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Adult Development & Spiritual Formation
Azusa Pacific University
Dr. Dick Pritchard
March 6, 2003
"Confession & the Season of Lent"

I.   Season of Lent
Season of Lent
Holy Week
Ash Wednesday
Monday of Holy Week
First Sunday in Lent
Tuesday of Holy Week
Second Sunday in Lent
Wednesday of Holy Week
Third Sunday in Lent
Holy Thursday (Or Maundy Thursday)
Fourth Sunday in Lent
Good Friday
Fifth Sunday in Lent
Holy Saturday
Sixth Sunday in Lent (Palm Passion Sunday)
Easter Resurrection Sunday
II.   Lenten Observance
A.   The triumph of Easter is best felt when preceded by a period of reflection on the life of Jesus
B.   Resurrection is preceded by Cross and Tomb &and so we live through the 40 days of lent in a similar remembrance
C.   Lent mirrors the 40 years wanderings of the Jews through the wilderness, and also reflects the 40 days of Jesus' temptation (also in the wilderness)
D.   We are called to the "wilderness" of our hearts, to solitary places of quiet and stillness
III.   Disciplines for the Spiritual Life (Two fold)
A.   Engagement - Disciplines of Engagement reconnect us with the kingdom of God
1.   Prayer
2.   Confession
3.   Worship & Celebration
4.   Submission
5.   Study
6.   Service
7.   Fellowship
B.   Abstinence - Disciples of Abstinence can free us from spiritually hurtful entanglements
1.   Fasting
2.   Sacrifice
3.   Silence
4.   Solitude
5.   Secrecy
6.   Chastity
7.   Frugality
C.   Spiritual disciples were/are never meant to make you good
IV.   Confession
A.   Scripture
1.   Lev. 26:40 "ÔBut if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers Ñ their treachery against me and their hostility toward me, 41 which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies  then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin, 42 I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
2.   Psa. 32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD" Ñ and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
3.   Psa. 38:8 I am feeble and utterly crushed; I groan in anguish of heart.
4.   Rom. 10:8 But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: 9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved
5.   Rom. 14:11 It is written: "ÔAs surely as I live,' says the Lord, Ôevery knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'"
6.   Heb. 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
7.   James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
8.   1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
9.   Acts 19:18 Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.
10.   2Tim. 2:19 Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
11.   Matt. 3:6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
12.   Ezra 10:11 Now make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives."
13.   2Cor. 9:13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
14.   Prov. 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
15.   1Sam. 7:6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the LORD." And Samuel was leader of Israel at Mizpah.
B.   There is both the aspect of confessing sin and confessing He is Lord over our life
C.   We should probably first be able to confess He is Lord, as apposed to our sin - how much of my prayer life truly looks like this
V.   All Ministry Flows Out of Spirituality
A.   If you cannot trace my ministry to God's work in me
B.   We minister the reign of God: the reality, truth, and power of God's Person and Kingdom. We do this by doing what Jesus taught us to do in reliance on His Presence with us
C.   We minister from community: the people of God through time and at a time and place
D.   We minister out of our own experience of God, His word, and His kingdom
E.   We minister in the midst of, and with, angels, the hosts of God, and in conflict with satan and his subordinates, who work against us because they oppose God
VI.   Why do we confess?
A.   We are forgiven
B.   Humbled
C.   Freedom
D.   Realigns us with God's will
1.   Those who are unable to confess somewhat are saying they have a need to hang on to the sin
2.   If one has a need to hang on to something then potentially they don't have their heart in the right place to being with
Lev. 16:21 He is to lay both hands on the head of the live goat and confess over it all the wickedness and rebellion of the Israelites Ñ all their sins Ñ and put them on the goat's head. He shall send the goat away into the desert in the care of a man appointed for the task.
Num. 5:7 and must confess the sin he has committed. He must make full restitution for his wrong, add one fifth to it and give it all to the person he has wronged.
1Kings 8:33 "When your people Israel have been defeated by an enemy because they have sinned against you, and when they turn back to you and confess your name, praying and making supplication to you in this temple,
Ezra 10:11 Now make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives."
Neh. 1:6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house, have committed against you.
Psa. 32:5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD" Ñ and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
Dan. 9:4 I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed:
"O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands,
Dan. 9:20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill 
Mark 1:5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
John 1:20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Christ."
Rom. 14:11 It is written: "ÔAs surely as I live,' says the Lord, Ôevery knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'"
Phil. 2:11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you
Heb. 13:15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise  the fruit of lips that confess his name.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
E.   Does scripture ever give us the authority or expects us to forgive ourselves? Not really!
F.   Confession: To allow ourselves to be known selectively, and wisely
1.   Benefits
a.   Enables us to drop the burdens of pretense and be humbled before another person and God
b.   To prepare for the time when we will be known to the whole universe as we really are - because scripture says this is going to happen, it is a call to accountability
c.   Relief from hypocrisy, training in trusting God rather than our manipulations of our appearance to others ("Hiding" is destructive to the soul and hypocrisy results)
2.   Study
a.   Proverbs 28:13
b.   Luke 12:1-5
3.   Practice
a.   Accountability relationships
b.   Small groups
c.   Worship Services
VII.   Fasting: to refrain in some significant degree from food and perhaps all pleasant drink
A.   Benefits - Affirming and experiencing another world [spiritual reality] that also creates awareness of spiritual warfare, teaches us to be strong and joyful while deprived, functionally posturing before God because of a specific need
B.   Study
1.   Deuteronomy 8:16
2.   Matthew 4:4
3.   John 4:32
4.   Psalm 35:13
5.   Matthew 6:16-18
C.   Practice
1.   Start with one meal
2.   Consider 24 hour fast or longer
3.   Consult your doctor and other who have practiced fasting
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