Wednesday March 20, 2019
Today’s Focus How people are to be taught to confess
Today’s Scripture Reading 1 John 1
We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning,[a] whom we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is the Word of life. 2 This one who is life itself was revealed to us, and we have seen him. And now we testify and proclaim to you that he is the one who is eternal life. He was with the Father, and then he was revealed to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We are writing these things so that you may fully share our joy.[b]
5 This is the message we heard from Jesus[c] and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.
Daily Reflection Luther: “How people are to be taught to confess”
What is confession?
Confession consist of two parts. One is that we confess our sins. The other is that we receive the absolution, that is, forgiveness, from the pastor as from God Himself and by no means doubt but firmly believe that our sins are thereby forgiven before God in heaven.
Which sins is a person to confess?
Before God one is to acknowledge the guilt for all sins, even those of which we are not aware, as we do in the Lord’s Prayer. However, before the pastor we are to confess only those sins of which we have knowledge and which trouble us.
Which sins are these?
Here reflect on your place in life in light of the Ten Commandments: whether you are father, mother, son, daughter, master, mistress, servant; whether you have been disobedient, unfaithful, lazy, whether you have harmed anyone by word or deed; whether you have stolen, neglected, wasted, or injured anything.
Some questions for reflection
- In Scripture we hear “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.” Why do you suppose people “fool themselves” and don’t live in the truth? Are there good reasons for this?
- Luther believed that confession was critical to a believers life. Our Lutheran faith shares both public confession and absolution and individual confession and absolution; why do you suppose that we have lost our tradition of sharing in individual confession and absolution?
Today’s discipleship challenge
Write about a “sin” which you participated in. After you are completely honest with yourself and with God about this sin; ask God to be able to feel the effects of forgiveness. Either share this with your pastor, a close friend, or offer the sin to God and burn the piece of paper making a burnt offering to God.
Gracious God, You are rich in mercy, You have loved us even when we have committed grievous sins, You have made us alive together with Jesus Christ. In Your great grace we ask that we might feel the power and strength of Your forgiveness dwelling in our life. May we be strengthened with power shared by the Spirit, that Christ might live in our hearts through this day. Amen.