18 – Confession of Sin

18 – Confession of Sin2016-11-27T17:36:32+00:00

Read the Missionary Report from the
International Health Organization below

Sabbath, October 31, 2015

“The Lord does not require us to do some grievous thing in order that we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform painful penances, to commend our souls to the God of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.” –Steps to Christ, p. 37. 

A universal problem 

1. Can someone think that he is free of sin? If he does, what is the truth of the matter, and what is he saying about God?

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 

1 John 1:8, 10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us…. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 

“I was shown that those who triumphantly claim to be sinless, show by their very boasting that they are far from being without taint of sin. The more clearly fallen man comprehends the character of Christ, the more distrustful will he be of himself, and the more imperfect will his works appear to him, in contrast with those which marked the life of the spotless Redeemer. But those who are far from Jesus, those whose spiritual perceptions are so clouded by error that they cannot comprehend the character of the great Exemplar, conceive of Him as altogether such a one as themselves, and dare to talk of their own perfection of holiness. But they are far from God; they know little of themselves, and less of Christ.” –Life Sketches of Ellen G. White, p. 84. 

Hiding is no solution 

2. Can we hide our sin from the Lord? What will happen if we try to cover it? 

Numbers 32:23 But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the Lord: and be sure your sin will find you out. 

Psalm 32:3-5 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. 4For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah. 5I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.

“Never seek to cover sin….” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 380. 

“Even before the divine sentence was pronounced against David he had begun to reap the fruit of transgression. His conscience was not at rest. The agony of spirit which he then endured is brought to view in the thirty-second psalm…. The king of Israel recounted his sin, his repentance, and his hope of pardon through the mercy of God. Instead of endeavoring to conceal his guilt he desired that others might be instructed by the sad history of his fall.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 725. 

An invitation to all

3. What is the Lord inviting everyone to do? Even if one’s sins are many and his spiritual garments are completely filthy, what assurance does Jesus give him? 

Jeremiah 3:13, first part Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God… .

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.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 

“Jesus was tempted in all points like as we are, that He might know how to succor those who should be tempted. His life is our example. He shows by His willing obedience that man may keep the law of God and that transgression of the law, not obedience to it, brings him into bondage. The Saviour was full of compassion and love; He never spurned the truly penitent, however great their guilt; but He severely denounced hypocrisy of every sort. He is acquainted with the sins of men, He knows all their acts and reads their secret motives; yet He does not turn away from them in their iniquity. He pleads and reasons with the sinner, and in one sense–that of having Himself borne the weakness of humanity–He puts Himself on a level with him. ‘Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 294. 

4. What attitude are we invited to have in our relationship with our brethren? How quickly should we confess our mistakes as well as forgive those of others? 

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 

Hebrews 3:13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. 

“Confess your sins to God, who only can forgive them, and your faults to one another. If you have given offense to your friend or neighbor, you are to acknowledge your wrong, and it is his duty freely to forgive you. Then you are to seek the forgiveness of God, because the brother you have wounded is the property of God, and in injuring him you sinned against his Creator and Redeemer. The case is brought before the only true Mediator, our great High Priest, who ‘was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin,’ and who is ‘touched with the feeling of our infirmities,’ and is able to cleanse from every stain of iniquity. Hebrews 4:15.” –Steps to Christ, p. 37. 

Consider good examples

5. Who is ready to hear our confession if we fall into sin? What is one of the well-known confessions brought about by the Holy Spirit? 

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

Luke 15:18, 21 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,… 21And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. 

“It is not enough that the sinner believe in Christ for the pardon of sin; he must, by faith and obedience, abide in Him. ‘For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.’ Hebrews 10:26, 27.” –Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 517. 

“God’s appointments and grants in our behalf are without limit. The throne of grace is itself the highest attraction, because occupied by One who permits us to call Him Father. But Jehovah did not deem the plan of salvation complete while invested only with His love. He has placed at His altar an Advocate clothed in His nature. As our intercessor, Christ’s office work is to introduce us to God as His sons and daughters. He intercedes in behalf of those who receive Him. With His own blood He has paid their ransom. By virtue of His own merits He gives them power to become members of the royal family, children of the heavenly King. And the Father demonstrates His infinite love for Christ by receiving and welcoming Christ’s friends as His friends. He is satisfied with the atonement made. He is glorified by the incarnation, the life, death, and mediation, of His Son.” –Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, p. 14. 

6. What is part of true confession when damage has been inflicted or someone has been hurt? What example do we have in the Bible of heartfelt repentance, confession, and restitution? 

Exodus 22:1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. 

Numbers 5:6, 7 Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the Lord, and that person be guilty; 7Then they shall confess their sin which they have done: and he shall recompense his trespass with the principal thereof, and add unto it the fifth part thereof, and give it unto him against whom he hath trespassed. 

Luke 19:8, 9 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 

“Zacchaeus declared: ‘If I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.’ You could at least have made efforts to correct your acts of injustice to your fellow men. You cannot make every case right, for some whom you have injured have gone into their graves, and the account stands registered against you. In these cases the best you can do is to bring a trespass offering to the altar of the Lord, and He will accept and pardon you. But where you can, you should make reparation to the wronged ones.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 5, p. 339. 

