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Confession of Sin
The Scriptures say that sins should be confessed to one another, to
men of God, and especially to those offended against. These are some
of the basic requirements of walking with God:
Repent. Turn from all sin. The first word of command in the gospels
is, “Repent.” Acknowledge every sin and confess it, whether
a sin committed, an action omitted, a sin of attitude, word, deed, desire,
Restitution must be made in full to the reasonable satisfaction of the
one wronged. Apology is not enough in many cases. What about their loss
of goods, peace of mind, freedom, or general well-being? By the Law,
God commanded that in some cases fourfold was to be returned as compensation.
How far above the laws of men are the Laws of God! If you hope to receive
God, you better prepare yourself for His holy Laws.
Confess. It is not enough to whisper it to God. If your sins have been
public, then the repentance and confession ought to be public. If you
unduly embarrassed someone publicly without cause, you must make it right
publicly, voluntarily. Confess other sins to a man of God, as they confessed
sins to John the Baptist or to appropriate persons. If you have hidden
adultery in your heart from your wife, you must confess it to her - specifically.
Confession of sin must always be specific – none of this, “I’ve
been dishonest,” stuff. How were you dishonest, why, with whom,
in what, when, and where? Get real, get right. You will not deceive God;
you cannot satisfy a Holy, Perfect God with half-heartedness or hypocrisy.
You will only disgust Him and possibly bring wrath rather than good.
For more on receiving the Lord’s cleansing through confession
of sin, read Holy Waters.
I now address the misunderstandings and erroneous rationalizations concerning
this important subject – confession of sin.
Those of you who confess Christ and would have genuine peace and joy
with God must come completely clean with both God and neighbor, whether
the neighbor knows you did wrong or not, and sometimes even if they were
not involved. If you have wronged anyone, and you have the opportunity
to make things right with them, you have every obligation under God to
do so. As you treat His brothers and sisters, and as you treat your neighbor,
so you treat Him.
Many use this Scripture to avoid admission of fault and sin to others:
“For I confess my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done evil in Your sight; that
You might be justified when You speak, and be clear when You judge” (Psalms
They argue, “I sinned against God only. I don’t need to
confess to anyone but Him.” Some repentance that is! A verse further
“Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a
willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways; and sinners
shall be converted to You” (Psalms 51:12-13 MKJV).
Why do you prefer to hide what you have done? Is it pride? Is it to
escape the deserved consequences for your actions? Tell me, friend, how
will you teach transgressors God’s ways, if you refuse to make
things right with others, directly and personally, be it believers or
unbelievers, family or strangers, be they innocent or guilty toward you?
How will you make things right without saying, “I’m sorry”?
How will you make things right without restitution? Bring forth fruits
demonstrating true repentance. Let’s put all the talk and pretense
away. God hates it! You hear me? He hates it! It is hypocrisy. No, you
need to come clean and ‘fess up.
And don’t let the amount of time passed stop you. It may not matter
if it was yesterday or a decade ago. A long-awaited apology or restitution
can bring much relief and joy for those wronged, or closure to the situation.
A married woman I know went on the internet and met another man. She
soon left her husband and children, who were all suddenly devastated.
What a sad family it was at the time! She married that man and, in time
to come, began to run in politics.
Politicians strategize, as you know, and often find a “church
home,” which is what this woman did at a local
evangelical church (which the Lord told me was a “witches’ coven”). After
all, one must give good impressions and please men to get their votes.
Besides, contacts can be made.
So then what did she do? She “asked Jesus into her heart” and
suddenly she was “forgiven for all her past deeds.” Now that
things were “right with God,” she was home-free to continue
her life as a sinner because “God forgave her”!
No repentance, no restitution, and everything was now supposedly just
fine. Meanwhile, her adulterous partner gets to keep his ungodly reward
for evil, instead of being stoned to death, and she leaves her former
husband and children in their dismality when she also ought to be stoned
to death, according to God.
Is that the way things work? Maybe with sinners and hypocrites and liars
and thieves and murderers and sluts and whoremongers and adulterers and
adulteresses, but not with saints and angels and God. No, no, no. Do
not think for a moment you can confess your sins to God and not actively
repent of them. Do not think for a moment that the past is the past if
there is anything you can do to make things right or reverse your evils
in the present. You only invite God’s wrath with that approach.
Try testifying to your neighbor while wearing the wristwatch you stole
from him. If I steal $1,000 from my neighbor, whether he knows about
it or not, am I right not to repay? And if he doesn’t know I stole
it, am I free? Hardly! It was his - give it back to him; the Lord would
definitely have you restore that which you have stolen, and then some.
Whatever you keep back that is not lawfully yours is cursed and you
and your house with it.
Now what if I go to my brother or neighbor with intent of restoration
and pretend to give him a gift, with no explanation, except perhaps a
phony one like, “I appreciate you,” or, “I felt led
to give you this”? Do you really think God will approve of your
pretense, not to mention your claim of virtue?
Or what if I secretly leave the money on his table or slip it in his
pocket or her purse with no explanation? While that might work sometimes,
God does not generally work that way. He wants you to rejoice in honesty
and be free to shout it from the housetops, not only for your own sake,
but for the sakes of others who will see your good works and glorify
God. You rob Him of glory when you withhold anything at all.
