Friday, July 29, 2016

Finding Life in Honesty

If we say 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. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1–2

I will start with the bad news first. There is no question about the presence of sin in every one of our lives. If we are honest with ourselves it is obvious. Sure, we can blame our parents or the environment around us. As we will see with Adam and Eve, we can even blame God if we want or turn a blind eye to the “bentness” of heart that produces sinful actions. But if we are honest and practice no deceit, the presence of sin is hard to miss. But here is the good news: the Gospel encourages honesty. Rightly acknowledging the presence of sin in our lives will not kill us. In fact, it is just the opposite: when we keep silent about our sin we waste away (cf. Ps. 32.) But in confession our God is “faithful and just to forgive.” “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Praise be to him.

So as you prepare for worship this Lord’s Day and our initial reckoning with Genesis 3 and the Fall, I invite you pray in all honesty with me, that we might together find the grace of repentance.

Holy Father, whose eyes are too pure to look upon evil, who am I to deny the presence of sin in my life? Surely you see it. You see the annoyance and anger that so easily flashes when things don’t go “my way.” You see my wandering eyes, my greedy heart. If I were to maintain otherwise, I may deceive myself, but I would never deceive you. So rather than go the route of deceit, I would be honest today and throw myself on the mercies of the one who is faithful and just to forgive. I would be found in Christ, where there is no condemnation. What glorious promises you have given. Holy Spirit, strengthen my faith that I may believe. In the strong, sweet name of Jesus, Amen.

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