Today’s post is part of a series to help us take what we learn on Sunday into the rest of the week. These posts summarize the main points from the week’s sermon and include questions for continued reflection and prayer. The posts in this series are written by members of our church’s Adult Christian Formation team. This past Sunday, our service theme was “God Changes Us.” Pastor Bobby preached about how confession leads to freedom from the text 1 John 1:8-2:2. The main message of his sermon was that confession of our sin and repentance will transform us as a result of Christ’s work. People in our society want and need confession. We all need a place to be real and confess who we are. Unfortunately, most people don’t see the church as that place. Too often, as Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, “the pious community permits no one to be a sinner.” How do we become people who practice confession and experience the freedom it brings? We can apply two principles:
- Own your stuff. In a previous sermon, Bobby addressed what it means to walk in the light. In these verses, 1 John expands on that reality in light of the need for confession to avoid self-deception. As Martin Luther put it, “the entire life of believers should be repentance.” If we live that kind of lifestyle, we can experience a lifelong transformation that moves us away from selfishness and toward awareness of others. That starts with truly confessing our sin.
- Own your advocate. Christ is our advocate (2:1), and God forgives us because of God’s own faithfulness and justice enacted on the cross. Because of what Jesus did, there is no need for us to make the case for our own righteousness. We also have nothing to lose by owning our stuff. If we confess our sin, we can walk in freedom because of what Jesus did.