Called to Confess

written by Haley King, Children & Family Ministries Coordinator (March 17, 2024)

Why do we find confession so hard? We often hold off on confession because we don’t want to give up something quite yet or we don’t want to admit to Christ that we have done wrong. In reality, God already knows but it’s up to us to acknowledge we have sinned before Christ. Confessing to God is agreeing with God and acknowledging a sin that God is already aware of.

Let’s look at a few passages of Scripture that talks to us about the consequences of confession and the lack of. In Psalm 32 we see the consequences of both. The first two verses tell us that the consequences of confession are joy and freedom from the charge of iniquity.

How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How joyful is a person whom the Lord does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit! (Psalm 32:1-2, CSB)

As this chapter moves on David tells us the consequence of the lack of confession in his life:

When I kept silent, my bones became brittle from my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was drained as in the summer’s heat. (Psalm 32:3-4, CSB)

David was drained and tired because he was choosing to carry the load of his sin on his own. God never intended for us to carry this load, this is why it takes such a toll on us mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It is impossible to have close communion with Christ when you have unconfessed sin in your life. We also need to be reminded that forgiveness and freedom comes through God’s goodness not ours. In Psalm 51:1 it says "Be gracious to me, God, according to your faithful love; according to your abundant compassion, blot out my rebellion." This verse makes it clear that it is not because of our love and compassion that God blots out our rebellion against him but because of the faithful love and abundant compassion of our God.

We serve a loving and compassionate God who wants to forgive us. He doesn’t make us earn it or prove our sincerity. Psalm 32:5 says “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” Christ immediately forgave David after he acknowledged his sin before God and confessed. Christ will do the same for you. 

God is in the business of restoration and he wants to restore our joy but we have to come to him with everything. And we can’t just stop there. When we are forgiven it calls us to action to forgive others as well. In Luke 7, we see a woman that falls at Jesus’ feet and anoints his feet with expensive perfume. The Pharisees immediately questioned who Jesus said he was because surely he wouldn’t let a woman with this amount of sin in her life touch him. Jesus goes on to answer the question of this Pharisee by telling a story of two debtors that were forgiven. One of a small amount and one of a large amount. Jesus then asks the question in Luke 7:42 “Since they could not pay it back, he graciously forgave them both. So, which of them will love him more?” The Pharisee responded, “I suppose the one he forgave more." Those who are forgiven greatly, forgive greatly. This is all of us. We have all been forgiven greatly by our God, and because of that we are called to forgive. 

I want to leave you with two action steps to take away from this thought on confession: 

1. Don’t delay in confession.

Psalm 32:6-7 says “Therefore let everyone who is faithful pray to you immediately. When great floodwaters come, they will not reach him. You are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with joyful shouts of deliverance.” Delaying in confession only hurts you. You aren’t keeping anything from God, nor are you bothering him by calling on him for forgiveness. We see in these verses in order to be faithful to Christ we are to pray to him immediately so when the trials and sufferings of life come, he can protect and surround us with joyful shouts of deliverance. Don't delay in repentance to Christ. Delayed repentance is denied mercy. Accept the mercy that God desires to pour onto you. 

2. Jesus doesn’t call you to do anything that he hasn’t already done and modeled for you.

As Christians we should be striving to look more like Christ in every area of our life. Jesus didn’t have to confess sins but he did model how we ought to pray and instructed us to confess our sins in prayer. Jesus has modeled biblical forgiveness for us and has forgiven those who seek his forgiveness. Yes, sometimes forgiving people who have wronged you can be hard and they may not deserve your forgiveness. We did not deserve God’s forgiveness either, but by his grace he forgives. Christ forgave even those who put him on a cross. It’s important for us to remember that Jesus doesn’t expect anything from us that he hasn’t already done and then some.

When we hold on to the sin in our life it adds a weight to our life that we were never meant to carry. Jesus stops us before we have to carry the wrath of God and takes it for us. This is the good news of the gospel, we do not have to carry the weight of our sinfulness. Confess to Christ and experience the freedom and weightlessness of following him. There is rest and joy when you come to Christ and confess to him. If you have said yes to Jesus, then you know the joy of his forgiveness. Don’t choose to live in the guilt and shame of sin by the lack of confession in your life.