Confession and forgiveness
Our sins shall be confessed to God. He is the only one who can give forgiveness. John says, “But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1.9. When the Pharisees sat and listened to Jesus forgive a man his sins, they said, “Who else but God can forgive sins?” Mark.2, 7. They were right in this, for the Bible teaches us.
What they were wrong about was that they did not accept Jesus as God with the right to forgive. It is through Jesus’ great sacrifice for us that God has made the remission of sins possible for us. But when Jesus teaches us to pray the Lord’s prayer, He says we shall say, “Leave us our fault as we and forsake our debtors.” When he subsequently explains the prayer, he says: “For if you forgive men the injustice they do to you, even the Father you have in heaven will forgive you.” Matt. 6, 12.14.
This shows us that we should both confess what we have done wrong to our neighbor and expect his forgiveness. When Jacob writes about intercessing for the sick, he points out the need for the one to be prayed for to have a good conscience; And then he says: “Then confess the sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.” 5, 16. This also tells us to confess certain sins to each other. What is it that we should confess to one another?
If we have done something wrong with a fellow human being, it must be confessed to him. It is not God’s meaning that we should bring our inner life, and our sin list, to everyone else’s knowledge. On the contrary. In the same connection, when Jesus teaches the disciples to pray, he tells them to go to God “in secret.” In “the hidden” the new translation says. (Matt. 6, 6, 18) Our own privacy and their problems are a matter between God and us. He who “sees in secret” will pay us plainly. When we go to our fellow men to ask for forgiveness for the mistakes we have made against them, we must ask the Lord for heavenly wisdom to do it right and out of true humility.
We must also weigh our words so that not even the confession of sin creates more evil than the evil act itself caused. We include an author’s statement on this important subject: “He who hides his iniquities has no happiness, but he who confesses them and turning from them, finding mercy. ”The conditions for achieving mercy in God are simple, righteous, and reasonable. The Lord does not require us to do anything heavy and difficult to be forgiven. We do not need to make long, thirteenth pilgrimage trips or perform painful cures to recommend us to God in heaven or to commit our transgressions.
He who confesses his sins and abstains from them finds mercy. The Apostle says: “Then confess the sins of one another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed.” “Confess their sins to God, for only he can forgive them and confess their faults to one another.” Have you sinned against your friend or courage your neighbor, then you should admit your mistake and it is his duty to you. Then you have to ask God for forgiveness, because the brother whom you have wronged belongs to God, and if you hurt him, you sin against his creator and redeemer.
Put the matter ahead of the only true intermediary, our great high priest, “who has been tried in all the same way as we, but without sin” and who “can have compassion on us in our weakness and can cleanse us from all the spots of sin. “Those who have not humbled themselves before God and acknowledged their guilt have not yet fulfilled the first condition of being believed in God. If we have not experienced the repentance that we do not regret, and we have not confessed our sins and abhorred our injustice with true humility and with a broken spirit, we have never truly sinned. And if we have never sought, we have never found the peace of God.
The only reason we have not been forgiven of sins that we have done in the past is that we are not willing to humble our hearts and adhere to the conditions of truth. We have received clear teaching about this. Whether the confession of sin is public or private, it should come from the heart and be open and voluntary. It must not be forced on the culprit. Neither should it be rendered in a superficial and indifferent manner or be demanded of those who do not understand the real nature of sin.
When the confession expresses our innermost and deepest feelings, it finds its way to a merciful God. The psalmist says, “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and he saves those who have a broken spirit.” True confession is always of a peculiar nature and pertains to particular sins. These may be of such a nature that they should only be presented to God, or they may consist of errors that we must confess to the individual who has been wronged. They can also be of a more public nature, in which case we must confess them publicly.
But any confession must be firm and factual, so that we just admit to the sins we have made guilty of. At the time of Samuel, the Israelites departed from God. They suffered from the consequences of sin, for they had lost faith in God, the understanding of his power and wisdom to rule over the people, and the confidence that he could defend and defend his cause. They turned away from the ruler of the universe and wanted a similar rule as the peoples around them. Before they found peace, they had to proclaim this particular confession that to all their other sins they had “laid the iniquity to require a king.” They had to confess precisely the sin they were convinced of.
Their ungratefulness burdened them and separated them from God. God cannot acknowledge our confession unless it is followed by sincere repentance and repentance. There must be settled changes so that we turn away from everything that displeases God. This will be the result of true grief over sin. The part of the work that we must do is clearly stated: “Wash yourselves, cleanse you, take away your evil deeds from my eyes, stop doing evil! Learn to do good, win on what is right, show the right man the right way, help the fatherless to his right, before the widow’s case! ”
When the wicked returns a pledge, he repeats what he has robbed, so does the commandment of life so that he does not do wrong. Then he shall surely live, he shall not die. ” In view of the work of repentance, Paul says: “See what led you to leave the grief as God wills: zeal, defense, indignation, fear, longing, earnestness, and willingness to punish. In all respects you have shown that you are without fault in this matter. ”
When sin has paralyzed the moral judgment, the offender cannot detect the deficiencies in his character or realize how abominable his action is, and if he is not influenced by the convincing power of the Holy Ghost, he will continue to be partially blind to his sin. His confession is not sincere and serious. For each admission of his sin, he adds an excuse for his conduct, claiming that if certain circumstances had not occurred, he would never have done what he was reprimanded for.
After Adam and Eve had eaten from the forbidden tree, they were filled with a sense of shame and fear. Initially, they were merely thinking about how they could excuse their sin and avoid the dreaded death sentence. When the Lord asked them about their sin, Adam partially blamed God and partly on his wife, and said, “The woman whom you gave me to be with me, she gave me the tree, and I ate.” The woman owed the serpent and said, “The serpent fooled me, and I ate.” Why did you create the serpent? Why did you let it into Eden? These questions were in her excuse that she had sinned. Eve overturned responsibility for the fall over to God.
The spirit of self-righteousness originated with the father of lies and has since appeared in all of Adam’s descendants. Such confessions are not inspired by the Holy Spirit and will not be accepted by God. Sincere remorse will lead a man to bear his guilt and to admit it without resorting to hypocrisy or deception. Like the poor messenger, who did not even look up to heaven, he will shout: “God, please be merciful to me!” And those who acknowledge their guilt will be justified, for Jesus has for his own blood atoned for all repentant people.
The examples of sincere remorse and humiliation that the Word of God mentions show that they were willing to confess. There was no excuse for sin or any attempt to justify themselves. Paul did not seek to shield himself. He paints his sin in the darkest colors and tries not to make his fault less than it is. He says: “I got authority from the high priests and cast many of the Saints in prison, and if it were to execute them, I voted for.
Around the synagogues I was often punished for forcing them to mock, and in my rage I persecuted them all the way to cities abroad. “He states openly:” Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; and among them I am the greatest “. The humble, broken heart burdened by sincere repentance will understand some of God’s love and what Calvary has cost. And as a son confesses a loving father, so the repentant man will lay his sins before God. Scripture says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
From the book: “The Way to Christ” by E.G. White.