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Questions of Confession

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by ScottEmerson, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. ScottEmerson

    ScottEmerson Active Member

    Jun 3, 2002
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    1. How often should we confess our sins to God? Once when we get saved? Every time we sin? Every day?

    2. Who should we confess our sins to after we are saved? God? Other people?

    Please entertain me by providing Scriptures. I have heard it said (to begin) that the oft-repeated phrase in I John "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" refers only to salvation. Would anyone here agree with that?
  2. Johnv

    Johnv New Member

    Oct 24, 2001
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    How often should we confess our sins to God?

    As often as reasonably possible.

    Once when we get saved? Every time we sin? Every day?

    Uh, yes to all.

    Who should we confess our sins to after we are saved? God? Other people?

    Using the Prodigal Son as example, we should confess to God and to that which we transgress. It may also be helpful to confess our sins to a trusted individual, or a clergymember (clergy are generally bound by privilege not to reveal a person's confession, which can give the confessor peace of mind). What's the saying? Confession is good for the soul. We Baptists, and many in the Protestant world, shy away from the confession of sins because it sounds "too Catholic". But the biblical reality is that it is an honorable and healthy practice.

    Please entertain me by providing Scriptures.

    Besides the Prodigal Son parable, how's about the following:

    James 5:16 - James clearly teaches us that we must confess our sins to one another (to our confessors).

    Acts 19:18 - many came to orally confess sins and divulge their sinful practices. Oral confession was the practice of the early Church.

    Matt. 3:6; Mark 1:5 - These verses show people confessing their sins before others as an historical practice (here to John the Baptist).

    1 Tim. 6:12 - this verse also refers to the historical practice of confessing both faith and sins in the presence of many witnesses.

    1 John 1:9 - if we confess are sins, God is faithful to us and forgives us and cleanse us. But we must confess our sins to one another.

    Num. 5:7 - this shows the historical practice of publicly confessing sins, and making public restitution.

    2 Sam. 12:14 - even though the sin is forgiven, there is punishment due for the forgiven sin. David is forgiven but his child was still taken (the consequence of his sin).

    Neh. 9:2-3 - the Israelites stood before the assembly and confessed sins publicly and interceded for each other.

    Sir. 4:26 - God tells us not to be ashamed to confess our sins, and not to try to stop the current of a river. Anyone who has experienced the sacrament of reconciliation understands the import of this verse.

    Baruch 1:14 - again, this shows that the people made confession in the house of the Lord, before the assembly.

    1 John 5:16-17; Luke 12:47-48 - there is a distinction between mortal and venial sins. This has been the teaching of the Catholic Church for over 2,000 years, but, today, most Protestants no longer agree that there is such a distinction. Mortal sins lead to death and must be absolved in the sacrament of reconciliation. Venial sins do not have to be confessed to a priest, but the pious Catholic practice is to do so in order to advance in our journey to holiness.

    Matt. 5:19 - Jesus teaches that breaking the least of commandments is sin (the person is still saved but is least in the kingdom).
  3. dianetavegia

    dianetavegia Guest

    Scott, The verse you gave is the only one I need.
    My belief on this is that I am to confess my sin to God the minute I realize I've sinned. Snapping at my children, not submitting to my husband, being irritated by another driver.... take it to Jesus! I repent and ask God to help me not repeat that sin and then I let it go.

    He is faithful and just to forgive me and He removes those sins as far as the East is from the West and remembers them no more.

    There is NO mediator but Jesus!

  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator

    Jun 30, 2000
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    Amen, John! Excellent thoughts and Scriptures.

    Confession of an offense to someone else (the offended party) is most often neglected. It demands no other person.

    Confession of sin to God demands a mediator, since sinful man cannot stand in the presence of a holy God. No other person can help. It is the God-man Jesus (not mom) alone.

    I Tim 2:5
  5. BrianT

    BrianT New Member

    Mar 20, 2002
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    Good questions! [​IMG]

    Sure. [​IMG]

    Yes, and yes.

    Johnv already got all the ones I was going to post, and then some. Good work, John! [​IMG]

    No, I would not agree it refers only to salvation. Some people (OSAS folk) use that and other verses to mean that when you accept Christ, he forgives ALL your sins (past, present, and future), but I don't accept that. If that were true, the part of the Lord's Prayer that asks for forgiveness (Matt 6:12, and comments in v14-15) doesn't make much sense because it would be asking for forgiveness for something that has already been forgiven, and getting that forgiveness regardless of whether or not we forgive other people.