Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

What Is True Confession?

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

profileI remember this scene from my childhood.  I was watching the TV – probably a Western – sports or something – and my brother wanted to watch something else – probably Batman (his favorite show at the time).  We got into an argument over what to watch and my father happened to be home.  He came in and turned the TV off and said until we could tell each other we were sorry for fighting with each other and make nice we couldn’t watch the TV for the rest of the evening.

Of course we played the part – but don’t remember really being sorry – I just wanted to watch TV – even Batman!  Dad might have had his suspicions but went along with our apology and let us watch TV.  He couldn’t see into our hearts – so he had to go by the outward signs.

Unfortunately for us – God can see into our hearts.  Today’s passage is a great joy to hear – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  But – dear readers – what is involved in this confession?  What is true confession?

Often with confession comes the word repent.  The word repent is found 39 times in the NIV and it is always associated with our sin and turning away from it and moving toward God in some fashion.  Turning from our former ways and turning toward more Godly ways.  Here are a couple of passages for us to consider.

Proverbs 28:13 – He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Daniel 9:3-6 – 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.  4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, 5 we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws. 6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

When John the Baptist came on the scene – preparing the way for Jesus – he came preaching repentance.  Matthew 3:1-2 – 1 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

When Jesus began His ministry – he preached a similar message for sure.  Matthew 4:17 – From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Repentance – turning from our sin and grieving our sin – is the inward part – the heart part – that is required for true confession.  Confession is not just a religious rite that you do and have your sins forgiven.  God can see into the heart – unlike my dad.  God knows if are truly confessing or merely going through the motions.  So – when you read today’s passage and feel glad – and we should – because there are good words – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness – realize that repentance goes along with our confession!  True confession requires sincere repentance!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

August 20, 2013 - Posted by | Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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