The Real Life Series 3 - Confession

Edited transcript of a sermon
Sunday morning 9am and 11am English services
on 24 August 2014 by
Pastor Jason Lim

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Now, in our church, we are going through the Bible and we are going through the book of 1 John, so, if you have your Bibles please turn with me, to the book of 1 John and we are looking at the very first chapter and verses 8 to 10 in particular. We are going to look at the subject that is really important for a Christian and that is – confession. The reason is because, all of us, sinned, even if you are a Christian, you sin and that's why, we need to understand confession.

A story is told of four pastors who were gathered together. They had a little kind of a chit-chat and one of them says, “You know, we as pastors, we get people, our members come to us. They come to us with their problems; they come to us with their prayer requests; they come to us confessing their sins. Maybe we as pastors, should confess our sins to one another.” They said, “Oh, that's a great idea. It's good for our souls,” they said. And so, the first pastor says, “Well, I confess that I am an alcoholic. I love to drink and I get drunk all the time.” The second one is now encouraged. “You know, I am also addicted. I am addicted to cigarettes. My church doesn't know, but from Monday to Saturday, I am like a chimney. I am addicted to cigarettes.” The third man then says, “Well, since you all have confessed, I will also confess mine. I am an addict to gambling. I love to go to casino; I love to play poker cards; I love to gamble.” And then the fourth man, had nothing to say. “Come on, you must have something to say, you must have some sin.” “No, I won't say.” “Come on, don't be a spoilt sport. We have all said, what's yours?” “I am afraid that if I tell you, you will bash me up.” “No, no, we won't hurt you. We promise.” He took a deep breath and says, “My sin is that I love to gossip, and I can't wait to get out of here and tell your churches about your sins.” (Laughter in the congregation).

Everybody sins, even as a Christian. And that's why we need to understand confession. You see, we learned earlier, in the series in 1 John that walking in the light - that’s a characteristic of someone who has known God, someone who has life - the ‘zoe’, the eternal life. Someone who is walking in the light is not someone who is sinlessly perfect, but he has a sincere progression. In other words, he is not sinless, but he will sin less, over the course of time. There is a genuine change in his heart that makes him hunger for God, hates sin and that will be seen and there will be a genuine, sincere pursuit of God. But, he is not going to be sinlessly perfect, at least not until Jesus returns. Therefore, John continues to say in verse 8, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)

So, being a Christian, is not an immunity to all sin. We are going to grow as a Christian, we are going to be better by the grace of God but there will still be sin in your life. So, what do we do if we fall and stumble into sin? Well, that's where the precious promise of Scripture comes in. It says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) This is a beautiful verse that unlocks a beautiful blessing that is found in confession. But let me say this, before we look at what confession is all about and why, I want to say that in Singapore, there is a church, there is a pastor in particular, a preacher who says, that as a Christian, you don't have to confess your sins anymore.

In fact, let me quote to you what he says, “So when you fall, don’t be conscious of your failure and feel bad or condemned.” That is not falling physically, it’s falling into sin. That’s the context of what he is writing. When you fall into sin, he says, as a Christian, don't be conscious of your failure, don't feel bad, don't feel guilty about it. Move on, ignore it, don't dwell upon it. He goes on to say, “Preaching, (he’s saying to all preachers, pastors, teachers)…preaching a repentance in the area of imparting consciousness of sins is nothing more than dishonouring the work of Jesus.” Wow, this is a very strong statement. If a preacher says, we got to repent of our sins, you got to search your sins, you got to search your hearts and you got to bring it before God to be confessed, to be washed, he says, "This is dishonouring the work of Jesus."

Another statement he says: “We don’t have to confess our sins in order to be forgiven.” No need. You say, pastor, this is one pastor in this country? Yes, one, as far as I know. One church that preaches this? Yes, as far as I know. Then, why does it bother us? There are thousands of church in Singapore…churches in Singapore, why do you highlight this? I'll tell you why I highlight this, because, he, by the way has the biggest church in Singapore. And I dare to say, maybe around you, there are people, who come from this church and tell you this message. At least, personally, in my life, I have had people and I know of individuals in this church who have had people come to them and tell them, you don't have to obey 1 John 1:9, because as a Christian, you don't have to confess your sins anymore. By now, I think you would probably know who this preacher is. His name is: Joseph Prince. And I take this from his book, not that I somehow listen into his secret conversation. It is from his book, one of his best sellers - ‘Destined to Reign - we don't have to confess our sins in order to be forgiven’.

