Confession, forgiveness, avoiding self-loathing, and reorienting towards God after we fall

Video


Summary

This week we talked about how to recover after we have stumbled in sin – the procedure for picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off, and getting back onto the high road to Zion. A good bit of time is spent discussing 1 John 1:9, and how obtaining forgiveness really is as simple as this verse says: if we confess to God (and mean it), then God does forgive us just like that, because Jesus Christ has already paid the price to redeem us.

Timestamps

00:00 - Introduction
02:21 - Confess to the Lord
16:20 - Accept God’s forgiveness
21:15 - Avoid self-loathing
24:45 - Reorient
26:52 - Looking back is not productive for us as Christians
30:46 - Summary/recap

Content

(Derived from https://ichthys.com/6A-Peripateo.htm)

What to make of the fact that we all sin?

Hebrews 12:12-13 | translation from Ichthys

(12) Therefore (going back to the race analogy of v.1), pick up those hands hanging slack at your side, put some strength back into your weak knees, (13) and make straight tracks for your feet, so that, [even though you fell down,] what you sprained might not be twisted completely out of joint, but might instead work its way back to health.

No one has ever run a perfect race. No one has ever fought a perfect fight.

In spiritual terms, while we deeply desire to walk perfectly with our Lord at all times – and that is the standard to which we have been called – sinless perfection is something which even the most mature of believers will never achieve.

The great believers of the Bible may have come close, but even they had feet of clay (and some of their more prominent lapses are recorded in scripture in part to assure us that this principle is true).

The fact of imperfection must not, however, be allowed to become a justification or rationale for sloppiness in our spiritual walk.

Quite to the contrary, we ought to be humbled by the knowledge that “we all stumble much” (Jas.3:2), and for that very reason make it a top priority to defend against just such stumbling as far are we are able to do so. But even with our best effort, there will be times when we fail, for “all sin” (Rom.3:23).

When we do fail, when we do sin, when we do fall into some bad pattern or fall out of our good pattern that has brought us to where we are in our spiritual advance, the advice given by Paul in the quote above should be embraced immediately and energetically: we need to get back up; we need to pull ourselves back together; and we need to get back into the race just as soon as is humanly possible.

Wash don’t wallow

Nothing is worse than allowing sin to beget sin and torpor to beget torpor until we find ourselves in some terrible funk of spiritual free fall where one mistake leads to another in a vicious circle of retrogression.

As the contemporary proverb goes, “when you find yourself in a hole, first – stop digging”. This is good advice. If we are engaged in wrong doing of any kind, first, we need to stop it at once. That is the first principle of recovery from all spiritual defeats.

To this most important of points, we add the following:

Confess to the Lord

Whatever we may have thought, said or done, however many times we have thought it, or said it, or done it, however long and however far our stumble has been, we are promised absolutely absolute forgiveness upon confession along with restoration of fellowship with the Father and the Son whom we love more than life itself (Ps.32:5; 1Jn.1:9; cf. Ps.51:1-19).

We should make it a habit to confess immediately whenever we err. If we do make this our practice, we will find that we are less likely to turn a small stumble into a precipitous fall.

Accept God’s forgiveness

When we do confess, we must accept that God’s promise to forgive us is true and that we have indeed been forgiven. The discipline we have received may continue – as when we forgive a penitent child without necessarily restoring his or her privileges immediately (in order to let the lesson sink in).

But we are within our rights – and indeed it is really obligatory – to accept the glory and the warmth of our Lord’s love and fellowship again, immediately after we turn back to Him and confess whatever we may have done that was offensive to Him (Lk.15:22-24).

Avoid self-loathing

For whatever reason, many believers are harder on themselves than the Lord is. He does discipline us, but in a loving way – as a father comports himself towards the son he loves (Heb.12:5-11).

We need to remember that discipline is His job, not ours. It is a subtle form of arrogance to continue to mope around after confession, after having received God’s forgiveness.

Such pointless exercises in self-flagellation are at the least border-line legalistic, gain no points with God, and only delay the believers return to the race and to the fight.

