Blueprints: Confession

Blueprints  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings

blueprints for a christian...blueprints for a church

Good morning everyone, I am so happy to be here this morning and to worship together as a family. I know I always say it, but I love the opportunity to get together every week here. I also want to welcome our kids to join your amazing teachers in the back so that you can go and talk about Scripture in a way that makes sense to you. Lastly, I want to welcome those of you that are joining us online this morning. It is such a blessing that you have joined our extended family here today…Of course as always I want to invite you to join us in person next Sunday at 9:30am. We have great coffee, a comfortable space and the most amazing family here waiting for you. Also, I should let everyone know that we are continuing to update our church website at and we have our podcast on Spotify and Google and I am still working on getting us into other places. If there is a particular podcast platform you use, please let me know and I will see if we can get on that platform as well. The purpose of our Youtube channel, our podcast, and website is so that you can go back and listen to any message from the past that impacted you, you can share a message with a friend or family and allow that to be an encouragement to them as much as it is to you.
So, after all of those introductions, now I get to get into the really good stuff and begin to focus back on the Lord and see what the Scriptures have for us this morning. We are in the middle of this series called Blueprints and we are looking at the blueprints are for a growing church as we are seeking to continue to grow as a church, but also the blueprints of a growing Christian as we all seek to grow closer to the Lord. So far in this series we have seen that prayer is the first and arguably most important aspect of a growing church, we talked about how Jesus saw that it was important to spend time alone with the Father, and Paul taught us to not stop praying, in other words to have a prayerful attitude at all times. Then last week we looked at the second page of the blueprints and we saw that the Bible is actually trustworthy and good. We saw that the Bible has authority and is useful for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness. I mean, really the Bible is pretty much the whole blueprint isn’t it…Scripture is everything.
You know when I think about that I remember back in Lafayette as we were remodeling the building that we purchased for the church. I remember searching and finding the original blueprints of the building and how helpful that really was. I remember looking at the original plans as we were looking to do various aspects of work and there was a time when it became very difficult to move forward. You see, the original builders had veered away from the blueprints and the plumbing was not where it was supposed to be. That was really problematic becuase we were moving some things around. It caused us to have to dig up extra flooring and search and find the main plumbing. It really impressed upon me how important it is to stay faithful to the blueprints that you are given. Not just for you, but for future contractors and future growth…Well, the same is true with the blueprints of a growing church. You see, if we are not faithful to the blueprints, then it makes it really difficult to accomplish what we are doing long term. It might work out well for a little bit, but long term when we we veer away from the blueprints, it causes problems. Well, the next page of our blueprints is a page that many churches leave off. Its a page many Christians leave off too, so I want to encourage you to really listen and meditate on what we are going to talk about today....Today we are going to look briefly at


What is confession and why is it important? Is it important? What is the point of confessing our sins if God already knows and already has forgiven us of our sins? I mean, that really is the attitude of many people, isn’t it? Maybe you don’t actively say that this is your perspective, but do your actions reveal that this is your perspective. I can remember a time in my life where I did pretty much think that there is no need to confess because God has already forgiven. I may not have said it out loud, but I definitely thought it to myself, and my actions absolutely revealed this belief. So as we look at this topic this morning, I want to ask you to be honest about your own beliefs and actions. Maybe you will leave this morning encouraged that you are confessing in a way that is pleasing to the Lord, or maybe you will leave this morning with a renewed desire to enter into a time of confession.
For now though it really is time to look at the Scripture and see what we can learn about the topic of confession. Actually we are going to see something really important this morning. We are going to look at a couple of different passages and we are goign to see that there are

Two Types of Confession

In order to see the first type of confession we are going to look into the OT. Back at a time when the Jews had been exiled to Babylon for 70 years, there was a man named Nehemiah. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes and he had a vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and repopulate the Jewish city. It is really interesting becuase before any of this happened, Nehemiah was heartbroken and went to God in prayer. Look at
Nehemiah 1:4 (ESV)
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.
That’s important, becuase if you remember prayer was the first page of our blueprints for a growing church, and this is what we see Nehemiah doing first. Then as we continue we see something else pretty amazing. We see Nehemiah stay focused on Scripture. Look at
Nehemiah 8:1 (ESV)
And all the people gathered as one man into the square before the Water Gate. And they told Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses that the Lord had commanded Israel.
Nehemiah 8:8 (ESV)
They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
In other words, they read the Scriptures and they explained so that everyone there, adult and child were able to understand what was being said. So, Nehemiah started with prayer, and they continued with Scripture, which just happens to be the second page of our blueprints for a growing church...
So, next after the Jewish nation has heard and seen what God has commanded of them, and what they have not been doing, let’s see what they do next.
Nehemiah 9:1–3 ESV
Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. And the Israelites separated themselves from all foreigners and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their fathers. And they stood up in their place and read from the Book of the Law of the Lord their God for a quarter of the day; for another quarter of it they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.
So something pretty amazing happened here as they gathered together. The spent time in prayer and they spent time reading Scriptures. Then as they read the Scripture their own sin and rebellion was magnified and they were drawn to enter into a time of ...

