We’ve spent time this week focusing on our complete forgiveness of sin through Christ’s death on the cross. We’ve looked at how our relationship with God never changes, but our fellowship with God changes when we sin. Today we will focus on the practical steps of what it means to confess and how we confess.
In the last lesson, we contrasted relationship and fellowship. The closeness we enjoy with God is disrupted when we willfully sin, and the way we repair and restore our fellowship is through confession.
What does it mean to confess?
The word confess is made up of two Greek words: homo logeo.
Homo means the same.
Logeo means to speak or to say.
So confession means “to say the same thing.”
What does God say about our sin?
1. It is sin.
2. It is forgiven.
The opposite of confession is rationalization.
Confession is a sincere heart expression of the truth of our sin and the truth of our forgiveness. Along with confession is a change of attitude and action, or repentance of our sin.
Ask: Are we forgiven because we confess?
This question will help determine if the lesson has been understood. We are forgiven because of what Christ has done on the cross; confession restores our fellowship with God.
When it comes to confession, God is not as concerned with us using the correct
terms as He is with the sincerity of our hearts.
Ask: How often should we confess sin?
As soon as we are made aware of it. Seek to keep short accounts with God.
Ask: What if we don’t feel forgiven after we confess?
Review the importance of placing our faith in facts (e.g. the birthday example from Week 1, Day 5).
Sometimes it can be helpful to confess our sin to another person. James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess yours sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
Several years ago, while flipping channels, I (Vivian) came across an inappropriate station, kept flipping stations, but then ended up back on that inappropriate show. I watched for a little while and turned it off. I tried confessing, and I knew I was forgiven because of what Jesus did on the cross, but I still felt the weight of shame. Finally I brought my sin out in the light and confessed to my husband and a trusted friend. Something about speaking out my sin broke the shame and secrecy. My sin was no longer hidden. In being known and loved by others, I experienced God’s grace and forgiveness firsthand. Speaking out my sin helped me to make wiser choices in the future.