If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1John 1:9 ESV
Confession. It’s hard. Gut wrenching. Humbling. Freeing.
I’ve done some confessing, seeking forgiveness. It required much prayer, much faith, and much nudging from the Holy Spirit to expose my sinful secrets to loved ones. At the time it felt like it would destroy relationships and ministry, but by His grace, what I found on the other side of each and every confession was peace and freedom. Freedom from fear of exposure. I also found that much anxiety in my life was connected to unconfessed sin in ways I could never have imagined.
Confession. One word comes to mind and I just can’t help it—YUCK! I had this one so messed up for so long. At one point this was the only part of prayer I practiced. Each night I would lay down and make a list… making sure I thought through my entire day to see if there was something I forgot. There I was listing sin after sin and asking for forgiveness over and over. What if I missed one? Would God still accept me? Still use me? So much guilt and condemnation was wrapped up in my way of thinking. This is not His way when it comes to confession and repentance and it took me a while to get it.
I still practice confession, but not like I used to. I simply trust that God will never leave me alone in my sin. He gently… lovingly reveals sin in my life. I recognize it… acknowledge it… confess it.
Confession is the part of prayer when we come humbly before God recognizing our imperfections, our sins, and our need for forgiveness. We have already agreed to believe we are sinners and have accepted Christ as our personal Savior. Something happened at that point — we became a new creation.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. — 2Corinthians 5:17 ESV
We are no longer solely our own. When we chose to believe, by faith, we became a dwelling place for God’s Spirit.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own… —1Corinthians 6:19 ESV
This new dual nature of a Christian causes inner conflict. We constantly make choices. Do we keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25) or do we remain enslaved to the sinful desires of the flesh?
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
—Romans 8:5 ESV
When we surrender to our sinful nature or self, we find ourselves in sin. We must recognize and confess our sins. Even as Christians, our sins affect our life and our relationship with God. When we live with unrecognized, unconfessed sin we are at odds with God and we cannot please Him.
For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
—Romans 8:7-8 ESV
We should strive to emulate Paul’s attitude toward sin: What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24). Paul answers his own question in the following verse: Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! Paul recognizes his sin and his need for a Savior. Do you?
God in His great love and mercy provided the ultimate and perfect sacrifice in order to make the way for Him to forgive our sins. God, being righteous and just, sent His Son to pay the price for our sin. A required penalty we are wholly unable to pay. According to Oswald Chambers:
Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace; it cost God the Cross of Jesus Christ before He could forgive sin and remain a holy God…
—My Utmost for His Highest
Please don’t ever forget the price God paid for your forgiveness. He alone, through Christ as the perfect Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)! Confess and be forgiven, washed whiter than snow, and come into fellowship with God.
The word confess not only means to admit sin, but also acknowledge your belief or faith. Therefore, a prayer of confession may include a time to resubmit your life to Christ’s authority and confess your belief in Him. Remember, as a Christian your life is no longer your own.
Talk It Out
Talk it over with yourself:
Do you recognize the presence of sin in your daily life? Do you consider God’s forgiveness a gift?
Talk it over with God:
Ask God to help you understand and cherish the great gift offered to you through Christ’s sacrifice.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23 NIV
Exercise Your Faith
Consider two sins God has helped you overcome in your life.
Thank Him for His forgiveness and mercy.
__________ the ___________________ of _______________ will ____________
the _________ ________ is _____________, ________ the ______________
___________ _______________ him _________. ________ _____ ______ has
__________________ __________, ______ _________ be _________________.
Vocabulary to Revive
For Week 2/Day 3 go to the Vocabulary to Revive page and read Sin. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find the list of Pages in the dark blue box.