The television channel proclaims, “for the first time in history, you can watch all 456 episodes of the original Law and Order.” They call it a binge-a-thon. So my husband and I are watching some. There is a common plot theme. A crime is committed, the police find and arrest the bad guy (or gal), and the D.A.’s office prosecutes them.

Another common is the lying and denial of the bad guy. Until the very end, where there is no escaping judgment. You can see the moment they realize they are at the end of their rope, with no hope of escaping their crime. At this this point in the show the D.A.’s office or judge asks them to make an allocution. Defined, it is a formal statement made to the court by the defendant who has been found guilty prior to being sentenced.

The defendant explicitly admits specifically and in detail their actions and their reasons of committing their crime. An allocution also allows the defendant to explain why the sentence should be lenient.

As Christians, this should sound familiar. God, as our Judge, gives us the opportunity to allocute and admit in detail the actions and reasons for our sins, and to ask for leniency.

“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sine. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight. So that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” (Ps. 51:1-4 [NIV])

“He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Prov. 28:13 [NIV])

“If we can confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him [Jesus] out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.” (1 John 1:9-10 [NIV])

I have been reading a lot in The Passion Translation and love the footnotes! They are super informative and give you the rest of the story. Here is what the footnote says from 1 John 1:9,

“Confession of sin is the way to find restoration and unbroken fellowship with God. It cleanses the conscience and removes every obstacle from communion with Christ. Confession does not gain God’s acceptance, for that was won for us forever by the sacrifice of Christ. It is on the basis of being his dearly loved children that we restore intimacy with God through our tenderhearted confession before him. God will always be faithful to restore our first-love passion for him. There is no need to confess the same sins over and over, for that is ignoring the blood of Jesus that cleanses us. All of our sins were paid for on the cross and we can do nothing to remove them, but confession acknowledges God’s faithfulness to restore our intimacy with him. Our Father and our forgiving Redeemer fills the heavens with grace toward every believer, even when we sin.”

The footnote further explains, “ Unrighteousness in this context, means the sins we’re not aware of. Confession cleanses known sin and restores fellowship with God, but God’s faithfulness, in seeing Christ as our Sin-Bearer, cleanses us from all unknown sin as well. If we do but one thing (confess our sin), God will do four things: (1) demonstrate his faithful love, (2) demonstrate justice by counting our sins paid for by Christ, (3) forgive us every sin, and (4) continue a deeper work of cleansing from all aspects of sin’s defilement.”

So join me in allocuting our sins and have a binge-a-thon of a different kind: Watching and receiving the never ending love and forgiveness of Jesus!

“Let this hope burst forth within you, releasing a continual joy. Don’t give up in a time of trouble, but commune with God at all times.” (Rom. 12:12 [TPT])

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