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The Confession of Our Sin - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
May 26, 2022 12:00 am

The Confession of Our Sin - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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May 26, 2022 12:00 am

Grasp the concept of what confession truly means.

Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey
Truth Talk
Stu Epperson
Wisdom for the Heart
Dr. Stephen Davey

Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Thursday, May 26th. If believers are totally forgiven in Christ, why are we commanded to confess our sins and repent? Stay with us to get help understanding what the Bible teaches about the confession of our sin. One of the most familiar verses in all the Bible is found in 1 John, a little epistle toward the back of the Bible. And one of the reasons it is so familiar is because it is something we have to deal with every day. It goes like this, if we confess our sins, he's faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Now all of us have quoted that many, many times. And yet I wonder if we really understand what it means to genuinely confess our sins. Because oftentimes people will say, well, yes, I have confessed them. Well, has God forgiven you?

Well, I'm not sure. Well, let's do it again. So we do it again.

And so they confess something. And so I say, well, here's what God says, has he forgiven you? Well, I think so. I don't feel like it.

Maybe so. And so in spite of the fact that God has given us a definite promise about something all of us have to deal with, it is still a major problem. And so when somebody says, well, I just believe the Lord's Prayer. I just believe the 23rd Psalm and the Lord's Prayer. And I love that part when it says, if we forgive those who trespass against us, that God will forgive us. And therefore, I believe I'm forgiven.

No, you're not. You see, if all you had to do is to confess your sin to God, and that would make you right with Him, why did Jesus have to die? There's much more to confession than simply telling Him something that you have done. So I want you to turn, if you will, to 1 John. And for many of you who are young believers, and maybe you're not too familiar with where some of these books are, you just start at the back of the Bible and go Revelation, Jude, 3, 2, 1 John, not the Gospel, but the little epistle here in the back. And I want us to begin reading in verse 5. And I want us to read through chapter 2, verse 2. And I want you to look for something.

I want you to look for some words that keep being repeated over and over and over again. They're just two letter words, because they're very significant in understanding to whom John wrote this epistle. So let's begin, if you will, in verse 5. He says, And this is the message we heard from Him, and announce to you that God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us. My little children, I'm writing these things to you that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation or the sacrifice for our sins, but not only for our sins, but also for those of the whole world. Now, if you notice something very significant in these first few verses, what little two-letter word did you hear over and over and over again?

What is it? We, we and us and our. And the reason I say that is because I want you to understand how very important it is that right up front you and I understand that this epistle was written to believers, not to unbelievers. This book is about the Christian life, not about getting saved. And so, twenty-four times in eight verses, John the Beloved, you recall that he was more than likely the youngest of the apostles and outlived all the rest of them and died, having been banished of Patmos by the Roman Emperor Domitian.

And here he is late in life writing this epistle to the churches there in Asia Minor. And so he says, we, we, we, us and our. We're not talking about lost people. We're talking about believers.

Very important, you and I understand this. So when he says, if we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Then he's talking about believers dealing with sin and their life. Now, I believe that God intends for us who are believers to enjoy Him.

I believe God wants us to love Him, but to enjoy Him, to take pleasure in fellowshipping with Him and enjoy being His friend as well as His child. And so therefore, if I'm going to enjoy the Christian life, one of the things I have to learn how to deal with is I have to learn how to deal with sin, because sin is a problem in the Christian life. And I want you to notice here in the very beginning of this passage that what this is all about is a problem we face. Notice, if you will, in verse five. He says, this is the message we heard from Him and announced to you that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. Then He says, if we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet we walk in darkness, we're not telling the truth and we're not practicing the truth.

So here's what I want you to notice. The problem here that all of us have is this. The problem is that God who is light, which means He is perfect and pure and absolutely righteous, He loves us and desires to have fellowship with us. When you and I are walking obediently before Him, we can have fellowship with Him. When you and I choose darkness in our life, and that is a good symbol in the Scriptures, always in the Scriptures for sin, darkness is indication here of sin. When you and I invite darkness into our life, what we have is an immediate conflict.

How do you mix darkness and light? You cannot. How can you mix impurity with purity? You cannot. How can you mix imperfection with perfection?

You cannot. Now, if you listen to some preaching, for example, that you shouldn't do this and you shouldn't do that, you must do this and you must do that, sometimes I think I couldn't even belong to that church because all those should, ought and must would absolutely bear me down. Should, ought and must is not what God's all about.

