These are the texts I didn’t get around to during the message on Sunday, February 28, 2016. We talked about the spiritual discipline of confession and celebrated communion. God was present and we knew it.
Sudden aside: That’s a great definition of worship, especially when we’re looking back on a church service: God was present and we knew it. Hm. I need to remember dat one.
Anyway, here goes with the texts:
Confession is especially difficult in a world where so many “Christians” are sooo judgemental. Thank you, God, for being forgiving and for your Son Jesus who cleanses us.
I happened to see this message as we were praying in 1st service, so we prayed about it. I spoke to it a bit in 2nd service, too. Broken people put up shields and make compelling cases for their relative goodness. The church is full of broken people. Ergo…
I think this is what makes James 5:16 even more important for the community of faith. He says confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. Mutual confession in the right kind of setting makes for an environment of incredible healing, which is exactly what we need and precisely what the church is about. This is the gospel: Jesus Himself forgives and cleanses anyone who comes to Him. Together we’re on the continual journey of getting our minds and hearts wrapped around this important truth.
It’s funny we try to hide our sins from God because he knows all.
I think we’re really trying to hide it from ourselves. If I confess it to Him, I end up hearing my own admission of guilt! Confession is powerful because it helps us see ourselves as we really are. Until then, we don’t see our need for the gospel.
As with secular healing programs, it is important to also confess to those you’ve wronged.
True. Confess your sins to Jesus (1 John 1:9), confess your sins to one another (James 5:16), and then go and seek reconciliation with the one you’ve sinned against. It depends on the situation, but this order (Jesus, others, one) is important because it reminds us that we ourselves cannot be the sole agents of healing. Every sin is a sin against Jesus. Every sin affects the community of faith. Sins affect others. By starting with Christ, we don’t risk the self-delusion of thinking that we’ve made it right by going right to the person while skipping the others, especially Jesus. Secular healing programs typically lack these vital first steps.
As a person who has never been baptized, am I allowed to partake in communion? Some churches do not allow it.
Great question, especially since communion symbolizes Christ’s sacrifice and provision for us — the communion table shows how serious God is about releasing us from sin. The answer is yes, you can take communion if you trust Jesus as your savior and desire to live your life in Him. Baptism isn’t necessary to take communion. By the way, we’re looking at doing baptism at pfm on March 27th (Easter Sunday) and it’s not too late to get more info & prepare for baptism.
Jesus fills the holes in my heart left by the pain from relationships with others and the sin in the world.
Indeed. The presence of sin in and around us represents our empty attempts at filling the holes in our souls with the wrong stuff. Pascal wrote about a God-shaped hole in each of us that only God can fill. It’s just like that game with the triangle/cube/cylinder and the corresponding shapes cut into a board that little kids play with. Imagine a cross-shaped cutout filled with mud. Only the Cross of Christ can fill in that space. Jesus cleanses & completes. His love is amazing.
Another great service. I love it when the worship songs bring tears to my eyes. “How marvelous, how wonderful is my Savior’s love for me.” Praise God!
I join: Praise God! I had a conversation a few weeks back with someone who apologized for crying during the service. I jokingly said “is it my breath?” They chuckled and said “no, it’s the feeling that God is there.” That’s what it’s all about. No apology needed. God’s presence is healing. I pray that more people would find, follow, and be like Jesus because of His good work at pfmchurch.