Confessing Our Sins

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

We live in a time in which no one wants to admit to wrong-doing. We try redefine the terms, find a loophole, blame it on extenuating circumstances–anything to avoid being considered “guilty”.

Perhaps this is a result of the moral relativism of the post-modern era. Perhaps it comes from watching national leaders and celebrities try to wiggle out of the tight spots in which their own shenanigans land them. Perhaps it is the proliferation of immorality. I think it is a lack of fear of God.

This verse tells us that God is willing to forgive our sins. There are no caveats or exemptions attached to the verse. Any sin that is confessed will be forgiven, I think that is very plain. Yet we still try to avoid confession.

What does it mean to “confess”? The word comes from homologeo, meaning “to say the same thing”. To put this in modern English, it is “calling sin what God calls it.”

Sin is an offense to a holy God. There are no two ways around this. It was because of sin that Jesus suffered and died, so we can be assured that God has a very dim view of it and takes the matter very seriously.

We have joked about sin, laughed at it, excused it, winked at it, ignored it, in short, we have done everything but confess it as sin before the Almighty. Is it pride that hinders us from doing this? Is it rebellion that refuses to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Is it ignorance of what the Bible teaches about sin? Whatever the reason may be, it is high time that we start looking at our sin from God’s perspective.

There is nothing to compare with the forgiveness that we can find in God. He is willing and able to remove the offense, the stain and the cause completely from our lives. We simply must be willing to humble ourselves and call it what He does.


22 responses to “Confessing Our Sins

  1. Very well-written post, Gordon. I so appreciate your thoughts on this. What a blessing to know that confessing sin doesn’t have to be so complicated, with all kinds of hoops to jump through, no penance to pay afterwards, no special prayers to repeat over and over….just confess it and move on in His forgiveness of it. We complicate things, but God does not.

    I also continue to marvel at the concept of Him cleansing us from all iniquity!

    Praise and glory to God our Father!

    steve 🙂

  2. this ia good post Gordon,

    humble oneself is hard for somepeople,

  3. thank you for this one Gordon.

    “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”
    – James 5:16


  4. Amen, Steve.

    Thanks, Janice.

    That’s a great verse, MDM. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Hi Gorden,
    I’ve heard people say that God ‘forgets’ our sin when we confess it and He forgives. Do you think this is true? I don’t really understand it. What about those sins that we do over and over – you know, the one’s that are a real battle. Is each time as if we’d never done it before?

  6. Amen. I’m afraid that too often we justify ourselves in our own mind and forsake the true justification in Christ Jesus. If only we will confess He promised forgiveness.

    Great thoughts Gordon.

  7. Hi, Wendy. That’s a great question. I actually do believe that God forgets it. Unlike we humans, who never forget where we bury the hatchet (I think Mark Twain said that), God has the ability to remove our sins from before Him, as if they had never happened.

    And their sins and iniquities I will remember no more. Hebrews 10:17

    I may post on this a little later this week.

  8. I love confession. Well, maybe I don’t actually love it. But I have come to understand that without it I go to some pretty dark places.

    Confession is something I’ve been doing a lot over the last 7 or 8 months. I lived in a dark place for about 7 years until I finally confessed some things that I simply could nto escape from on my own. I needed to get out in the open and deal with things…or risk my salvation.

    (Ladies…close your eyes when you read the next bit…)

    I remember a brother telling me once that he thought that the reason we don’t confess more than we do was because we didn’t want our wives to know about our sins. I remember thinking to myself, “That is one of the truest statements I’ve heard in a my life!” You see, if I could just tell the brothers about my sins, well that wasn’t difficult at all. But my beautiful, wonderful, spiritual, loving, wife? Nuh-uh.
    (Obviously this was while I was in that dark place.)

    Sin is like the leaves that clog the gutters on your house. It is super-important to cleanout the leaves and let all that bacteria riddled pond scum drain out onto the ground where it should be. And after that, the drains flow freely agian.

    Confession is an amazing gift from God. It keeps our gutters clean.

  9. Wendy, I just realized I didn’t answer the second part of your question. If our confession is genuine, then I believe each time is like the first time with God. This should certainly cause us to thankful for His grace.

    KC, good to see you! I haven’t been able to get my mind off mesquite grilled steaks. I read about them somewhere on the internet today. Wonder where that was…

  10. Jeff, that’s a good analogy. I have heard some old-timey Christians calling it “keeping short accounts with God”.

  11. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

    Thisis my favorite song, well, one of my favorites. I especially love this verse. It is well with my soul.

  12. Amen, Beverly, and it seems as if that verse is always the one that doesn’t get sung.

  13. We have joked about sin, laughed at it, excused it, winked at it, ignored it, in short, we have done everything but confess it as sin before the Almighty.

    Right on, Gordon. If anything sums up the Western attitude toward sin these days, it is exactly what you said. May God give us wisdom to recognize this tendency in our own lives so that we might reach out to others with clean hands…


  14. “We live in a time in which no one wants to admit to wrong-doing.”

    I suppose I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum.

    My wife says I’m too open about confessing I’m a wreck.

    I see my wrong-doing everywhere.

    I suppose that is why Grace is so wonderful to me.

  15. “old-timey Christians calling it “keeping short accounts with God””

    Well, I guess that makes me a new-timey Christian. I’ve never heard the phrase. I Googled it and found that it is used a lot to describe confession and forsaking of sin. But there is no explanation of its origin. Do you know?

    Beverly, This is no lie. The first time I heard this song I totally freaked.
    I heard the first line and thought, “Why in the world is my sin a glorious thought!!”
    And then the second line about not just some of our sin, but ALL of it was a glorious thought. Wha…!!! That’s not what I was taught!

    I was much relieved when line 3 of the song was sung. 😉

  16. Humility is the issue and it is not optional … if you don’t humble yourself then you will be humbled … and often the latter looks more like humiliation.

  17. Pastor Mike–thanks for your visit and your comment. I enjoyed your blog as well.

    Michael–it’s good that you appreciate God’s grace.

    Danny–I’m guessing that the origin of that phrase probably is commercial. It may have to do with people settling their accounts as soon as possible when they owe someone. This is just a guess, mind you.

    KB–Great comment. You are right about that humbling/humiliation similarity.

  18. Hi Gordon

    Amen to that !!


  19. “Passing the buck” is definitely something that society is good at. I’m trying to teach my children to stand up and be responsible for their actions.

  20. Hi Gorden,
    Thanks for answering my question – Hebrews 10:17 was just what I needed to hear.

  21. Great post Gordon. I think the hardest part for society is admitting the sin. In our society today, no one admits anything….it’s always someone else’s fault!

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