Confession to the Lord

This is amazing to be honest. I mean, when is the last time you read the Lord and were reminded of your own sin and your need for repentance? Just answer that question for yourself…They did exactly that. You see, the law shows us our sin. We see that in
Romans 3:20 (ESV)
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
“through the law comes the knowledge of sin”…Well, when they were faced with their own sin, then they were able to see their need to confess their sin. So, they took time to confess their sins and seek the Lord’s forgiveness. They realized that their needed to be a time of self-reflection, however they could not spend so much time focusing on self that they begin tot ignore the Lord. No, they separated themselves from foreigners, from non-believers, and prayed as they reflected and confessed to the Lord.
What I love about this is that their time of prayer together was not simply asking God for things. No, their time of prayer together involved actively admitting their own sin and seeking God’s forgiveness. That is something that is frequently missing in the church....that is something that is frequently missing in the life of a Christian. So, this morning I want to ask you to answer this question, Is confession to the Lord missing in my life?
You know I talk with alot of people throughout the week. Some of those that I talk to will discuss various issues that they are having from time to time. We will discuss the Scripture and how the Scripture impacts the issues they are personally facing. Many times people will tell me about all of the bad things going on in their lives, but they will be unable to tell me about the ways they see God. Let me give you all a freebie this morning. Whenever you see sin and failure in your life, immediately look to the Lord and confess your sins. Then keep looking to the Lord. You see, the more you look to yourself as the hope and answer the more you will feel hopeless. the more you look to the Lord as the only true source of hope, there will be hope. Confess your sins, and focus on his perfections, not your imperfections...
Now, we do see something else going on here with the people of Israel. We see that they are not isolated in their confession…We actually see that they are together, meaning they are confessing to the Lord and seeking forgiveness, but they have also entered into a time of...

Confession to Each Other

Now, this is a really interesting idea, isn’t it? I mean, they are actually sharing with each other…That means they are open about their personal sins with others during this time. That was simply a natural byproduct of them confessing to the Lord. However, it is also an example of something that we will see is taught in the NT as well. Actually, there is a guy named James, who is the brother of Jesus. Well, James wrote,
James 5:16 (ESV)
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
You see, there is something going on with confession of sin. We looked at one passage, but throughout the OT we see that the act of confession is very important to the Jewish people, both for individuals as well as communities. Then we see the same in the NT. Now this is not talking about confession to an Elder or anyone in leadership…this is speaking about publically confessing in the presence of your brothers and sisters in Christ. James is saying that the church should be characterized by mutual confession. That means I confess to the Lord with you and you confess to the Lord with me. The reason for this is that when we are honest about our sins we will begin to see patterns of sin emerge, and then we can help each other, as beleivers, avoid that very sin through mutual accountability. However, that means that as beleivers, when we are confessing our sins, we much be humbly honest about our struggles. Actually, theologian Kurt Richardson says,
The confession of sin entails humble honesty about the fact of having committed sin... --Kurt A. Richardson
Now, when this passage was written by James, it was not written in past tense. No, it was actually written as an imperative in present tense meaning that confession is a continual and habitual practice. So another way of James saying this would be to say, “You should get into the habit of admitting your sins to each other.”
Now, this morning I understand it can be daunting to begin confessing to each other. It can also be daunting to begin confessing in the presence of each other. However, confession must start somewhere. So, this morning we are going to have a brief time of personal confession to the Lord. In order to prepare for that, there are a few things that we need to all agree on.
Sin is real. In todays culture where many are normalizing sin, we must stand firm in the Gospel that sin is in fact real. Sin is, at its core, rebellion against God. That means anything that goes against the clear teachings of Scripture is sin.
Sin is wrong. Again, so many in our culture today would disagree with what constitutes a sin, and therefore they would would disagree that sin is wrong. In a culture where everyone gets their own “truth”, no one is wrong. However, as Christians we must realize that sin is wrong.
I have sinned. Ok, this is the one that is a little harder to deal with isn’t it? I mean, in our hearts, we know that we have sinned. However, when confronted with the reality of our own sin…well, sometimes we get a little defensive don’t we.
So, this morning, if you have never admitted that you have in fact sinned, let me encourage you to go to God humbly for the first time and admit that you are a sinner. As you do that, ask for his forgiveness and then commit to live a life that honors and glorifies him.
If you are here this morning and you have admitted that you have sinned, but maybe you haven’t had that conversation with God in a while; let me encourage you to go to God humbly and admit your sins. As you do that, accept his forgiveness and commit to live a life that honors and glorifies him.
Whether this is your first time going to God or your 100th time going to God, let me encourage you to make this a habit. We talked a couple of weeks ago about having a heart of prayer at all times, lets add to that a heart of confession at all times. So, we are praying and confessing to the Lord at all times. Then we can begin to add others as we build that trust in the Lord.
The way we are going to do that this morning is through a time of communion. This morning I am going to ask you to come up to the Lord…to get out of the normal and symbolically step out in faith as you focus on the work of the cross and your own sin that was placed on the shoulders of Jesus.
Lets pray...
Now as we begin to think about a time of communion I want to give a little instruction to us. This morning there will be some music playing in just a moment and while that music is playing I will ask you to step out and walk around the back of the sanctuary to the side and up to the table where the elements have been placed. You will take your elements and you will walk back to your chair. As you are walking, and as you are sitting, I want to encourage you to spend that time alone with the Lord, taking those elements as you are ready…remembering the words of Jesus when he said,
Luke 22:19–20 ESV
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
Jesus’ body was given as a sacrifice for our sins, and his blood was split for a new covenant that only he can fulfill...
Lets pray...
After everyone has passed through and taken these elements and spent a moment in prayer, an Elder will come up and close out our time of communion and then Nathanael will come up and lead us in our closing song of worship this morning.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more