Sermons

Summary: The importance of confession, both to the unbeliver for salvation and to the believer for wholesome living.

Fess Up!

Prov.28:13: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

James 5:16: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

RECENTLY, THE NEWS MEDIA FOCUSED ON A STORY INVOLVING CONFESSION. Two men had been convicted of murder and spent 13 years in prison, even though another man had confessed to the police that he had committed the crime. The confessor died and then a Catholic priest told the media that he had heard the same confession. Upon learning of this revelation, the authorities released the two prisoners. The priest reported that when he initially heard the confession, he told the confessor to tell the police his story, which he did, but the authorities decided to ignore it because they had an eye-witness to the murder—the victim’s wife.

This story grabbed the media’s attention due to the issue of confidentiality—that protection which is legally (if not morally) the right of those who confide in doctors, lawyers, and clergymen.

However, without getting into that whole subject, I do want to address the issue of confession. Fess Up!

Prov.28:13: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

James 5:16: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”

I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

RECENTLY, THE NEWS MEDIA FOCUSED ON A STORY INVOLVING CONFESSION. Two men had been convicted of murder and spent 13 years in prison, even though another man had confessed to the police that he had committed the crime. The confessor died and then a Catholic priest told the media that he had heard the same confession. Upon learning of this revelation, the authorities released the two prisoners. The priest reported that when he initially heard the confession, he told the confessor to tell the police his story, which he did, but the authorities decided to ignore it because they had an eye-witness to the murder—the victim’s wife.

This story grabbed the media’s attention due to the issue of confidentiality—that protection which is legally (if not morally) the right of those who confide in doctors, lawyers, and clergymen.

However, without getting into that whole subject, I do want to address the issue of confession. Confession is good for the soul but murder on the ego. Joe sat at his dying wife’s bedside. Her voice was little more than a whisper. “Joe, darling,” she breathed, “I’ve got a confession to make before I go—I’m the one who took the $10,000 from your safe. I spent it on a fling with your best friend, Charles. And it was I who forced your mistress to leave the city. And I am the one who reported your income tax evasion to the government.” “Oh, that’s all right,” said Joe. “Don’t give it a second thought. I’m the one who poisoned you!”

Illus.: Four Preachers Confess

Four preachers met for a friendly gathering. During the conversation one preacher said, “Our people come to us and pour out their hears, confess certain sins and needs. Let’s do the same. Confession is good for the soul.” In due time all agree. One of them said that he had a problem with losing his temper on occasion. The second confessed to liking to smoke cigars and the third one confessed to liking golf so much that he would fake being sick so he could play on weekends.. When it came to the fourth one, he wouldn’t confess. The others pressed him saying, “Come now, we confessed ours. What is your secret or vice?” Finally he answered, “It is gossiping and I can hardly wait to get out of here.”

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE HAVE TO SAY ABOUT CONFESSION? It seems clear that the Scriptures teach that there are three categories of confession: secret, private, and public.

Secret sins should only be confessed to God.

Private sins should be confessed to the person sinned against

Public sins are those that are committed by public figures

UNCONFESSED SIN

David testified to the awful burden that unconfessed sin causes. In Psalm 32:3,4, we read, “There was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. And day and all night You hand was heavy upon me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day” (LB).

Unconfessed sin keeps us ensnared in guilt. And guilt saps us of all our strength physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

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