“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 people 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)
Scripture teaches that the solution to sin is humble confession before God, and then faithfully receiving God’s saving grace and forgiveness through Christ’s sacrificial death. The NT book of 1 John spells it out: “If we say 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. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1.8-10)
To say that we have no sin puts us in a very dangerous place, because God’s grace and mercy is extended to those who acknowledge they are 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 sinners.
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—the true spiritual discipline of confession—goes beyond simply admitting that you have sinned. Confession is saying the same thing about your sin that God says about it.
Most people have a self-centered view of sin; they feel badly about what sin does to them. The discipline of confession, on the other hand, is humble acknowledgment that God is holy and you are not. It is having a God-centered—not a self-centered—understanding of your sin.
A profound shift takes place when you begin to see your sin from God’s perspective, and you recognize what sin does not just to you, but also to God. This is the sense of homologeo… see sin as God sees it, and say about sin what God says about it.
Do you have a God-centered view of sin? Do you practice the discipline of confession?
More tomorrow …