Object Lessons

Confess and Possess

Objects: A capital "I" cut from stiff construction paper, and a red cardboard cross. (The "I" should be fourteen inches high, the stem one inch wide, and the top and bottom bars four inches horizontally and one inch high. Color one side of the "I" black with poster paint, and then with white ink write various sins on it. Crease the "I" two and one-half inches from the top, permitting the top to fold when desired. Make another crease five inches from the bottom. When the top is folded down and the bottom up, the top and bottom bars will come together making a white cross. The red cross should be seven inches high, with upright and cross arm one and one-quarter inches wide.)

I want to talk to you about a black "I" this morning. Did you ever have one? The kind you are thinking of is not the kind about which I want to tell you. I am thinking of a capital "I." Here it is. Being black, it reminds us of sin. In Romans 3:23, we read, "All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."

Not only is this a sinful "I," but it confesses its sins. You will notice words written all over the "I." We will read them. "Lies," "Theft," "Hatred," "Uncleanness," "Drunkenness," "Murder," "Envy," and "Profanity."

We seldom find a person who like this "I" will confess that he is a sinner. Does the fact that these sins are written on the "I" change its color. No, it is still black. There are some people who think that if they acknowledge they are sinners, nothing more is required of them. This is not true. John the Baptist told those who listened to him that they needed to "Bring forth . . . fruits worthy of repentance." To repent means not only to acknowledge sin, but also to turn from it to Christ for cleansing.

Here is a red cross, reminding us of Christ's cross on which He shed His blood to save us. The black "I" comes to the cross, humbles itself (fold as suggested), and now can be hidden behind the cross. When God the Father looks at the one who has come to Christ for salvation, He sees Christ, and not the sinner's sin.

People today, as in John the Baptist's day, need to confess their sins and to possess salvation in Christ.

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