Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (16: 13)The United States Treasury has a 'Conscience Fund'. It was created for those who have stolen, cheated or lied and who now wanted to clear their conscience by returning the money to the owner. This fund was
established in 1811 when an anonymous donor who had committed fraud sent five dollars to the Treasury Dept.
We believe that the sacraments are means of grace. In our church, as in many other churches, the Sacrament of Confession is part of the Holy Communion. But do we take confession seriously? Do we open our hearts before God and really feel sorry for all our sins? In some parishes there are people who do not give the kiss of peace to their neighbors even after reciting the prayer of confession. The passage for today is part of the final discourse of Jesus to His disciples. Here He speaks about the work of the Holy Spirit. After His earthly ministry He will send the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit comes it will be present everywhere and it will convict them of sin, righteousness and judgment.
The Holy Spirit will convict us of:
1.The character of sin: In our permissive society the term 'sin' has lost its meaning and relevance. It has become a forgotten term. For us nothing is immoral or bad. Whatever we do is the result of our heredity, circumstances or upbringing. From the worldly point of view sin is something external-what a man does. But God sees it as something internal-what a man is. Jesus says that sin is unbelief. Satan planted the seed of unbelief in Adam and Eve. Sin is the rejection of Jesus. The judge in a court can convict us of crime. Our conscience can convict us of guilt, but only Holy spirit can convict us of our sin.
2.The Confusion created by sin: The righteousness of the world is different from the righteousness of God. Jesus told that our righteousness must surpass that of the Pharisees and Scribes (Mathew 5:20). The righteousness of the world condemned Jesus as a blasphemer and He was crucified. Our righteousness is like 'filthy rags' (Isaiah 64:6) God continues to save us from the power of sin (2 Cori 5:21). Righteousness is the reception of Jesus.
3.The Consequence of sin: Judgment. 'As you sow, so you reap.' God in His grace forgives us our sins. But the nature has a law. God in His government tells us that we have to reap the consequences of our sins. Does the Holy Spirit convict us? Every communion service is a reminder to 'repent and return'
Prayer: O Spirit of God, dwell in our hearts and purify it by Your holiness. Amen
Rev. Dr. Philip Varghese, Denver