Scriptural Gem for May 2011

In 1 John 1:9 we read: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness"

The english word 'confess' has developed the meaning (for many of us) of saying what we have done wrong or coming clean about something or unburdening ourselves of something on our conscience. However, a closer look at the Greek word for 'confess' sheds light on what is actually meant by the word in the New Testament. The Greek word is 'Homologeo' and is made up of two parts - 'Homo' which means 'the same', and 'Logeo' which means 'to speak' - so, literally - 'the same to speak' or 'agree'. Now the question is: agree with what, agree with whom? This is the crux of the matter. We think that confession means that we do a quick self-diagnosis of our sins, list them and confess them to God. However, in Jeremiah 17:9 we read: "The (human) heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked - who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart...". You see, our self diagnosis is really like asking a mother about her new-born baby - the picture is always going to be rosy! No, instead we must ask God to search our hearts and whatever He convicts us of by His Holy Spirit, we simply 'agree' with. That is what true confession means.

Search me O God, and know my heart... (Psalm 139:23) Amen.

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