If We Confess, He Is Faithful and Just To Forgive

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)”

‘At the heart of God is the desire to give and forgive,’ says Richard Foster in his contemporary Christian classic book Celebration of Discipline. What a truth here to hold in our hearts!

Ps103v12, map not in copyright, olney school atlasThe devil, father of all lies, knows that Discipline of Confession is key to every believer thus has blinded us from seeing this truth. In most cases, we view believing community as a fellowship of saints instead of fellowship of sinners…or what do you think?

Some of the questions that we usually grapple with on confession include, Do we have any reason to confess our sins? Do we have a sinful nature? Do we know that sin breaks our fellowship with God? Are we aware that our conduct all day long is full of sin?

Most importantly, all of us need to recognize that even Christians sin. We cannot deny our sinful nature. There’s no time we are ‘above’ sinning! Just as John notes in his letter to all believers, we do not need to make God a liar (1 John 1:8). In the last few days, God has been reminding me that I am sinner by nature and by practice. I love it when I hear my friend and a teacher of the Word introduce himself as a ‘Sinner saved by Grace.’

In this life, we are always capable of sinning, so we should not let down our guard. The truth is that when Jesus went at the cross, our Past, Present and Future sins were forgiven. We, however, after becoming Christians still sin and thus need to confess.

Confession exists to free us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. It does not makes us gain God’s acceptance, since even when we are still sinners, God accepts us. We confess to enjoy maximum fellowship and joy with God. We confess to remove the barrier, only sin can separate us from God. He is the one who seeks us. In Genesis, we see God seeking the fallen Adam and Eve.

When we confess our sins,

  • We tend to agree with God that our sin is truly sin and that we are willing to turn from it
  • It is a way of ensuring we do not conceal our sins from God, and so to ourselves too
  • We recognize our tendency to sin and rely on God’s power to overcome sin.

One thing we learn about God in the parable of the prodigal son (Parable of the forgiving father) is that God’s greatest delight is to forgive. (Luke 15:20). John in his letter gives us Confessan assurance of this, ‘God is faithful and just to forgive us if we confess.’ (1 John 1:9).

Richard Foster notes that for a good confession to occur, three things are necessary: An examination of conscience (tell God to move in our hearts and show us areas that needs his forgiving), Sorrow (abhorrence of having committed the sin) and Determination to avoid sin. True confession involves commitment not to continue with sin.

We need to know that Christ saved us not only from consequences of sin, but from the domination of sin. No one, no matter what sin has been committed, is beyond forgiveness.

“Confession begins with sorrow and ends with joy,” Richard notes. It brings an end to pretense! Honesty leads to confession and confession leads to change.

 

ACTIVITY: (Spend some quiet time of 15mins and invite God to reveal anything within you that needs to be confessed. Write them down and confess them to God. Remember the assurance we get from 1 John 1:9).

 

kenKenneth Irungu is an Apprentice with iServe Africa serving at DOVE Christian Fellowship Kawangware. 

Passionate of Faithful Bible Teaching and preaching the Gospel.

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Friend, there’s need to Order our Private World

Given a chance to come up with a reading list for every Christian believer, Gordon MacDonald’s masterpiece, Ordering Your Private World, would top the list. It is one of the books that need to be present in every Christian home library.

The book, first published in 1984 by the Moody Press, addresses the key issues most of us struggle with in our Christian life. Gordon suggests simple and achievable ways of ensuring that our private life, where worship and confession is conducted, is in kept in order.Ordering 3

Gordon, throughout this book that he divides in five sectors, seems to be in a mission to show us on how to guard our hearts because in it flow springs of life.

He opens the book by giving a personal story of how he ‘hit the wall’ and saw the need to renovate his life. In the opening chapters, Gordon warns us that when private world is neglected, it does not shout so loudly. In contrast, neglected public world will scream for our attention and action.

In the subsequent chapters, Gordon succeeds in comparing a driven and a called person. He notes that a driven person moves too fast and thus needs to get time to stop and let the soul catch up with the body.

In a thought-provoking way, he notes that called people are ordinary people. He calls the reader to explore all the disciples of Jesus. They all appeared to be absolutely ordinary. Interestingly, he compares John Baptist, the man who lost his job, and compares him with the driven King Saul. The author calls us to make a choice everyday if we want to be a John or a Saul?

