The Gifts Part 15
What many fail to understand and too few perceive is that before we can have physical healing or physical restoration we must have spiritual healing and restoration. The reason for the confessing of one’s sins, before hands are laid on them is so that the Father in heaven may forgive and restore the repentant heart first and foremost. The spiritual health of the inner man is eminently more important than the physical health of the outer man. Though we have put this flesh on a pedestal, though we have made the flesh out to be something akin to a minor divinity in its own right, the blunt and honest truth is that it’s just flesh, and once the soul leaves it and it goes into the earth it decomposes becoming one with the earth from which it came. This flesh of ours is a vessel in which we carry the eternal spark of life that was breathed into us. It’s not flesh that is eternal, it is the soul which it encases, and if we keep this at the forefront of our minds as we journey through this earth there is much pain that we could spare ourselves.
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.”
There are certain words in the English language that seem insignificant at first, but when fully understood have wide ranging implications. The word ‘if’ is one such word, and its weight and relevance is all the more visible when used in the context of scripture.
When the word ‘if’ is incorporated in any given sentence, it denotes an uncertain possibility, a condition, a requirement or a stipulation. A great majority today have an aversion to conditionality. Although many of God’s promises are conditional, and the word ‘if’ is employed in many cases, we don’t like the idea of the responsibilities and accountability that come along with this weighted word. It is often that I hear brothers and sisters wondering out lout why it is that God has not moved on their behalf, why it is that they have not received their healing, and when you asked them if they’ve followed the assigned order that God has laid out in His word, their answer is, ‘I didn’t know there was one.’
We serve a God of order. It has often been said that God is set in His ways, and rightly so. There is a comfort in knowing that our God is consistent, that He remains unchanged, ever the same, yesterday, today and forever. Imagine being engaged in a competition, only to discover that the rules have been changed halfway through. It would be disheartening and disappointing. If God were inconsistent, if God were not perpetually the same, it would be difficult, almost impossible for us to trust Him fully. Knowing however that He is consistent, we are able to rest in the comfort of His promises, and the continuity of His grace.
The established order that God has set forth to transform a sinner into a sanctified believer, is clearly defined. First is the confession of sins, followed by the forgiveness of sins, and finally the cleansing from all unrighteousness. Only after these steps are followed can we proceed to lay hands and anoint with oil.
It begins with confession, it begins with repentance, and only by fulfilling this first requirement can God proceed to forgive and cleanse us from all sin.
It is tragic when someone does not seek a cure, because they are unwilling to acknowledge that they are suffering from a malady.
‘I’m okay, just the way I am. Jesus loves me anyway. I don’t need to humble myself, I don’t need to repent, and I don’t need to confess my sins, because God knows my heart.’
This is the answer one hears most often when confronting a sinner, and admonishing them to confess their sins that they might be forgiven. Sin equals death and an un-confessed and un-repented of sin, is certain spiritual death.
Once again we see the entire process begin with a conditionality that is placed squarely on the shoulders of the individual. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive, if however we do not confess our sins, if repentance of the heart is not evident, then we do not have forgiveness.
What we must understand is that when a sin is not confessed, the enemy always has an opening by which he can pour shame and uncertainty into the soul. It may be difficult for the ego to humble itself and confess a sin to a brother, but confession in no way minimizes or negates one’s dignity but rather bolsters and strengthens it. The true strength of a man is evident when he is able to confess his weaknesses.
There will come a day, when the life of every man will be exposed in its totality before the One who is omnipotent, and nothing anyone will say will excuse sin in the lives of those who claimed to be of Christ.
Forgiveness is a great and wondrous thing indeed. Forgiveness makes us free from guilt, it allows us to breathe the fresh air of grace, and gives us peace. Forgiveness however, presupposes that the guilty party has acknowledged their guilt. It presupposes that one has accepted accountability, and has owned up to the sin or indiscretion they’ve committed. This is why confessing our sin is so vital.
Some have said throughout the centuries that the Christian faith throws people into a whirlwind of guilt, shame and self-reproach so much so that they develop a complex. They surmise that the church should stop talking about sin, and our culpability, and embrace everyone without mentioning the pesky things that might give them the aforementioned guilt complex.
This is disingenuous and also a false and dangerous premise. We are not being tolerant by tolerating sin in the camp; on the contrary we are being hateful. Faith in Jesus Christ frees us from guilt, and from the crushing weight of the burdened conscience, because our God is a God who is ready, willing, and able to forgive. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive, and only after we have confessed our sins are we able to approach the throne of grace and ask for healing.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.