“How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!”
There are several other elements to the confession of sins that I want to address in our post today as we continue to lay out the necessary elements involved in Biblical Counseling. Confession of sins, as we said last time, must be the active practice of every believer, a practice that takes place every day and will continue throughout their entire life. Those who do not confess their sins before God will experience His punishment. The Lord disciplines those whom He loves and will use suffering and hardships in our lives to draw us back to Him. This does not mean that every time a person suffers he must be living in sin. But it does mean that when suffering comes to pass in the life of a saint he should examine his heart and his life as David did and pray, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful was in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.”
(I) First Confess to God: When dealing with sin in our lives, there is a necessary and appropriate way in which we must confess our sins. First and foremost we must confess our sins to our Lord. When a believer sins, he realizes that his sin was not merely against another person, but ultimately the greatest offense was against God. Even though the sin is against another person, no matter who it is, how wicked and how terrible, our sins are first an affront to a perfectly holy and pure God. Sin offends God because it is not a part of His nature. Sin offends God because He created a perfect world with no sin, but it was mankind who ruined it with the lust of his eyes, the lust of his flesh, and his desire for pride. When David sinned with Bathsheba he recognized that his sin against her was great, but even greater was his offense against God. He writes in Psalm 51:4, “Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are justified when You speak and blameless when You judge.” Our sin must always be recognized as an offense against God first and foremost.
Our God is a merciful and gracious God, a God who is slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He loves His children and desires them to walk in the truth, to obey Him, and to confess their sins before Him. Why? Not because He wants to strike them to punish them, but because He wants to show His abundant mercy, grace, and forgiveness towards them. He wants to forgive them of their sins because that is what is best for them. Psalm 103:11-12 says, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” The sins of the man who confesses and forsakes them are removed by God forever.
(II) Second Confessed to Others: Not only must we confess our sins to God, but it is also necessary and vital for us to confess our sins to all those who have been affected by our sin. The command is clearly given by our Lord Jesus in Matthew 5:24. If you know that your brother has something against you, you must, “…go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” Confession of sin to those whom we have sinned against is necessary and vital for the health of our walk with the Lord. Often times people are not used to confessing their sins to one another, therefore they must be taught how to confess their sins. Confession is ultimately admitting with the Lord that what you have done is wrong and evil in God’s sight. Confession makes no excuse for one’s sins and true confession cannot minimalize sin. Sin should never be minimalized, it can’t be dealt with lightly as it is high treason against God and your fellow man. When one sins, no matter how big or how small, he is violating the commands of God, therefore sin must be dealt with seriously and intentionally. Confessing your sins to one another is a daily practice for the Christian as he battles and struggles against his flesh. But although it is a battle it is an absolute necessity. Confession of sins to those one has sinned against is the first step to restoring with them a blessed relationship that flows from a desire to please the Lord.
(III) The Blessings of Confession: Perhaps the greatest reward that comes from us confessing our sins is the blessing that is given to us by the Lord when confession takes place. In Psalm 32:1-2 David writes about what the Lord does for the man who confesses his sins before God and man. He says, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!” Confession of sin to God and to all who have been affected by your sin will result in great blessing!
The Biblical practice of confessing ones sins to God and to all whom you have sinned against must be carried out by Christians in the local church today. Confession of sins will always bring about a restoration of relationships and a healing to the hurt and pain that sin causes. The Lord longs for His church to be a pure bride. May we be a people who daily confess sins in our lives for His glory and our good!