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The Power of Confession

01.03.2024

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Introduction

One of the most confusing and lonely seasons of my life was when I first came to know the Lord.

I felt as if I was the only Christian struggling. There was this expectation I had set for myself that as soon as I gave my life to Jesus, sin should be in the rearview mirror.

I was dealing with pride, seeking validation and affirmation from the student ministry group I was leading. I was experiencing greed, terrified of offering up my finances to the Lord while barely being able to pay rent. I was envious, scrolling for hours on Instagram and comparing myself to others. Yet, I would show up to my small group every Monday night, recite what I learned in our study from that week to my leader, and stare down at my hands as soon as prayer requests rolled around, unwilling to share the many sins seemingly taking hold of my heart. 

Have you ever put on your Christian mask and hid behind Christian jargon to distract from the fact that you’re struggling?

For me, everything changed one night when I was sitting in that very same small group. A woman I knew to be a devout Christian who led in various capacities confessed to the sexual sins she was currently struggling with. I had never witnessed such boldness and courage in admitting weakness before. Slowly but surely, women spoke up from different spots in this living room, sharing their experiences with the same sins and confessing to others.

What initially started as one woman bracing for impact, expecting judgment to be poured out from all sides, ended in a room full of compassion and confession. 

The enemy knows that shame grows in the dark. As he tends to our shame, whispering lies into the guilt that has festered in the shadows, it grows bigger and bigger. It’s time to open the door and let the light of God’s mercy pour in. Through confession, we see God’s power shine and the enemy’s true frailty. The room we once thought we were alone was filled with Him and His people the whole time.

There is power in confession. Here are three ways we can tangibly see that power in action.

1.Confession allows mercy to flood in. 

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Proverbs 28:13 

When we struggle with sin, the enemy swoops in to feed us the lie that confession will only magnify our brokenness, and he encourages us to live lives hidden away from God and people. We are misled into thinking there is a place to hide our uncleanliness from the creator of the universe.

Adam does this very thing in Genesis 3. After eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam realizes his nakedness and hides from God. In verse 9, God asks Adam where he is. Not because He doesn’t know, but because He wants to bring awareness to Adam’s attempt to hide his newfound sinful nature from God.

God knows when we are going to sin before we even sin. He is alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, and He exists outside of time. To Him, we look like children playing hide and seek behind a sheer curtain with our shoes sticking out from the bottom. He can see us fully, and is waiting for us to walk out from behind the curtain and come to Him, showing us how merciful He really is.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:16

Throughout Scripture, we see that confession is the highway to mercy, fruitfulness, faithfulness, forgiveness, and grace. When we cast light on our darkest sins, we invite in the mercy of God.

2.Confession leads to repentance.

The enemy can use confession as merely a means of excusing our sins. But confession is only the first step. While it’s a mighty and valiant step for us, it would be a miss for us to stop there.

After we confess our sins, we are called to repent. Not only does repentance help us take accountability for our actions before God, but it also reminds us of our dependence on Him. We cannot overthrow our sin without Him as our advocate and defender.

In 2 Corinthians 7, Paul writes from Macedonia to the Church in Corinth, rejoicing in the Church’s repentance. 

As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10

Paul knew that godly grief suffers no loss, but worldly grief produces death. We should feel sorrow regarding our strife with sin—that is what leads us to repentance, and repentance leads to life, which is where joy enters in. 

We can rejoice that there is no loss because Jesus Christ already died on the cross for our sins, and in Him, we have freedom from the bondage of sin. When we repent, there is a holy celebration for tides changing and hearts shifting for His glory and our good.

Confession isn’t a one-size-fits-all. As we continue to struggle with sin throughout our lives, confession may be more challenging in some seasons than others. But He is patient in His pursuit of you, gently and kindly leading you to repentance because He knows that it brings us closer to Him. And in that nearness and intimacy, the fruit of repentance begins to bud in your life.

Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.

Matthew 3:8

3.Confession invites in community. 

Another lie we may believe is that confession leads to isolation. After accepting Christ as my savior, I convinced myself that if I let people see my brokenness, they wouldn’t want to be around me. Scripture repeatedly shows us the opposite, and the woman from my bible study was the model example of how grace shown in a community of Christ’s followers can actually lead to revival.

James 5:16 says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” 

There is healing power in confessing our sins to other believers, and we’re called to stand with our brothers and sisters in the fight, carrying each other’s burdens.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2

As we pursue confession to experience healing, we can walk away with a few practical steps:

  1. Confess your sins to God and allow mercy to flood in.
  2. Kneel before Him in repentance.
  3. Seek community with believers and confess your sins to them.

Confession isn’t an action item to check off on our long to-do list for the day; it’s a catalyst for transformation and an open door for God to step through that leads to healing. 

Let’s pray.

Jesus, help us to have the strength to confess our deepest sins to you and remind us of the abundance of Your mercy. We know you are a kind, loving Father whose intent is never to shame us but to call us to more. Where condemnation tries to creep into our hearts, conviction is victorious, helping us to look more like You. Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

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Scripture References

  • Proverbs 28:13
  • 1 John 1:9
  • Hebrews 4:1
  • 2 Corinthians 7:9-10
  • 2 Peter 3:9
  • Matthew 3:8
  • James 5:16
  • Galatians 6:2
Giovanna Bovero Giovanna Bovero is the Coordinating Editor for Passion Equip. She graduated from the University of Central Florida and has a bachelor's degree in Communications. Giovanna has served at Passion City Church since 2019 and faithfully leads a young adult family group on Tuesday nights. She loves reading books, spending time with friends, and discovering new coffee shops.