Reorient

Just as soon as we are back on our feet, we need to put ourselves mentally back into the race.

From a spiritual point of view, that means remembering that we are very dear to our Savior, that the Father loves us with a perfect love, that this life is temporary, and that what is going on down here on planet earth is really only important in a lasting way in terms of its spiritual import.

We need to reorient to the truth of why we are here: to please Jesus Christ; and to what we are about and have purposed to do: to grow up to spiritual maturity and to keep growing, to progress in our walk with the Lord and to keep progressing, and to help our brothers and sisters in His Church do likewise through the ministrations we are given to provide in their behalf – and to keep doing so might and main, all the way to the end.

We need to remember to respond to the Spirit who is telling us this at all times as He reminds us that our Christian hope “does not disappoint” (Rom.5:5), because we know absolutely by faith that we are saved, that we have a perfect, eternal body in waiting for us, that we have a place in the New Jerusalem in the presence of the Lord we love forever, and that if we persevere in running this race we also have fantastic eternal rewards in store, the least of which is worth more than this entire, temporary world we now behold.

Looking back is not productive for us as Christians

It should also be noted that long post-mortems following spiritual defeats serve no useful purpose and can often cause us to set our gaze looking backwards instead of forwards as we ought to be doing.

Video/audio transcript

0:02 - all right guys so this week we are going to pick back up in this section of the study talking
0:07 - about recovering from defeat and so this is one of the last points um here in this section on spiritual
0:13 - warfare uh coming after we’ve talked about coping with intense spiritual combat and last week we were sort of
0:19 - introducing some of the factors in play here and we said we’d we’d get into a little bit more of some of the issues that
0:26 - people have had with them historically and then uh talk about these things in more depth because
0:33 - uh repentance and confession and moving forward in the spiritual life are completely essential for us to have
0:41 - positive spiritual momentum so ichthyos very commonly emphasizes the process of learning believing and
0:48 - applying truth to our lives and then helping other people do likewise you know that’s kind of our purpose our role here as christians
0:54 - but we hamstring ourselves greatly if we let sin get in the way and so dealing
1:00 - with the sin problem and as we talked about last week as romans 3 23 says all have sinned and fall short
1:06 - of the glory of god and and james 3 2 says similar for all have stumbled or for all stumble
1:12 - um we we will continue to face sin and so the question is how do we deal with the sin problem and that’s what
1:20 - confession and repentance is about you know after we fall picking ourselves up dusting ourselves off and getting back up on the road to zion
1:27 - doing as god would have us do and not letting sin get to us not letting it throw us off our game
1:33 - um that’s kind of what we’re all going to be talking about but um like i mentioned uh just prior to
1:39 - us starting this week i thought we’d kind of just blow through some of the some of the stuff that we’re going to
1:46 - talk about you know do an initial summary an initial outline and then loop back and go through in a little more depth after that and that’s
1:52 - i don’t know a little bit different than how we’ve done things previously you know just some variety here um so i thought
1:58 - we’d go ahead and try that this week and then maybe we can do a bit of retrospection after this and see if we think this is a
2:03 - good way to do things or or not um so i’ll go ahead and open this up you guys feel free to cut in
2:09 - um but i figure i’ll probably talk here for maybe 10 minutes uh we’ll see if it goes longer than that
2:14 - or not um but just do an initial overview of some of the things that we’re going to talk
2:19 - about and then after that point we’ll see how things go and proceed from there
2:25 - um so i’m gonna start us off talking about confession um so we did pull up some of the issues
2:31 - that this is presented historically um and so i’ll go through a couple of
2:36 - those points but the first passage to talk about in terms of confession probably
2:41 - is this one in first john chapter one so first john 1 9 talks about how if we confess
2:47 - he he being god is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness
2:53 - so in greek we have you know the the if then here right so
2:59 - if we confess god does this right now unlike many uh legalistic groups history
3:08 - according to the bible all we have to do is confess um we don’t have to confess and then do
3:14 - this and that behavior we don’t have to confess and then pay penance or beat ourselves up physically or give
