Monday in the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time

1 John 1:8-10

If We Confess Our Sins

It’s true: We sin.  Even as born again, Spirit-filled, regenerated believers, we still sin.  Granted, we are supposed to be growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord daily such that the shattered image of Adam within us slowly gives way to the renewed image of Christ; and, we should be looking less like ourselves and more like Jesus every day (John 3:30).  But the fact remains, we still sin.  The sinful nature still cleaves to us.  The Apostle Paul described the battle we experience well when he spoke of the antithesis between the “flesh” (sinful nature) and the Spirit living within us.  The two cannot mix; we either live by one or the other.  So we must crucify the sinful nature so to live unto God (Romans 8:13). 

But even so, the sinful nature is never completely dead.  Paul refers to this in Romans 7:15: “For I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”  We know exactly what the Apostle is talking about: the trivial matters over which we worry or get angry, the lustful thoughts, jealousies and envies, grudges, and the list goes on.  And those only have to do with the mind; I haven’t mentioned the sins we commit. 

Why do we do these things?  We must remember that sin is not first and foremost a matter of what we do but a matter of who we are as sinners saved by grace.  We do not sin to become sinners; we sin because we are sinners.  This sinful nature is the result of our ancient rebellion.  But through the Spirit’s work within us, we are being slowly restored—which restoration only awaits its completion when the day comes—for we have the promise: “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).

Apparently, there were some to whom the beloved Apostle was writing who thought they had no sin.  There were such heretical ideas circulating in the early Church.  It was a by-product of the Gnosticism I spoke of the other day which was “in the air” at that time.  Through some special knowledge these thought they had received from on high, they considered themselves above sin.  The idea is both a lie and plainly absurd.  But there is a true remedy for our sins: Confession.  All we need do is to sincerely confess our sins to the Father who is faithful and just to forgive us on behalf of His Son Jesus Christ.  And not only forgive, but cleanse!  This is what the Old Testament sacrifices could never do: Cleanse the conscience (Hebrews 9:11-14).

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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