Part 8 of 16 -
Is Confession of Sins Necessary in the Ongoing Life of the Christian?
As noted in Part 7, the believerís confession of sins occurring after salvation is not necessary for forgiveness of sins under Paulís ďgift of the grace of GodĒ (Eph 3:7). This is because ALL sin was forgiven at the moment of salvation Ė past sins, present sin, and future sins; thus, we were accepted in Christ. The requirement for Christians to practice confession of sins for forgiveness is a false doctrine, as if to say a believer ďcan fall out of graceĒ; with the result that one minute youíre saved by grace, and then next youíre not. The grace of Godís forgiveness of our sins is freely given and unconditional, covering ALL our sins for all time.
However, there are a few cases that require our confession of sin(s), but not for forgiveness; rather it is that we might come to ďthe lightĒ of a restored union and fellowship with the Lord, as well as with those around us. These are serious matters of understanding because they affect our daily walk, not to mention the sanity of our mind.
1) There is a place of confession that is not confession to gain forgiveness of sins. It is confession to God concerning sin toward another, such as unforgiveness that we may hold against another. Such an acknowledgement before God releases us from the burden of sin.
2) Thereís also a place of confession before another believer that is admission guilt before God for past sin. Such an admission releases us from the choking burden of past sin that we may have long cloaked in the darkness of our hidden self-life for many years. Weíve perhaps been locked into a jail of our own making by some sin(s) that we may think of as unforgivable. Sin makes us fear exposure. Sin wants each of us alone. Sin wants to draw me into myself, and away from God and others. The more isolated I am the more control the Sin nature can have over me. Sin seeks the shadows. Sin holds me in the dark, robbing me of complete fellowship with God and others. Others may sense the wall that keeps me from being genuine with them.
Under such darkness, we are easy prey for the accusations of the Devil, whose goal is to literally destroy us. Though the Devil cannot touch God, he tries to destroy Godís image in us.
Jesus said believers are to be lovers of the light. Jn 12:36 While ye have light, believe (pisteuo, trust in, cling to, and rely upon) in the light, that ye may be the children of lightÖ We have these words from the Apostle James to point us to the remedy. James 5:16 Confess (exomologeo, acknowledge, admit) your faults (paratomah, sideslips) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed (iaomai, cured, made whole). The effectual fervent prayer (deesis, petition) of a righteous man availeth much.
Sin toward others brings pain to our own self. Bringing our hidden life into the light of God is not so we may gain forgiveness, but to heal us of sinís pain. We may be a Christian who is forgiven of ALL sins, and yet be self-condemned due to our supposed unforgivable sin. We may think we were not lovable, not loved of God or by those who we think should love us Ė all because we donít accept our self; so we canít and donít accept Godís forgiveness.
The problem is our view of our self because weíve not accepted Godís forgiveness. Since we donít believe we are forgiven by God, the pain of this is self-inflicted; itís due to our own unforgiveness of ourselves for some sin(s) in our past. The fact is God has long ago forgiven us of ALL our sins, but we have held ourselves as reprehensible.
We are locked into what is a hopeless and helpless condition unless God intervenes. This condition must be brought into the light; therefore God our Father may force the real us to become exposed to our self and/or to othersÖthat we might be healed.
How does the Lord expose us to the light?
The pain rooted in our unacceptance of our self may manifest itself in mental instability and/or physical illness. This may be the end of the road apporaching, since our sickness may do for us what we could not do for ourselves, forcing us to be exposed. God does this because He loves us and wants us free of the power of our supposed unforgivable sin(s). The answer is for our self to become exposed, brought under the curative power of the divine radium of Godís light, where it may be confirmed that we are totally forgiven and loved of God, standing blameless before Him in His love.
In the next installment, Part 8B, I will offer my personal testimony of Godís forced exposure of His light upon my needy soul.