They're not what God is all about. What God is all about is enjoying Him, loving Him and receiving from Him. The Christian life is not to be a legalistic form of bondage I haul around along with all the other concerns I have in life. It is a desire and a pleasure to walk in fellowship with Him. So what John is talking about here primarily is fellowship. He's not talking about salvation but fellowship.

Now listen, two things I want us to notice here. Let's distinguish between our relationship with Him and our fellowship with Him. Our relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ began the moment you and I confess the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. Now there's a difference in confessing Jesus as my Savior and confessing sin. Confessing Jesus Christ as my personal Savior is what you and I do when we trust Him at salvation. So that our relationship with Him begins the moment we are born again or we trust Him as personal Savior. We ask Him to forgive us of our sins. We confess our sins and then we confess Jesus as our Savior based on what He did at the cross in shedding His blood and atoning for our sin.

So what happens at that moment? We take on the position no longer as enemy of God but now we become sons and daughters of God. That's our new position, sons and daughters of God.

So that's the relationship. But what about fellowship? Fellowship is what you and I carry on daily in our relationship with Him.

We get up in the morning for example, we talk to Him, we listen to Him, we talk to Him during the day, we walk in obedience to Him, we fellowship with other people, we share Him, He's at the head of our conversation, He's always in our thoughts and our minds, we're fellowshipping with Him. So what John is referring to here when he's talking about confessing sin, he's talking about keeping our fellowship right, not our relationship. So when he says if we confess our sins conditionally here, remember everything he says here talks about those of us who are believers and our fellowship with Him. Because what does sin do? Sin messes it up. Sin clouds our fellowship.

It's like a fog, it's like static in our heart. No one has to tell you when you have sinned against God. I know immediately when I disobey Him, instantly I am convicted of that. And so what he's referring to primarily here is our fellowship.

And it's very important we understand that because of some other things we're going to say in a few moments. So what we're dealing with now is the believer's walk. How do I walk in a dirty world and still remain pure? How do I walk and remain obedient to God when I have in me, on the inside of me, that's something that still at times truly desires to be disobedient to God or in a brief moment of weakness, absolutely disobeys Him. How do I do that? I do that by walking in good fellowship with Him. How do I do that? I do that by keeping my sin list up to date and dealt with.

And how do I do that? He says, by confessing sin. So with all that in mind, let's look at this for just a moment and think about what is the proper approach to confessing our sin. Well, notice that word says, if we confess our sin. If you'll notice, first of all, in verse eight, he says, if we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not endless. And I believe when he talks about S-I-N here, that primarily, and he could be meaning both, but we're talking about if I say I don't have any of this principle within me, if I say that I don't have any naturalness, then I'm just fooling myself. But he says, if conditioned, if I confess my sin, what does the word confess mean? So let me just explain what this means. The word, if you looked at it in the Greek, would be homo logel, logel or logos, which means word, homo, which means like, that is, to say something, to say the same thing.

Literally, that's what it means. To confess means to say the same thing. If I'm confessing sin before the Lord, what I'm doing is I am agreeing with Him about the fact that what I have done is wrong.

I'm saying the same thing He says. God says that's wrong, that's sin. I say, yes, Lord, you're right, that's sin. To confess means that I agree with God about what He says about my action, my thought or my deed. To confess Jesus Christ as my Savior says, yes, I am agreeing with Him that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, virgin born, laid down His life at Calvary, paid my sin debt in full, and upon my acceptance of Him as my personal Savior, I become a child of God. That's confessing Jesus Christ as Savior. We're talking about confessing sin.

What I'm doing is I am agreeing with Him about His perspective on what I did. Another thing is involved in confession is it says that I am assuming responsibility for what I've done, what I've said, what I've thought. So the confession isn't something where, you know, just 1 John 1, 9, just confess your sins, just tell him about it.

No, it is assuming responsibility. Listen, confession involves the recognition that I have violated God and His law in some fashion, and it is something that does not mix with who I am in Christ Jesus as a child of God. It does not mix with the righteousness that is in me because of His presence within me, because darkness and light do not mix, and therefore this is the conflict, and therefore I must be convicted of my sin, and if I'm convicted by the Holy Spirit, I must deal with that because God's way of saying to me, if the fellowship is to remain, you have to get that darkness out of your life, and the way you get it out is bringing it to me. Now, that brings me to talk about for just a moment how do we do it. That is, in simple terms, how do we deal with this? How do we confess this sin that all of us have to deal with in our life? Well, there's lots of things that you and I can say about it, but let me say that first of all, if I'm going to deal with it and deal with it in a proper fashion, then I've got to deal with it the way I believe God says very clearly, and that is I've got to be specific about it. You see, here's what we do, and I know why we do it because I've thought about it in my own life. For example, there's one thing for me to say, now Lord, please forgive me of my sins in Jesus' name, amen.

