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What the Bible says about Faults, Confessing of
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Proverbs 28:13

Four words in this verse—"cover," "prosper," "confesses," and "forsakes"—highlight some valuable instruction for us. According to Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon, these Hebrew words mean:

» Cover (kacah, #3680): "to cover, to conceal, to hide."

» Prosper (tsalach, #6743): "to advance, to prosper, to make progress, to succeed, to be profitable."

» Confesses (yadah, #3034): "to throw, to shoot, to cast" and by extension, "to confess" or even "to praise."

» Forsakes ('azab, #5800): "to leave, to loose, to forsake, to let go."

In other words, if we try to hide or ignore our faults, our chances for success in life are dim, but if we admit them and put them behind us, we will have favor. In The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck remarks that "it is easier for us to try and forget a problem that we know exists than to deal with it." He states a fundamental truth about our problems. If we do not deal with a problem—in our case, sin—it will never go away. It will fester, and it will always come up later or manifest itself in a different form.

Spiritually, then, if we are not honest with ourselves about our sins and shortcomings, we will not reach our full, God-given potential. God can show us our sins, but He cannot and will not force us to overcome—that decision is ours. We must see ourselves for what we are and have the desire to make the conscious choice to change. Thus, Paul instructs us in Philippians 2:12-13:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

Staff
Setting Spiritual Goals

John 9:25-29

The healed man readily acknowledges his ignorance but then adds, “One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). Despite not knowing of Jesus, he is certain that He had changed him. In this, he becomes a type of genuine Christians. They do not know everything, but what they know they truly know because they have met and accepted Jesus personally as Lord and Savior.

Unlike the others, the man humbly begins with his limitations in knowledge. Both the parents and Pharisees say “we know” first and only after they declare what they do not know (see verses 20-21, 24-29), revealing their cowardice or ignorance. The man first admits his ignorance but then affirms what he knows as the result of God's revelation.

In his humble state, he easily recognizes the lack of knowledge in others, in this case, the greater ignorance of the “educated” leaders of the people. Having eliminated false self-confidence as well as any unjustified confidence in the Pharisees, all that remains is what he truly knows: He could now see. Thus, he takes his stand on the certainties.

As Christians, beginning in ignorance and sin, we confess both our spiritual dependence and our failings. We realize that, unless God chooses to reveal Himself—which He does in His Word and in Christ—we can know nothing. No one can know God by means of human reasoning or by any other human instrument (Job 11:7; I Corinthians 2:14). Spiritual knowledge is not revealed even through religious tradition, but it comes through the intervention of God in history, in His written Word, and the opening of the mind by the Holy Spirit—and only to those whom God calls.

Jesus says to the once-blind man, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” Having been blind, do we now entrust our spiritual well-being to Jesus Christ?

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Man Born Blind (Part Three)

Galatians 6:9-10

In its broader context, Galatians 6:1-10 has spiritual matters more directly in mind than physical needs. This does not deny that there are times to help out physically, but the chapter begins with, "If one sees a brother in a fault. . . ." This the real foundation of the charge in verses 9 and 10. It is concerned primarily with spiritual matters, where the church's problems really lie. The church's problems are spiritual in nature.

In terms of the ministry, from the top of the administration on down, its emphasis must be on "feeding the flock." If there is a spiritual problem within the church, and we are charged first with taking care of the church, then it means that the administration of the church has to shift gears and take care of that spiritual problem first. It has first priority, not the preaching of the gospel to the world.

John W. Ritenbaugh
What Is the Work of God Now? (Part 4)

James 5:16-20

Though he seems to be speaking about praying for those who are sick, the overall command is specifically to "pray for one another."

Further, James instructs us to confess our faults. The apostle does not mean that we should reveal every sin and foible to everyone in the congregation. He implies that we should confide our problems to a close, trusted friend so that he or she can help us by praying to God for help in overcoming it.

We should pray for one another, and it need not be known by others or even asked of us. We may notice a brother struggling with a problem, and rather than pointing out his flaw to others, we should get on our knees to petition God to come to his aid. The apostle James assures us that such a prayer, given seriously and thoughtfully, will make a difference.

The Jews say regarding prayer: "He who prays surrounds his house with a wall stronger than iron." Another of their sayings runs: "Penitence can do something, but prayer can do everything." To them, prayer is nothing less than contacting and employing the power of God; it is the channel through which the strength and grace of God is brought to bear on the troubles of life.

In the next two verses, James uses the illustration of Elijah to show just how effective righteous prayer can be. He chose Elijah because the biblical story of this prophet brings out his passionate - and sometimes still carnal - nature. Nevertheless, he prayed earnestly for drought, and God responded: No rain fell on the earth for three years and six months! When he prayed again for rain, God again heard and acted. What tremendous power can be unleashed through prayer that conforms to the will of God!

James 5:19-20 continues the theme. If we see a brother straying from the truth, and with the help of prayer, restore him to a right understanding, we may indeed be saving him from the Lake of Fire, from the second death! Such loving help is the essence of true outgoing concern.

John O. Reid (1930-2016)
Out of the Abundance of Our Prayers


 




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