Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“If we say that we do not have sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from every unrighteousness.”
It may at first seem that it would not bring relief to confess it, but it does. We are so very helpless against the spirits of this age. Paul said that “when we were without strength, Christ died for the ungodly.” He was right on both counts. We were completely without spiritual strength, and Christ suffered and died to help us. In the past, we all tried to live life as we wanted to live it, on the strength of our own understanding and desire, and doing that led all of us to one dead end or another, time after time.
The truth is far more than mortal man can take in unless he receives help from heaven. Without God, we are so blind that we actually think we can see. We know so little that we think we know a lot. We love ourselves so much that we think we love others. We are so ignorant of true righteousness that we think we are right without it.
When God gave Jeremiah a glimpse of the real, inner condition of the human race, the realization absolutely crushed the young prophet’s heart. He cried out in despair, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked! Who can know it?” The answer is, “No one.” And the principal reason that no one on earth can know how blind and perverse he is, is that everybody thinks they are neither blind nor perverse.
To live blind is to live under a heavy weight. I did not even know that weight existed until Jesus took it off my back and I felt the relief. When I fell on my knees along that mountain road long ago and cried out to God, it was only because (1) Jesus was opening my eyes to the burden I had been carrying and (2) he was offering to take it away and give me peace. I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. I had been proud, but now I could not humble myself too far down, and neither can the next man to whom God shows the same mercy. To see at last what a fool I had been, and to admit it, brought feelings of relief from the burden of sin, and I grasped at the opportunity. I had lived my life as a fool, and had been so foolish that I thought I was wise.
Because we are, in ourselves, so proud and blind, it may at first seem that it would not bring relief to confess it, but it does. I still can feel it.