1999 James A. Fowler
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CONFESSION OF SIN
I. Biblical statements.
- "he shall confess that in which he has sinned"
- "he shall confess his sins..., make restitution..."
- "he who confesses and forsakes his transgressions will
- "many kept coming and confessing and disclosing their
- "confess your sins to one another"
1:9 - "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to
forgive us our sins."
- "I acknowledge my sin to Thee...I will confess my transgressions
to the Lord."
- "I confess my iniquity"
- "Woe is me...I am a man of unclean lips"
- "I have sinned against heaven and in your sight"
- "God, be merciful to me, the sinner!"
II. Defining confession.
A. Greek word homologeo means
"to say the same thing," to agree, concur.
B. What confession of sin is NOT:
a human priest in the confession booth.
God information. "God, You won't believe what I've done."
"IF...I have sinned..." "I have...."
"I'm sorry..." "....just a joke!"
to God for forgiveness for our sins. Forgiveness already available
for a lesser charge. "Yes...but...."
groveling; mental contortions.
catharsis. "Feel good when you get it off your chest"
or flippant incantation. (Sin was reason for Jesus' death).
- (Excessive sin-consciousness; wallowing in weakness; focusing
navel-gazing introspection; "Worm-theology"; Pride
of sinfulness; back-handed
of spirituality; exhibitionism; revel in relating sinfulness
in testimony; Who was the
11. Based on
false established attitudes which create false-guilt and false-confession.
agree with God that something is wrong, when God never said it
is sin. But, if not done
faith, it is sin. (Rom. 14:23).
C. Confession is...
to deceive ourselves - I John 1:8
to continue the defense mechanisms of denial, avoidance, distortion,
sin "sin." Calling a spade a spade!
4. To recognize,
admit, acknowledge, concede and declare our guilt of sin.
of repentance. A change of mental attitude leading to changed
of asking forgiveness for wronging another person.
of restitution - Numb. 5:7; Lk. 19:8
III. Defining sin.
A. Anything contrary to character
B. Any activity not done in faith (Rom.
14:23), and thus not derived from God.
C. May include hidden, secret, unknown
- "hidden faults"
- "our secret sins"
- "everything which is hidden"
D. May include besetting sins; habituated,
life-dominating sins (Heb. 12:1,2)
IV. Practical concerns of confession of sin.
A. To whom do we confess our sin?
1. To those
wronged by our sin. Sphere of confession only as broad as context
Intrapersonal sin confessed to God alone. (Ps. 32:5; Prov. 28:13;
I John 1:9)
Private interpersonal sin confessed to God and the one sinned
against. (Matt. 5:23,24;
Public interpersonal sin confessed to God and those affected.
(II Cor. 2:6; James 5:16).
B. How long should we go before confessing
sin in past needs to be dealt with. (Eccl. 3:15; Phil. 3:13)
2. Is God
keeping ledger book of our sins? Those who encourage keeping
seem to imply such.
sin is like reacting to a stumbling on sidewalk. (Quick down;
sin is like rebounding a missed basketball shot.
C. What happens if our sins is not confessed?
unconfessed sin affect...
Our redemption? (Isa. 59:2; Rom. 8:39)
Our salvation? (Prov. 28:13)
Our eternal destiny?
Our physical well-being? (Ps. 32:3)
Our psychological well-being? (Ps. 32:4)
Our prayer-life? (Isa. 59:2; 66:18)
of sin is not a "work" that has any merit before God.
D. What if a person doesn't feel forgiven
after he confesses his sin?
1. We do
not live by feelings, but by faith.
is faithful - I John 1:9
you still feel guilty of sin
Examine the motives of your confession.
Remember that Satan is the "accuser of the brethren"
Have you forgiven others or asked for their forgiveness?
Have you made necessary restitution?
you forgiven yourself? "Who will bring a charge against
God's elect?" (Rom. 8:33).