1 John 1:9-10 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.
Of course, most of us don't admit our mistakes, do we?
Most of us are like the little girl who tried to ignore her mistakes entirely. Oh, you don't know about that little girl? Let me tell you her story. This little girl was in the kindergarten class of an experimental school. The institution's headmaster walked into her class when it was visiting the library. Without a word to the teacher, he smiled and sat down on a small library chair, next to the girl.
The headmaster asked her to identify what she was looking at. She glowed as she began. "That's a dog; that's a cat; that's a house; that's a car; that's a fire truck." Then she came to the page which had a picture of a hatchet. She incorrectly identified, "That's a "hammer." The headmaster didn't correct her but let her continue. On the very next page, the little girl found the picture of a hammer.
She turned back to the picture of the hatchet, then the hammer, hatchet, hammer. Knowing she had been wrong, the girl chose not to admit anything. Instead, she quietly closed the book, and whispered, "You know, we are in the library, and we really shouldn't be talking."
Like that little girl, most of us refuse to admit we are first-class sinners and, if we have done something not no nice, we had a reason. Maybe our parents weren't fair, or maybe life has treated us shabbily. Maybe we have been put upon by strangers, or not understood by those who should have been close to us. Possibly, we were picked on in school by a bully, or we're tired of waiting in long lines.
We have our reasons for doing what we do.
True, we may not be without our faults and flaws, but we don't' sell drugs to school children, and we certainly aren't purveyors of internet porn. We may have some serious shortcomings, but we haven't robbed from widows, and we don't steal from babies or kick puppies. When God looks down at us, in comparison with others, we're pretty nice. We're the kind of people that God ought to be glad to have come into heaven. In fact, when we think about it, we can almost see Him standing at the pearly gates, smiling as He gives the order: "Peter, throw open the gates of glory! Today we're going to have a parade. Open wide the heavenly portals, because a not-so-bad-sinner is coming in."
Folks, I want to tell you that's not the way it works. Jesus Christ came to seek and save sinners.
Jesus was born to take the place of sinners. Jesus lived His life avoiding the transgressions which sinners commit. Jesus died to pay the debt which sinners had brought upon themselves. And, if you refuse to admit you're a sinner, there's just not a whole lot that Jesus can do for you. When you refuse to admit your sin, when you continue to maintain you're fine just the way you are, you're turning your back on the blood-bought salvation Jesus has won for you.
Now, I understand why, in this era of I'm okay and you're okay, you might not want to admit you have done some pretty serious wrong stuff. It's only natural. It's not right, but Scripture tells us it's pretty human for us to try and cover our mistakes and put up a pretense of innocence and respectability.
Far better to make confession to the Savior and hear His heartfelt words of forgiveness. Jesus had a reason why He came into this world. It was to offer Himself as the ransom which would make forgiveness and salvation possible for people of faith.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You are merciful to sinners like me ... and all who are reading these words. For Jesus' sacrifice which has made this possible, I praise You. In His Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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