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Prayer

Confession of Sin

1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
NIV

One of the most difficult parts of the Christian walk is our own acknowledgment that we are a sinful person and deserve God's judgment, while greatly desiring His mercy and grace. Confession is the acknowledgment of our own short comings. The message of repentance and confession is the thread of Scripture, especially in the New Testament.

One of the great passages of Scripture may be found in 2 Chronicles 7:14, where God sets forth His "requirements" for a close walk with Him.
If my people, who belong to me, humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, and repudiate their sinful practices, then I will respond from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. NET

The point to make here is that the same message is present in the New Testament. Down the dusty road comes John the Baptist preaching this same message of repentance.
Matthew 3:11 I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. NIV

Mark&s Gospel picks up this thread with the first words of Christ.
Mark 1:15 "The time has come," he said. "The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!" NIV

But, why the need to repent? What is it?

The word translated as "confess" or "confession" means "to be in agreement with." When we confess our sins to God, we are agreeing with God that our actions are sin, that we have acted contrary to God's Will. When we repent of our sins, we agree with God to reverse our life's walk, to know walk in line with God and His Will and purposes. We will no longer walk by our own desires or the desires of the world, but by the desires of God.

All sin is against God
Psalm 51:4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. NIV

We must recognize this fact and confess our sins to a loving, personal God. There is no requirement in Scripture that we confess our all of sins to anyone else. If we have directly wronged some one, we need to correct that relationship, and this may require a confession of sin.
James 4:8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. NIV
In other words, we must stop trying to live by our own standards and those of God at the same time. We must want to draw nearer to God and learn to trust only Him.

To accomplish this, we must be like Isaiah and recognize how unclean we are.
Isaiah 6:5 "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty." NIV

Then, we may rest upon the assurances of Scripture that when we do confess our sins and short comings to God, He remains faithful and will wash us clean in the blood of Christ. 1 John 1:9

 

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December 10, 2019

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