A confession is an act of meekness and, to some, humiliation. It often entails revealing what we would rather conceal and forget. What are matters that would motivate the desire to hide and forget?
These matters often cast the person in a negative light. It potentially exposes anything from embarrassing and stigmatizing shortcomings to acts of evil.
The latter may also carry elements of punishment, as confession is self-recriminating. It is no surprise to deem it inappropriate for one to say they are confessing their achievement.
The New Testament reveals the will of God concerning confession in 1Jhn1:9 and Jam5:16.
1Jhn1:9 is the confession of sins to God.
Jam5:16 is the confession of moral faults and sins to man. This man hearing the confession is not necessary the aggrieved party of the confessed sins. This post will demonstrate that confession to man is NOT to seek forgiveness as only God can forgive sins, and the reason to confess to man is very important.
The Purpose and Significance of Confessing Sins to God
1Jhn1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
If we confess our sins, Abba Yahuah is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness, according to 1Jhn1:9.
His faithfulness is operative by the faith that our confession is made possible only by His Son, the Lord Jesus, crucifixion, death, and atoning blood.
Therefore our confession of sins honors the finished work of Christ.
By this confession, we TAKE up the shield of faith, in Christ’s finished work, of Eph6, to STAND against the spiritual enemies, recruiting the heavenly host to defend our souls in this spiritual warfare.
In summary, the confession of 1Jhn1:9 has the following purpose, meaning, and significance.
1. Honors the finished work of Christ – the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and atoning blood.
2. It channels one’s faith in the Lord Jesus’ finished work to seek forgiveness from Abba Yahuah.
3. It channels one’s faith by the Lord Jesus’ finished work to fight the spiritual warfare of Eph6 by weaponizing the shield of faith into the hands of the heavenly hosts.
The Purpose and Significance of Confessing Sins to Man
Jam5:16 – “Confess your faults (in Greek, it means moral faults and sins) one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
The prayer of faith of 1Jhn1:9 is supercharged when combined with the confession to man of Jam5:16.
There is much benefit to being vulnerable to confess moral faults and sins to one another. According to Jam5:16, the benefits are –
1. There is physical healing in confessing moral faults and sins to man.
The subject of prayer and healing flowed from Jam5:14, the prayer of elders, and Jam5:15, the prayer of faith, in the Lord, of both the person needing the healing and the elder praying.
The person to whom the sin is confessed has the opportunity to save the confessor’s soul from death, as revealed in Jam5:20.
Jam5:20 – “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner (this sinner is a believer in error from the truth mentioned in Jam5:19) from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
This death is the death arising from Rom8:6 – “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
It is an honor to support the confessing brethren in their journey to return to the will of God (the truth of being spiritually minded).
Because it involves spiritual repentance, this support offered must be led by the Spirit.
2. There are answered prayers in confessing to man. But why is that the case?
Could it be that God considers confessing moral faults and sins to man as a righteous act?
The righteousness in Jam5:16 is not a noun. Meaning it is not the same as the imputation (by Grace) of the righteousness (this word is a noun), e.g., in Rom4:22.
According to Blue Letter Bible (BLB) Greek Lexicon, the righteousness of Jam5:16 is an adjective that describes the acts of righteousness.
It would appear that Jam5:16 implies that God deems the act of confessing moral faults and sins to man as a righteous act!
And this righteous act of confessing moral faults and sins has the benefit of answered prayers!
This last point of answered prayers by confessing is where the compounding positive feedback loop effect with the prayer of 1Jhn1:9 and Eph6 occurs.
Imagine this Scenario
One comes to Abba Yahuah to confess, according to 1Jhn1:9, the sin of unbelief and worship of money due to suffering a significant financial setback.
After that, this same person relates the 1Jhn1:9 confession to the spouse (spousal confession is highly recommended as there are the added benefits of honoring the marriage). God deems this confession as a righteous act that supports answered prayers, especially for bodily healing.
Then this person who made the 2 confessions of 1Jhn1:9 to God and Jam5:16 to the spouse has to deal with the consequences of the financial loss. It remains stressful to deal with the consequences.
There is an additional step before waging the spiritual warfare of Eph6 that recruits God’s resources. This person needs to experience the restoration of Heb10:22 –
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
Heb10:22’s restoration involves
1. Restoration of the assurance of the faith in Abba Yahuah by the mediating role of the Lord Jesus. This faith is clarified as follows
– in Heb10:35-38 as the reward that comes by the promise of His (Jesus) return in the 1000-year rule and
– the heavenly citizenship mentioned in Heb11:13-16.
Man can be assured as He (Jesus) suffered as a human, empathizing with compassion for the sinner as revealed in Heb2.
2. Restoration from an evil conscience. BLB renders evil as wickedness and resentment towards God and man due to injustices in life.
This restoration also includes the body being cleansed.
Remember that this restoration is made possible by the assuring faith of Jesus’ return and eternal life in God’s kingdom as revealed in the word of God, which is the pure water spoken of in Heb10:22.
The spiritual battle of faith of Eph6 can now take place with the following advantages –
1. This person has a cleansed (forgiven) conscience of all unrighteousness of 1Jhn1:9.
2. This person is honored as righteous with prayers that avail much of Jam5:16.
3. This person’s conscience and body receive cleansing restoration in the faith-power of the HOPE of His return and eternal life of Heb10:22.
For details about the spiritual battle of Eph6, see the link below.