130728 confessing to blessing luke 18 10-14 abridged


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Sermon presented by Dale Wells at Palm Desert Church of Christ on 7/28/2013.

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  • Confession ὁμολογέω – lit. “to say the same thing”^ Word used when we confess Christ – e.g. say the same thing about him that God says about him – Son of God, Lord, Savior, High Priest, sinlessRomans 10:9-10 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.It is important – essential – that we say the same things about Jesus that God says about him. Otherwise, we cannot be saved.What did you know and understand when you responded to Jesus? Did you understand repentance, confession, baptism? Baptized at age 11. Couldn’t write dissertation on grace, faith, confession, repentance & baptism then (Could I now?) Maybe all we had was very basic understanding.Now we see through a glass dimly – only on a basic level.
  • If we understand that God wants us to recognize who Jesus is, we also understand that he wants us to acknowledge who he is – and who we are.To say the same things about ourselves that God says about us – (sinners, lost, estranged from God – at our very best, totally inadequate).A few weeks ago, we looked at 1 John 1 and saw that we are pardoned – not perfect. 1 John 1:8-10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. [9] If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. [10] If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.We can never achieve a state of righteousness that will compel God to save us. We are saved by grace – gift of God.Confession goes on through all of our lives. Lord, I’m not what you want me to be – not what I’m going to be – but thank God I’m not what I used to be!^ Confession is forerunner of blessing. We are blessed whenever we demonstrate our faith.This morning. How God has blessed those who have confessed their own sins and inadequacy.
  • Genesis 18:23-33 is the first solemn prayer upon record in the Bible; and it is a prayer for the sparing of Sodom – a city known for gross wickedness – if but a few righteous persons should be found in it. Consider the compassion we should feel for sinners, and how we should pray for them. Abraham’s prayer did not save the city, but it did save Lot. In the middle of that prayer, Abraham tells what he thinks of himself: Gen 18:27 Then Abraham spoke up again: "Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes,The expression “dust and ashes” is a play on words (aphar and epher) that signifies the origin of the human body from ordinary elements, contrasting the lowliness of a human being with the dignity of GodAs Abraham looked at God and at himself, this was his assessment of himself – nothing but dirt.
  • What can dust and ashes really accomplish?Bible says they were “as good as dead” (interesting). How would you like to be described that way? Two times (Rom. 4:19 & Heb. 11:12)Romans 4:17-22 As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. [18] Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." [19] Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah's womb was also dead. [20] Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, [21] being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. [22] This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness."Dust and ashes could not produce a son – but God did.^ If dust and ashes cannot produce a son, can it save a son?
  • Hint in Genesis 22:5 “We will come back”Genesis 22:5 He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."Hebrews 11 tells us that he had reached the conclusion that God could raise the dead.Hebrews 11:17-19 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, [18] even though God had said to him, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." [19] Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.He trusted God so much – and had so little trust in himself – that he was willing to offer the extreme sacrifice.Trust is the same word as faith in scripture. It is more than just belief. It is belief that is acted on. Biblical faith combines both belief and obedience. If it doesn’t obey, it isn’t biblical faith.
  • Gen. 17:3–5 summarizes the covenant being established by God. To underline their importance, these words are repeated at the end of v. 5. your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of many nations. The transformation of Abram's name to “Abraham” encapsulates the purpose of the covenant. The concept of Abraham's being the “father of a multitude of nations” is related to the earlier divine promise that “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). As a father figure, Abraham will have a profound influence on others, including those who are not his biological childrenGenesis 17:3-5 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations
  • Many nations through Hagar, Sarah and Keturah.Much of the conflict in the Middle East today is little more than the continuation of a family feud among the descendants of Abraham.The next great story of confessing leading to blessing comes from the 8th Century prophet, Isaiah.
