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Confession and Forgivenss

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – I John 1:9  It is clear in Scripture that the Christian needs to confess sin after salvation; when he doesn’t, it brings chastening (I Cor.11:30). The Apostle Paul confessed sins he committed before he was saved (Acts 26:10, 11; I Tim.1:13). The saved Corinthians confessed sins committed after salvation (Acts 19:18).

Confession of sin is not the BASIS of salvation. Christ’s sacrifice is the BASIS of salvation (Romans 3:24-26). The believing sinner must confess CHRIST (Rom.10:9, 10) to get saved; not his sins to God or anyone else. Confession of sin to God is necessary for fellowship with God (I Cor.10:15-20; Rom.14:11; 8:13; I Cor.5:5; 3:17).

What should be confessed? The BIG ones (often more immediate and severe consequences in this world) are in Romans 1, 3; I Cor.6 and Gal.5.

Examples of SMALLER ones (sometimes less immediate severe consequences in this world) that lead to the big ones are: (1) Feeling bitter about what someone has said about you, (2) Sarcastic or unyielding spirit, (3) Complaining and griping, (4) Finding flaws and criticizing when unnoticed, (5) A deceitful and evasive spirit, (6) Unwilling to help others unless personal advantage or gain is involved and (7) A tendency to retaliate when crossed…you get the idea.

The forgiveness mentioned in I John 1 (see also Jas.5:9) is the act of pardoning somebody for a mistake or wrongdoing. In this verse, God pardons the sinning Christian of sins because he has confessed the sins. The cleansing mentioned is based on God’s promise, not your feelings.

There may be times after confession that you feel unforgiven. REASON: sometimes you must bear the EFFECTS of your sins long after you commit them (Gal.6:7).

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