3:21 - money to someone or do anything else the only thing that is necessary for god to forgive us is
3:26 - our confession now an important point thing here is in the greek we don’t have we don’t
3:32 - have an indirect object here like confess to someone however it’s implied the person we confess to is god um
3:40 - so this is one of the first points i want to hit um just because this gets to the root of most of the issues that
3:45 - people have with confession so throughout much of church history um the catholic church and various cults
3:53 - you know to an even more probably problematic degree than the catholic church have made confession of sin
3:59 - something that is done within the church itself so believer to believer um now the issue with this is that the
4:05 - people that are not the people the person we’re accountable to is god um god is the perfect judge the the person
4:13 - with perfect moral standards the one who as as his rightful do
4:18 - um perfection he’s the only one with a blameless character the only one
4:23 - who can judge us um so it’s god’s right and of course god
4:28 - in his great grace and mercy has given us a way to be saved despite our sinfulness in the cross but
4:34 - human beings have nothing to do with it um now as we’ll talk about a little bit later if we have wronged someone
4:41 - it is a good inappropriate thing for us to you know make amends if such is is
4:46 - profitable um but a way that dr louganville sometimes put this is
4:52 - sort of once an omelet is made you can’t unscramble it right um so sometimes if we’ve done something
4:59 - wrong the consequences of that may not be so easy for us to go back and patch up and so rehashing it may just cause pain
5:06 - and and negative feelings you know anger um sorrow whatever for other people
5:12 - and so it’s just not profitable to go back and try to you know basically confess our
5:17 - wrongdoing to whoever we may have wronged and say i’m sorry it was my fault or whatever well what happens if that person
5:23 - kind of really never wants to see you again you know you bring up a bunch of negative emotions now as a rule of thumb this doesn’t mean
5:29 - that it’s necessarily a bad thing for us to try to make amends when we are wrong you know that that’s it it’s not like
5:36 - an always a negative practice right but the whole point of this and why i’m bringing this up as you know a discussion point is because
5:42 - that’s not the point of confession the point of confession is acknowledging to the our perfect divine creator
5:49 - that we have transgressed his law right he’s he’s the judge he’s the one who has
5:54 - the power to you know condemn our bodies you know or you know our literally our life right
6:00 - the word that’s translated as soul to the lake of fire for all eternity he’s the one who has that power no one
6:06 - else you know so when we when we talk about things to be afraid of god’s the one who has all the power he’s
6:12 - the one whose opinion we concerned with other human beings you know we should try to do right by them
6:18 - we should try to act justly but their opinions ultimately don’t matter um so a verse that gets to the heart of
6:24 - this is in psalm or psalm 51 so this is after the prophet nathan came to
6:31 - david after david had committed adultery with bathsheba now if you remember in the story nathan uses this this story of of the person
6:39 - taking away the lamb right and david gets all outraged saying you know how can this person do that and then nathan says
6:45 - well touche um this was you david um and so this was obviously a very a very you know serious sin on david’s
6:52 - part but david is writing this after that point right um so you know he opens the psalm
7:00 - with to forgive him according to god’s unfailing love right so have mercy on me
7:06 - oh god according to your unfailing love according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions wash away all
7:12 - my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin so david’s acknowledging his sin right this is one of the reasons why this
7:18 - psalm is so great to talk about in confession is because this psalm is a confession you know this this is how we model
7:24 - ourselves um in fact um
7:30 - right here farther on down this is the idea behind our our mindset when we confess or
7:36 - confess um we need to just have the right attitude when we do it to come to god
7:42 - and acknowledge our wrongdoing acknowledge our brokenness and ask god for his forgiveness
7:48 - so i won’t i won’t overly belabor this psalm 51 as i say is a very good model for us in confession um but why i’m bringing up
7:54 - this psalm according to the point that i was just talking about is because in verse 4 we have this we have
8:01 - this interesting thing um against you you only have i sinned and done what is evil in your sight so you were right in your verdict and
8:08 - justified when you judge now if i were in this circumstance
