Your law condemns us. It is the constant reminder that we have failed to uphold what is good and just. It shouts at us and convicts us that we have no hope in life apart from your saving grace.
In your law your holiness is proclaimed, by it our sins are exposed for the detestable things that they are, and through it we realize that we are justly damned.
But yet the good news of the gospel gives us hope. In it your mercies are declared, by it our souls find hope of redemption, and through it we gain eternal life.
We praise you that you did not leave us in our poor, miserable state to be lost forever. We thank you that you had compassion on us and have opened for us a way of salvation through your Son and through His cross.
And we do turn to you now, acknowledging our sins and confessing the evil of them. And we do so not because we wish simply to obtain good things from you. But because we want to make amends. We are saddened because by our sins we have ruined our relationship with you. It grieves us that we have upset you, insulted you, and acted so treacherously against you.
O God, we are sorry, not that we have been caught and not because we the threat of death looms over us—No, we are forlorn because we have slighted the Most High God. We have disgraced ourselves because we have not honored you and given you the glory and the reverence that you deserve.
And it is this that we confess this morning and this is why we plead your forgiveness. This is why we ask you for cleansing and mercy: because we have profaned your name and failed to please you as we ought.
And we take our confidence in this one thing: that you have sent your Son into this world on our behalf. Our only hope is in the one who died in our place and rose with healing in His wings.
Our faith rests solely upon the infinite measures of your grace and the pardon that you pledge by it.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.