He goes on to say, page 109: “…confessing your sins all the time will only make you more sin-conscious.” (Joseph Prince - Destined to Reign, Page 109)

He goes on to say, “Christians believe wrongly that the Holy Spirit convicts believers of their sins.” (Joseph Prince - Destined to Reign, Page 139)

And he says, “My friends, God does not require you to search your heart and locate your sins before you can worship Him.” (Joseph Prince - Destined to Reign, Page 173)

“Stop examining yourself and searching your heart for sin.” (Joseph Prince - Destined to Reign, Page 187) Don't do that! Don't bother to repent! Don't bother to confess! You don't have to be conscious of sin.

“There are still people who insist that we have to preach on repentance. Well, I disagree!” (Joseph Prince - Destined to Reign, Page 232)

Whoa, we don't have to confess our sins, in order to be forgiven. All this is taken from his book - Destined to Reign and if you look at his book introduction (referring to picture shown), he says, “The secret…” Okay, by the way, there are some who may not have good eyesight, I'll help you, alright? Expanded here. The secret…this book, what is this book about? What is this book about? It is about a secret. He says something that you may not know, but I want to tell you. There is a secret to effortless success, wholeness and victorious living. And if you read the book, and if you understand his theology, I wouldn’t even say theology, his understanding of the Bible, or how he interprets it, is that, the key to that, consists of a few things: Number one - You don't have to confess your sins. It's effortless. You don't have to search your heart. You don't have to feel bad about sin, you don't have to…you don’t have to repent before God, no confession needed. By the way, he calls this, grace. He calls this, the revolution of grace. He calls himself, the apostle of grace. But, this is no grace, this is no apostle of grace. It is a false teaching. It is a lie, it is a perversion. It is a presumption upon God and I will show you why.

But besides this, no repentance - extreme view of grace. He preaches health and wealth and we have dealt with this, in quite a few sermons in the past. And because of the health and wealth understanding of the success, prosperity gospel, their teaching is also that God will not give you trials or chastisements. The sufferings, the sickness, the pains in your life are not from God, they say, it's from the devil. So passages like Hebrews 12 are not touch upon, not preached, because their understanding, their teaching is that no trials, no pain from God. And the fourth thing that I could see is the word-of-faith teaching. This is a name-it, claim-it lie and we have dealt with it as well in a series, in Daniel. But you add all these together, it is a powerful, dangerous concoction of venomous doctrine. Effortless success, wholeness, victorious living. Really?

Well, as I said, I'm not going to deal with all of this, we have covered some components of that, but we are going to look at ‘No Confession’. As a Christian, now that you have believed in Jesus, you don't have to confess your sins anymore, just ignore it, move on. But the Bible, squarely says, if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. But, you see, this is why they are so clever. They know 1 John 1:9 and they have an explanation for you. So they tell you, you don't have to confess your sins. You then say, but look at 1 John 1:9, it's very clear. They will say to you, yes, it is said, if we confess our sins, but this is not written to believers. They say, this is written to the unbelievers. Now, this is where Christians are really stunned. Har? Oh, I didn't know huh. Yah, I never really study, is this to believers or unbelievers? And whilst you are temporarily stunned, they throw another stun grenade and that is to say, this is a book written to Gnostics. That’s where Christians blur already, what, what, what Gnostics? I have no idea what Gnostics? Okay, okay, you win, you win, you win! So, they throw this smoke bomb, by the way, what is Gnosticism? In a sense, we have covered that in our 1st introductory sermon in 1 John. And, so they sort of brush this aside and say, this is a text that is for unbelievers and believers don't have to confess your sins. But, is that true?

An honest fair reading of 1 John, you will realize, is a book about, or a letter to encourage people about joy, fellowship that is partnering, sharing with God and the Son. It's a book about walking in the light; it's a book about walking as a believer and if you are not convinced already, look at two verses after verse 9. So you have verse 10 and then you have Chapter 2 verse 1. And chapter 2 verse 1 says, “My little children, I'm writing these things to you...” What are little children? Verse 12, “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven...” In other words, 1 John is written to forgiven people. 1 John is written to people who have been washed in the blood of Jesus Christ. 1 John is written to believers and 1 John 1:9 is written to those who have believed in Jesus Christ. It’s not to unbelievers or that smokescreen called Gnostics. From the verse itself, actually you could have known. In the English, we write it, “If we confess our sins…” But in the Greek, the word ‘confess’ is in the present tense, which is a continuous action. A better way to translate this verse, you can verify it, is: “If we are confessing…” This is not a once for all action, before I came to Jesus. But this is to be the ongoing pattern and practice of a child of God, regularly confessing our sins, to be washed at the fountain of His blood.