8:14 - and i learned that david had put uriah on the front irons front lines when he knew he would be
8:19 - killed i would think you know david kind of wronged uriah did he not right like he essentially had him you know
8:26 - murdered by the enemy and stole his wife and committed his daughter you know like
8:32 - yeah he didn’t do right by uriah but the core fundamental principle in this
8:37 - situation is that sin transgresses god’s law that’s the fundamental thing of
8:44 - spiritual importance and human law is a mirror of divine law so our laws come about as humans in
8:50 - large part on account of the natural order that god has set things up now of course we do wrong other humans
8:56 - and as i said sometimes it is appropriate for us to attempt to make amends but the overarching principle throughout
9:03 - scripture and as evidence here in verse 4 is that the person that we need to be concerned
9:09 - about when we sin is god um because ultimately god is the omnipotent creator the the one
9:17 - with perfect character in perfect sinlessness who has the right to judge us
9:22 - because he’s perfect and so whenever we sin that’s the person who we transgress
9:28 - against um and so i’m bringing all this up just because if we get this through our
9:34 - head right off the bat then this verse in first john 1 9 that we opened with right if we confess our
9:40 - sins i.e to god god is faithful and justin will forgive us right god has already done everything in his power
9:45 - to offer us the olive branch of forgiveness all we have to do is acknowledge our own sinfulness and
9:50 - acknowledge our need for a savior but after that that’s it so we confess
9:56 - to god truly desiring to repent right so so confession and repentance are two
10:01 - sides of the same coin we can’t we can’t just say the words we have to mean it so when we confess our sin to god we
10:08 - can’t say okay god forgive me okay i’m going to say the words and then you know he’ll just bought me on the
10:13 - head with the magic wand and i’ll be forgiven that’s not that’s not how it works we have to actually confess and repent
10:20 - in our hearts you know repentance literally means you know by its etymology turning back to we have to turn to god the desire
10:28 - set our hearts resolve to go on the right path moving forward even if we fall again the
10:34 - very next day right the point is we legitimately meant it that’s all that’s it though um and this
10:40 - is so critical so important um in our discussion of this topic because throughout much of church
10:47 - history people add stuff to this so they say okay that’s fine you can confess to god but
10:53 - then you have to do this then you have to do that this this that and the other to actually be forgiven you have to go do works of
10:59 - penance you have to give money to us in the church you have to go confess to your elder or a priest or an accountability
11:06 - partner or whatever and they they add things to this and the problem is is that it’s just not there
11:11 - in scripture and so we’ll come back to this when we talk more um i wanted to just introduce this this
11:18 - passage here in james chapter five because this is very commonly the passage that people will pull up when they say ah but the bible says
11:25 - in verse 16 therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so doesn’t that mean that we’re just supposed to as a general practice
11:31 - confess your sins to one another so without getting too often the weeds of hermeneutics this is getting into
11:38 - the idea of context being important um if you read you know the verses that come right
11:44 - before this verse in james this is james chapter five so james 5 16 is the verse we’re talking about um we
11:50 - have this case where we have people in the body uh the the people that james were writing
11:56 - to um so primarily jewish believers in the letter of james of course the letter was
12:01 - circulated among asia minor as well but james was writing to these people and evidently there’s some people who
12:07 - are sick among them right and as we see these these people are sick and
12:14 - if they have sinned sorry so here let me let me just read it um before i just go off saying things so
12:19 - picking up at verse 14 is anyone among you sick let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with
12:25 - oil in the name of the lord and the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well the lord will raise them up
12:31 - if they have sinned they will be forgiven therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may
12:37 - be healed so in this particular context the prayers are being offered up on
12:44 - behalf of the people who are afflicted because of their sin so
12:50 - this was going on at the time that james wrote this letter so one of the first interpretive
12:55 - questions for us is okay so if this was happening then is it still happening now
13:00 - um a good parallel is the uh so-called signal and sign gifts so tongues
