Morning Meditation: A Confession Lifestyle
What does the Christian life look like? What does it mean to confess my sins?
Transcript: Welcome to the Light of Christ Weekly Podcast. Light of Christ Anglican Church is located in Georgetown, Texas at MLK and University Avenue. We are a modern expression of the ancient faith. You can learn more about us at lightofchristgeorgetown.org
Our morning meditation for today comes from 1 John chapter one starting in verse six. “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 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. 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.”
I find that there's often a misunderstanding about what it means to confess and receive forgiveness as a Christian. We have this conception that we come to the cross, we confess, we receive forgiveness, and then we leave the cross to do our life as best we can until we fall on our face again and then come back to the cross. But this is not what John is talking about and this is really not the Christian life. The Christian life is not confessing and then going and doing things in your own power again, and then confessing your sin, and going doing things in you own power again until you mess up and then coming back and confess your sin again.
Rather, the Christian life is a life that is built on top of the cross. It's a life that is built on confessing. It's a confessing life, a life that's lived confessing one's sin and receiving forgiveness and living in that forgiveness. So confession isn't so much an action. I mean, it is that. But it is a lifestyle, a way of living. For a Christian, confessing sin, receiving forgiveness, and living in the power of that forgiveness should be like breathing. And John makes that very clear.
So not to get too technical here, but in Greek, the language that John is using to write his epistle, the verb has something called aspect. Aspect is what type of action the verb describes. And so this word here, for confess, “if we confess our sin,” has a continuous aspect. And so it could be translated, “if we are confessing our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The point here is that confession of sin is the continuous activity of the Christian. We're constantly confessing our sin, receiving Christ's forgiveness so that we're not living in shame and guilt.
The problem occurs when we go away from the cross and try to do our own thing in our own power, then we fall on our face and feel like we have to come back again. But if we understand that our life is being built upon the cross and don't move away from it, then we can truly begin to live a life free from shame and guilt, constantly being renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit as we walk in the light as Christ is in the light.
Thank you for listening to the Light of Christ Weekly Podcast. Let us end our time together with a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. You can find this prayer “In Times of Suffering or Weakness” on page 674.
Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, I hold up all my weakness to your strength, my failure to your faithfulness, my sinfulness to your perfection, my loneliness to your compassion, my little pains to your great agony on the cross. I pray that you will cleanse me, strengthen me, guide me, so that in all ways my life may be lived as you would have it lived without cowardice and for you alone. Show me how to live in true humility, true contrition, and true love. Amen.