6/16/19 - Confess Your Sins
“I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalms 32:5)
For a child of God (a baptized believer) to have forgiveness, one must confess the sin to God and seek His forgiveness. What does it mean to confess our sins?
This is different from the confession of Jesus Christ as Lord, a step that is necessary for one to be saved (Romans 10:9,10). It is also distinct from the disciple’s continuing confession of Jesus in word and deed as we walk with Him (Matthew 10:32,33).
Some religions have corrupted confession of sin into a ritual of going before another human, who claims authority to absolve others of sin. Only the Lord Himself can forgive our sins (Luke 5:21).
We are to confess our sins to one another and pray for help and healing from God. “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). This is not a ritual, nor is it to be twisted into an opportunity to pry into the lives of other Christians. We should build relationships with trusted, mature, and righteous Christians with whom we can share our deepest needs and thus pray to God to work His forgiveness in our lives as we repent of our sins and seek God’s renewal and help.
Confession of our sins to God in prayer must be coupled with repentance and prayer for forgiveness. The apostle Peter told Simon, a new Christian who had sinned, “Repent therefore of this wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you” (Acts 8:22).
Our confessions need to be heartfelt and specific. They should be more than a simple mumbling of “and forgive us of our many sins.” God knows what they are and we know what they are. Specific confession of sin shows a true surrendering of our pride and an acknowledgement of our weakness before a God who is absolutely holy and righteous. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:8,9).
God is not looking for an opportunity to condemn us. He sent His Son into the world to deliver us. We cannot hide our sin from God, and if we deny it, we only deceive ourselves. It is time for us to trust the power and love of God to forgive us when we humbly bow and confess our sins to Him, seeking renewal and a better future in Christ.