13:05 - prophecy and healing among others are these things still happening in the church today
13:11 - um and if the answer is no then even if this is in scripture it doesn’t
13:16 - necessarily mean that as a general practice we should go around confessing our sins to one another as
13:21 - as a general practice and if people still take issue with that and they say well who are you who are you to dictate you know what the
13:28 - bible says it means like you’re just making stuff up you know this is this is part of scripture why are we ignoring this this is part of scripture you can’t throw it
13:34 - away so if people make that argument then you also have to contend with the narrowness in the context of
13:41 - this so the confession here is specifically dealing with praying for someone to be healed
13:46 - that’s it that that’s even if you want to say okay this is still an effect it must still be
13:52 - in effect because it’s written in the bible so if people will take that position they still can’t get around the fact
13:58 - that this is a very specific circumstance in which this in which this confession is mentioned now they could make the argument
14:04 - that even though james mentions just this that the principle should hold even in situations outside of this the
14:10 - problem is the rest of the scripture is completely silent on the subject and in fact in the rest of scripture we have like here in psalm 51
14:16 - talking about how when we sin positionally we sin against god and that’s that’s the person who really matters um
14:23 - so as i say we will we will loop back to this and i know maybe this is it could be a bit frustrating if we have
14:29 - questions here because now we’re just going to move on and well what happens if we haven’t made the point but
14:36 - let’s just try it i’ll loop back to this so i was pulling all of this up as just an introduction to confession
14:42 - and some of the issues that people have with it so i started this out just by explaining that this is what confession is for us
14:48 - first john 1 9 it really is this simple no more no less because we sin against god
14:54 - we ask forgiveness from god god forgives us on account of his his mercy and his justice because christ
15:00 - was actually uh judged in our place you know it’s not that no one paid the penalty
15:06 - the penalty has been paid by the blood of christ so god’s justice and his mercy intersected the cross
15:12 - um so after we confess to god who’s the one who has a legitimate you
15:18 - know a legitimate reason to judge us and god forgives us as this verse says he will if we confess our sins you know
15:24 - and mean it as i mentioned then then that’s that you know despite despite what other people might try to say
15:30 - by by taking some verses and and trying to build doctrine on them more than what’s there um and if we go
15:37 - with that then that’s it i mean it doesn’t sound so hard
15:42 - right but as i say throughout all of history confession has been more misunderstood than than many points
15:47 - of doctrine um and it’s just a passing thought before we we move on in our
15:53 - our initial summary pass here um one of the key principles that we talked
15:58 - about last week in confession was making sure that we do it rapidly um so not wallowing in our sin
16:04 - not saying oh well i’ve done it once i may as well just go all the way but turning back to god very rapidly
16:11 - um and if we do that we’ll find that you know as as the end of this
16:16 - paragraph says we’ll we’ll find that we are less likely to turn a small stumble into precipitous falls so we won’t go into a negative
16:22 - tailspin okay so the next step after confession
16:27 - is to accept god’s forgiveness and it may seem easy enough right but this
16:34 - actually somewhat paradoxically maybe one of the hardest parts in this whole process um is accepting the fact that it really
16:42 - is that easy like first john 1 9 says if we confess he’s faithful and justin will forgive us
16:47 - all of our sins is that really all right it can be really hard on us
16:53 - to accept this principle that when we confess that’s it god does forgive us and it’s
16:58 - not that he forgives us baselessly because justice will not be denied right god god’s justice is fulfilled because
17:05 - christ was already judged in our pace the the price has already been paid in the blood of christ
17:11 - and we need to get that through our head when the bible says we’re forgiven when we confess
17:17 - and then we do confess we are forgiven that’s that that’s it um and you know i can speak personally
17:24 - and i’ve also observed this in the lives of others human beings tend to want to like beat themselves up after they sin right
17:30 - so they sin they confess but then they won’t let it go you know and you know i guess again speaking for myself in my own life
17:38 - you want you know like you’re ashamed of your sin of course and you want to do better
17:43 - but you let it get and you don’t really believe somewhere deep down that you’re worthy
