25 May 2002, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
TITLE: CONFESSION TIME
THEME: THERAPEUTIC BENEFITS OF CONFESSION TO JESUS CHRIST
SCRIPTURE: HEBREWS 4:14-16
OCCASSION: HOLY COMMUNION
Seventh-day Adventists have always emphasised the non-biblical nature in the activity of confession to an earthly human priest. Perhaps this has made them wary of confession in any form. The facts are that according to Scripture, the principle of confession is ABSOLUTE. The benefits of confession are threrapeutic to the mind and soul of the human being. Confession cleans and clears the conscience.
HEBREWS 4:14-16 " Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we do not have an high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the time of need."
FEET WASHING CEREMONY
It is necessary to confess to our heavenly High Priest so we become clean rather than dirty. It is an exchange of the filth of sin for the clean pure mind of Christ.
HEBREWS 9:14 " How much more shall the blood of Christ , who through the eternal spirit offered Himself without spot (fault) to God, purge your conscience (cleanse your mind) from dead works to serve the living God?". So the ceremony of feet washing is a ceremonial form of confession and cleansing. Seeking God for forgiveness.
1JOHN 1:7-9 "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
THE TABLE - THE LORD'S SUPPER
The Bread - OUR High Priest
HEBREWS 7:20 - 8: 2 (to be read in entirety)
Verses 22-25 makes our forgiveness so clear. His intercession on our behalf makes us acceptable to God. "By so much was Jesus made a surety ( guarantee) of a better testament ( agreement). And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered (allowed) to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continues ever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make interscession for them,"
Jesus Christ our High Priest is better than the Old Testament priests. He is superior to any earthly priest. He is the God-Man Priest. (see verse 26-27) . Chapter 8:1 says in summary of the matter, " We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens."
Our High Priest serves us with the living bread of heaven. He serves us life. He serves us righteousness by faith in Him.
THE WINE HIS BLOOD - HIS LIFE FOR US
HEBREWS 9:24 " For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."
HEBREWS 10:5-14, 19-25 ( This whole portion to be read prayerfully)
Especially note verse 10, "...we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
By faith we must have "boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," verse 19. In verse 22 we are admonished to, " draw near (to God) with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,..." Again in verse 23 we are encouraged to, "hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering." With Christ in our hearts and minds we live successfully His life. We are considerate of each other We practice benevolent works and we exhort each other as we await our High Priest return.
Again in Hebrews 10:35-39 we are encouraged to hold on to our confidence in the cleansing and saving power of our Saviour and High Priest. The promise made by Him to return will be accomplished. He will come.
In the mean time we are to set aside all sin and evil which holds us back from being truly Christ's followers.
Our only hope is to keep "looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith." Hebrews 12:1-3
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