February 08, 2008

Confession: in the Footsteps of Jesus

Matthew 3:13-17

Jesus replied, ?... It is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.?
Matthew 3:15


As we think about confession in connection with Jesus, we might wonder, ?What would Jesus ever have to confess?? He didn?t commit any sin. But confession can have two meanings.

One way of confessing is to say publicly something important that others must know. We confess like that when we publicly state that we believe in Jesus. Before we can confess in that way, though, Jesus had to make it possible. He did that when he said publicly?or confessed?in John?s presence that his baptism was ?proper ... to fulfill all righteousness.?

Because Jesus lived a perfectly righteous life, he ?fulfilled all righteousness.? When John baptized him, Jesus took the first step in the hard process of enabling us to confess our sins, be forgiven, and then confess our faith in him publicly.

Paul puts it this way: ?God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God? (2 Corinthians 5:21). Once and for all on the cross, Jesus fulfilled all righteousness. And because of that we can confess our sins, be forgiven, and become righteous.

Confessing sins to God?and to another person?is a necessary spiritual discipline for people who need forgiveness.

Dearest Lord Jesus, thank you for opening up our hearts and taking our sinful thoughts, words, and actions upon yourself so that we can come close to you. Amen.

About the author — James and Rose Dekker

James C. Dekker is the pastor of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Previously he served other congregations in Alberta and Ontario. Rose Dekker serves as a refugee coordinator for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Canada. She also serves as a certified spiritual director. The Dekkers were missionaries for nine years with Christian Reformed World Missions, serving in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Cuba.

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