When I heard the conference coordinator’s request, I nearly dropped the phone: “I want one of your messages to focus on confession and provide an opportunity for people to confess in prayer afterwards.
I knew one thing for sure: speaking on confession would either set the stage for a mighty work of God or be the backdrop for the most awkward moment of my speaking career.
After all, confession doesn’t usually make Christians’ top 10 list of “favorite spiritual habits.”
I’m convinced, though, that if believers fully understood the life-transforming benefits of confession prayer, it would.
Confession prayer will change you and your relationship with God forever. If this is true (and I believe it is), shouldn’t we know how to do it?
What Is Confession?
In the New Testament, “confess” means to “agree or say the same thing as.” So, when we say the same thing about any subject as God says about it (our behavior, our sin, or the Lordship of Jesus, for example), that’s confession.
Romans 10:9 says, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” The point, of course, is that salvation comes to those who confess (agree) that Jesus is Lord, and that His death and resurrection paid the price for our freedom and forgiveness of sin. The “Sinners Prayer” some of us have grown up hearing is really a confession prayer.
In its simplest terms, confession prayer is the acknowledgement of our sin, or the affirmation of God’s truth, or both.
Why Is Confession Important?
1. Confession is God’s mechanism to restore a broken relationship between Him and us.
Confession allows us to experience the forgiveness of God, which was purchased by the death of Christ on the cross.
1 John 1:8-9 explains the significance of confession: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Many people assume confession adds to the weight of guilt; in reality, confession relieves it. Confession to God leads to peace with God and leaves us with the assurance that we are forgiven, cleansed, and free!
2. Confession increases our love for Jesus.
If we forget to confess our sins, we forget why we need a Savior. On the other hand, the more we confess our sins, the more we’ll appreciate the provision of our Savior. The goodness and mercy of God is real; through confession, I come to know it is real for me.
3. Confession is necessary for our spiritual growth.
Without confession, we stay stuck in our same old patterns of sin. Many Christians mistakenly believe that the more mature one is spiritually, the less one will need to confess.
In reality, the opposite is true. The more mature we are in our faith, the more sensitive we become to the Holy Spirit’s nudging regarding sin in our lives. We see sin in areas we’ve never noticed before. And because we can see it, we can address it and grow.
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