Confessing Sin in light of the Gospel

I encourage you to listen to Irons preach and then consider how this compares to the general thrust of what we will hear next Sunday.  When Lee is done serving the flock the Bread of Heaven, Jesus Christ, there is a real sense of comfort and confidence about having been adopted into this great family!

Lee Irons on Confessing Our Sins

My hope is that you, my friend, are weekly provide the genuine sustenance of a Gospel ministry.

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Christians, Partly Unbelievers

Mk.9.24. “I believe; help my unbelief!”

 

John Calvin, commenting on the text, stated:

“He declares that he believes, and yet acknowledges himself to have unbelief.  These two statements may appear to contradict each other, but there is none of us that does not experience both of them in himself. As our faith is never perfect, it follows that we are partly unbelievers; but God forgives us, and exercises such forbearance towards us, as to reckon us believers on account of a small portion of faith. It is our duty, in the meantime, carefully to shake off the remains of infidelity which adhere to us, to strive against them, and to pray to God to correct them, and, as often as we are engaged in this conflict, to fly to him for aid. If we duly inquire what portion has been bestowed on each, it will evidently appear that there are very few who are eminent in faith, few who have a moderate portion, and very many who have but a small measure.”

 

Kim Riddlebarger on Mark 9.24, goes on to say:

“Calvin had it right.  Because of indwelling sin, each one of us remains partly an unbeliever until we die. This means that we will constantly struggle with faith, doubt, and with indwelling sin. Remember that the law is written on our hearts. The gospel is not. This is why we need to continually hear the word preached, and why we need to receive the sacraments on a regular basis. When we do so, we are saying “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!” This man’s words are very much our own–or they should be. This should be our confession….

 

“It is precisely because we are partly unbelievers that we need to hear the gospel…. As partial unbelievers, our faith is weak and we go about the motions without the power and blessing of God, we will fail. But in Jesus, we have every resource we will ever need, and that without limit or measure.”

 

“Jesus knows we are partly unbelievers. It is not the strength of faith, nor the intensity of faith, that he’s looking for. It is the presence of faith. He simply asks us to trust in him, and seek his power through prayer. And when we do so, everything is possible. But it is only possible when we confess, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.”

A prayer…

My prayer: that the comforts and accomplishments of the Cross of Christ would bear directly upon our whole persons, now and forever more.  That we would continue finding ourselves drawn to the magnitude of the historic and heavenly event done in Christ alone.  Not only that we might personally benefit from being obsessed with this Jesus, but that our children and children’s children…might have very firm grounds for both faith and life.

 

It never ceases to amaze me as to how important this Gospel (Good News about God’s reconciling all things in and through Christ) is in our having something of God-given identity, which no one or no thing can take from us, regardless of our faults and frailties.  Today, like never before, I find myself more consciously resting in the work of the Father’s hand.  This, and this alone, has an ability to deal with the twin-sins of pride and fear, both of which are nothing other than manifestations of an underlying sin (the womb of all sin), that is, idolatry. 

 

I keep working through this type of thinking which brings the root cause (idolatry) to the surface.  In coming to see more clearly what idolatry is, there is an associated growing in liberty to serve God and man with good will and clarity of conscience.  Seeing idolatry for what it truly is — our placing confidence or acceptance anywhere but on God in Christ (his cross-work and current priestly work) — will gradual lead to our serving others without the motive of fear or pride.

 

This day marks a time when the greater glories of Christ are shining all the more brightly.  This is one passion that doesn’t wear-thin.  

 

May it be the case, that, each day is marked by a continuing and maturing passion for the glories of Christ found in that emblem of shame, the Cross.

Gospel-rooted Prayer

 Heb 13:20-21 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.  Carson:  “The thrust of the prayer is twofold: first, that God would equip “you” (the Christian readers) “with everything good for doing his will”; and second, that he would work “in us what is pleasing to him”.  In other words, there is a tremendous emphasis on doing God’s will, on living in ways that are pleasing to him.  Although the prayer is for Christians, the entire focus is on God and what pleases him.  The most important prayer for Christians is that they do God’s will, that God will work in them what is pleasing to him.”