17:48 - of forgiveness right so even even though the bible says that god forgives us when we sin
17:54 - and you read this verse in first john 1 9 that says you’re forgiven if you confess and then you confess
17:59 - well you don’t feel like you’re worthy of forgiveness right you know god god god’s given this to us
18:04 - but maybe i’m such a bad sinner that that this mercy and grace stuff just doesn’t apply to me
18:10 - um a doctor look at this some of the email postings uh describing
18:17 - this is almost that oh my sins are so bad that god can’t god
18:23 - can’t even handle them um that’s not true jesus christ died for the sins of all people even people who
18:30 - have probably done much worse things than you christ took them all on his shoulders on the cross
18:35 - and who are we to tell god that his grace is not sufficient for us right that is actually when you think
18:42 - about it pretty arrogant fundamentally and if we if we refuse to accept the
18:48 - forgiveness that the bible tells us is ours if we actually legitimately confess
18:54 - we’re kind of spitting in god’s face we’re we’re saying that the sacrifice of christ wasn’t enough and you know we shouldn’t do that um
19:02 - that’s obviously eminently disrespectful to god but and see that’s what people people
19:08 - don’t think like that they don’t think well i want to punish myself more they don’t think that trying to add on
19:14 - to the penance right they they think that that’s a good thing but the problem is it makes a mockery of the price that
19:21 - jesus already paid for us on the cross as if we were even somehow worthy to pay for our own sins
19:27 - we’re not right the bible is very clear that jesus christ died as a lamb without blemish as someone
19:34 - without sin was the only person who was worthy to pay for sins of others
19:41 - oh someone’s got someone’s got a mic um
19:48 - whoever was just using something we can hear you
19:54 - so anyway um we aren’t even worthy to pay for our own sins um so no one but jesus christ who was
20:01 - without sin could die on the cross to pay for the sins of any and of course jesus had to
20:06 - be god for that to work but you know that that’s a a different teaching for a different time but this is what i’m getting at is that
20:13 - if we don’t accept the forgiveness that god gives us after we defend
20:18 - we are in some sense um we are spitting in god’s face you know
20:24 - we we aren’t accepting the forgiveness that he says is ours we’re continuing to add on to it even though we’re not worthy
20:31 - of paying for our own sin and it kind of fundamentally makes a mockery of that which god has
20:37 - already done to save us um so maybe it sounds like i’m coming at
20:42 - this harsher than many people would because you know you’d say well but stephen people have good intentions in this
20:48 - you know they want to make up for their sin but the thing is god already paid for it and so we need
20:54 - to call it for what it is not you know yes yes it’s good that people feel bad about sin but the answer to feeling bad about
21:00 - sin is to do better in the future you know to learn and believe and apply the truth as god tells us to
21:06 - in our lives to grow spiritually us punishing ourselves over it that doesn’t help us
21:12 - grow spiritually so it’s actually a rather negative behavioral pattern to get into okay so moving on
21:19 - um this reason right here is why many people have issues accepting forgiveness is because
21:26 - we come to dislike ourselves you know to loathe you know of course the sin dwelling
21:32 - within us but also ourselves because we’re the ones making choices that go against that which god would have for us
21:37 - um so this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t hold ourselves to standards because of course that’s an important
21:43 - thing you know we are called to perfection i think we talked about that last week matthew 5 verse 48.
21:49 - um however you know despite this as we’ve noted we
21:54 - will continue to sin you know even the best believers even people who are the most advanced spiritually will never be completely without sin you
22:01 - know jesus christ accepted um and we need to accept that in this
22:07 - god will punish us exactly as much as as we need to be punished you know as a loving father you know as the book of
22:14 - hebrews talks about right god punishes us as sons so if we are truly sons of god we will be
22:20 - disciplined for our own good but god’s the one who knows what punishment we need not us
22:26 - and so if we sit around hating ourselves and and we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot because we don’t even know
22:33 - what discipline we need to correct ourselves from our actions um so very often um we may not
22:40 - even know the full depth of our sin some of it may be somewhat under our conscious purview you
22:45 - know i mean obviously if we sin in a very high-handed way what we’re certain to know you know something the bible is very clear about