So, 1 John 1:9 clearly teaches the need for confession. In fact, Jesus Himself teaches us how to pray. The disciples were asking, Lord, teach us how to pray. And Jesus said, this is how you pray, in this manner do you pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name…” and so on and so forth and look at that verse, “…give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts.” This is a prayer of confession of repentance. Before who? Before God as a mighty judge? No, before your Father. And is this a prayer that you make one time, many years ago? Give us this day our daily bread - this day, and forgive us our debts. It's to be the ongoing pattern and practice of a Christian to be repenting and confessing and being forgiven, and being walking in the light. That's what it means. We can come, because our God is our Father. He doesn't reject us. So he says, no confession, because you have automatic forgiveness. That is the secret, one of the secrets to effortless success.

When I think about this, I think about Michael Jackson. No, no, he doesn't look like Michael Jackson. But I think about Michael Jackson, he is someone who has struggled big time in his life. He's struggles with many issues from childhood; he struggles with psychological problems. He can't sleep, he’s in agony. He has a messed up life. He never really dealt with the problems in his heart, but what he does, is that he numbs himself with drugs and medications. And so he feels good, he can finally sleep, but the problems still remain and ultimately he died a tragic death. He never resolved his problems. I say to you, this teaching that no confession is needed, is like someone whose leg is rotting. It's smelly, it's in extreme pain, but you know what you do? You don't deal with it. What you do is, you get the doctor to give you heroin, opium, drugs. Numb yourself, ignore this, move on, get that feel-good theology. You are forgiven, just move on.

But you don't know that this is going to eat up your soul. It’s going to ruin your life because you're not willing to be washed and forgiven by the blood. It looks so much like the truth - don't have to confess your sins. I can move on because God's grace is so great, I don't even need to confess anymore. But look at it more closely and you realize it's all made up of a pack of lies. 1 John 1:9 is what God says. Joseph Prince says, no need to confess, no need to be conscious of your sins. Let me tell you of another JP. John Piper. He says, “The mark of a saint is not sinlessness, but sin-consciousness.” Very different, don’t you think? Preaching repentance is dishonouring the work of Christ. Don’t talk about sin, it only makes you more sin conscious. Here we have John Piper says, the mark of a saint is sin-consciousness. He says know your sins. Why? Because only then, can you bring it to God, can you bring it to the fount, that you may be thoroughly and truly healed and cleansed.

See, this is a picture of our church. (Referring to picture shown) One of the corners, remember this? GLCC is famous for…? (Response in the congregation) Rats… what rats?! GLCC is famous for the gospel! Alright? (Laughter in the congregation) You all don’t learn! Just don’t learn. Yes, we are famous for the gospel but our building also has rats lah. We are besides Adam Road Food Centre and by and by there are rats that come in and I showed this to you before. Er… there were two rats, actually when I heard from Pastor Chee Kean yesterday, he says there were actually three. But I think he may be thinking too much already. Wah… I killed three! I killed five! Herr (laughing)… we began to exaggerate the number. Okay anyway, there were two or three and they were hiding in the corners in our kitchen and we were trying to get them out. We made lots of noise. We bang! We clang! We did everything, they just won't come out. They would rather hide in the corner of darkness than to be exposed. Why? Because instinctively the rat knows, there is no love between Pastor Chee Kean and the rat. If they were to run out, they will be whack to death! They wouldn’t come out.

But as a Christian, as a child of God, you don't have to hide in the corners of sin because we know that when we come out in the light, we don't have a judge who will whack us. Because we know we come to a father, who loves us. There is no condemnation to those, to them, who are in Christ Jesus. Nothing! Absolutely nothing, shall separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. Because of His steadfast love, even when I sin, we can have this confidence, not in our worthiness, but in His grace, in His love. That we can come out into the light and be washed of our sins because our Father wants, our God wants, to cleanse us. That's the language, Jesus gave us. Why is it that I can come and confess my sins – Lord, forgive me? Because… our Father, He wants to. He tells us to.