I don't even believe He hears that. You know what? I can do that, and I don't feel too bad. But if I said to Him, Lord, forgive me because, Lord, I am angry at Him. Forgive me because that is lust. Forgive me because that is greed. Forgive me because, and I could just go on a whole list of things. There's one thing, there's something about naming it. He says if we confess our sins, and I don't believe God intends for us to give Him this generalization.

You know what I've noticed? The Holy Spirit never, has never convicted me of just S-I-N-S. When He convicts me, He points out in my life something that is not right. We are to confess sin specifically, name it and call it what it is.

God wants us to name it what it is. Lord, I have sinned against You by gossiping against this person. I have sinned against You, dear God, by being dishonest. I have sinned against You, God, because that was deceitful. I've sinned against You, God, because I was, my whole attitude was all been out of shape. I have falsely accused. There are all kinds of things that You, Lord, just please forgive me of my sins.

I know You love me in Jesus' name, amen. Forget it. He doesn't, you know what? That's not taking responsibility for action. Therefore, if confession is going to be genuine, I have to name it. Now somebody says, well now, when it comes to confessing sin, to whom do we confess it? We confess it to God.

He's the one who we violated. If I have sinned against someone else, I go to that person, I ask them please forgive me. Somebody says, well, then what about public confession?

Listen carefully. Public confession should only be done when that person can do that under the guidance of God and it brings no hurt and harm to someone else. Listen, any kind of public confession that hurts and harms someone else, that does not edify the body is not of God. And so therefore when a person says, well, I've just got to confess to the whole world. Listen, it is never permissible to cleanse my conscience at the expense of someone else, not in public. And so therefore our confession should be to Almighty God.

If I have wronged a person, then I go to that person, I say, I need to ask you to forgive me for that. Now listen, when do you confess sin? Immediately upon the Spirit's conviction. When the Spirit points out something is not right, that's the time to do it.

Because listen, listen, now listen carefully. We're talking about fellowship. We're talking about God loving us and desiring our fellowship. He wants us to deal with what clouds our relationship immediately so that we confess and move on. We confess and move on in our life. Not having sin accumulating our life and finally when the conviction gets so bad we can't stand it more, we finally say, all right, Lord, I want to deal with this. No, He loves us. He wants us to walk in wonderful pleasurable fellowship with Him and therefore to do so I've got to get this mix unmixed.

I've got to get this darkness out of my life whether it is something I said or something I did. Therefore we confess sin immediately. And immediately upon our confession of sin, of course, He is certainly going to forgive us.

Now another thing I want to give you a warning about is all this pleading and begging. When it comes to confessing, He says if we bring to Him something specific and we agree with Him about His perspective, this is not right, this doesn't belong, forgive me of this, thank You Father, and move on. I don't have to beg God to do something for me that He has already promised to do.

I don't have to plead and cry and weep and hope that somehow He's going to do it. Now one, I'm not saying that you should never weep in confession because I think when you and I are deep convicted over sin, depends upon what it is, for example, that we will have deep conviction. Sometimes we will weep and there will be tears and there will be not pleading for forgiveness. Now you say, well, why do people plead for forgiveness? I think sometimes it's because we feel so unworthy of being forgiven and we think that somehow we've got to persuade God. Now if I am under the conviction of the Holy Spirit about something, naturally I am going to feel remorse and regret in my heart that I would sin against God. Now somebody says, well, shouldn't we just have a big cleanup job every night and say, Lord, forgive me for all the things that I haven't thought about?

Well, if you want to do that and that'll make you feel good, be my guest, but you don't have to do that because you see, here's the reason you don't. If you'll notice verse seven, he says, the blood of Jesus Christ His Son is continually cleansing us from all sin. Listen, it isn't confession that cleanses me. It is the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary which He has continually and is continually applying to my heart.

It's like I'm walking in the stream of God's continuing forgiveness. Then you say, well, why confess? Confess, listen, confession is as if I open the door to restore my fellowship. It has nothing to do with my sonship.

It has nothing to do with my relationship. It all has to do with my fellowship with Him. The blood of Jesus Christ His Son is continually cleansing me from sin. Confessing isn't cleansing me. The blood of Jesus Christ is continually cleansing me from all sin. What is my confession? My confession is my opportunity of restoring my fellowship with Him so that I can enjoy Him and He can enjoy me as one of His children.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-14 01:38:41 / 2023-04-14 01:46:34 / 8

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