Home Voices The Exchange 20 Truths from ‘Spiritual Detox: Discovering the Joy of Liberating Confession’

20 Truths from ‘Spiritual Detox: Discovering the Joy of Liberating Confession’

7. Confession should happen ASAP. We need to mind the gap; the time gap between the moment of sinning and confessing is a sign of how well you’re walking with God, how tuned in you are. The shorter the gap, the better. (45)

8. Confession should be a regular activity throughout every Christian’s day because the more you walk in the light, with God who is Light, the more of your sin you should see (and the more of his grace you can savor). This can be scary, even to the point where you may wonder whether you’re really saved, something we believe some of those John was writing to did. Instead of your sin taking you to your knees in confession, you can let it crush you with condemnation. Don’t let it do that because, let’s remember, 1 John isn’t about questioning genuine salvation, it’s about those who already believe confidently experiencing the joy of restored and closer fellowship with God. (45)

9. The war you are fighting, whether you realize it or not, is against the unholy alliance of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and the way they work together to ensnare, entangle and exterminate you (and everyone you know) with sin. (55)

10. In summary: the devil hates your guts and he wants you dead, physically and spiritually. His first appearance in the Scriptures reveals his ways of working. (57)

11. Sin is evil full stop. It’s way more contagious than COVID-19 and deadlier than the Marburg and Ebola viruses combined. If you hate what they’ve done to the world you should hate sin more for the suffering it causes but especially for the treasonous, ungrateful, sticking your finger up to God (your benevolent Creator) ugly act that it is. It is pure concentrated poison we have no business playing around with. (58)

12. To confess sin effectively, we must address the general root of the problem – our dishonor of God — but we also need to get specific. We need to know our besetting sins and the characteristic ways we do wrong and fail to do right. We need to know the enticements to which we typically succumb. (61)

13. The fourth-century theologian, and transformed sex addict, Augustine, put it like this: Stage 1: creation, humanity was born able to sin. Stage 2: after the fall, humanity is not able not to sin. Stage 3: after conversion, humanity is able not to sin. Stage 4: after glorification, humanity is not able to sin. You can reign over sin now, stage 3, with perhaps the greatest weapon against it, confession. (66) … you can trust God to forgive you when you confess, every time you confess, for whatever you confess. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24) “[H]e cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13b). His Godness demands he be faithful to his promise to forgive you and cleanse you from all, yes all, unrighteousness (including your unfaithfulness). (74)

14. It’s not just the faithfulness of God but the justice of God that guarantees your acquittal, again, and again, and again. This is love! That same phrase “the propitiation [or atoning sacrifice] for our sins” occurs in 1 John 4:10. It is immediately followed by “Beloved” that’s your identity by the way, “if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11) Not just loved but so — SO — loved. Breathe it in deep. (82)

15. At least four times in speaking of forgiveness, God says he will remember your sins no more. I will not remember. I will not remember. I will not remember. I will not remember. ‘What sins are you talking about…?’ God says after you’ve confessed them. (88)

16. Satan attacks God’s generosity. He makes out God is a killjoy, that he prohibited eating from any tree rather than just one. He suggests God is mean because he’s withholding this one thing from you, stopping you from seeing everything else God has already given you. (95)

17. God doesn’t leave a job unfinished. He’s not like some dodgy, rogue trading builder. God completes what he starts. He deals with the guilt of sin and the stain of sin. He forgives sin and cleanses you from it. He puts you right and gives you the power to live right. (98)

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Howard and Holly have been married for eleven years and have two children. Howard is the Lead Pastor of the world-famous and historic www.westminsterchapel.org.uk in London and before that he worked as a barrister as well as engaging in human rights work in Kenya and the USA. Holly, having been a learning and development adviser in an international law firm in the City of London, is now a qualified career coach, www.thehopecoach.uk, and involved in the wider leadership of Westminster Chapel.