On use of time, Gordon gives an example of Jesus. No time we see him hurrying to catch up or were ever taken by surprise. He managed adequate amounts of time to be alone, for meditation and prayer, and to be with his disciples. Gordon cautions that disorganized Christians rarely enjoy intimacy with God.

The author challenges us on study and thinking. Gordon says that we grow through reading, becoming listeners and through disciplined study. “We fool ourselves in to thinking we are thinking people when we are not,” Gordon notes. We are reminded that a Christian who is not growing intellectually is like a book whose pages remained unopened and unread.

In a chapter, Order in the Garden, Gordon narrates a story of Howard Rutledge, a United States Air Force Pilot, who it took prison to show him how empty life is without God.

In a stimulating Chapter, No Outer Props, we are introduced to a Methodist missionary to India and got stroke leaving him immobile but this never worried him. He said, “I need no outer props to hold up my faith for my faith holds me. When outer strands are broken, the inner strands hold me.”

The author in the concluding chapters stresses that silence and solitude, listening to God and praying are spiritual disciplines of importance to every Christian. He explains that prayer involves referring the smallest actions to God. He adds that prayer aligns us with God’s purposes than asking Him to align with ours.

In addition, Gordon urges his audience to keep prayer lists to review chief concerns as they pray. He emphasizes the need for adoration and confession underscoring the need for us to recognize our own sinfulness.

Gordon pic


Gordon MacDonald

The author encourages journal keeping as a way to listen to God. He says, “Many have learned how to talk to God but have not learnt how to listen.” In conclusion, Gordon urges the reader to choose rest. He uses example of Jesus who often withdrew to seek solitude.

This is a must read book for all. I highly recommend it to all Christians and especially those involved in one way or the other in Christian ministry. We all need to make a deliberate decision in starting the ordering process now!

kenKenneth Irungu is an Apprentice with iServe Africa serving at DOVE Christian Fellowship Kawangware. 

Passionate of Faithful Bible Teaching and preaching the Gospel.

The Mission of Jesus on earth, Why He came

What can you remember about Christmas? Food? Fun? Meetings friends and family members? A personal experience that you want remain secret…or exactly what?

With all the ‘muchness and busyness’ that comes with the festive season, it was easy to forget what lied at the centre of our celebrations. Did we pause at any one moment to know why Jesus came into the world?

One of the verses dear to me during the festive season was the angels’ words to Joseph as recorded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Matthew

“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)

Jesus paid it allThe mission of Jesus was announced before his birth, ‘to save his people from their sins!’
Jesus never came to perform miracles! He never came to heal the sick! That was not his mission at all.

He once fed 5000 people but we must know that his coming was not that of  ‘feeding the hungry programme.’  I love what he tells the big multitude of people looking for him a day after the feeding of 5000 incident.

“I tell you the truth, you are not looking for me, because you saw the miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.” (John 6:26)

Too sad that many of us, just as these people looking for Jesus,  major on this minor of miraculous signs instead on the cross of Christ and what Jesus did for us there- becoming the sacrifice of atonement through faith in his blood (Romans 3:25).

If we forget everything about Christmas, let’s not forget the mission of Jesus on earth. To save us from our sins! Jesus came to help us out from our sins, we could not help ourselves. Just as Apostle Paul puts it in his letter to Ephesians, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins…” (Eph 2:1)! You see, if we were ‘dead in sin,’ then we couldn’t help ourselves. We really needed a Saviour!AtTheCross

We were struggling with a problem. A big problem of sin. Thanks to God that when the right time came, He sent his son to us (Galatians 4:4). Jesus came to save us, not to help us save ourselves! We could not find a remedy for our sins since even our will was fallen!

The coming of Jesus remains the Good News! He came to save us from all our sins! I join the hymnist Guy Penrod  in singing, And I know, Yes I know, that Jesus’ blood can save the vilest of sinners clean!”

The Bible says, “… he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” (Hebrews 7:25).  John in his letter says this, “…the blood of Jesus, God’s son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7).

What a great thing to Praise God for! The gift of his Son to come to save us from our sins! A great Christmas gift indeed.

kenKenneth Irungu is an Apprentice with iServe Africa serving at DOVE Christian Fellowship Kawangware. 

Passionate of Faithful Bible Teaching and preaching the Gospel.