Confessing our Sins
...and Opening Ourselves toGod's Grace
Too many people—some of them committed believers in the Lord Jesus Christ—still contend with the darkness of sin in their inner man. We hear from them almost every day. For this reason, we will go through the rather dark list that Paul gave in the first chapter of Romans. We’ve ministered to countless people who, when the Holy Spirit has moved in upon them, see themselves harboring everyone of the—shall we say—wrongs listed by Paul in this Scripture.
As we invite God’s Spirit to search us, let’s begin going through the following Word from God. We ask Him to grant us repentance at each point.
DAY 1—We begin by asking God to search our heart.
Psalm 44:20,21—If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god; shall not God search this out? for He knows the secrets of the heart.
Psalm 139:23,24—Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
DEAR LORD, I open myself to the full light of Your Word. Let the power of Your Spirit use it to reach the innermost parts of my soul. Search out all darkness in me. Oh, grant me repentance! I want to be pure for Your Kingdom.
Jesus came bringing the light of God’s grace.—John 1:1-14
DAY 2—No person has any excuse for holding on to sin.
Romans 1:18-20—For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shown it unto them. For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
DEAR LORD, even before I knew the Word of the Gospel, I knew I was a sinner. I praise You for saving me when I was wicked. Thank You for the change Your Word and Your Spirit has brought to me. But, DEAR JESUS, I know there is ugliness still in me. As I hold myself before Your Throne of grace, please search it all out.
Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.—John 3:14-21
DAY 3—Sin brings blindness to the heart.
Romans 1:21,22—Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools...
II Timothy 3:1-5—This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (no government in their lives), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
FATHER, I’ve continued looking carefully at the list above. I see some of these things still crouching at the very door of my life. They’re waiting to attack. Oh, send the fire of Your Spirit and consume every one of them.
Jesus will make a most hopeless person whole.—John 5:1-9
DAY 4—A blinded heart will try to devise its own god.
Romans 1:22,23—Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. NIRV—They claimed to be wise. But they made fools of themselves. They would rather have statues of gods than the glorious God who lives forever. Their statues of gods are made to look like people, birds, animals and reptiles.
LORD, my heart became blinded when certain things happened to me. But now I see. The longing of my heart is to know—beyond doubt—that You are my Savior and Lord. Oh, please keep conviction in my heart, till everything in me that grieves You is gone. Teach me how to become free from the deep sin that tries to rule my heart. Show me Your cleansing grace, PRECIOUS LORD! I want to KNOW the Life that came from Your resurrection. I want to know it living in me.
Let us refuse to allow anything in us that takes the place of our Lord God.
—II Ki 17:15; Ps 81:12; Eccl 7:29
Day 5—Turning from God brings all kinds of confusion.
Romans 1:21-25—They knew God. But they didn’t honor Him as God. They didn’t thank Him. Their thinking became worthless. Their foolish hearts became dark.They claimed to be wise. But they made fools of themselves. They would rather have statues of gods than the glorious God Who lives forever. Their statues of gods are made to look like people, birds, animals and reptiles. So God let them go. He allowed them to do what their sinful hearts wanted to. He let them commit sexual sins. They polluted one another’s bodies by what they did. They chose a lie (literally, “the lie”) instead of God’s truth. They worshiped and served created things. They didn’t worship the Creator. But He must be praised forever. Amen. NIRV
FATHER, things keep happening that made me stop glorifying You. I stop being thankful. I become a lover of my own self. I lose my ability to reason. Darkness tries to come over my soul. I DON’T WANT THIS ANY MORE! The only way I know out of this is by Your grace. Oh, visit me, PRECIOUS LORD! Visit me by Your Spirit! Make me whole!
Great joy comes to the Lord when a lost one is found.—Luke 15:1-7
DAY 6—Turning from God, even in thought, leads to unnatural ways.
Romans 1:26-28—So God let them go. They were filled with shameful longings. Their women committed sexual acts that were not natural. In the same way, the men turned away from their natural love for women. They burned with sexual longing for each other. Men did shameful things with other men. They suffered in their bodies for all the twisted things they did. They didn’t think it was important to know God. So God let them go. He allowed them to have dirty minds. They did things they shouldn’t do.NIRV
FATHER, I know there have been things in me that have grieved You terribly. They are so deep- rooted in me that I am ashamed for anyone to know. Help me take another step out of this today by forgiving these ones who I feel betrayed me. I know I can’t have Your peace unless I do forgive them. So, I grit my teeth, and I go ahead and do it. FATHER, I say, I do forgive them. Please let it become real. Oh, I forgive! I forgive! I forgive!
If one pretends to be religious, and yet holds darkness, it becomes a great and deceptive darkness.—Matthew 6:23
DAY 7—Every kind of sin imaginable waits to take over those who reject
Romans 1:29-31—They are full of every kind of sin, evil and ungodliness. •They want more than they need. •They commit murder. •They want what belongs to other people. •They fight and cheat. •They hate others. •They say mean things about other people. •They tell lies about them. •They hate God. •They are rude and proud. •They brag. •They think of new ways to do evil. •They don’t obey their parents. •They are foolish. •They can’t be trusted. •They are not loving and kind.NIRV
DEAR LORD, too much of what is listed above once tried to rule me. I don’t like any of it. I want it all to stay gone. I am ready to go through the entire list again. Please let Your Spirit check me thoroughly and bring light into my darkness. Let me know that You can make me clean. Oh, let me know that You WILL make me clean. Oh, yes! Thank You, Jesus! You ARE MAKING ME CLEAN!
