As Christian, there are certain things that we are called to do by God. In this column, I want to look briefly at perhaps the most important of these activities; confession.
Confession in the New Testament means at least two things. The first of these is what we call the confession of faith. Our confession is our unambiguous statement of faith in Jesus Christ.
The epistle of First Timothy states, “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you.” (1 Timothy 6:1213, NIV)
And in the epistle of First John, “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.” (1 John 4:15, NIV)
This first type of confession is the first and foremost confession because it is necessary in order to establish the relationship that we want to have with God. In this confession, we make the commitment to live not for ourselves, but rather for God.
It is this framework of relationship that establishes the basis for the second form of confession. It is the framework, because it is only in establishing ourselves in relationship to God that we must then consider the question of whether or not we have been faithfully living out the relationship that he has called us to.
This is where the second form of confession enters in, for we know that none of us is without sin. We all sin, whether it is a sin of commission, where we do things that God does not wish us to do; or a sin of omission, where we fail to do what God has called us to do.
The Book of Romans reminds us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23, NIV). Therefore, it is important that on a regular basis we look into our hearts to see where we have not succeeded in being the people that God has called us to be.
Proverbs tells us, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13, NIV)
The epistle of First John tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9, NIV)
As we walk with the Lord, it is important that we make sure that our hearts do not wander from Him and from the purposes he has for us. This requires of us introspection and confession.
Confession is important for first, it establishes us in relationship to God through our savior Jesus Christ; and second, it helps us to maintain that relationship as we continue on the journey of life.
My prayer for each who reads this is that they may make the “good confession” and henceforth, walk in His ways now and forever.