome it, but that does not work. For one thing, it misses a step. Without confession, there is no forgiveness. God will not help me overcome unless I acknowledge to Him (and agree with Him) what I have done.

In confession, I cannot merely mouth the words. I’m also to think the way He thinks about sin. One clue about that is in Jeremiah . . .  

Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil. (Jeremiah 13:23)
No human being can save themselves. Even those who possess eternal life and have Jesus Christ living in them still need the power of God to do overcome temptation and sin. When I violate the will of God, He will give me that power, but I first have to confess (say the same thing) as He does about whatever I have done.

I also have to admit my helplessness. Part of trying to fix things on my own is a form of God-playing, and that is quite the opposite of faith and salvation by grace. I am not God.

Today will bring new challenges, but His message to me is always the same. He is the Savior and I am the sinner. As long as I keep that straight, I can move on and have His grace to do whatever He asks. He also grants the ability to rejoice in His will.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. He forgives all my iniquities. He heals all my diseases, He redeems my life from destruction. He crowns me with lovingkindness and tender mercies. He satisfies my mouth with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s . . . Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me. (My paraphrase based mostly on Psalm 103:2–5)

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