One of the beauties of knowing Christ is finding yourself inadequate. It is like entering a narrow bottleneck that seems humanly limiting, but that is exactly where God takes us so we can experience the full immersion in the Wine. Knowing him is intoxicating, but it is impossible to enter his fullness except through the narrow path of his person. The world condemns Christians as snobs and bigots, because of this exclusivity. However, Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
When the world asks how can you know you are so right?
Well, for me, it all funnels down to I first had to know I was so wrong. There was nothing in me worthy or commendable. I was undrinkable poison. Like in the Old Testament, I was the bitter water that needed the Branch.
So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, “What are we to drink?”Then Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a piece of wood. He threw it into the water, and the water became fit to drink. (Exodus 15:22-25)
Flip to Jeremiah 33:15 and isn't it amazing that the symbolism of the branch in Exodus is fulfilled in the person of Christ, "In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land."
Only when the Branch of Jesus is thrown on the bitter water of our life, do we become fit to drink. Hallelujah for his transforming power.
Just as bitter water can't be made sweet without the work of Christ, in the same way the rich grace of his Wine can't be tasted unless you experience a beautiful desperation that pushes you through the bottleneck to the delight inside the bottle.
Therefore, when we gather on Sunday I find great comfort in this prayer of confession, because I know the atoning work is not in my effort, but it was completed when the Branch was nailed to the Tree.
We confess that we are in bondage to sin, and cannot free ourselves. We have sinned against you in thought, word and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart, we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. For the sake of your son, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us and lead us, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways, to the glory of your holy name. Amen.