From the Pastor’s Desk

Confession and Assurance

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Romans 8:1-2 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

You may have noticed a change in our services on Sunday morning. No, we are not singing more or fewer songs. No, I am not preaching longer or shorter (even though some of you want me to!). And no, the order of the service itself hasn’t really changed. 

But what has changed is a slight shift in wording in the order of worship. For a long time, we had a time of “Confession” and “Assurance,” and those have been times where we confess our sins together and where we are assured of the forgiveness that we have only through the grace of Jesus Christ. 

We, as the Worship Team, decided to change the wording from “Confession,” to “Confession of Sin” and from “Assurance,” to “Assurance of God’s Forgiveness.” It may seem like a small change, even an insignificant change, but we chose to do so to clarify what is happening during that part of the service.

The single word “confession” can be used in various ways. We can confess a simple truth of the faith like “Jesus is Lord.” Or, we can confess some guilt we are feeling, like eating the last cookie. 

Similarly, the single word “assurance” can be used in various ways. We can be assured that we are good people. We can be assured that we will have enough material possessions to get to next week. We can be assured in a lot of ways.

This is why we decided to make that language much more specific. Instead of a general “confession,” during the service it is a “Confession of Sin.” This means that there is a standard set by someone else, namely God, and not living up to that standard is sin. So, during this time of the service, we are specifically confessing that we do not measure up to the standard of God’s Word. It is a specific confession of our sinfulness before God.

AND, that is followed up not by a general “assurance,” like “It’ll all be okay.” No, we believe that Jesus died on the cross once and for all! He paid for all our sins on the cross, and so we are not only assured, but we are assured that we are forgiven! 

For me, this is one of the most powerful parts of the service because, after I confess the ways that I have sinned against God, in the “Assurance of God’s Forgiveness,” God is speaking back to me (and you!) saying, “you have already been forgiven! You are free from the punishment of sinfulness! You are righteous in my sight. You are mine!”

So, on the next Sunday morning, take note of those changes and be reminded that we confess our sin to a holy God AND, in Christ, we are assured of God’s forgiveness. Thanks be to God!