A couple of the brothers and their families were with us recently. Terry fixed a good evening meal. The fellowship was good.
As we sat reflecting on life in general, one of our sons said, “I have a confession to make.” And, he went on to tell about something he had done a long time ago. It was a serious transgression. Everyone sluffed it off, saying that they knew all about it. But, I am thinking, “I did not know anything about it.” And, I opened up about it, “Why was Dad not informed about this.”
Before a satisfactory explanation could be given to me, the other son said, “Well, since confession is good for the soul, I have a confession to make, too.” He went on to relate something he had done one time when we were on vacation. It was an even more serious transgression. Everyone said that they knew all about it. But, I did not know about it. I looked at Terry. She nodded. Even she knew about it. “And, you kept it from me, too?” I asked intensely.
I was absolutely flabbergasted and deeply offended. After all this time, each of them had successfully kept their father / husband in the dark from knowing about either of the incidents. If anyone should have been told, it was me! Apparently, the timing of their confessions had become a matter of convenience.
Since then, I have been considering the issue of confession. I have seen over the years that many people associated with the church have a dread and disdain for confession. Actually, confession is an important spiritual concern. Confession comes to play in a variety of situations, but it is most important when it comes to God.
The Lord wants us to confess specifically to Him whenever we commit sin. It is not that confession is as good for the soul as it is for relationship. First of all, we cannot hide anything from God. Even if other people are privy to it and do not say anything about it, or whether they do not refer anything about it, God still knows. It a matter that falls into God’s purview of “omniscience.”
But, it becomes more directly related to fellowship with God. When we commit sin and do not confess it, right fellowship with God is broken with God. Unconfessed sin builds a barrier between God and us. Such a rift grieves the Lord. Consequently, it hinders the quality of relationship God wants to have with us.
Next, if we do not confess sin, we miss out on His forgiveness. The Scripture is pointed on this issue, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus Christ died on the Cross that we might have right relationship and fellowship with God, and it is His shed blood that provides the basis for God being willing to forgive so that relationship with Him may be sustained or restored. Micah wrote, “Who is a God like unto thee that pardons iniquity…He retains not His anger forever for He delights in mercy…He will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” The Psalmist describes the forgiveness of the Lord in terms of casting out sins as far as the east is from the west. Confession of sin is key to gaining the forgiveness of Lord about our transgression.
Another factor involving confession has to do with conviction. When we commit sin, we become guilty of having broken God’s law. Confession is the way we have to admitting our guilt to God. The Holy Spirit becomes a significant player on this point because one of His roles is to make us clear about our guilt by way of conviction. By submitting to conviction, we are led to respond openly to the Lord, confession being the effect of the conviction of facts. When we put off confession, we actually deny the resist the working of the Spirit, which is wrong, too.
When you do wrong, tell the Lord, and ask Him to forgive. It is only then that confession is good for the soul…because the Lord makes it so.
Pastor Ron Branch lives in Mason County and is pastor of Hope Baptist Church, Middleport, Ohio. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author.