Matt 10:32-33 Confession Is Important most realize that what is happening to America today is not the fault of the lost but of the saved. The Bible never commanded the lost to be good that a nation might be blessed but the saved to be holy that a nation might be blessed. What has changed that we have lost the blessings of God? I believe there are many things that the church has turned from in recent years, things that I believe have done us hurt. 1. We have turned from the prayer altar. 2. We have turned from reading, knowing, and obeying the Bible. 3. Some have turned from praise and worship. They merely "attend" church. 4. But perhaps the deadliest of all is our turning from confession. Too few are those who confess the things that God commands us to confess. How can a confession be compared to such important things as prayer, Bible study, and worship? Aren’t confessions just words? Maybe, but words are important. Words express emotions, convey truth, set our boundaries, build and destroy relationships. We need to understand that confession is important! I. What is confession? A. The word is used some 44 times in the Bible, 20 times in the Old Testament and 24 in the New. 1. In the Old Testament, the same word is used every time. a. In the Old Testament before forgiveness could be granted, the sinner had to "confess" his sin. Le 5:5 And it shall be, when he shall be guilty in one of these things, that he shall confess that he hath sinned in that thing: Le 16:21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel…. Le 26:40 If they shall confess their iniquity… 42 Then will I remember my covenant…. b. The Hebrew word means "to physically throw something away, to cast, to shoot, or to bemoan. c. The thought by definition was he was throwing sin away, bemoaning the fact that he kept that sin for himself to begin with. 2. In the New Testament, two words are used. a. One means to acknowledge or to agree fully with. Mt 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. (1) The emphasis is to fully agree with no reservations. (2) This word is translated differently in other passages. Lu 22:6 And he (Judas) PROMISED, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude. b. The other word means to profess, to assent, or to acknowledge a thing is so aloud. (1) Our text is an example of this word. (2) God expects us to profess who He is and not to be ashamed of Him B. So from the words used for confess, I would say: 1. It means to mourn and throw something away. 2. It means to agree without reservation. 3. It means to acknowledge publicly. II. Bearing these thoughts in mind, I believe confession is important. A. As human beings, it is important that we confess some things to ourselves. 1. We need to confess they have sinned to ourselves. a. Three times God gave Adam and Eve an opportunity to confess their sin to Him… (1) \\#Ge 3:9\\ "Where art thou?" (2) \\#Ge 3:11\\ "Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree where I commanded thee?" (3) \\#Ge 3:13\\ "What hast thou done?" b. But they would not for they had not admitted it to themselves that they had sinned. (1) To Adam it was Eve’s fault. (2) To Eve it was the serpent’s fault. c. And here is one of the roots of man’s push against God. (1) He simply will not acknowledge sin as sin! (2) He will explain it, excuse it, justify it, re- name it, and as of the last few years, even legalize it. (3) One of the first steps to salvation is to acknowledge to yourself that you are a sinner! 2. Then we need to carry this thought a bit further. a. We need to confess to ourselves that we have been wrong about other things. b. Sinfulness is not just a problem between us and God. (1) It also a problem between us and others! (2) We don’t normally say we have sinned against people. (3) We say we have WRONG them or done WRONG. (4) However, just like some people cannot confess that they have sinned, some cannot confess they were wrong either! c. This is NOT a new condition. (1) One of the first examples I see is in Genesis. Genesis 4:23 And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. 24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold. (2) It is strange that there was a young man in a ditch dead somewhere but Lamech is speaking about how HE is WOUNDED and HURT! (3) Some people have never learned to say that they have sinned. (4) It is hard for this type of a person to get saved for you cannot be saved without acknowledging your sinfulness. d. The first step to having relationships with people and to fixing your problems is to confess that you are wrong! B. As lost people, it is important for us to confess some things to God. 1. We need to confess to God that we have sinned. Jos 7:19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. Lu 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, Lu 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. a. I have already said we need to confess to OURSELVES that we have sinned but that is not where it ends, "it" being salvation. (1) That is where "it" begins. (2) Once we see ourselves as God sees us, it is time for us to have a heart-to heart with Him! b. If you are lost, God is not interested in you trying to name all of your sins. (1) He already knows the full list. (2) You have no idea how many there are. c. He wants you to confess to Him that you are a sinner, unworthy of salvation. d. This is not salvation but it moves us closer to it. 2. We need to confess that Jesus is God the Savior, come in the flesh. a. This would be third confession on the road to salvation. b. John makes much of this in His epistles. 