Sunday's Corporate Confession & Assurance of Pardon
Recently, Jeff Purswell led us in a congregational confession. Here’s a transcript of what he said:
We just sang the line, “We will proclaim your power to save”. One of the ways we proclaim His power to save when we gather is to proclaim our inability to save ourselves. Every Christian here is familiar with confessing their sin before God, but throughout history, when God’s people have gathered together, they have confessed their sins together; not as a way to engage in morbid introspection, nor do penance, nor self-atone, but rather as a way to humble ourselves before a holy God. It’s a way to say things that are true about ourselves before Him who knows all things. It’s a way to think rightly about ourselves before a holy God. It’s a way to think rightly about Him, the One who, through Jesus, has shown us mercy.
This morning, let us, together, confess our sins before a holy God, confess our inability to save ourselves, and in so doing, position ourselves to celebrate God’s grace. Let us read this together:
Most holy and merciful Father,
we confess to you and to one another,
that we have sinned against you
by what we have done
and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart and mind and strength.
We have not fully loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We condemn the sins of others, but ignore our own.
We have not always had in us the mind of Christ.
You alone know how often we have grieved you
by pursuing our own glory, and ignoring Yours;
by trusting in ourselves, and doubting You;
by considering ourselves as more important than others.
Forgive us, we pray, most merciful Father,
and free us from our sin.
Renew in us the grace and strength of your Holy Spirit,
for the sake of Jesus Christ your Son, our Savior. Amen.
Now, it wouldn’t be enough to stop there. Hear these words of pardon that declare what God has done for us in Jesus Christ from 1 Peter chapters 2 and 3:
He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous that He might bring us to God.