You know, there is a beautiful story in the Bible about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples? The last night before he was going to go to the cross. And he was washing, about to wash the feet of Peter, when Peter said, you shall never wash my feet, Lord this is too much! I can't take it! I’m…I’m your follower, don’t wash my feet! Jesus then says, if I do not wash you, you shall have no share with me. You are not going to fellowship with me. You have no part with me. You are not going to commune with me. And Peter says, Har? Like that ah? Okay, then like that, then don’t only wash my feet lah, wash my hands, wash my head, wash my whole body lah! Please, clean me thoroughly! And Jesus says, don’t need! “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.” (John 13:10) Don’t need. It’s okay. Once washed, once bathed, once saved, no need to keep washing and bathing and getting saved. When we sinned, the reason why we confess is not so that we can get saved again. No, no, you never lost your salvation, if you truly believe in Jesus Christ. Bathe once, that's it! But washing, you need it repeatedly.

You see, in the Greek the word ‘bathed’ is the word ‘louo’, which speaks of a complete thorough bath. And then the word ‘wash’ is the word ‘nipto’ which means to wash the extremities. And Jesus is saying, you don't have to be saved, over and over again but you need to be forgiven, you need to be cleansed. As you walk in life, you pick up the sand, the dirt, the grime of life and that needs to be washed. And if you don't, you have no share with me. You can't sit with me at the table. You can’t have fellowship with me. You know in those days, they… actually this is not a very good picture (referring to picture shown) because they lie. You know, like the Roman’s way of eating. So the ‘chao kar’ ah (Hokkien dialect words meaning smelly feet), the smelly feet ah, will be right at my nose ah. You don’t wash, don’t sit near me lah! You can’t really be with me. That's the idea.

Suppose today I say to my son Shawn, “Shawn, come! Daddy wash your hands before dinner.” Shawn says, “Don’t need Daddy, I’ve already bathe.” “No, Shawn, I know you have bathed but you just played in the garden, your hands are dirty, wash your hands.” “Daddy, no, I don’t want to wash. I’ve already bathe.” “Shawn, if you don't come and wash your hands, you shall have no part with me!” “Daddy! You mean I’m no more your son?” “No, Shawn, you are always my son. Nothing can change that. You are forever Jason Lim's son and I’m forever your daddy but if you don't wash your hands, you can’t eat at the table.” You don’t lose your salvation folks. Joseph Prince says, once you have ‘louo’, you don't need ‘nipto’. That’s his idea. Once you have ‘louo’, don't need to think about ‘nipto’. Jesus says, yes, you are ‘louo’ once, but daily in our lives, regularly, be sure you are confessing, you are repenting, so that you're always being ‘nipto’. Okay, there’s such a word. Cleansed and wash and forgiven, that's why 1 John 1:9. If we are confessing our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us. Not that He needs to save you all over again but he restores to you - joy of salvation. He restores that fellowship, that communion that you so longed for. And that's why this is a beautiful word, this is a beautiful teaching. There is forgiveness, there is cleansing. The word ‘forgive’ means ‘to send away’. It’s derived from the Old Testament picture where a priest lays his hand on the goat, symbolizing the transference. It’s a symbol, it’s a transference of sins of Israel onto the goat. And the goat is send away, far out into the wilderness, never to be seen. When we confess our sins, God sends our sins far, far away. He cleanses us, He washes us. This is a word that refers to ceremonial cleansing. He washes us, we are clean, when we confess our sins.

