“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
The regular confession of sin is a practice that is essential to the healthy Christian soul. In many ways we could say that confession is a lot like spiritual breathing. In breathing we inhale the good oxygen our body needs and then exhale the bad carbon dioxide that would otherwise poison us. In the same way, the Christian inhales the good word of God and exhales with confession of sin. And while it’s true that confession does not in itself “remove sin” (Jesus did that once and forever for us on the cross!), nevertheless through confession we agree with Jesus that our sin is bad and that we desire to be done with it in our lives! The word translated “confess” in 1 John 1:9, in fact, means just that – “to agree with”. In confession we agree with God when he says that our sin is wrong, that it is evil, that it’s deadly, and that it must not be allowed to remain a part of our lives. We agree with God and then turn from it back to Him.
Another way confession is like breathing comes in the fact that confession is something we must do regularly. Martin Luther famously began his 95 Theses by saying, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, “Repent” (Mt 4:17), he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” How true that is! The spiritually healthy Christian’s life should be full of the regular practice of confessing and turning from sin back to Christ. That should be our lifestyle.
Not only that, but confession of sin should also be a regular part of our worship together as Christ’s church. This is something found throughout Scripture, as we will see this morning in Ezra 9, as well as in 1 John 1:8-10. It is also a practice found throughout history in the worship of the faithful church. That’s why we’ve made confession – both confession of sin and confession of God’s Truth – a regular part of our congregational worship each Sunday.
Confessing sin is good for soul as it brings us back to God!