Summary: Confession of sin is an absolute necessity to restore fellowship between God and His children. However, many confess their sins, but receive no forgiveness. The message reveals different types of confessions.


1 Samuel 15:24

A. Our text consists of three words: “I have sinned.”

1. This statement is found seven times in the Bible and they are arranged so as to cover, as nearly as possible, the whole field of sin.

2. The three sweetest words in the English language are “I love you”. The three hardest words are “I have sinned.”

B. Confession of sin is an absolute necessity to restore fellowship between God and His children.

1. Starting back to church, becoming active in church work will not satisfy God.

a. This is just a cover up.

b. Must confess that sin to God.

C. Many confess their sins to God, yet do not receive forgiveness because their confession is absent of certain marks required of God to prove the genuineness and sincerity of confession.

1. Results show that many confessions of the lost are not genuine.

2. Results show that many confessions of God’s children are insincere.

D. Let’s look at some insincere and some genuine confessions found in the Bible.


“And Pharoah sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time; the Lord is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.” (Exodus 9:27)

A. Pharoah confessed because he was scared.

1. Thunder, hail mingled with fire large enough to destroy man and beast, trees, everything it hit.

2. This kind of repentance is utterly worth less because as soon as the storm was over he forgot his promise - he refused to let them go.

3. He made the same confession the next day, when more trouble came - the locusts. 10:16

B. Pharaoh’s repentance is typical of multitudes of the same class.

1. They call for the preacher only when they get into trouble, when they can’t take care of themselves.

2. Fox-hole repentance. There are atheist in the fox-holes.

3. Repentance born in the storm will die in the calm.

C. God holds man accountable for the promises made when in trouble.

1. They are recorded in heaven, regardless of how rashly they were made.


“And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed, I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done.” (Joshua 7:20)

A. Achan knew what the consequences would be if he took anything from the city of Jericho.

1. God had forewarned them that if they took anything they would be accursed.

2. The penalty for this crime was death, so Achan and his family was taken out and stoned.

3. As he was led away he said, “I have sinned I have sinned.”

B. This is death-bed repentance.

1. Death-bed repentance is possible, but not provable.

2. One thief repented, but the other died like he lived.

3. A doctor kept record of 1000 death-bed repentances of people who recovered and only 3 turned out well.


“And Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, I have sinned. For I knew not that you stood in the way against me: now therefore, if it displease you, I will get me back again.” (Numbers 22:34)

A. God used many means to trying to stop the prophet.

1. Angel with sword, donkey’s action, donkey talking.

2. The Lord stands in the way against us many times, but we like Balaam, stubbornly ignore His warning.

B. Balaam was so worldly-minded that his repentance half-hearted.

1. He kept right on acting contrary to God’s will.

2. He tried to serve two masters - very pious at times, very worldly at other times.

3. His problem was he wouldn’t make a complete break.

a. He was a wavering person with divided interest.

b. “A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8)

c. He wanted his cake and eat it too.

d. There are millions just like him.


“And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words, because I feared the people, and obeyed not their voice.” (1 Samuel 15:24)

A. He didn’t mean what he said. He offered a lying excuse.

1. He tried to cover his sin.

2. Saul’s confession to David shows his in sincerity.

a. Many like Saul like the praise of man more than the praise of God.

b. They have not made a sincere heart confession.


A. A remorse of conscience caused him to confess his sin - he couldn’t live with himself.

1. He was motivated by worldly sorrow instead of godly sorrow

2. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” (2 Cor 7:10)

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E L Zacharias

commented on Aug 1, 2018

James, Interesting approach, combining the disparate and desperate cries of repentance. However, you miss the whole point of our salvation in Jesus our Savior. You only lay out steps for forgiveness, which could be given to Baal or Asherah or the Michelin Man. It is NOT about making a decision to do it; it is allowing the Holy Spirit to work forgiveness in your heart and trusting that your sins are forgiven by God for the sake of Jesus Christ. Any other source is empty and vain. Why drag your people into the desert without even looking for the Promised Land?

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