This week I was er…having dinner with my family and we got home and we unlock the door and wanted to open the door. And I realized that when I open just a little bit of it, it got stuck. I can’t figure out why is it stuck? Never happened before. We didn't bring the keys to the back door out. We have no alternative keys. We are stuck, we can’t get in. So I tried harder to push it through and I managed to push a little bit more and I tried to squeeze in. I thought I’m very slim. Squeeze, squeeze squeeze, ‘kena’ (Malay word meaning get hit) stuck, my tummy too big. I got out and my wife says, “I will try.” And she ‘whoop’…she got in right away, no problem. She switched on the lights, she looked behind the door and try to find what’s the cause of it. She couldn’t find it, “Jason I couldn’t see any problem.” “Can you do something?” She says, “No, it’s stuck.” So I say, no choice lah. Both of us just try and push some more. So she pulls on the inside, I push on the outside and I just need a little bit more only actually… not so fat lah. Ah… I push a little bit more and I managed to squeeze right in. My son of course came in and everyone else came in. My kids came in. Then we inspected the door. Why ah? Why stuck huh? Wah…like a detective, we looked up and down. My son says, “Is it because the door is er…spoilt…the hinges is spoilt and is curving in?” And then he says, “Is it because the floor tiles popped and it got raised up?” We couldn’t figure out why? And then I decided to switch on the torch in my phone and looked at the very bottom's slit. I saw something metallic there. Just a small metallic bit at the end of it. Took a knife, and try to free it out. And this is what we found (picture shown). We found this little thing. Small little, little thing. And it’s so small that when you put it on your finger, it’s really tiny. Of course, all of us recognize this is…to be a battery, right? Battery from one of my son's toys, of course. And when I took out my phone and wanted to take photo, my son asked me, “Daddy do you have a lesson for this?” He is so smart! (Laughter in the congregation) I said, “Yes, Shawn, what do you think is the lesson?” He immediately says, “Oh, is that small things can give you big problems.” (Laughter & claps from the congregation) He is right, don’t you think? He is absolutely right.

This illustration however fails here. This is a small thing but our sin is not a small thing. Imagine this small little battery could almost lock the entire Lim family out of the house. No rest for the whole night. Just one small little battery. Do you realize that sins can block you from God's blessings in your life? You reap the consequences of your sin. You, in a sense, are estranged from God. You don't enjoy fellowship with him because there's something in your heart and you are ashamed to turn. What do we do? Ignore it? Take heroin? Believed false teachings? Or would we, as God has commanded and given us the privilege, come and confess our sins? See this is the experience of the psalmist. Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven… (Psalm 32:1-4) He says ‘blessed’. It’s not a negative word, it’s a beautiful word! Confession! It’s blessed to have our sins forgiven. Sin covered… Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, when I was stubborn, when I refused to humble myself and repent and confess of my sins. When I kept silence, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. Agonizing, that’s the word. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as the heat of summer. (Psalm 32:1-4)

But all changed, it all changed. That battery that's stuck, that got stuck, that blocked you from joy and blessings was removed. When I acknowledged my sin to you and I did not cover my iniquity, I said I will confess my transgressions to the Lord and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. By the way, New Creation - Joseph Prince will tell you, you can't learn from the Psalms. You can’t even learn from Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 6. You know why? They say because that is all in the old covenant. Wah…that one, another ‘chim’ (Hokkien dialect word meaning deep) word that the Christians are bamboozled. They say we don't really need to listen to the Sermon on the Mount, we don't really need to listen to David's penitential psalm because it's all in the old covenant. They don't understand what is the new covenant, old covenant. They don't. David is saved not by the old covenant, he’s saved under the new covenant. Everyone who’s saved, is saved under the new covenant. But you see, with this one broad stroke, they say don’t have to bother about this text. Don’t! They pick and choose. The lie that starts with saying no need to confess has to snowball into a terrible massacre of Scripture. But David understood this and so he says, when I confess my sin in Psalm 51, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation...” (Psalm 51:12). He never says, restore to me my salvation. No, he never lost his salvation, but he lost the joy of his salvation. And when he confesses his sins, when he is no more hiding, running from God, he finds forgiveness and cleansing and he says, Lord, restore to me the joy.

You know, this week we have guest from the States. Wonderful people from the States. They were with us and I was driving them and I can’t remember what actually triggered the topic but it was not because I spoke about the sermon. But one of them mentioned about repentance and asked…and was sharing about it and I say wow, this is good stuff! And he shared about someone he met, he knows - a pastor in Africa. Guess what's his name? His name is…? Not easy to guess ah… so many names, right? His name is one I've never heard before. His name is Repent. (Laughter from congregation) Wow, not bad, very biblical. And it’s a beautiful word. Wah…Repent like very serious, very scary… No, no, it’s a beautiful word, understand scripturally, it’s a beautiful thing. And then he told me that Repent got married and guess what his wife's name is? His wife's name is…? (Response from the congregation) What? Forgive ah? (Laughter in the congregation) No lah, his wife’s name is… Joy. I tell you what, Repent and Joy are married. (Laughter in the congregation) They are. Theologically it's true. Repent and Joy are married. You take away repent you have no joy. You take away sin-consciousness, you have no joy. Repent and Joy are married. This is the teaching of Scripture - when you confess, he forgives.

