Thursday, March 23, 2006


My family and I have been visiting a small PCA church for the past several weeks now. We have been enjoying the bold biblical and doctrinaly sound teaching and preaching, the friendliness of the members and the the fact that this small church gives top priority to a weekly Wednesday night prayer meeting. When was the last time you heard of a church doing that ?

Last week one more thing occurred which I have never seen take place in the last 20 years in the "mega-church" my family and I have stopped attending. Displayed on the overhead screen was a compilation of several verses and expressions of statements of confessions of sin. The congregation stood and read these out loud.

Now the preacher at this church proclaims God's truth through God's word with power and boldness. Every time I hear him preach I am blessed. But by the time we were finished reading this out loud I felt like I was before the cross of Jesus again for the first time. By the time this was completed I felt broken, I felt sorrow for my disobedience toward God.

I got more out of that confession of my sin than I did from anything that occurred that Sunday morning.

Again, when we are better able to understand our sin from God's perspective, as taught in scripture, then we are more prepared to receive, appreciate, and understand God's mercy and grace. After we have died to ourselves, He is willing to offer new life through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.

This is not so complicated that we cannot believe it and receive it but it is so deep that this side of heaven I will never be able to completely understand it.




Merciful Father in Heaven, we confess that we have sinned and left off from following You with our whole hearts. We have followed too much our own desires and wants.

We are sinners, conceived and born in guilt and corruption who are prone to do evil and unable of ourselves to do any good. Because of our depravity, we continue to transgress Your holy commandments.

So, Father, we humble ourselves before You now, and we confess that we have not believed in You, our one God and Father, but have put our faith and trust more in creatures than in You, our God and Creator.

We confess that we have formed worthless idols in our hearts, idols of wealth, power, and earthly treasure, and we have bowed down and served them.

We confess that we have misused Your Name and have not professed it or kept it holy as we ought.

We confess that we have not honored our parents, and have been disobedient to them and to all those to whom we owe honor and obedience.

We confess that we have not respected life, but have murdered in our hearts, venting our anger against our neighbors whom we are to love.

We confess that we have been ungodly. In our flesh, we have sinned against You and have been excessive in eating, drinking, clothing, and in other things, and have been improper in our thinking, seeing, hearing, and speaking.

We confess that we have lied, that we have been untrue and unfaithful toward our neighbor, that we have shaded, twisted, and denied the truth.

We confess that we have coveted the possessions and spouses of others. In summary, we confess that our whole life is nothing other than sin and transgression of your holy commandments and an inclination toward all evil.

Therefore we beg of you, O gracious Father, that you would forgive us of these and all our sins. Keep and preserve us from now on that we may walk only in Your ways and live according to Your will, through Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Assurance of Pardon

Leader: These are the promises of God to you who truly repent of your sins and trust in Jesus Christ: He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases; He redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion; He satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He does not treat you as your sins deserve or repay you according to your iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed your transgressions from you. From everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children's children. Praise the LORD, O His people, and forget not all his benefits--Amen.


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