“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.”
Though many in our modern culture don’t like to admit it, sin is a reality. It is the human condition. Every person has been infected by sin and its corrosive influence. Scripture is direct and unequivocal on this topic: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3.23)
To say that we have no sin puts us in a very dangerous place, because God’s grace and mercy is extended only to sinners. It is not extended to people who proclaim platitudes like “we all make mistakes” or “I’m only human” or “no one is perfect.” Grace is extended to those who acknowledge they are sinful and separated from God.
A right relationship with God requires confessing our sin, repenting, and trusting in Christ’s sacrificial death. Forgiveness comes from saying, “Lord, I confess that I am a sinner, and I humbly receive the forgiveness you offer in Jesus your Son.”
The Greek word for “confession” in 1 John 1.9 is homologeo, which means “say the same thing as.” Genuine confession goes beyond simply admitting that you have sinned. Confession is saying the same thing about your sin that God says about it.
John tells us that confession is part of what it means to walk in the light. Walking in the light creates an honest view of self, and it activates self-awareness. People who walk in the light are aware of their strengths and blessings, and they also see the reality of their sin. Most importantly, they see their sin not just from their own viewpoint, but from God’s perspective.
Walking in darkness creates a false view of self and causes self-deception. People who walk in darkness are blind to the reality and depth of their sin. They are blind to the impact of sin on themselves, and they are blind to the impact of sin on God.
Most people have a self-centered view of sin; they feel badly about what sin does to them. However, a profound shift takes place when a Christian begins to see sin from God’s perspective, and they recognize what sin does to God. This is the sense of homologeo … see sin as God sees it, and say about sin what God says about it.
We serve a great God who loves us beyond comprehension. May we respond to God’s love and grace by confessing our sin, walking in the truth, and enjoying fellowship with the Lord and each other.
“The one who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.” (Proverbs 28.3)