  • Isaiah’scommission (740 BC)beginswith a vision of God in hisholiness (as Ezekiel, Daniel and John in Revelation 4).^ 6:4–5 The revelation of the Holy One is disturbing. Woe is me! For the first time in the book, Isaiah speaks, and his word is a prophetic woe against himself. He confesses his unclean (i. e., not permitted in God's presence) lips, unlike the seraphic choir, whose worship is pure. I dwell in the midst. Isaiah's generation is unfit for God, and Isaiah himself is no better. My eyes have seen the King. The holiness of the King is such that the very sight of him seems as though it would be fatal to a sinner (cf. Gen. 32:30; Ex. 33:20; Isa. 33:14).
  • Consequence of Isaiah’s confession was atonement. 6:6–7 this has touched your lips. The remedy of grace is personally applied. God's holiness and glory now redemptively enter Isaiah's experience. Atoned for. Through the sacrifice on the altar, according to the Levitical ordinances (e. g., Lev. 1:4). Through his seraph (the singular form of seraphim, plural; see note on Isa. 6:2), God declares the remedy for Isaiah's sin to be sufficient and instantly effective. Now Isaiah is qualified to proclaim the only hope of the world—the overruling grace of God.Once again, blessing followed on the heels of confession.
  • God's grace leads Isaiah from "Woe is me!" (v. 5) to "Here am I!" (v. 8). 6:8 Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? See 1 Kings 22:19–20; Jer. 23:18, 22. Here am I! Send me. Isaiah's experience of grace has dealt with his problem, confessed in Isa. 6:5. “Us” is like “us” in Gen. 1:26 (“let us make man”):God could be addressing himself (in a way compatible with the Christian doctrine of the Trinity), or he could be addressing his heavenly court (less likely, since only God is doing the sending here).Isaiah’s response.When we understand through our confession of faith that we are inadequate, but that he is totally adequate, what other response can we offer to such a question as God.Like parent musing around a child “I wonder who will eat this ice cream” “I wonder who I can send?” “Here I am”Another example of blessing following confessing is seen in Job – possible contemporary with Abraham & the patriarchs.
  • Job was a righteous man. If anyone had a right to say to God “Look at me!” it was Job. But he felt unworthy after he examined himself in light of his God.Lost everything he had & everyone he loved. Lost his health & the love of his wife.Lost the respect of his friends: They were more focused on what Job must have done to deserve all this misfortune. The more they blamed him, the more he defended himself – until he finally blamed God for not being fair.^ That was the last straw. God wanted to know what made Job think he was in a position to judge God!40:3–5 Job, duly chastened, is unwilling to speak another word of complaint.40:4 unworthy. The Hebrew for this word can also mean “small” or “insignificant.”The word קַלֹּתִי (qalloti) means "to be light; to be of small account; to be unimportant." From this comes the meaning "contemptible," which in the causative stem would mean "to treat with contempt; to curse." Dhorme tries to make the sentence a conditional clause and suggests this meaning: "If I have been thoughtless." There is really no "if" in Job's mindThere’s the confession; what comes after?
  • 42:10–17 The Lord Restores Job. It is of utmost significance to note that Job's restoration occurs only at this point, when he has capitulated to God and has been reconciled with his friends—still in his broken and bereaved state. Precisely at this point, community is reestablished (vv. 10–11) and Job himself restored (vv. 12–15). As the restoration proceeds, his previous possessions of livestock are doubled (v. 12; cf. 1:3, and see note on 42:16), and a further 10 children born to him (v. 13; cf. 1:2)Job’s blessings came on the heels of confession. That is the way it always is.That is a response of faith we must make.We must confess who he is – and what we are.It was the same for Abraham, Isaiah, Job – and David.