Sincere confession is rewarded

7. What happens when one sincerely confesses his sins? What spiritual blessing will follow? 

Psalm 32:1, 2 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. 

Proverbs 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. 

“David was pardoned of his transgression because he humbled his heart before God in repentance and contrition of soul, and believed that God’s promise to forgive would be fulfilled. He confessed his sin, repented, and was reconverted. In the rapture of the assurance of forgiveness, he exclaimed, ‘Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.’ The blessing comes because of pardon; pardon comes through faith that the sin, confessed and repented of, is borne by the great Sin-bearer. Thus from Christ cometh all our blessings. His death is an atoning sacrifice for our sins. He is the great Medium through whom we receive the mercy and favor of God. He, then, is indeed the Originator, the Author, as well as the Finisher, of our faith.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, p. 1146. 

For additional study

“Adam and Eve … supplied the place of this heavenly garment by sewing together fig-leaves for aprons. 

“This is the covering that the transgressors of the law of God have used since the days of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They have sewed together fig-leaves to cover their nakedness, caused by transgression…. When the Lord calls the attention of men and women to the truth, the making of fig-leaves into aprons will be begun, to hide the nakedness of the soul. But the nakedness of the sinner is not covered. All the arguments pieced together by all who have interested themselves in this flimsy work will come to naught.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 1, p. 1084.

* * *

 

Missionary Report
from the International Health Organization

To be read on Sabbath, October 31, 2015

The Special Sabbath School Offering
will be gathered on Sabbath, November 7, 2015

Dear brothers and sisters around the world,

May the peace and love of God be upon you in abundance. Greetings with Psalm 67:2, 3: “That Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee.”

“Medical missionary work is the right hand of the gospel. It is necessary to the advancement of the cause of God. As through it men and women are led to see the importance of right habits of living, the saving power of the truth will be made known. Every city is to be entered by workers trained to do medical missionary work. As the right hand of the third angel’s message, God’s methods of treating disease will open doors for the entrance of present truth.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7, p. 59. 

On December 31, 1989, at the General Conference session in Florida, U.S.A., by God’s grace the proposal of the General Conference Health Department to adopt the name International Health Organization as its official name was accepted by the delegates. This is a non-profit department under the General Conference.

It is important to note that especially in Islamic and Communist countries which prohibit the exercise of freedom of religion, the name International Health Organization (IHO) can be used instead of International Missionary Society, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Reform Movement, for the registration of the church. This has been done in Yemen, Iraq, and China, to name a few where the registration of IMSSDACRM is prohibited. The Reformation message needs to spread around the world, and God has given us this means to hasten His coming. “It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 69.

Furthermore, the medical missionary plays an important role in this. “I can see in the Lord’s providences that the medical missionary work is to be a great entering wedge, whereby the diseased soul may be reached.” –Counsels on Health, p. 535.

And to deal with prejudice, the testimonies say: “As a means of overcoming prejudice and gaining access to minds, medical missionary work must be done, not in one or two places only, but in many places where the truth has not yet been proclaimed. We are to work as gospel medical missionaries, to heal the sin-sick souls by giving them the message of salvation. This work will break down prejudice as nothing else can.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 211.

This work is from God. “True medical missionary work is of heavenly origin. It was not originated by any person who lives….” We need to reveal Christ now. “How shall we reveal Christ? I know of no better way … than to take hold of the medical missionary work in connection with the ministry.” –Medical Ministry, pp. 24, 319.

The International Health Organization’s primary objectives are to.

  • Assist in establishing health clinics in viable Unions and Fields
  • Organize health symposia and health fairs in Divisions, Unions, and Fields
  • Train young people in medical missionary service and motivate them to cooperate in God’s work
  • Promote health reform through our website (IHO21.org)
  • Pursue the possibility of founding a licensed technical college to prepare both members and non-members for health careers
  • Conduct health seminars in Unions and Fields and form health teams to serve the people and gather souls for Jesus
  • Provide free basic medical and dental services wherever the organization (IHO) is required by a government to do so for the issuance of a registration permit

“Medical missionary work brings to humanity the gospel of release from suffering. It is the pioneer work of the gospel. It is the gospel practiced, the compassion of Christ revealed. Of this work there is great need, and the world is open for it. God grant that the importance of medical missionary work shall be understood, and that new fields may be immediately entered.” –Medical Ministry, p. 239.

To implement these objectives, seminars will be conducted, projects will be planned, and activities will be coordinated with the General Conference, Divisions, Unions, and Fields. “Soon there will be no work done in ministerial lines but medical missionary work.” –Evangelism, p. 523. Therefore, let us encourage this vital work.

For the Special Sabbath School Offering to be gathered this coming Sabbath, we appeal to every generous heart to help make these goals reality so Heaven’s influence can reach especially diseased souls as a great entering wedge while time permits. The apostle Paul wrote, “He which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully,” and “God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7. Your generous offerings will be highly valued. May the grace of God and the abundance of His blessings be poured upon you as you respond to this earnest appeal.

Your fellow servant in Jesus,

Dr. Roland N. De La Paz
General Conference
Health/Medical Department Leader

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