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Confession

Augustine of Hippo said:

“The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works” - Augustine of Hippo

At the heart of God is the desire to forgive and love.

Jesus saw that through his vicarious suffering he could really take on all the evil of humanity and thus heal it by forgiving it. This was the most sublime and holy work that made possible the confession and forgiveness of sins.

“He who knew no sin, he made sin.” 2. Corinthians 5:21

John Wesley spoke in one of his sermons about the need for us to inherit more of God's forgiving grace.

The discipline of confession can help us grow “to perfect manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13)

Confession is a consciously chosen course of action that leads us into the shadow of the Almighty.

When we look at other people we come to feel that everyone else has progressed so far in holiness that we find ourselves isolated and alone in our sin. This realization can lead to a life that is hidden and involved in veiled lies and hypocrisy.

We are nothing less than, "a fellowship of sinners, we are free to hear the unconditional call of God's love and to confess our need openly before others."

The path of confession enables us to forgive and seek forgiveness.

“If any of you forgive their sins, they are forgiven them; if children are withheld they are withheld”. John 20:23

There is a process of understanding confession and forgiveness, they are:

We've been praying, even begging, for forgiveness, and though hoping to be forgiven, we've felt no deliverance - (Guilt)
We have doubted our forgiveness and lost hope in our confession - (Lack of self-forgiveness)
We fear that perhaps we have made confession only to ourselves and not to God.
The sorrows and hurts of the past, which haunt us, have not been healed.
We have tried to convince ourselves that God only forgives sin, but he does not erase the memory.

We accept God's forgiveness by faith, not by what we feel. But bitterness and misery remain in our lives, and we come to believe that forgiveness is just a ticket to heaven that doesn't affect us in our life at the present time, or that we are not worthy of God's forgiving grace.

Peter brings us a perspective that needs to be in our mind always.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood”. 1 Peter 2:9

We are able to make a confession only because he first loved us (1 John 4:19). The evidence of mercy and grace creates a contrite heart and allows confession to flow into our lives.

With that, we arrive with hopeful hearts, for he loves us as a father of a lost son who is welcomed back into his home.

To walk the path of confession we need:

"An examination of conscience" - this is the hour "when the soul places itself under the contemplation of God and when it is penetrated to the very core and becomes aware of the things that must be forgiven and straightened out before it can continue to love Him whose care has been so constant” - Douglas Steere. - At this time we must be prepared for a confession of definite sins.

A “tristeza” faz parte de uma boa confissão. Esta tristeza não é uma simples emoção, embora possa existir, mas trata-se de uma repugnância por haver cometido o pecado, um lamento profundo por haver ofendido o coração do Pai. A tristeza aqui é antes de tudo a expressão da vontade e não das emoções.
“Determinação de evitar o pecado”. Pedimos a Deus que nos dê um ardente desejo de viver santamente, e um ódio pela vida ímpia. Buscamos de Deus a vontade de ser libertos do pecado quando nos preparamos para fazer confissão. Devemos desejar ser conquistados e governados por Deus. - Não temos de fazer Deus ficar disposto a nos perdoar. Na verdade, Deus é quem está trabalhando para fazer-nos dispostos a buscar seu perdão.

“A quem devemos confessar?” - “Portanto, confessai vossos pecados uns aos outros e orai uns pelos outros para serdes curados. A súplica de uma pessoa justa é muito poderosa e eficaz.” Tiago 5:16

A confissão começa em tristeza mas termina em alegria.

A Disciplina da confissão acaba com o fingimento. Deus está nos chamando para que possamos criar uma igreja que entenda muito bem esta disciplina de maneira aberta reconhecendo nossa fragilidade, uma igreja que conhece não só a graça perdoadora de Cristo mas também a graça de Cristo que lhe dá autoridade.

A honestidade conduz à confissão, e a confissão conduz à mudança.


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