Some old “friends” may think it strange when they see the change in you.
—I Peter 4:1-5
DAY 8—The horror of this Scripture demands that we view it again
—but with the understanding that God’s grace is stronger than
any sin that might try to rule us.
Romans 1:28-31—And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; being filled with all un- righteousness: •fornication, •wickedness, •covetousness, •maliciousness; •full of envy, •murder, •debate, •deceit, •malignity; •whisperers, •backbiters, •haters of God, •despiteful, •proud, •boasters, •inventors of evil things, •disobedient to parents, without understanding, •covenant-breakers, •without natural affection, •implacable, •unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
HEAVENLY FATHER, it is impressed on me that being unmerciful is at the depth of all sin. I am so sorry for the lack of mercy that has been in me. Please wash me. Make me clean and free from this ugly stuff. It ruled me long enough. And— set me free from ever again finding pleasure in watching others as they walk in this vile way.
We are now becoming ready to be a new person in Christ. God’s grace will perform the work.—Ephesians 4:17-24
Now, let us discover the new way of Life
God’s grace offers us in Christ Jesus.
Seven Words that Describe God’s Work of Grace
DAY 9—Redemption (1)
Romans 1:23-25—For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.
Ephesians 1:7—(Jesus Christ) In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace...
HEAVENLY FATHER, how rich, how rich, how rich Your grace must be to set us sinners free! I praise You for the work of this grace in my own life. I wait before Your Throne of Grace today. I wait and I allow it to bathe my heart. Oh, I do believe it is rich enough to make an entirely new person out of me! Yes, DEAR FATHER, I do believe this!
God’s grace has appeared to bring salvation to all of us.—Titus 2:11-14
DAY 10—Justification (2) made right with God
Romans 5:1—Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5 8,9—But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
I Corinthians 6:10,11—Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
DEAR LORD, Your grace is reaching deep inside me! Now, I pray that it will begin reachingthese others I know and love. Let it reach into my family. I confess that the darkness that has ruled us is passing. Let Your Word of Truth come to these I hold before You. It is time for us all to know You.
Take note of Paul’s word to the jailer.—Acts 16:25-31
DAY 11—Propitiation (3) the appeasement of wrath against all sin
I John 2:1b—And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2and He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
I John 4:10—Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
I Tim 2:5—For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
FATHER, we have trusted in the death of Your Son Who gave Himself to ransom us from sin’s penalty. Oh, what amazing love! Please bring understanding of this to these new believers I am holding before You. Help them live in their freedom from guilt’s downward pull.
We’re free from the law of sin and death.—Rom 8:1-3
DAY 12—Remission (4) forgiveness
I John 1:8,9—If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 3:25,26—...Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
DEAR FATHER, I praise You for the remission of my sins. My sin was greater than I ever imagined. Now I’m forgiven! Your Spirit came to me and I saw how sinful I was. Then I saw that Jesus gave Himself to be a ransom for my soul! Oh, I praise Your Holy Name! Now, please use me as a witness to others. Let the people I live with and work with see You at work in me so they can know the remission of their sins.
Receiving forgiveness depends on our forgiving others.—Matt 6:14,15
DAY 13—Atonement (5) reconciled with God
Romans 5:10,11—For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the atonement.
II Corinthians 5:18,19—And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
DEAR FATHER, what joy that we are reconciled! What peace is now upon me knowing there is nothing separating us from one another any longer! I ask You now to use me in bringing others to You. Please move on the hearts of these I hold before You in prayer. Prepare them to receive the reconciliation You are so ready to give them.
Jesus became a merciful and faithful high priest that He might reconcile us to God.—Heb 2:16-18
DAY 14—Salvation (6) the healing of one’s soul
Titus 2:11—For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.
Rom 10:10—For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Eph 1:12-14—That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In Whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your salvation: in Whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
GRACIOUS LORD, the salvation You have brought to us is greater far than my heart could ever have imagined. I praise You for Your amazing love to someone who has sinned as I have. Help me live as a testimony of what Your amazing grace can do in a sinner’s life. I want now that my life will be a living sacrifice unto You. Use me for Your Kingdom’s purpose.
The Lord is rich unto all who call upon Him.—Rom 10:8-13
DAY 15—A Witness
Rom 1:14-16—I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the Gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Phil 3:8,10—Even more, I consider everything to be nothing compared to knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. To know him is the best thing of all. Because of him I have lost everything. But I consider all of it to be garbage so I can get to know Christ. I want to be joined to him. For me, being right with God does not come from the law. It comes because I believe in Christ. It comes from God. It is received by faith. I want to know Christ better. I want to know the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings. I want to become like him by sharing in his death.
LORD JESUS, the things in my life that have made it difficult for me to give a testimony are leaving. It’s all because I’m discovering new depths to the grace You are bringing into my life. I’m discovering that, even though I can’t live for You, You are ready to live for me.
Paul’s Personal Testimony—Gal 2:20
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