Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Proverbs 28 & 29 - Confession of Sin is a Win-Win!

LINK: Proverbs 28 & Proverbs 29 
(Read over the next two days)

BACKGROUND

I am doing Proverbs 28 & 29 together since they have so much in common. They have a number of antithetical verses. As a reminder “antithetical parallelism” is a form of Hebrew poetry. They are verses of contrast in which the second line is introduced by “but.” Eighteen verses of contrast are in Proverbs 28, and 12 are in Proverbs 29. Rulers, kings, and other people in power are mentioned frequently. Five of the six references in Proverbs to the Law are in these two chapters. Other frequent subjects are the poor and poverty, and the wicked contrasted with the righteous.

REFLECTION on Proverbs 28:13


He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.

I had a group of guy friends who met every week for two years in their early twenties to confess every sin they had committed the previous week. Now that is radical accountability. Needless to say, they are all in their fifties now and are still a very close knit group who has stayed close to the Lord too.

After Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit, they tried to hide from God. We often try to do that too, but hiding sin does not pay off. Solomon’s own father, David, was a living example of someone who tried to hide his sin after he slept with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12, Psalm 51). Sin sapped David of all strength (Psalm 32:3-4), and it drains us too!

Confession is a far better way to deal with sin. It is good for the entire person: body, soul, and spirit. It results in God’s mercy and forgiveness (Psalms 34:5; 51:1-12). We prosper when we are pardoned! We experience true peace! We add even more to the blessing when we confess our sins to one another (James 5:16) because they can pray for us! We can also experience love and compassion from others who can bear our burdens (Galatians 6:2, Colossians 3:13), and sharpen us toward maturity in Christ by holding us accountable (Proverbs 27:17).

Remember . . .

Confession of sin is a win-win!

APPLICATION

Confession is a very important part of any personal prayer time. I pray regularly through a series of Morning Affirmations in the book Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship by Kenneth Boa. I love the “Examination” and “Identity in Christ” sections of those affirmations. God’s love and forgiveness does free us! I will close in our prayer time with those sections from the book.

Also, if you have never tried it, maybe that friend we talked about in yesterday’s application would be willing to try a radical accountability experiment like my guy friends did back in their twenties. It is never too late to start!

PRAYER

Try reading this prayer from Face to Face: Praying the Scriptures for Intimate Worship (pp. 4-5) out loud as a verbal affirmation:


Examination 
Holy Spirit, search my heart and reveal to me any unconfessed sin you find in me: 
Search me, O God, and know my heart; 
Test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
See if there is any offensive way in me,And lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24) 
Lord, I thank you for the forgiveness you promised when you said: 
Come now, let us reason together: 
Though your sins are like scarlet, 
They shall be as white as snow; 
Though they are red as crimson, 
They shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18) 
My Identity in Christ 
I rejoice, Lord Jesus, in the identity I have in You: 
I have been crucified with You and it is no longer I who live, but You who live in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in You, the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Yourself up for me. (Galatians 2:20) 
I have forgiveness from the penalty of sin because You died for me: 
But You, O God, demonstrate Your own love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) 
I have freedom from the power of sin because I died with You: 
In You, O Christ, I was circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by Your circumcision, having been buried with You in baptism and raised with You through faith in the working of God, who raised You from the dead. (Colossians 2:11-12)
I have fulfillment for this day because You live in me: 
I eagerly expect and hope that I will no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always You, Jesus Christ, will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live in You, Jesus Christ, means everything and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20-21) 
By faith, I will allow You, O Christ, to manifest Your life through me: 
Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in You and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of You. (2 Corinthians 2:14)

You can download all of the Morning Affirmations HERE.  
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