“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)”
‘At the heart of God is the desire to give and forgive,’ says Richard Foster in his contemporary Christian classic book Celebration of Discipline. What a truth here to hold in our hearts!
The devil, father of all lies, knows that Discipline of Confession is key to every believer thus has blinded us from seeing this truth. In most cases, we view believing community as a fellowship of saints instead of fellowship of sinners…or what do you think?
Some of the questions that we usually grapple with on confession include, Do we have any reason to confess our sins? Do we have a sinful nature? Do we know that sin breaks our fellowship with God? Are we aware that our conduct all day long is full of sin?
Most importantly, all of us need to recognize that even Christians sin. We cannot deny our sinful nature. There’s no time we are ‘above’ sinning! Just as John notes in his letter to all believers, we do not need to make God a liar (1 John 1:8). In the last few days, God has been reminding me that I am sinner by nature and by practice. I love it when I hear my friend and a teacher of the Word introduce himself as a ‘Sinner saved by Grace.’
In this life, we are always capable of sinning, so we should not let down our guard. The truth is that when Jesus went at the cross, our Past, Present and Future sins were forgiven. We, however, after becoming Christians still sin and thus need to confess.
Confession exists to free us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. It does not makes us gain God’s acceptance, since even when we are still sinners, God accepts us. We confess to enjoy maximum fellowship and joy with God. We confess to remove the barrier, only sin can separate us from God. He is the one who seeks us. In Genesis, we see God seeking the fallen Adam and Eve.
When we confess our sins,
- We tend to agree with God that our sin is truly sin and that we are willing to turn from it
- It is a way of ensuring we do not conceal our sins from God, and so to ourselves too
- We recognize our tendency to sin and rely on God’s power to overcome sin.
One thing we learn about God in the parable of the prodigal son (Parable of the forgiving father) is that God’s greatest delight is to forgive. (Luke 15:20). John in his letter gives us an assurance of this, ‘God is faithful and just to forgive us if we confess.’ (1 John 1:9).
Richard Foster notes that for a good confession to occur, three things are necessary: An examination of conscience (tell God to move in our hearts and show us areas that needs his forgiving), Sorrow (abhorrence of having committed the sin) and Determination to avoid sin. True confession involves commitment not to continue with sin.
We need to know that Christ saved us not only from consequences of sin, but from the domination of sin. No one, no matter what sin has been committed, is beyond forgiveness.
“Confession begins with sorrow and ends with joy,” Richard notes. It brings an end to pretense! Honesty leads to confession and confession leads to change.
ACTIVITY: (Spend some quiet time of 15mins and invite God to reveal anything within you that needs to be confessed. Write them down and confess them to God. Remember the assurance we get from 1 John 1:9).
Kenneth Irungu is an Apprentice with iServe Africa serving at DOVE Christian Fellowship Kawangware.
Passionate of Faithful Bible Teaching and preaching the Gospel.