Summary: There is a Bible principle connected to confession of sin: The confession should go as far as the injury from the sin goes.
1. Illus. of Dad fixing car
• Couldn’t afford to send mechanic work out if he could fix it.
• Worked on car all afternoon, came in dirty and greasy from one end to the other.
• Went up to my mom and said, “how about a little hug and a kiss?”
• Chased my mom all over the house, with her shrieking all the time, “you’re not going to touch me with dirty hands!”
2. There is a spiritual truth there. You cannot get close to God with dirty hands either. Sin is a sure-fire way to cut off all intimacy with a holy God.
3. That means we have a problem on our hands. You see, we are all sinners. Is there a Christian here that doesn’t struggle with sin? I didn’t think so. You know the drill. We think we’re doing pretty good, then BLAM! Sin hits us from the backside. How in the world can we expect to be intimate with a holy God?
4. John tells us that the key to dealing with our sin is confession. Word is "homologeo" and it literally means to “say the same thing.” To confess a sin is to go to God and agree with Him about that sin. We don’t try to justify or rationalize, but rather we agree with God about it that it was sin, that it is wrong, and ask Him to forgive.
5. Today: The only way to experience intimacy with God is to practice biblical confession of our sin.
6. What does the Bible tell us about confessing our sin?
I. ALL SIN SHOULD BE CONFESSED TO GOD
1. See I John 1:9. There is a principle that I’m going to refer to over and over today: confession must be made to those injured by our sin. In every case, God is an injured party when His children sin!
2. There are many different varieties of sin:
• Sins of omission (James 4:17)
• Sins of surprise or momentary weakness (Galatians 6:1)
• Presumptuous sins
• Sins of the tongue (James 3)
• Sins of the heart (Ephesians 4)
3. No matter what the variety, the result is the same: A loving Father’s heart is injured when we chose to sin! Therefore, all sin must be confessed to God.
4. Illus. of Katherine Power ( Contemporary Illus. # 88)
• College student in Boston in 1970.
• Caught up with what was left of radical 60’s politics. Decided to rob a bank to raise money for the Black Panthers.
• Something went horribly wrong, and an innocent bystander was killed.
• Fled to Oregon, where she bought the new identity of Alice Metzinger. Married, had children etc.
• 23 years later, she drove back to Boston and turned herself into the police station closest to where the crime had been committed.
• “I just couldn’t run away from what I had done any longer.”
• That’s what God wants. No running, no hiding, no deception, but to come and confess it to Him!
• Until we do, there can be no intimacy with God.
5. James 4:8
6. Do you set aside a time daily where you ask God, “show me anything in my life that is an offence to you”? Do you bring that offense before Him in confession?
II. MANY SINS SHOULD BE CONFESSED TO GOD AND THE INJURED PARTY
1. See Matthew 5:24-25
• Presupposition is that have already confessed to God- wouldn’t be coming to worship with dirty hands and heart. When they get there Spirit tells them there is something else they have to do.
2. Some sins do not just involve God and us. They also involve another party. When that is the case, after we confess our sin to God, we need to go and confess it to the person we have injured by our sin.
3. Illus. of business meeting
• A man there said many hateful, harmful things
• On way home Spirit profoundly convicted him.
• Bowed and asked God, drove over to offended party’s house and asked his forgiveness too.
4. Illus. of Tom
• A man told blatant lie about Tom. It injured Tom’s reputation with our church.
• For this man to be right, he not only had (needs) to go to God, he had (needs) to go to Tom as well.
5. Do you see the principle? All sin injures God, so we always go to Him. If our sin has also injured another, we must go to them as well and seek forgiveness.
6. Before you can have intimacy with God, many of you will need to go to spouse, coworker, former pastor, or neighbor and say, “ I have sinned against you. God has forgiven me, and now I’m asking you to forgive me!”