22:51 - well you’re not likely to accidentally sin in one of those ways however the attitudes of our heart
22:58 - the the direction of our thoughts those are areas of sin that we never completely get a grasp on
23:04 - that maybe maybe we don’t recognize quite a sin but at any rate we don’t we don’t really
23:10 - know what discipline we need to help us avoid this sort of thing in the future
23:16 - but god does and so getting really down on ourselves and as i said before trying to punish
23:22 - ourselves in place of god is really counterproductive because all it does is get in the way of our forward
23:27 - progress you know we we know that god will god will discipline us as is necessary as is
23:33 - perfect in in his capacity to lead us off the bad path in the future right to
23:39 - help us not fall in the same way again god will discipline us perfectly as a loving father for our own good
23:46 - and that’s the principle to keep in mind you know discipline is god’s job
23:51 - not ours um and i think this analogy of god as our father and us
23:56 - as children um to stretch that a little just imagine if you had like a four-year-old
24:02 - who was trying to dictate to his parents how he needed to be punished it would make very little sense right in
24:09 - fact the things that the four-year-old would probably come up as punishments might not actually help him avoid the behavior that he’s being punished for to
24:15 - begin with right it probably wouldn’t correspond it probably wouldn’t turn out for the best
24:20 - so that’s our position when we kind of talk back to god and we say no no i need to be punished in this way
24:27 - because i need to be punished more severely like this right god knows what he’s doing much better than we do um i mean this is
24:35 - what i was just talking about above right about moping around not believing that we’ve been forgiven
24:40 - right um what we really need to do is square our shoulders and get back into the fight right that’s what god actually wants for
24:46 - us okay so point four reorienting after the fall
24:52 - um so just as soon obviously what we were talking about before you know being rapid in this is
24:58 - important but just as soon as we have confessed we need to get ourselves back in the arena in a
25:05 - mental in a mental state um so uh you know
25:10 - probably the good advice in this capacity is just running back through our heads
25:15 - all the promises of god that we have been given um and also our responsibilities as christians so
25:21 - you know we’ve we’ve had a lapse of behavior you know maybe we’ve fled the battlefield we’ve left in cowardice now now we’re
25:27 - coming back and it can be really hard to kind of to get back on that that ground that we’ve left before um
25:35 - but if we’ve been in a dry spell if we’ve turned our backs on god temporarily but now we want to come back
25:42 - it’s important that we we track ourselves we we start heading back in the right direction right away
25:49 - um so reorienting is a good word you know directionality is a pretty good analogy
25:54 - for the progress we make in the christian life because you know either we’re kind of heading towards god we’re heading in
26:00 - the right direction or we can be heading away from god you might think of the game that children play you know like hot and cold
26:06 - right if we’re cold towards god for a period we kind of have to
26:12 - it takes a period of transition for us to to become hot again um and of course
26:18 - if we’re lukewarm well then you know maybe it’s not quite such a drastic transition but we still have to learn how to be hot and
26:26 - the best way to do that is to you know as it does always goes on about to grow
26:32 - spiritually right to grow up to spiritual maturity and to keep growing to progress in our walk with the lord
26:37 - and to help our brothers and sisters in the church do likewise and so that’s what god tells us so we
26:44 - need to fall back on the promises of god and then having done that reorient
26:52 - our hearts reorient our minds to the truth spiritually and then forget about the past um i was
26:59 - actually kind of surprised that you know i maybe maybe it’s a little bit farther down and i missed it
27:04 - um but um one of the passages in scripture that
27:09 - that best makes the point of okay after after we’re back we have our head in the spiritual game
27:15 - again and you know what should our relationship to sin be is that we should completely forget it ever happened uh we should have
27:22 - um i like this phrasing we should have short-term memories when it comes to sin you know we should we should be kind of
27:29 - amnesiacs about it you know we should say oh you know i’m gonna forget that ever happened i mean
27:34 - of course we should take the lesson you know we’ll get into this i’m gonna pause before we go on the taking the lesson track here but i
27:40 - wanted to read this passage in uh philippians chapter three that talks about this
