Steve Hill
Steve Hill

Steve Hill / 11 MAR 2015

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord”—and you forgave the guilt of my sin. – Psalm 32:5, NIV

Someone once said, “Any man who has himself for an attorney has a fool for a client.” The great evangelist Charles Finney (1792-1875) clarifies this great mystery.

Now it is understood that when a man pleads guilty to something, he must refrain from making excuses and appeal only to mercy. If I defend myself fully, knowing I am innocent, I surely have no need for a confession. But if I am conscious of having done wrong, and freely confess my wrong, I appeal to mercy. Confession is the direct opposite of self-justification or defense. So it is in parental discipline. If your child is defensive, and sternly justifies himself, he makes no appeal to mercy. But the moment he throws his arms around you with tears, and says, “I am all wrong,” he ceases to make excuses and trusts himself to mercy.

This is also how it is in the government of God. To trust in mercy you must finally give up all reliance upon being your own defense. You can make no more excuses.

Mercy by definition is undeserved forgiveness. Every sin we commit requires God’s forgiveness. Any attempt to defend ourselves is in vain and mocks mercy. Let us all strive, at the first inclination of conviction, to fall face first at the feet of our Savior, confess our sin and plead His great mercy.

~ Genesis 13; Matthew 12; Nehemiah 2; Acts 12

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