Three simple examples of confession call us to the ranks of those whom God can heal. Listen to Isaiah, as he cries, “I am undone”, as recorded in his sixth chapter:
“I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips …” (verse 5).
Peter, lovable and forthright, makes his admission of guilt in the presence of the righteous Son of God:
“He fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Luke 5:8).
Finally, Paul, ever conscious of his merciless persecution of the church of God, cries out to Timothy:
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1:15).
These are the words of God’s beloved ones, and because of their self-effacement, great things were done by Him through them. For – and let there be no mistake about this – God did not desire and did not receive a mere abject grovelling heap of misery at His feet when each of these saints made confession to Him. There was a reason for the confession, and in that lay the true nobility of character of His servants. It was the desire for righteousness which brought them to confession. If we examine carefully the words of the sinner in Christ’s parable, the object of confession will be at once apparent:
“God be merciful to me, a sinner.”
It is the cry for mercy, for healing, for salvation which brings the love of God into the heart of the individual. When Jesus used the word “merciful” in the parable he used the word which is essentially connected with propitiation and reconciliation. The sinner desired to be in harmony with God. He yearned for the righteous garments of God that he might appear in God’s family. Jesus gives the assurance:
“I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other” (Luke 18:13,14).
( Harry Tennant – Extract from Comfort of the Scriptures, chapter 9)
Product Description of the Paperback of 192 pages by Harry Tennant
Publisher: The Christadelphian
This selection of exhortations is drawn from the large legacy of notes left by the late Brother Harry Tennant. They are representative of the man who with his spiritual insight and wealth of experience could advise others on the matter of exhorting:
“The word of exhortation is no set speech, no display of oratory, no occasion for self-preening or exhibition of a good memory or a discerning taste for good English. The world has enough of that. Rather it is that ‘through comfort of the scriptures we might have hope’. Let the brother seek to follow Paul in his words when he ‘exhorted them all that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord’: follow him in his true service for Christ when he comforted ‘the souls of the disciples and exhorted them to continue in the faith’.”