Lord's Day Liturgy

Confession Ex Nihilo

Last week we started to revisit Confession 101. Lesson #1 was, and is, that sin is bad. Sin blinds and rots and kills. Sin wrecked/wrecks the world.

Lesson #2 is: we all sin. Not only is sin destructive, it destroys every son of Adam and daughter of Eve. The apostle Paul wrote that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). We sin by transgressing, by crossing lines that God said not to cross. “Don’t lie.” We also sin by missing the mark, by failing to live up to other lines. “Love God with all your heart.” We all sin, both ways.

The apostle John wrote that “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8). Any claim to be sinless is as fabricated as the earth is flat. Additionally, “If we say we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:10). Believing lies may seem foolish, but saying that God lies is foul, heaping sin upon sin.

We all sin. This is not only the pronouncement of an evangelist, but also of a worship leader. John addresses his readers as “little children” and acknowledges that while we ought not to sin, “if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:2). We all sin, Christians too.

Our weekly time of confession is not a conscience goose chase, it is never confession ex nihilo, confession out of nothing; we each have plenty of material to work with. As Christians, we’re in even more trouble when we think we have not sinned. The Advocate works on behalf of guilty people who make the plea for forgiveness. That’s good news, because we all sin.