Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Conviction, Confession, Commitment

Baptist do not spend much time with these topics. We like guilt more than conviction, penance better than confession, and compliance rather than commitment. Thus, our sermons seem to say, “You are a guilty sinner who must walk down this aisle so that you can be like the rest of us!”

But this not the desire of the Living God. He wants us to be forgiven and in His presence. He wants us to be in the middle of His will. He wants us to be with Him forever. He did not send Jesus to die so that we would stay perpetually guilty. He has no desire to see our penance for something we could never pay for. He does not care if our morals are the same as those around us. He wants us, not our remorse for the things we have done.

So, we understand His word and conviction comes. It may include a measure of guilt but its purpose is to bring us to confession. Confession is not revealing to God what we have done wrong. It is calling it sin, admitting who is at fault and realizing it has ultimately been an affront to God.

Godly confession pushes us to a new commitment. It is called repentance. It may take an effort to turn away from the sin and go the right direction. This is why it cannot be casual. It cannot be simply expected because we have felt so guilty for what we have done.

I have heard many people ask me why they keep doing the same bad things. They call them mistakes. That’s their first problem. Sins are not mistakes. Mistakes are efforts to get things right which go wrong. Sins are moral failures.

There will always be an estrangement between God and His people as long as sin is present. There will always be fellowship with a people who when convicted confess and commit to Him. The really sad condition is when people think that their distance between God and themselves is normal. They think that no one really “hears” God because they have never heard Him.

Thus, their lives are fearful of death because they haven’t spoken and heard from the One who will ensure that heaven is real. They clamor for books which tell of a real heaven. They long to hear stories of those who claim to have been there. They are trying to build their faith upon the testimony of others. However, others’ testimonies are always theirs. No one can make someone else’s testimony their own.

Our faith would not amount to much if we are merely average Christians. The average Christian admits that he has not had any contact with God. He bases His whole faith on walking down the aisle, baptism or some other overt act rather than the presence of Christ in him.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

1 John 1:5-10 (ESV)  
5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

No comments: