If you grew up Catholic, when you hear “confession,” you probably immediately think of a priest, a confessional, and/or some Hail Marys. The Bible speaks a lot about the importance of confession, but never once does it involve an intermediary priest, a booth or paying penance for your sin. Let’s not over-complicate it.
The Bible gives a pretty simple sequence when it comes to sin. If you’ll aim to do these 4 things each day, there will be such freedom and joy in your relationships with Jesus and with others.
Confession is simple – it’s agreeing that there is sin. God’s Word says that we’re sinners. Confession says, “Yep. I sure am.” I’ve found it powerful to be specific in my confession of sin. Instead of “God, forgive me for all of my sins,” I specify which sins I’m talking about. It’s not that God doesn’t know which sins I’m referring to, but it helps me to be honest with myself about areas I’ve fallen short.
Pastor Craig Groeschel points out that the Bible gives two outlets for confessing sin: We confess sin to God for forgiveness (1 John 1:9), and to each other for healing (James 5:16).
Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of behavior. You used to heading in the wrong direction; repentance turns things around and gets you onto the right track. Jesus said it’s better to enter into heaven missing a hand, foot, or eye, than to have those body parts lead you away from God and into hell. He’s not saying to literally chop off a body part, but He’s highlighting the swift, severe action that must be taken against sin.
Proverbs 28:13 says that when we confess and forsake our sin, we will prosper and receive mercy. God is abundant in forgiveness, which is a reason to celebrate! Confessing and forsaking sin saves you from the crushing weight of secret sin. There’s such freedom in knowing your life is an open book. Rejoice!
God’s mercy is new every morning, but that’s because we need mercy every morning. As long as there is breath in your lungs, you have a battle to fight. Every day, probably multiple times per day, make sure to confess, repent, then rejoice!
I repent because I’m not who I should be.
I rejoice because, by God’s grace, I’m not who I used to be.
Pastor Matt Chandler put it this way: “You’re never more free than when you have no secrets.”
Embrace the power of confession. The cross has freed us from having to act like we have it all together. It’s a permanent reminder of our need for grace and God’s willingness to lavish grace on us!