The Worship Quote of the Week for (07/16/2002):

Confession of Sin and Sins
Todayís WORSHIP QUOTE reminds us that Christian worship includes a healthy
dose of confession.

We all know that too much introspection can be unhealthy, unhelpful and even
damaging. But some is not only salutary, but necessary. Our Bible reading
will often sober and abase us in this way. The word of God ruthlessly exposes
our sin, selfishness, vanity and greed, and then challenges us to repent and
to confess. One of the safest ways to do this is to take on our lips one of
the penitential psalms, especially perhaps Psalm 51 ("Have mercy on me, O
God") or Psalm 130 ("Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord"). Itís a healthy
discipline each evening to review the day briefly and call to mind our
failures. Not to do so tends to make us slapdash about sin and encourages us
to presume on Godís mercy, whereas to make a habit of doing so humbles and
shames us, and increases our longing for greater holiness. There is nothing
morbid about the confession of sins, so long as we go on to give thanks for
the forgiveness of sins. It is fine to look inwards, so long as it leads us
immediately to look outwards and upwards again.

ó John Stott, CHRISTIAN BASICS, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1969, pp. 121-122.

[TRUE STORY: Some months ago, my VISA bill got buried under some clutter on
my desk. I soon found that I was late with a payment and had been billed for
some interest on the outstanding balance. I was horrified. I called the bank
and explained that I was sorry, that I had simply misplaced the bill and had
wanted badly to pay it on time. "Is there anything I can do to make it
right?" I pleaded. Believe it or not, the woman on the phone replied,
"Thereís nothing you can do, but I will cancel the charge and credit your
account. Be careful to make your payments on time in the future." I was
elated. I danced for joy. I shouted with glee. I felt like a new person, a
released prisoner. I couldnít contain my delight. But what about my offense
against a holy God? What about his amazing grace and the forgiveness of my
sins through faith in Christís redeeming work? How much delight do I take in
that? Psalm 32 says it pretty well. Take a look. How good to know my sins
have been forgiven!]

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky