You Shall Not Covet
Sin separates us from God and man. This is spiritual death. When Adam sinned in the Garden, man died spiritually and was corrupted and defiled in his being, separated from God, and at odds with his fellow image bearers, even to the point of murder. We see this all too clearly in the 10th commandment.
Exodus 20:17 (ESV): “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Coveting is dissatisfaction with what God has given us, idolatry of the things of earth, and the hatred of others because we want the good gifts God has given them rather than rejoicing with them over God’s goodness to them. We need life and healing. This is why we confess our sins together as a church. James 5 tells us to confess to one another so that we might be healed. This healing comes from Jesus who is the Tree of Life for us with healing in his leaves.
A Prayer of Confession
You are the giver of all good gifts O Lord. You are generous and beneficent. We have no lack because there is no lack in you and you have given us everything out of the overflow of your glory and grace. You are love.
But we have neglected your love, grace, and good gifts. We have worshipped the things of earth thinking they could satisfy us when only you could. We have looked at the good gifts you’ve given others - financially, relationally, their talents and abilities, their life circumstances, everything - and rather than rejoice with them we have craved them for ourselves. We are never satisfied, wanting more and more. We fill up Amazon wish lists, rack up crippling credit card debt, and compare our lives with social media lies always wanting more.
But you O Lord possess heaven and earth and yet you took on flesh, becoming lower than a servant, dying as a criminal, to wash us and cleanse us from our sins and give us a glory that truly satisfies. You cleansed us and satisfied us with your love, grace, and glory. Thank you for the cross and for your grace. Amen.
Assurance of Pardon
Every Sunday when we gather together we not only confess our sin; we also are assured of God's pardon for those who come to Christ in faith and confess their sin to him. God is so good and gracious and loving that he promises that those who look to Christ in faith will be healed of their sins, cleansed from their unrighteousness, and brought back into communion with God. Just like when the Israelites who were bitten by the fiery serpents of judgment looked to the bronze serpent on a pole and were healed, we also when we look to Christ are made whole and healed, but this time forever.
Hebrews 9:11–15 (ESV): 11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
15 Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.