What Does the Bible Say About Confession?

When a person is in sin, it causes a spiritual chasm between them and God. The only way to close that gap is through confession of the sin. The Bible makes it clear that confessing our sins is necessary for forgiveness and fellowship with God. In this article we will examine what does the bible say about confessing our sins and how it can help us to grow closer to Him.

There are several things to understand about confession. First, it is not an act that occurs at the beginning of salvation. Instead, it is an aspect of repentance (Romans 2:3, 8:1). Once a person becomes a believer in Christ, they are immediately and completely forgiven of their sins and made righteous on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice and His own perfect obedience to the law (Romans 3:21-26). However, once saved, the Lord expects believers to live lives that glorify Him, forsaking the ethos of the world. This is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit, Who is given to those who believe in Jesus. As the Spirit is present in our hearts, He convicts us of sin and reminds us that we are not our own but belong to God (2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 5:1). Therefore, it is essential for believers to constantly confess their sins to keep themselves from falling away from their relationship with the Savior.

Some Christians are confused about this matter because they see the word “confess” as something that can be done only at the beginning of salvation. This view, however, is wrong for several reasons. First, the Bible explicitly states that confessing sin is an element of repentance (Romans 2:13, 1 John 1:9). Second, the concept of confessing sin to a priest is not biblical. Instead, the New Testament teaches that believers are a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5-9), who are called to offer prayers and sacrifices of praise to the Father.

While some sin remains in the life of every Christian (“have,” present tense), the aging apostle John assures us that it does not taint our fellowship with one another and with the Lord (“we”). The reason is obvious: God is “slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression” (Num. 14:18).

The key to keeping your relationship with the Lord healthy is to make an honest confession of sin in all its dimensions. When you sin, it is important to call it what it is: a violation of your own conscience, a violation of the standards of holiness that God has placed in His word and a violation of your fellow believers’ rights as well. For these reasons, it is also essential to confess your sins to a trusted Christian brother or sister so that he or she can apply the promise of God’s forgiveness to your situation and encourage you to persevere in sanctification. In so doing, you will be able to walk closely with the Lord, overcoming even your most serious sins.