1Jo 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 1Jo 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that ACKNOWLEDGETH the Son hath the Father also. 1Jo 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 2Jo 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist. c. Confessing that Jesus is who He said He was is still not salvation, but it is one of the early steps to salvation. 3. We need to confess Jesus as our Savior and our Lord. a. This would be the fourth and final step to salvation. Ro 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. b. Notice that sinners are not just to confess Jesus as Savior, but as Lord also. c. That does not mean that they will be sinless. It means that they surrender. d. This is the equivalent of repentance. It is a sinner turning over control of his life to HIS Lord and Savior. C. As saved people, it is important that we confess our sins. 1. Whereas confession is essential for the lost be saved, it has no bearing on the salvation of the saved. That is, one does not lose his salvation because he does not confess his sins. 2. However, it is important to the saved person’s fellowship with God. Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Ps 38:18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. Ps 51:3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. 3. As the sinner and saved confess their sins for different purposes, so they confess them in a different manner. 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. a. As God convicts us of sin, we need to acknowledge that sin as sin. b. In other words, we actually do confess our individual sins to God, agree with Him that the act was sin, and ask God to forgive us. c. Someone asks, "What if I don’t remember them?" (1) Then you are waiting too long to repent of them! (2) Repentance for a Christian is not to come when we have grown tired of our sin and are ready to let it go, but when God tells us it is sin! D. As saved people, it is important that we confess to those we have sinned against our sins. 1. There are many reasons for this. a. One is for our testimony’s sake. (1) When we sin against others and we know it, they likely will too! (2) I read the story of a pastor who preached on this topic and after a young man in the church came forward and told the pastor that he was under conviction for stealing from his boss but had witnessed to him and could not confess his sin to him or he would be judged a hypocrite. The matter when on for a several days until the man came back and told the pastor the matter was settled. "How so?" the pastor inquired. "I told my boss what I had been doing, offered to repay him, and now I have peace." The pastor asked, "And how did your boss respond?" The young man told him, He looked queerly at me, then exclaimed, ‘I always did think you were just a hypocrite, but now I begin to feel there’s something in this Christianity after all. Any religion that would make a dishonest workman come back and confess that he had been stealing and offer to settle for it, must be worth having.’" http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/c/confession.htm b. But I believe it is also for our well being. Psalm 32:3 When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 2. The bottom line is that sin cannot be hid. a. God has promised to expose it. Luke 12:2 For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. b. True story: In 1884 Grover Cleveland was running against James G. Blaine for the presidency of the U.S. Blaine supporters discovered that Cleveland, who was a bachelor at the time, had fathered a son by Mrs. Maria Crofts Halpin. Subsequently, they tried to pin an immorality tag on Cleveland by distributing handbills on the topic and creating chants to expose him. The move, however, backfired badly. Rather than deny the story, Cleveland decided to tell the truth and admit the intimacy. This candor helped defuse the issue, and Cleveland was elected president. http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/c/confession.htm E. As saved people, it is important that we confess our Savior to others. (That takes us back to our text.) Psalms 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy; 1. When the German army moved across France in the Franco-Prussian War, they passed through many villages. One of these villages went out to resist the Germans but they had only the megerest of weapons. One woman was seen heading down the road with nothing but her crutch. "Go back," one shouted at her. "They will think you mad!" "I don’t care!" she shouted swinging her crutch in the air. "I want them to know whose side I am on!" 2. How can I make public what I believe? a. If you have the ability to speak, speak. b. Writing letters c. Carrying your Bible d. Saying grace at the table e. Being baptized f. Distributing tracts. Confession is IMPORTANT!
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