27:45 - um so this is paul writing to the philippians um so picking up in uh
27:52 - chapter 3 verse 13 paul says brothers and sisters i do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it
27:58 - you know the the goal right but one thing i do forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead i
28:04 - press on towards the goal to win the prize for which god has called me heavenward in christ jesus so key part of this forgetting what is
28:11 - behind right so we have this positive attitude to the truth but we also don’t look back as
28:17 - christians i think we’ve talked about this some in previous weeks of our study but
28:23 - too much looking back is really dangerous for us because if we do it more than is
28:28 - productive then we have a tendency to focus on our sin rather than the progress we should
28:34 - be making so last week i know we talked some at least about
28:39 - um how we have to have a positive attitude towards god right a positive attitude towards the truth and that’s
28:44 - more important in a manner of speaking than thinking about avoiding sin and always making the
28:50 - issue about sin right the issue should be about spiritual growth not avoiding sin i think that was more or less how we
28:55 - phrased it and so an important part of that is after we sin after we’ve gone through
29:01 - the process of confession and repentance and god has forgiven us we need to accept that sin has now been
29:07 - dealt with right any any divine discipline that god sends our way after the point of confession
29:13 - is going to be to help temper us into the soldiers that he wants us to be so we may confess and god may still
29:20 - not you know let the discipline immediately cease because what child you know let’s say let’s say a parent’s
29:26 - punching a child because the child was touching a hot stove right so
29:32 - if immediately after the child acknowledged their wrongdoing the parent stopped punishing them you
29:38 - know well you might say that would be logical right they’ve learned their lesson but what if what if the child is just saying
29:43 - that right and this is why i brought up the the point of we have to mean it when we do it but maybe the parent continues anyway
29:50 - because it’s for the the child’s own good right so what the parent is concerned about
29:56 - is making sure that the child doesn’t touch the hot stove again right and so anyway i don’t want to get
30:02 - sidetracked on you know divine discipline and we’ve talked already some about how there’s a difference between suffering
30:08 - of believers you know suffering for blessing versus divine discipline and all that but really what i was getting at is
30:14 - after all this we need to put that sin out of our minds um
30:19 - treat it basically functionally as if it never happened um not that we we get some deluded idea
30:25 - that we don’t sin or the sin isn’t a problem for us but just that it’s in the past it’s
30:30 - ancient history so to speak that’s the position we should have in our hearts
30:36 - because that sin we’ve already confessed it god’s already forgiven us for it and any lingering effects from it will
30:42 - only be for our own good for god to grow us that we might bear more fruit in the future that’s all we have to keep in
30:48 - mind okay so uh just to recap you know as i said we’re doing a little bit of
30:54 - summary uh before we we open up discussion a little more this week so we started off talking about
31:00 - confession some of the issues with it as well talking about accepting god’s forgiveness after we confess
31:05 - why that can be hard for us about self-loathing you know often the reason why people are reluctant to accept forgiveness because
31:11 - they don’t feel worthy of that forgiveness reorienting in our hearts towards the
31:17 - spiritual so if we’ve been in a cold spell we need to kind of learn how to get our hearts and
31:22 - minds refocused on the truth and then we talked about how looking
31:27 - back doesn’t make any sense it’s not productive for us as christians right um you know aside from aside from
31:35 - sandbagging against uh uh weak points you know we’ll get to that a little later but aside from sandbagging against
31:41 - weak points and learning from our mistakes we really should cast in from our mind after it’s been confessed and forgiven
31:48 - and dealt with um because as paul says in philippians chapter three
31:54 - you know forgetting what is behind is training towards what is ahead and we should press on towards that which god has called us
32:00 - to um that’s the race we run that’s how you win the prize that’s how you win eternal rewards as christians
32:06 - is keeping your eyes set on the positive things uh so spiritual growth um ministering to
32:12 - others the the things that god rewards with the crowns of righteousness life and glory
32:18 - right that’s what we should focus on as christians not things in the past that have already been dealt with
32:25 - okay so that’s the introduction um i’m gonna take a drink here