This last week I had the opportunity to speak at a local church’s women’s group. Out of all the things I might have addressed, I got assigned SIN! More specifically, I was asked to speak on I John 1:5-10 and the importance of confessing our sin. (Admittedly not a very uplifting topic!)
But the more I have thought about it, the more important the subject has become in my own heart and life. Can I suggest that you give it some thought this week too?
First, think about how we normally treat our sin. We have lots of euphemisms for breaking God’s law. When we appropriate supplies from work, we excuse it away by noting that they don’t pay a fair overtime wage. We call our exaggeration little white lies. We refer to our lustful thoughts as harmless when Christ called it adultery (Matt 5:28). And so it goes.
We tend to ignore the seriousness of Psalm 119:4: “You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.” Note the fully obeyed statement.
And then when we do recognize our sin, we minimize the confession. True Biblical confession does not start with “If I have offended or sinned against you…” It is so much more than just saying, “I am sorry.” What are we sorry for? The consequence or the offense?
Our confession is not a social construct to relieve pressure or give God information He already has.
Real confession is the direct and specific acknowledgement that we have offended God’s law and perhaps others. It is a chance to stop deceiving ourselves. In I John, the word “confess” means to say the same thing about the sin that God does. And it is in the continuous tense indicating that it is an ongoing effort.
Confession is the beginning of repentance that may also require seeking specific forgiveness and the giving of restitution. It is a big deal! That kind of sincere, meaningful, thoughtful confession ignites the restoration of fellowship with God.
Its time for us individually and as a culture to call sin what it really is and to acknowledge that we are sinners both by birth and by choice. We fail miserably in pursuit of a perfect righteous life. But the great news is, that acknowledgement thrusts the gospel front and center. As we confess, “Christ is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Remember: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Prov. 28:13)