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Fess Up!

Confession  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  32:47
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Title: Fess Up! Text: James 5:16 Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with. (MSG) Trans: The Spiritual Discipline of Confession frees us to leave the solitary confinement of sin so we can experience the freedom of being healed and transformed. As followers of Christ we need to see confession as a good thing! For followers of Christ confession should be a natural expression of our desire to be Christ-Like… *Biblical Confession is good because it frees us… 1. …To stop Sinning A. Confession frees us from the Solitary Confinement of Sin -Bonhoeffer said, “He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone.” -Have you ever felt like you were the only one who sinned? Or who sinned that bad? Ill: Life Recovery sharing our stories… -Contrary to popular opinion the church is made up of sinners, not saints…Surprise! -As followers of Christ we want to sin less and less…Jesus Christ was sinless…Followers… >Hebrews 4:15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.” >Ephesians 4:13 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. B. Confession stops The Dirty Diaper, Clean Diaper Syndrome -Confession is not just an exchange of information…We tend to think that today… -Habitual sinning…Dirty Diaper, Clean Diaper…we just can’t seem to break the chains of sin… -Confession, which includes forgiveness was never to be taken lightly…The Cross… -Confession is a process that ultimately makes sin look disgusting… -Confession helps us to see and to some degree experience the pain that sin causes… 2. …To Live as the Body of Christ A. Confession brings accountability -What, confess my sins to someone in the Body of Christ? In the Church? -We are ok with praying for each other but confessing our sins!!! Not so fast… -Being alone in our sin enables us to continue sinning…we think nobody knows…No consequences… -Sin must be exposed to the light of God’s love, compassion… -This is one of the reasons why Discipleship is so important…We need spiritually mature people… B. Confession brings us together in unity -Confessing our sins to each other brings unity and strength… >Ecclesiastes 4:12 12 Though one may be overpowered,     two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. >Matt. 18:20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” -Yes! It does! Say it with me: “Confession brings us together in unity… -It comes down to whether we are more concerned about our reputation or our eternity… -We are going to get more into this latter, but it is clear that Jesus wants us to be together in unity… -The devil wants us to be divided and trying to cover up our sin… >Joshua 7 The Sin of Achan 1 But Israel violated the instructions about the things set apart for the Lord.[a] A man named Achan had stolen some of these dedicated things, so the Lord was very angry with the Israelites. Achan was the son of Carmi, a descendant of Zimri[b] son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah. 2 Joshua sent some of his men from Jericho to spy out the town of Ai, east of Bethel, near Beth-aven. 3 When they returned, they told Joshua, “There’s no need for all of us to go up there; it won’t take more than two or three thousand men to attack Ai. Since there are so few of them, don’t make all our people struggle to go up there.” 4 So approximately 3,000 warriors were sent, but they were soundly defeated. The men of Ai 5 chased the Israelites from the town gate as far as the quarries,[c] and they killed about thirty-six who were retreating down the slope. The Israelites were paralyzed with fear at this turn of events, and their courage melted away…” 3. …To pray powerfully A. Confession restores relationships with God… -Look at the first part of verse 16…Make this your common practice… -The practice of Confession makes it something we do all the time… -Why? 1. We guard our relationship with God… 2. We desire to pray effectively… -“The prayer of a person living right with God is powerful” -I believe a lot of the reason many prayers go un-answered is due to unforgiveness… -A lot of unforgiveness is due to the fact we don’t see sin as God sees sin… >Nehemiah 8:1-9 1 all the people came together as one in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the teacher of the Law to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. 2 So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand. 3 He read it aloud from daybreak till noon as he faced the square before the Water Gate in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law. 4 Ezra the teacher of the Law stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam. 5 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. 6 Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7 The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah—instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. 8 They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear[a] and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read. 9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. B. Confession restores our relationship with others… -“So that you can live together whole and healed.” That’s for us!!!! -We are the Body of Christ…We are to live together in a healthy and wholesome way… -Why? Because we represent Jesus Christ to the world… -Do we see the big picture? People think Jesus looks like us… -Do you see why the Spiritual Discipline of Confession is so important? Closing: -Do you struggle with habitual sin? -Practicing Confession helps us to see our sin through God’s eyes…and the person we sinned against… -The Practice of Confession will help us see how much God wants to forgive us…He desires to forgive…
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