Question now is what do you mean by confess? Because a lot of us don't quite understand confess. The word ‘confess’ is the Greek word ‘homologeo’ which is…the word ‘homo’ means same, ‘logeo’ means the word or to say. So ‘homologeo’ means ‘to say the same’. In other words we agree with God about his judgment on our lives, about his view on our lives. That was a sin! No lah, God, that's not the same. That’s not ‘homologeo’. That’s a sin. I say yes, that’s sinful God, that’s wrong, that’s ugly, that’s repugnant, that's bad! That’s ‘homologeo’. But is confession merely saying: I agree that I've sin? I don't think so. It’s not just a mechanical saying that, Ah yes, what I did was wrong but it’s all their fault! They made me do this! No, that's not quite ‘homologeo-ing’, in a sense, with God. You see, in 1 John we see this subtle but important difference, in verse 8 and 9. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. If we confess our sins, so there is a sin and there is a sins. Why? I suggest to you, sins refer to the actions that we have done. Maybe the words that we have said, the thoughts of our heart, but sin refers to the underlying root. I sin in the act because I have a sinful flesh that got the better of me. So when we confess our sins, it’s not just saying, I did that which was wrong but it’s all her fault. She started it first! No, it’s to recognize that what I did is wrong and what inspired and motivated that is also wrong. I confess both the fact and the fault of my sin.

See this is exactly what David said, in Psalm 51. Again that Psalm, he wrote after he had sinned in the issue of Bathsheba. He says I…I acknowledge my transgressions, my iniquity, my sin. Three words for the same thing you say. Why? Because they are a little bit subtle, in their different meanings. The word transgressions means to cross the line. I crossed the line. The word sin means to miss the mark. I've fallen short of what God wants. I have broken His laws; I've come short of His standard. And the last word - iniquity is a word that means perverseness, wickedness. So David is saying, I sinned in the issue of Bathsheba because I was perverse. I was sinful. I was wretched. It’s not like Adam, when he said, Aiyah, God, yah, I ate the fruit but it’s the woman lah. And by the way, it’s the woman you give me hor! He…he blames others, he blames God. That’s not true repentance. We often said, “It’s all their fault.” “It’s the devil who made me do it.” No, no, no, when you truly confess your sins, you confess both the fact and the fault of sin. David didn't say it's all Bathsheba’s fault. Who ask her to be so pretty? And who asked her to bathe in the open? It’s all her mother’s fault, she’s too pretty to me. And by the way I want to sue the architect also. Who makes this kind of building I can see people’s toilet? (Laughter from congregation) Later we have an architectural presentation so… so it’s all the architect’s fault, they say. No, he said nothing like that at all. He says it’s me. Lord, I ‘homologeo’. I agree. I humble myself and I recognise that I’ve sinned against you. Forgive me. It’s not a mechanical, formulate words you just utter mindlessly but it springs from a heart of true conviction. And when you do so, there is forgiveness. You say why? Why is it so…seems easy, don’t you think? I mean I don't have to climb a mountain, build a temple, built a church, whatever. I don't have to do anything like that. And God forgives me, isn’t it too cheap? In a sense, too easy? You mean just like that? It’s not just like that. Noticed, John says, when you confess, He is faithful and just. Surprising, because I would, if I were to be writing this, I would say: if we confess our sins, he is gracious and merciful. Don’t you think you’d have written that about confession and forgiveness? But he doesn't write “merciful and gracious”. He wrote “faithful and just”. Why? Because He says my Son has paid it all. That sin which you commit, those series of sins which you commit, my Son has paid it all. And if you come and confess your sins, I forgive them because it is fully paid. God is invoking His very own righteousness and justice. It will not be right for him to do double jeopardy, to punish the same sin twice. And so if Jesus has taken it, we can be forgiven…and therefore all unrighteousness, because Jesus our Saviour paid it all.

I end with this quote. Thomas Watson. I love this: “A true penitent confesses his sin in the fountain.” If we do not know Jesus, if Jesus had not died, if Jesus had not sacrifice his life and gave His blood, confession is horrendous! It is scary! It is facing all our problems and there is no solution for it. But if you know Jesus has paid it all, there is a precious fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel's veins, that sinners can plunge within that flood and lose all their guilty stains. Confession, is a beautiful thing. You can be restored to your Father. You can enjoy your walk and communion with Him.

