Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Do I have to confess my sins to be forgiven? Am I supposed to confess to a Priest, a fellow Christian or to God?

Confession Matters:
Admitting you are a sinner is necessary in order to receive forgiveness. A person that will never admit they are wrong is too prideful and arrogant to receive the forgiveness God offers the humble. In the New Testament you will find two different outlets for the confession of our sins.

Confession to God:
The Apostle John wrote by inspiration: 
“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10)
God will not forgive the person who does not admit his need for forgiveness. On the other hand, if we are honest with ourselves, identify the sins in our life and confess our sinfulness to self and to God, we can be forgiven. This passage is not a legalistic demand to list every sin we ever commit in prayer before God, but an general attitude of humility in which we often identify and confess our own sinfulness to God. When a Christian goes to God admitting they are a sinner and asking for forgiveness, their merciful God will forgive them.

Confession to Others:
You will not find a passage of Scripture that requires an individual to confess sins to a Pastor, Priest or Preacher, however, there are passages of Scripture that encourage Christians to confess their sins to each other. James 5:16 states:
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much”.
It is good to have close Christians friends that you can lean upon. Oftentimes an individual hides their struggles, but James encourages us to share our struggles with one another so that we can pray for each other and strengthen each other.

Paul wrote to the Galatians:
“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2).
Not only is it important to confess sins and struggles to others, it is a requirement of the Christian to help bear the burdens of each other. By placing our struggles out in the open, it helps us be more accountable for our actions and it allows others to help us out.

Conclusion:

There is power in confession. We must humbly confess our sinfulness before God in order to receive forgiveness, and there is also great power in confessing our sins to a close Christian confidant. It is not smart to hide your sins from everyone. Remember, there are people who have gone through similar struggles and they can help you. It is also very foolish to try to hide your sins from God.

Post By Cliff Sabroe - Quotations from NASB95 Bible, Graphic from EpicToons. com