Religious people think they are pretty holy if they point out how sinful they are. The general attitude is that we would be conceited if we claimed to be righteous, that we would be religious if we kept speaking about our failures, our inconsistencies, and the wrongs we’ve committed.
Every Sunday morning in the church where I was brought up, we had to say, “Pardon us, miserable offenders.” I always felt that I didn’t want to be a miserable offender, but when I looked at the other offenders, I could surely agree that we were all miserable. Eventually, I said to myself, If all religion can do is make me miserable, I can be an offender without religion and not be half as miserable. And that is what I became until I met the Lord.
The language of religion continually states, “We are miserable offenders; we have erred and strayed from God’s ways like lost sheep; we have committed the things we ought not to have done and we have left undone the things we ought to have done.”
I could not say those words now; I would be a hypocrite. How could I pray for victory over sin on a Monday morning if I knew that the following Sunday I would be saying that I had erred and strayed, that I had done those things I should not have done and left undone those things I should have done? It would completely undermine the basis of my faith. Yet it sounds so good, so pious.
Let’s make our confession in line with God’s Word and believe it: Through the blood of Jesus, I am justified, made righteous, “just-as-if-I’d” never sinned.