  • 2 Samuel 11 tellsthestory. Lust, adultery, pregancy, intrigue, murder, marriage. David couldfoolmen, but he couldn’tputoneoveronGod. Nathan. Childdies.David wrote a song about this – to be sung in worship – for the rest of his life and for ages to come – so no one would ever forget what he did!Can you imagine some public official today – maybe a mayor (Filner), or a wannabe mayor (Wiener) – writing something like that to be performed on public occasions!^ David’s assessment of his conduct! David recognized and confessed his unworthiness. (Bathsheba, Uriah, child)Knowledge of offense. In the ancient Near East individuals typically claimed that they were mystified concerning what they could possibly have done to offend deity. There were several factors that contributed to this ignorance. First, the gods of the ancient Near East had offered no permanent revelation of themselves that might be used as a guide. Second, polytheism posed a problem in that a deed that pleased one god might potentially offend another. Third, the gods were not characterized as acting consistently from one day to the next, thus making it difficult to assess one’s standing. Finally, offenses often took the form of neglecting rituals that the individual was not even aware of. In Israel the Law was clear enough and offenses could be clearly identified.Against you, you only, have I sinned. Of course, in doing wrong he has hurt others; the point here is that God is the ultimate judge for all sin (thus harming others is given not less weight but more).
  • If it is true that blessing follows confession, then God can turn a negative into a positive^ He sinned horribly, but look at what God did through this sin.Another example of blessing following confessing comes from our text. I like this portrayal …
  • Luke 18:10-12 NIV84 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'Pharisees were the most pious people in regular Palestinian Jewish society; tax gatherers were the most despicable, often considered traitors to their people. Pharisees did not want tax gatherers admitted as witnesses or given honorary offices. Standing with eyes and hands lifted to heaven was a common posture of prayer. Pharisee was confessing how good he was – and thanking God for it.Jewish people considered it pious to thank God for one’s righteousness, rather than taking credit for it oneself. The first hearers of this parable would not think of the Pharisee as boastful, but rather as grateful to God for his piety.
  • Beating one’s breast was a sign of great mourning or grief, in this case, in repentance for sin (which in Jewish custom was expressed by mourning). What had the tax collector done to accomplish his justification? His prayer for mercy involves no act of restitution, and hence many of Jesus’ contemporaries would judge it invalid.Jesus’ conclusion to the parable would shock the original hearers; it fails to shock Christians today only because they are so accustomed to the parable. To catch the impact of this parable today one might think of these characters as the most active elder, deacon or Sunday-school teacher versus a drug dealer, gay activist or crooked politician.Pharisee confessed how good he was; tax collector confessed he was worthless!Notice which confession led to blessing!One final vignette…
  • Prodigal son. Squandered his future. We’re all prodigals. Here is a son who sinned against his father. Who did he sin against first? Heaven, then Father (Just like David)
  • The prodigal repeats his prepared speech but the father cuts him short before he finishes, showing that he has forgiven himLuke 15:22-24 "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. [23] Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. [24] For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.The best robe in the house would belong to the father himself. The ring would probably be a family signet ring- a symbol of reinstatement to sonship in a well-to-do house. Slaves did not normally wear sandals, though they carried and tied a master’s sandals. The father is saying, “No, I won’t receive you back as a servant. I’ll receive you only as a sonBefore the son was even through with his confession, he was embraced and blessed.
  • Confessing leads to blessing. You need to confess Jesus as Lord. If you have faith in who he is, he wants you to acknowledge, confess, repent, be baptized.You need to confess your sins. Confession leads to forgiveness and purification.Confessing leads to blessing.
  • 130728 confessing to blessing luke 18 10-14 abridged

    1. 1. About Jesus ὁμολογέω
    2. 2. Forerunner of Blessing About selfAbout Jesus ὁμολογέω
    3. 3. I am nothing but dust and ashes
    4. 4. Can dust and ashes produce a son? Can it save a son?
    5. 5. You will be the father of many nations. Genesis 17:3-5
    6. 6. “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
    7. 7. Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
    8. 8. Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for Us?” And I said,
    9. 9. 8888888 Then Job answered the Lord: “I am unworthy – how can I reply to You? I put my hand over my mouth.”
    10. 10. God made Job prosperous again, and gave him twice as much as he had before. … The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.
    11. 11. I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight! Psalm 51:3-4
    12. 12. From the union of David & Bathsheba came the Messiah A Man After God’s Own Heart
    13. 13. "But the tax collector … beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
    14. 14. Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.