In this session we will look at the theme of confessing our sins – about restoring fellowship, intimacy, nearness, with the God of joy, as we deal with our stink.
In this session we will be focusing on the words CONFESS and OUR SINS from the verse in 1 John 1:9. This is explored in chapters two and three in the book, Spiritual Detox.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (ESV)
If we don’t confess our sins we leave things to get in a mess and ultimately we put up a barrier towards God and our relationship with Him diminishes. It separates us from fellowship with God. Fellowship is about the perfection of joy. Confession renews and restores the fellowship as we deal with the sin.
We confess in two ways; First, by seeing God. Getting our eyes off ourselves and seeing God’s perfection empowers confession because we begin to see just how far short of his glory we’ve fallen, but in the context of loving communion with him.
Second, get to know your besetting sins. Try to understand what your ‘go to’ sin might be in order that you can put things in place to help overcome them. Again, to remind you, you’re not identifying your sin to beat yourself up with it but, through Christ, to remove yourself fully of the burden of it.
1 John 2:22-23
In what ways are confessing and denying contrasting opposites?
How might confession and repentance be two sides of the same coin in 1 John 1:9, like Proverbs 28:13?
1 Samuel 15:24-35
Compare and contrast how Saul here, and David in Psalms 32 and 51 confess their sin? Which is true/false?
What is the difference between having a bath and washing feet when it comes to sin?
If washing feet parallel’s daily confessing sin, what ‘foot’ sins, walking where you shouldn’t, trampling upon people to get what you want, standing still – not doing much to alleviate the suffering of others, do you need to confess?
Another great help to pray and confess when we might be struggling to find our own words is to use the prayers of those who’ve gone before us. Reading these confessions is a rich reminder of God’s faithfulness to generation after generation of his people. His character, love, and offer of fellowship, are consistent across all times, cultures and nations. One day we will not know the deceased authors of these confessions as names of dead people on a page but as living people whom we will spend eternity with, sharing our stories of mercy and grace.
Take some time to slowly read and pray these great ancient words, written by Origen of Alexandria, and then individually try to write your own, and if you feel confident why not pray them out loud with your group.