In the book of 1 John, the Apostle John was refuting the infiltration of bad doctrine. The Gnostics were telling people they didn’t have to confess their sin to be saved, when we know that is incorrect.
Today, I want to talk about a Forced or a Coerced Confession. There are some who believe that you not only have to confess your sin to be saved, but you must confess sin on an ongoing basis to remain “clean.” If you hang around church folk long enough, you will hear talk of a “1st John cleaning of your robe of righteousness.”
Many of these folks are well meaning – their hearts are in the right place. But here’s where the concept of ongoing confession falls flat – let’s look at the text:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
I really think this is one of those passages of Scripture that dealt with something situational that, in turn, has had a doctrine developed around it. Think about this – there is nowhere else in the New Testament that confession is part of repentance. Moreover, there is no place where either Jesus or Paul required a confession from anyone.
If you don’t know that you’re a sinner then you won’t see the need for a savior
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved (Romans 10:9-10)
In order to be saved, we must repent of our sin, believe in our hearts Jesus died for our sins, and confess Him as Lord. That’s it.
So if we confess our sin (once), he cleanses us from unrighteousness (eternally). This lines up with 2 Corinthians 5:21:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Now, if our righteousness is in Him, it is because we are in Him (John 15:4-7). The Bible says that in Him, there is no sin (1 John 3:5).
As Jesus IS so ARE we IN THIS WORLD (1 John 4:17)
The Bible tells us that the devil is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10) and that his aim is to steal from us, kill us, and destroy us. The bible also tells us on numerous occasions that our words have power (Proverbs 18:21).
So what you release from your mouth has the ability to empower and embolden the devil to use what you say against you. Sadly, satan uses religion and its adherents to coerce a confession from you – and, if you don’t know your rights as a Kingdom Citizen, you may confess something you ought not.
Don’t believe me? Just ask Job (Job 3:24)!
Confession, as it’s taught by adherents to religion gives the devil ammunition to do his dirt against you.
This can manifest in the worst kind of confession – confession of sin to other people. The go-to Scripture for this is James 5:16 – but I’m going to tell you something that’ll help you:
We are to confess our FAULTS, not our SINS.
What do you mean, preacher?
Simply this – that if I have a fault, such as an anger management issue, I should tell someone. This way I have someone to pray with me because they know my fault. Now, if my anger management issue leads me to punch someone in the face because of a traffic altercation, I have let my fault lead me into sin. If I tell the wrong person about this, they can easily use this as a lever against me.
See my point?
Moreover, the Bible tells us that we are to have no more consciousness of sin (Hebrews 10:2) and God, Himself, said He would remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12, 10:17).
In other words, we don’t have to confess that which we are to have no consciousness of!
So, if God forgets it, who are we to remember it?
Here’s where the rubber meets the road: if there is a requirement to confess sin, then those folks who tell someone who lost their child or their job or their home, that “it had to have been because of some unconfessed or hidden sin in your life…” are correct.
And, sadly, these folks remain in bondage to the treadmill of religion and legalistic ritual instead of experiencing true Liberty in Christ by the Grace of God.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we deal with sin lightly; rather that we deal with it the way Jesus said and Paul said.
Repent. Change your mind. Go back up to where God says you belong.
If we have to confess our sins regularly, we wind up spending more time counting transgressions instead of doing the work of the Kingdom. In confessing sins, too, we express doubt about the saving power of the Cross and the Blood of Jesus – either He saved us and it is appropriated in us by faith, or it ain’t.
© 2014 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)