Just a few days ago, my son, Matthias the younger one, was being naughty. He was told to keep his toys, he refused to. He has this very rebellious streak in him. Matthias, keep your toys. KEEP YOUR TOYS! You know, it’s so tiring but he just wants to show you he’s not going to be ordered around. Matthias keep your toys! You see, if not, we will have to discipline you. We’ll have to teach you. Wah…wah…serious ah. Okay, so I take out my cane. And he refused to do so still. I just gave him one cane lah, to his backside. Wrrrahhh…really wail in front of us, just to show us his true colours. He kept crying and crying and after a while, maybe five minutes or so, he settled down. Mummy got to bring him back to bed to sleep. He got in. Fifteen minutes later, my…my wife, I almost said my mom, (Laughter in the congregation) my wife, Winnie walked out and she had this smile on her face. Jason, I think you’ve got to come in. I say why? ‘Didi’ (Mandarin words meaning younger brother) won’t sleep. Why? Because he kept saying, papa angry…papa angry…papa angry, no matter what she does he won’t sleep. Papa angry… I got into the room. Stood beside the cot. Matthias, do you know why daddy has to spank you? Because you didn’t obey. Matthias, but daddy loves you. Daddy loves you, you’re forever my baby, my Didi Matthias. Matthias had a smile break out on his face and he lie down. Hehehehehe (laughing)…. He literally just lie down after a short while. He could finally rest. He will never stop being my son. But the enjoyment of communion with his daddy can be ruined because he’s rebellious. And until we are willing to come to our Father, and ‘homologeo’ saying: God, Father, I’m wrong. Thank you for your Son, Jesus, who paid for my sins. I don't want to live with this cancer of sin. I don’t want to believe in false teaching that numbs my sensations. I want to be cleansed. Thank you, you are faithful and just.

Are you holding out against God today? Maybe your life is jammed up? You look up, look left, you do not know where the problem is. Let me tell you, it might be unconfessed, rebellious sins against God. And maybe today you are here with us for the first time. You say what is Christianity about? What’s this? That when we see our sinfulness before the Holy God, we will confess our sins, acknowledge that we are helpless to save ourselves and come to the fountain filled with blood drawn from Jesus’ veins. My friends, there is forgiveness for you. Would you come to Jesus Christ today? Let's bow, for a word of prayer together.

There is a fountain filled with blood, there is. That fountain was open for us some two thousand years ago and the power to save, exist till today. The power to cleanse and to forgive is available for you today. My brothers and sisters in Christ, this morning as we gather, is there something between your soul and your Saviour? You don't have to hide like a rat in the corner of your life, you can come out into the light because your Father loves you. He wants to cleanse you. He wants to give you the ‘niptos’ that are necessary, so that you may now walk in joy and fellowship with Him. Would you come? Would you lay down your sin at the foot of the cross? Would you stop holding out against God, fighting Him? And would you agree with Him with regards to the fact and the fault of your sin. There is goodness, there is grace, there is mercy, there is justice and there is faithfulness with God. May His goodness lead you to repentance today. And as you repent, would you be then gloriously married to joy.

Dear friends, if you're here today for the first time, your life is empty, your life is meaningless, you’re struggling with life, you're looking for joy. There is no such thing as joy apart from God. It is found only in Him. And the way to God is through Jesus Christ, because he paid the price necessary, to wash you of your sins. And today if you were to turn from sin and believe in Jesus, that he died and he rose again for all our sins, you can be washed. You can receive this everlasting life. Would you do that this morning as well? Whatever the Lord is speaking to you, take this time, respond to Him. Beautiful forgiveness, amazing grace, I will sing thy power to save. Father, we thank you for this morning, for Your Word, for your grace, for your faithfulness. For who you are and what your Son has done. Thank you today we as filthy sinners can be washed, can be cleansed. Lord we praise you! We rejoice in you! We exalt you today! Turn our eyes unto Jesus this morning, bring us to love and obedience before you. And we’ll be careful to give you the glory and praise that is due Your Name. Bless everyone seated here today. May each one of us, experience that cleansing, that forgiveness, that joy in all our hearts. We thank you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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