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
I am currently going through a lent study on Isaiah. And what I am getting the most out of it thus far, is that I am sinful, and God hates sin, but is full of mercy and is able to and desires to redeem His people, BUT there are consequences because of (our) sin.
Sin…it is what is deteriorating our world, physically and spiritually. We have a love/hate relationship with it, because as Paul says in Romans 7:14-20; ”
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”
Man that can be confusing. As believer’s, we know what the right thing to do is, but often times what we want to do (as the good thing)….is not what we end up doing because of our flesh (sin). This is where confession comes in.
Many people associate “confession” with Catholicism. No matter your stance on whether Catholic’s are believer’s or not, I have come to believe that confession is a lost art within-in Christianity. Now, let me explain what I mean…
According to 1 John 1:9, if (which is a conjunction word, that makes this statement conditional, meaning that it requires an action) we want to be cleansed and forgiven we must be confessing our sin to God. Jesus is our High Priest in Heaven, sitting on the throne and He alone is able to forgive and to cleanse us from our sins, so if we don’t want our sin to consume us, if we want victory over specific sins, why wouldn’t we confess them? The Bible says that God is FAITHFUL to forgive us, so it’s not like we should be scared to go to Him. The word faithful means trustworthy…and our God is a Good Father, who enjoys to give good gifts to His children (for that is who we are).
In James 5:16, he talks about confessing our sins to one another. So, when we do wrong by another person, we should be going to them and making it right so that our relationship can be restored. (We’ve all had disagreements in relationships, if you want the relationship to be mended, you need to go to them and confront the sin and experience the beauty of restoration)
So it is with God. The Spirit does His work by convicting us, and making known to us our sin, and in the midst of that, sanctifying us so that we can look more like Christ, but it is our privilege to go to God, before His throne, and confess our sin to Him, and it is because of Christ that we are even able to go before the throne of God because Christ is our mediator, our High Priest.
So are are you confessing your sin?
I have to say that I grew up not confessing my sin. I don’t know if I was taught this way or what, but all I really knew or seemed to do was confess at the time of my salvation and just thought that I was good. God forgave my sin, past, present and future. But the longer I have been in relationship with God and have seen the effects and hold of sin in my life, I have seen and experienced how sin can tear apart relationships, especially our relationship with God – which is our most important relationship as Christians. If we want there to be depth, to be intimacy in any relationship, we have to get vulnerable and confess our sins (deepest darkest secrets). That is where we experience unconditional love – which happens to come from God. We will always be righteous in the sight of God because of Jesus’ act of love on the cross for us, but if we want to become more like Jesus each day, we have to die to our flesh (sin). Confessing our sins is a way to die to our flesh and it brings peace, and redemption to our relationship with Christ and with others, while also allowing God to cleanse us and make us whiter than snow. (Doesn’t that sound nice?)
When we are right with Christ, we can be right with others, and even able to be right with ourselves. I know many (including me) have struggled to forgive themselves. If that is you – I encourage you to start confessing your sin to God, and receiving His forgiveness each moment of each day, allowing Him to cleanse you and to see and experience His redemption. His Spirit is the best comforter, and the best teacher, learn to walk with Him.
*If you need prayer in any of this, don’t hesitate to ask.
What I have found through being able to confess my sin to God, but also to my friends – is that I am not alone. I also find relief. When I confess my sin, which feels so dark to me, to God and then to a friend, what I end up finding – is peace, and forgiveness, and kindness, and no judgment. I find the ability to walk through it, and wrestle with the sin not by myself. This feels like freedom to me. And I hope that you are able to experience the same.
‘Redemption depends not on our human will or exertion, but on our kind and merciful God.’ (shereadstruth)