Is confession necessary? Let's first establish one fact, that we are sinners.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
- Here's a well known passage. ALL have sinned.
1 John 1:8,10
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
- There's several verses in the bible like this. The bible itself says that we sin so if we claim that we do not, we are lying and we are calling God a liar as well. That's a dangerous position to be in if you ask me.
- I think that may be enough to establish that we do indeed sin. Now, why do we need to confess our sins?
Let's look at a few more verses. These ones suggest that it is important that we confess.
Leviticus 26:40. 42
40 If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me;
42 Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
- These two passages look similar. God makes a promise here and I think it's a wonderful promise. We've established that we all sin. Now we get a glimpse at what forgiveness looks like.
Let's look at a few more verses about sin and confessing.
1 john 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
- These few verses talk about confessing our sins in general, and most likely to God. It also mentions what happens when we confess our sins. We are forgiven and cleansed. I think quite often we get stuck thinking that Christ died for us, so everything is forgiven. Well if that were completely true I'd have to ask if the people who haven't accepted Christ were forgiven too? I mean, if we really didn't need to do anything, if we could just sin and not worry... then what's the point of any of it. If it was that simple, then people wouldn't bother getting saved. The truth is that God wants us to be holy. He wants us to be blameless. It isn't possible for us to be without sin at all times... but God wants us to strive towards that. And we should feel guilt and shame for some of the things we do, shouldn't we?
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
- Reading this passage one day is what got me started on this topic. The idea of confessing our sins to one another... not just confessing them to God. These are some of the thoughts I had about it...
Confess your sins to one another. How many of us do this?
Catholic churches have a confessional where people go in and anonymously confess to a priest. Personally, I don't know that confessing to a priest is the only way to do it but I haven't read ALL the scripture on this yet. What I do believe is that we really do NEED to confess our sins to another person. Why?
This verse states "that you may be healed". Do you have any sins that you've had a hard time breaking free of? Any addictions? Jesus' blood covered our sins. He broke the bondage. We're no longer slaves to sin. Yet, many of us will still struggle with sin and have a hard time breaking free of it. This is where confession comes in. We want to be free of sin, but we are also quite ashamed of our shortcomings and so we keep them to ourselves.
Let me ask you. If you were sick and had a physical health problem, and you didn't know what it was or what to do about it, but it was making you miserable... would you keep that to yourself?
Chances are you'd talk to friends and family about it, and of course a doctor. why? Because, you can't overcome everything on your own. You need help from others. Well, the same is true when it comes to sin. Sin is a disease. By confessing our sins, healing will start right away. When you're open about something, it is SO freeing. But not only that, when you open up to another, you also open yourself up for advice and prayer. You also put yourself into a position of accountability. By confessing your sins to another, you are admitting you have a problem and you need help to overcome it. By doing this, you're allowing someone else to later on ask how things are going. This way, someone checks in on you in a way. Many of us don't like that. We don't want other people knowing what is wrong with us. It's embarrassing. Listen to other people talk at a prayer meeting some time and you will quickly see that we are all alike in so many ways. We all struggle... we all sin. We are all imperfect. Nobody, not one, is righteous and pure enough to look down on another person for anything. Whatever you do, don't let fear and embarrassment stop you from seeking healing. You need it.
I don't want this note to be too long so I'll close with a question or two...
Do you enjoy being sick? Do you want to be healed?
Think about it.
Father God, thank you for today. I am sorry Lord for all the ways I fail. I pray that I would strive to do better. I pray that you would put people in my life that I can lean on and open up to. People I can share with. People I can confess to. Lord I pray that we would all be open about our sins. I pray that we would all seek forgiveness for the things we do. Thank you God for giving us the gift of forgiveness and healing. Thank you for offering us a way out of sin... Thank you Lord.
A new subject or passage each week for all to discuss.
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