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The Purpose of Confession

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 ESV


In 1884 Grover Cleveland was running against James G. Blaine for the presidency of the U.S. Blaine supporters discovered that Cleveland, who was a bachelor at the time, had fathered a son by Mrs. Maria Crofts Halpin, an attractive widow who had been on friendly terms with several politicians. Subsequently, Republicans tried to pin an immorality tag on Democrat Cleveland by distributing handbills showing an infant labeled "One more vote for Cleveland" and by having paraders chant, "Ma, Ma, where's my pa? Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha!" The move, however, backfired badly. Rather than deny the story, Cleveland decided to tell the truth and admit the intimacy. This candor helped defuse the issue, and Cleveland was elected president.

From the Book of Lists, #2, p. 35

Too many Christians are walking in shame and guilt because they have not confessed their sins so they can receive forgiveness from the Lord. Many people are ashamed to confess their failures and sins because they are more concerned about what other people think about them than restoring their relationship with God. Unfortunately, many Christians are still struggling with the idea that God can forgive any sin. Yes indeed. There is no sin that is beyond God’s forgiving grace.

The worst thing we can do is try to hide our sins from God. After all, the Lord is omniscient. He knows everything about everyone everywhere. Confession should be done instantaneously and continuously. When we confess our sins, we are recalibrating our relationship with God and restoring the proper spiritual balance of that relationship.

In today’s test, the apostle John reminds believers in Asia Minor, they should confess their sins, so they won’t remain in a state of guilt and shame. When we confess our sins, we break the hold the devil has over us, and we become free to worship God in spirit and in truth. Unconfessed sins hinder our prayer life, our worship, and our discipleship. Some people experience mental, emotional, and physical diseases because of unconfessed sins. Indeed, confession is not only good for the soul but also therapeutic for the physical body as well.

The purpose of confession is threefold. First, to help us live guilt-free because there is, therefore, no condemnation for those who have been redeemed by Christ. Second, to help us live victoriously. When we confess our sins, we are telling the enemy that we are standing on the righteousness of the Christ who washed away our sins with His precious blood at Calvary. Third, confession removes all barriers that prevent the Holy Spirit from remaining active in our soul. The Holy Spirit is a Spirit of truth. He delights in transparency and integrity. When we confess our sins, we not only get right with God, but we also create the environment for the Holy Spirit to continue His ministry in our lives.

By confessing his indiscretion, Grover Cleveland silenced his critics and won the Presidency. In the same way, we must confess our sins or indiscretions so we can silence the devil and those who want to impugn our integrity. We should not forget that if we confess our sins, God will clean us from all unrighteousness. This is exactly what the devil does not want. Every time we confess our sins, we break the devil’s heart and remind him we know who we are and whose we are in Christ Jesus.

So be honest with yourself and with God. Confess your sins of jealousy, envy, selfishness, hatred, greed, etcetera. We should confess our sins to God and to those we have wronged. Then we can walk in spiritual integrity to the glory of God.

Questions for Personal Reflection

What unconfessed sins are you still harboring in your soul?

Why do you think it is necessary for you to confess your sins to God and to those you wronged?

Prayer- Blessed Lord, I confess all the sins and repent of all unrighteousness. May the precious blood that was shed at Calvary continue its cleansing work in my soul? I beseech your restoration power when I fall short of your glory. May those who are struggling with unconfessed sins turn to you and receive the forgiveness that only you can give.

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