For those of you who may just be joining us, I’ve been taking the Confession of Sin and offering my interpretation line-by-line or sentence by sentence.
Today we are looking at the crux of the confession – where we tell God that we are sorry and we repent of that sin which has separated us from Him. Did you notice the word I just left out of my explanation? It describes how we repent – humbly. To be humble is to be unassuming, meek, deferential, and respectful. These are great definitions but to me, they don’t represent true humility. Consider the parable below:
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14 (New International Version))
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about[a] himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
That, my friends, is true sorrow and humble repentance.