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Never give up… Confessing sin

("Never Give Up" is a series of posts on what we do together in a Sunday service. You can find all topics here.)

Some find CCM strange because our services have so little formal liturgy. (Liturgy is a set pattern of words, often read together from a sheet or book.) Some find us strange because we have any at all. Some just find us strange, but that’s another matter!

We like our services to be as understandable and interesting as possible, so that any visitors feel they are included and know what is going on. That’s why we have relatively little liturgy. But in every one of our services we say a confession together, taking a moment to admit our sin to God and ask again for his forgiveness.

God’s people have always been a forgiven people. That’s the only thing that separates us from anyone else – not intelligence or morals or spirituality. And so God’s people have always confessed our sin and asked God’s forgiveness and grace to change. We do that individually and we do it together – look at Nehemiah 1 or Daniel 9 for examples.

As ever, here are some thoughts on how to approach our confessions:

  • Think about attitudes and actions. When we think of our sin, we often think of things we’ve done, and that’s good. “Do not steal”, is a command from God, and it’s sin to break it. But so is “be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5)
  • Fight to concentrate. It’s easy to just glaze over as we read words from the page and miss their significance. Maybe use the moment before we confess together to think about one of the phrases we will say, and chew it over. Think about its meaning and feel its weight.
  • Forgive quickly. When Jesus taught us to confess sins, he said “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6). As we come to ask our Father for forgiveness, we can’t nurse grudges against our brothers or sisters. If there is a broken relationship, today is a great day to start sorting it out.

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9). Let’s not give up confessing our sins together!