Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Confession: Loathing Our Sins and Ourselves - the Sinner...

Confession of sins (see HereHere, and Here) entails more than just listing and condemning our sins but also zeroing in on ourselves the sinner whose thoughts, words, and deeds always fall miserably short of the holiness required of us by God and so should always indict us. Indeed, amazingly we have been given the grace and mercy of God so that we can flee to Christ and there find our comfort and our remedy. Yet, our inherent fallen condition with which we daily struggle should always and increasingly humble us.
"We must know that our old state, with its evil principles, continues still in a measure, or else we shall not be fit for the great duties of confessing our sins, loathing ourselves for them, praying earnestly for the pardon of them, a just sorrowing for them with a godly sorrow, accepting the punishment of our sins and giving God the glory of His justice, and offering to Him the sacrifice of a glory and contrite spirit, being poor in spirit, working out our salvation with fear and trembling...
"You must make a good use of the whole matter and all the manner of prayer, as ordinary and extraordinary exigencies may require, to stir up grace in you by wrestling, and to bring your hearts into a holy frame. As in confession, you must condemn yourself according to the flesh, but not as you are in Christ. You must not deny that grace that you have, as if you were only wicked before, and now to begin again - which hinders praise for grace received in those that are already converted. In supplication, you must endeavour to work up your heart to a godly sorrow (Ps. 38: 18), and a holy sense of your own sin and misery, and lay before you the aggravations thereof (Ps. 51:3; 102). Complaint and lamentation are one great part of prayer, as the Lamentations of Jeremiah."  Walter Marshall. The Mystery of Gospel Sanctification 
From Calvin's Hosea commentary: 
Grant, Almighty God, that as thou art pleased to invite us daily to thyself, we may respond to thy call in the spirit of meekness and obedience; and do thou also so seriously impress our minds, that we may not only confess our sins, but also so loathe ourselves on account of them, that we may without delay seek the true remedy, and, relying on thy mercy, may so repent, that thy name may hereafter be glorified in us, until we shall at length become partakers of that glory, which thy Son has obtained for us by his own blood. -- Amen. (John Calvin)


  1. Amen. Trivial confessions comes from our thinking we have only "trivial sins". But we deserve death for our sins, and our only hope is the substitution of Christ's death for elect sinners.

    When we confess our sins, we confess that the forgiveness of our sins is not conditioned on our confessing sins. We confess both our sins and the gospel of God's great forgiveness.

    I John 1: 8 If we habitually saying as a way of life that, “We have no habitual sin,” we are habitually deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 When we confess our sins, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to CLEANSE US from all unrighteousness. 10 When we say, “We don’t have any habitual sin,” we make God a liar, and His word is not in us.

    They say that people can be both a judge and a forgiver. It's not the job of a judge to forgive. But in the case of those who are justified by Christ's death, God's judgment is forgiveness.