Read: Psalm 32
We will probably want to ask our teachers why we have to know our sins in order to have comfort. We really rather not think too much about our sins, and we surely are embarrassed to talk to others about them. But the reasons we have to know them are important.
The Lord’s Day Q & A we are discussing talks about “sins and miseries.” That means that our miseries, for which we need comfort are brought about by sin. Our miseries are problems, sicknesses, death, trouble, suffering, pain, disappointment and many other things. All these things make us miserable.
But all these miseries are our lot in life because we are sinners. And the sins, which result in misery, are our own fault. We deserve all our misery.
Another reason for knowing our sins is that until the time we recognize that sin is at the bottom of all our misery, and that sins are our fault, we will not go to Christ and flee to his cross. If I put it into the framework of the HC, this means that we need to go through chapter one (Of the Misery of Man) to get to chapter two (Of Man’s Deliverance).
Still another reason is that we can only know the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ when we confess our sins to God. And confession means that we are sorry for them. And so the Bible tells us in a thousand places how important confession of sin is. David had no peace until he confessed his sins of adultery and murder. He tells us of this in Psalm 32. John says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse is from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:8, 9).
When Jesus says that he came to save, not righteous people, but sinners, he meant exactly that he did not come to save those who think they are righteous; he came to save those who know that they are sinners.
It is not easy to admit we are sinners. It is not easy to confess that we are sinful. The three hardest words in the English language to say are, “I am sorry.” We may be sorry for sin because a crime has landed us in jail. We may be sorry for sin because people have learned about it and we are ashamed. We do not like the consequences of sin. But to be sorry for sin because we have sinned against God and against each other is the most difficult thing in all God’s world to do.
Yet we must confess sins.
Prof. Herman Hanko (Wife: Wilma)
Ordained: October 1955
Pastorates: Hope, Walker, MI - 1955; Doon, IA - 1963; Professor to the Protestant Reformed Seminary - 1965
Emeritus: 2001Website: www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?speakeronly=true&currsection=sermonsspeaker&keyword=Prof._Herman_Hanko
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