The real reason you return the money is because you did evil, and you
must confess yourself a sinner, not a philanthropist. Being a sneak
won’t make it right with God. It has nothing to do with being
good or appreciative or magnanimous. By pretense, you add sin to sin
and anger God.
And by adding His Name to the game, you do more of the same because
you are the one to blame.
Yes, friend, that is what He wants. Let’s face it - if you are
not open and honest, you are not free. The cross has not had the liberty
to do its very necessary work.
Will a dead man or woman have any further need of hiding anything? Nothing
can be spared, not a thing. You must die to have access to God; only
then will you be free and free indeed.
One may think it harsh of me to speak this way, but it is God’s
Law, not mine, that commands the death penalty for adultery and many
other sins. The idea originated with God – read it in your Bible.
Furthermore, He is the One Who calls for repentance and restitution.
You may cite the John 8 story of the woman caught in adultery to refute
my supposed unforgiveness and legalism, but keep in mind that Jesus called
on her to go and sin no more. If she remained with an unlawful bed partner,
would she be meeting that requirement?
I tell you this: While many professing Jesus Christ as their Savior
have a “Jesus” who would let her continue to run around,
the Jesus I know says, “If you continue in your sin, you deserve
the punishment written, and I will not rescue you the next time.” That
is the Real Jesus Christ. Argue with that, and I can only say you have
a devil for your “Jesus.” Repentance is paramount.
Would you like proof of that from Scripture? Try this:
Luke 13:1-5 MKJV
(1) And some were present at the same time reporting to Him of the Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
(2) And answering, Jesus said to them, Do you suppose that these Galileans
were sinners above all the Galileans because they suffered such things?
(3) I tell you, No. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
(4) Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them,
do you think that they were sinners above all men who lived in Jerusalem?
(5) I tell you, No. But unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.
“Oh, but that was before the Lord died on the cross to pay for
our sins,” you say? Then let’s go beyond the cross, soon
after His resurrection:
Acts 5:1-11 MKJV
(1) And a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.
(2) And he kept back part of the price, his wife also knowing, and brought
a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.
(3) But Peter said, Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart for you
to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the
(4) While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was
it not in your own authority? Why have you conceived this thing in your
heart? You have not lied to men, but to God.
(5) And hearing these words, Ananias fell down and expired. And great
fear came on all those who heard these things.
(6) And the younger ones arose, wound him up, and carrying him out, they
(7) And it was about the space of three hours afterward, when his wife
(not knowing what was done) came in.
(8) And Peter answered her, Tell me whether you sold the land for so
much? And she said, Yes, for so much.
(9) Then Peter said to her, How is it that you have agreed together to
tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried
your husband are at the door and they will carry you out.
(10) Then at once she fell down at his feet and expired. And the younger
ones found her dead, and, carrying her out, buried her beside her husband.
(11) And great fear came on all the church and on as many as heard these
Years later, we have more of the same:
Revelation 2:19-23 MKJV
(19) I know your works and love and service and faith and your patience,
and your works; and the last to be more than the first.
(20) But I have a few things against you because you allow that woman
Jezebel to teach, she saying herself to be a prophetess, and to cause
My servants to go astray, and to commit fornication, and to eat idol-sacrifices.
(21) And I gave her time that she might repent of her fornication, and
she did not repent.
(22) Behold, I am throwing her into a bed, and those who commit adultery
with her into great affliction, unless they repent of their deeds.
(23) And I will kill her children with death. And all the churches will
know that I am He Who searches the reins and hearts, and I will give
to every one of you according to your works.
What did Zaccheus say when true salvation came to his house? Here it
“And Zaccheus stood and said to the Lord, Behold, Lord, I give
half of my goods to the poor. And in anything I accused anyone
falsely, I restore it fourfold. And Jesus said to him, This day salvation has
come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham” (Luke
Now that is repentance – the real thing! I love this story! Read
it and you get permeated with the reality of the joy of genuine salvation!
I see this small man jumping for joy because his chains are gone - chains
of deception, dishonesty, hard labor, guilt, and covetousness! Faith
invaded his soul, released him from his prison, and he was free, free,
free! Halleluyah! Blessed Zaccheus! A true son of faith, a son of Abraham!
And what a testimony to light the way and encourage and thrill the hearts
of many to come!
“Confess faults to one another, and pray for one another, that
you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous one avails
much” (James 5:16 MKJV).
And what were the people doing when the way of the Lord was being prepared
by John? They were confessing their sins!
“And all the land of Judea, and those of Jerusalem, went out to
him and were all baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their
sins” (Mark 1:5 MKJV).
So you are afraid of repercussions. Are they greater than God? Will
He not take care of everything when He asks you to do the right thing?
He most certainly will!
Think about it: Why is He asking you to do the right thing anyway? So
that you will lose and be cursed, or so that you will gain and be blessed?
What happened to Zaccheus? How do you think he fared thereafter? Salvation
came to him and his house! Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
Honesty, confession, and restitution bring healing for both perpetrator
and victim. It isn’t just a matter of returning goods.
Do you know what you need to do about confession? If not, get in touch
with us and, Lord willing, we will give you counsel of the Lord.
What you need to know about confession - what it is, why you need it,
how it works, and where it takes you. Life and peace await those who
truly forsake their sins and are cleansed of all unrighteousness.