Trinity Vineyard Sunday Morning

Just One Thing: Confession

March 23, 2024 Trinity Vineyard Church Season 2 Episode 21
Trinity Vineyard Sunday Morning
Just One Thing: Confession
Show Notes

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.

- Psalm 32:1-5

Imagine a world without forgiveness - where a wrong just remains, lodged in our lives. Injuries suffered and inflicted by you, unable to heal.

In Christianity Rediscovered, the story of a missionaries work with the Masai tribes of Tanzania, the author writes of a strange encounter with a man who seemed to be on the fringes of the group.

It was a simple question but it mystified me. He asked, “Can you people bring forgiveness of sin?” I hadn’t gotten around to forgiveness yet (or confession). I was still trying to get across the consciousness and reality of sin. I thought the man was not paying attention. I did not answer his question. I told him I would get to that some other day. Then, afterwards, I found out who he was. He was a man who had committed a great sin against the taboos of the Masai tribe. So he had become an outcast, belonging to no community… The worst part of it was that the sin in question was unforgiveable. There was no forgiveness possible from God or man. He was destined to live his life as a despicable outcast. No wonder he had asked me if I and my people could bring forgiveness.

Psalm 32 shows the journey away from the psychological, spiritual and physical burden of undealt with sin, the result of the corruption of the human heart: incurvartus in se, curved in on itself, so that we pollute and misuse even the good gifts of God. When he confesses, he is forgiven - they are carried, covered and not counted.

To offer each other confession and forgiveness is to offer blessing. It is the only way for the wound to heal. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes in Life Together,

It is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come, as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; He wants you alone. ‘My son, give me thine heart’ (Prov. 23:26).
God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation through truth. You can hide nothing from God. The mask you wear before men will do you no good before Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to go on lying to yourself and your brothers, as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner. Thank God for that.”