Starting The Celebration with Confession?

Posted on December 20, 2023 by Elizabeth Welte in Freedom Fighters

“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” – 1 John 2:1-2 (NKJV)


Let’s start today off with this meditation from 16th century reformer, John Calvin. “There is another reason why it necessary for Him who was to be our Redeemer to be true God and true man. It was His task to swallow up death. Who could do that but life itself? It was His task to conquer sin. Who could do that but righteousness? It was His task to overcome the powers of the air, that is, the demons. Who could do that but a power greater than world or air? In whom, then, do life, righteousness and the power of heaven reside, but in God alone? Therefore the Lord, in His great kindness, became our Redeemer when He chose to ransom us.”


Now, granted, John Calvin isn’t someone who pops into mind in terms of having the “Christmas Spirit,” (and quite frankly, he’d have major theological problems with Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudoph the Red Nosed Reindeer) but Calvin probably would insist that everyone understood why it was necessary for us to keep Jesus lifted up on Christmas Day as Redeemer. Then he would probably insist that everyone make confession so that our Redeemer could make intercession on our behalf, so that His shed blood would pay the ransom that our sin, which is keeping us separated from God the Father. Yeah, so far this isn’t sounding too Christmas-y here, is it? Well, maybe we need to take a look at a little something…


In his book, Come Let Us Adore Him, Paul David Tripp makes this statement, “…if it is more natural for us to deny our need for grace than to confess it, then we need to humbly admit that it takes grace to confess our need for grace. If confession is owning personal responsibility for our words and our actions without excuse or shifting the blame, then it does take rescuing grace for us to come to the place where we admit our need for rescuing grace. Jesus came to provide that rescue.” Then he’ll suggest four ways in which we swindle ourselves into believing that we don’t need the rescue that Jesus was born to provide.


“And He shall stand and feed His flock In the strength of the LORD, In the majesty of the name of the LORD His God; And they shall abide, For now He shall be great To the ends of the earth; And this One shall be peace.” – Micah 5:4-5a


  1. We tend to minimize our sin. — Our poor attitudes could be blamed on bad weather, busyness, or sickness. So, our being mean is just our personality or maybe our lust isn’t really lust, it’s just enjoying the beauty of God’s creation. I’ve heard that one many times.
  2. We tend to doubt the wisdom of God’s law. — “Has God indeed said…?” has been the question since it was asked by the serpent, in The Garden. It really isn’t stealing if you’re “accidently” bringing home office supplies, after all, they’re an “expendable” that gets thrown out every day… Huh! Basically, the more comfortable we become with questioning God’s law, the more we’re able to be comfortable with breaking His law.
  3. How about when we tend to be more concerned about the wrong doings of others instead of our own? — It is possible to be more irritated with those things in others that you regularly excuse for yourself. I like how Tripp put’s this, “You will always deny your need for God’s grace when you are more irritated than convicted.” Kinda speaks to a heart condition, doesn’t it?
  4. Denying what’s in your own heart — Sin isn’t just a behavior problem but a fundamental matter of the heart. Well, Jesus nails this in Matthew 5:22, “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.”


I realize that it isn’t traditional for everyone to be sitting around the Christmas tree, early Christmas morning, confessing your sin to each other before you open presents, but it may not be a bad idea to do it as soon as your eyes open. This week of Advent is for REJOICING so why not, as Tripp suggests, start that exuberant rejoicing with brokenhearted weeping. For He wasn’t born on Christmas morn to help you celebrate His birthday by passing you a plate of roast beast and a side of Who-hash but, as Calvin stated earlier, “Therefore the Lord, in His great kindness, became our Redeemer when He chose to ransom us.” That’s bestest promise a Christmas morning could ever have. Amen?


Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a child of El Elyon, a son, a husband, a father, and has recently become a grandpop. He has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of The Colony of Mercy, 11/2003. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can email him at

Think About This:  “It really is possible to live in a state of Advent schizophrenia, where you celebrate the birth of the Messiah while actively denying your need for His birth, life, death, and resurrection.” – Paul David Tripp

The Daily Bible Reading: Hebrews 1-6. You can download our 2024 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here.

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:  “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

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