Who Needs to Confess?
By John Weaver
May 1, 2023
There is a lot of confusion amongst professing Christians concerning our need to confess our sins and what it will accomplish.
I was taught that it is our confessing of sins to the church that puts us in a right standing with God. Later, I had more teaching and I believed that it is our confessing of sins to God that gives us salvation. Only later in my life did I understand that both of my understandings were in error. Let me explain.
Salvation, the process of a person being transformed from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God, does not happen because sins were confessed. It happens only when we believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. When we believe, we are born again—or some people use the term we are saved.
Repentance, which means a change of mind that brings a change of direction, is a vital part of being saved, or being born again. When believing and repentance takes place in a person’s life, that person is born again and they are saved. If they die, they will go to heaven. God has promised and assured us of that in his holy Word.
So, what about our sins? What sins? You see, when we believe in Jesus He forgives us our sins, but He also saves us from our sins. God said that He remembers our sins no more. He has given us a clean slate. Here many people make a huge mistake. They feel like they must dwell on their past sins and make a big deal of confessing and repenting, when that time should be spent in praising and rejoicing that their sins have been washed away. Praise God!
The prodigal son started to confess, but the father would have none of it. He said the son had repented (came home), and that called for rejoicing.
So, does a believer never need to confess their sins? Yes, after we are saved we all fail at times. Some people say that because we are saved, we never need to confess, regardless of what we do or what sins we commit.
Others feel like every sin or transgression will sever salvation until it is confessed. These folks live in fear all the time, and not surprisingly, they are constantly confessing their sins in hopes that they are not caught by surprise and miss a confession when God calls them.
I do not agree with either of these positions. I believe that when I transgress or commit a sin, I WANT to tell God that I am sorry for what I did. I do not confess in order to restore my salvation. I confess because I am genuinely grieved about what I did. Confession restores peace and joy.
I can not imagine taking the position that because I am saved (I am), I will never confess any sins to God.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I Joh 1:8-9).
God freely forgives when we freely confess, not for salvation, but to restore the open heaven.
Thank you Jesus for the unspeakable gift! Amen.
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