Saturday, February 16, 2013

Five Bible Verses on Confession of Sins

1. Proverbs 28:13 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

In Proverbs we learn that those who hide their sins will not prosper. How many people and families have you seen that seem to be perfect? They come to church with fine clothes, and talk very properly. They do not share their troubles with their friends. Is this wrong? Not necessarily, if they are speaking to God about the problems. And it's also important to repent and change. It is frustrating to others though, to see a seemingly perfect situation. It makes them feel inferior. So we are not to hide our transgressions. We should confess and turn away from them, and then we will have the mercy of God. God is full of grace.

2. James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

In this passage in James we are told to confess our sins to one another. I love this passage. We should confide in our friends and church for help with our problems! Do not be that perfect family hiding all their troubles! The church is not there to go to and pretend to be without fault. We are to seek the body of the church which is the body of Christ for help with our problems. If your church scorns you for this, find a new church! We are also told to pray for one another. God hears all of our prayers, and the more we ask, the more God sees our desire to help others, and may offer our struggling friends grace. The end of the passage tells us that the prayers of the righteous in Christ are very powerful. We are often hear about the power of prayer, it works!

3. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In John we learn that we ought to confess our sins to God. God is faithful to us as we are faithful to him. He will forgive all our transgressions through the sacrifice of the lamb of God who is Christ. Not only does he forgive all our multitude of sin, he also begins working to root out that sin from our life. We have to be willing to have it rooted out. It is also smart to ask for it to be rooted out. The passage says we will be cleansed from unrighteousness by God! What a wonderful thing right there, God will make us into better people. Truly incredible is the grace of God!

4. Acts 19:18 Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.

The book of Acts outlines the activities of the apostles after the resurrection of Christ. Jesus was still with them in spirit! He walked with them in their righteousness and we know that when we walk with God things tend to work out well in our lives. There are still troubles, but we handle it so much better. So did the apostles! They were constantly under persecution, being stoned and driven out. Yet they persevered happily to bring the message of Christ . I was talking with my Pastor one Sunday and we were talking about how communities of Christians ought to come together. Pastor Aaron was saying that by showing that example actively in the community, it would draw others and create a better world. The idea reminded me of biblical times. I marveled at how amazing it was that during the time of Christ they were all outsiders! They walked outside the cities and in the deserts. They were hated by the pharisees, and even after the resurrection the apostles were constantly stoned and driven out of cities. Yet somehow the word of God survived all of that and is now read by billions! Only through God was this possible. So through God the apostles worked, and it says in Acts 19:18 that MANY became believers and confessed their sins to the apostles.

5. John 20:19-24 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld."

This bit of scripture from John is known by many. Jesus spoke to the apostles at the last supper, and gave them the holy spirit. He washed them of their sins, and then gave them the holy spirit. He also told them that peace is with you! Jesus sent them into the world to establish the church. He gave them the power to receive confession and forgive sins. This was an important part of the new church of God. Today we receive the holy spirit through ways like baptism, conversion, and confession. Is it wrong to confess to a priest or clergy? Absolutely not! It's very healthy. But do we absolutely have to? I'll leave that up to your interpretation. I personally believe that Jesus has already paid the debt for our sins, and so God forgives them. That's just me. Pray and see what feels right to you. In any case God is great and just and merciful! His grace is eternal!