Growth Through Confession

And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. – Luke 18:13-14.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9.

It is always necessary for us to confess to God our sins, if we have sin in our lives, before further growth can occur. But before that confession can occur in a meaningful way, we must understand, and agree that we have sinned. If you remember King David’s sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11-12), you will also remember that God did confront him with his sin through the prophet Nathan. As a result of that confrontation, and David finally comprehending that he had sinned, we have his Psalm of confession, Psalm 51. David pleads, “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight…(Psalm 51:1-4).”

A friend of mine once came to me concerned about whether or not he had salvation. My friend had been in church all of his life, and said that he had given his heart to Jesus long ago. However, it seemed for several years, that at times, he would doubt his salvation. As we talked, and prayed together, I suggested that he should search his heart over the next few days to see if there might possibly be some unconfessed sin hiding in his heart. A few days later George came to me, and said that it had been revealed to him. He shared that years before, when he was working for a company, that he would use their tools after hours when he would have an opportunity to work for himself. He told me he had sent a check to his former employer, which he believed would be the cost of rental on the tools. His former employer unknown to George, then gave the same amount as a donation to George’s church.

George no longer doubts his salvation, and has moved forward with His Lord, growing more and more conformed to His image. If you have stopped growing, and your growth as a Christian has become stunted; I would encourage you to examine your heart, asking God to search your heart, and reveal to you any unconfessed sin. If you find sin that you need to confess and repent of, I would encourage you to follow the examples of King David, and my friend George. Confession and repentance is not easy, but oh how much better we feel when everything is right between us and the Lord. How much easier it is to pray, read His Word, and be around other believers when all is well in our hearts.

(Confession and repentance is not easy, but oh how much better we feel when everything is right between us and the Lord.)

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