Ask Pastor Reuben
Confession in the Bible:
Verses About Confessing
S H A L O M !
______ A MESSIANIC JEWISH SCRIPTURAL VIEW ______
Dear Pastor Reuben,
Please help me understand about confessing sins as a believer, are we to or not?
I appreciate your thoughts on this.
Pastor Reuben's Answer:
When many people hear ‘confessing your sin’, they think it reserved for monks in a monastery or of paying penance to God by entering a church confessional.
But Scripture teaches us it is an important practice for the life of every Christian. The answers to these questions about confession in the Bible may surprise you.
What does the Bible say about confession?
What will happen if you don’t confess your sins?
Psalm 32 offers us several powerful reasons to confess our sins and shows us the consequences of unconfessed sin. David felt weak and was miserable when he did not confess. Verses 3-4 says, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.”
Before confessing his sin, David was exhausted. Why? The life was being drained out of him by sin. If you do not weaken sin, it saps your spiritual strength, it weakens you. When I see a sin forming in my life, I must say, “If I’m to serve Christ, I dare not let this grow! It’ll drain the life out of me…”
Why should you confess your sins?
In addition to avoiding the negative effects of unconfessed sin, biblical confession is a way to experience more of God’s grace. Biblical confession should be in some ways a joy due to the rich benefits God gives us through it.
1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” John also recognized that believing involved admitting our sins and seeking God's forgiveness. Depending on God for cleansing from guilt, along with admitting our wrongs against others and making amends, was another important part of getting to know God.
This does not mean that God will only forgive a sin only if it has been specifically confessed. When a Christian repents and believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, all of their sins, past, present, and future are immediately forgiven!
Confessing is part of the sanctification process and aids Christians in dealing with sin and healing from it. James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
Why confess your sin if God already knows your sin?
Christians confess their sins to God to practice humbleness before him and to fess up to the bad things they have done. It takes a humble person to admit their mistakes! Humility is a vital part of confession and aids the restoration of Christians who have quenched the Spirit of God. Peter in 1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
A True Confession is Done in Humility with an Attitude of Repentance
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so
that at the proper time he may exalt you. 1 Peter 5:6
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
“…you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful
according to the will of God… For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces
a repentance without regret, leading to salvation…” 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
List of Bible Verses About Confession
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my
transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah Psalm 32:1-5
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Proverbs 28:13
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and
to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
What about the Christian who continues to sin?
There is a difference between continuing to sin and continuing to live in sin. No one reaches sinless perfection in this life, but the redeemed Christian is being sanctified (made holy) day by day, sinning less and hating it more each time he fails. The Bible teaches that, while we are in the flesh, we will always struggle with a sin nature (see Romans 7:14-24).
No one will be “perfect” (sinless) until we reach heaven. Yes, we still sin, but unwillingly and less and less frequently as we mature. Our new self hates the sin that still has a hold on us. The difference is that the new creation is no longer a slave to sin, as we formerly were. We are now freed from sin and it no longer has power over us (Romans 6:6-7). Now we are empowered by and for righteousness. We now have the choice to “let sin reign” or to count ourselves “dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:11-12). Best of all, now we have the power to choose the latter.
Hope I have been of some help.
God bless you,
Pastor Reuben Drebenstedt
director Menorah-Menorah Ministries-
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