Today I was driving with my wife and she said, “They need to confess so that they can be forgiven.” I agreed with her, then realized, that’s not what the Bible says.
The Bible teaches that all sin has been paid for by Jesus’ blood. So, what does it matter if we confess?
James 5:16 says,
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed…
Forgiveness of sin is already taken care of, you just need to accept it from Christ. But if you are ever going to be healed from your sin, you need to confess.
We tend to get the idea in our head that sin is bad, it needs to be forgiven, and that’s it. But sin is worse than that.
Sin destroys. Sin destroys every time.
When you sin, it breaks a little something in your life. Usually it’s small enough that you don’t notice it, but that break still happens. After a while, you’ve sinned enough that you are broken to the point that there’s no way to put yourself back together.
You can be forgiven of this sin, but you are still broken. According to James, to be healed you need to confess that sin and have someone pray for you.
If you’re Catholic or Orthodox, then you’ve got it easy. Go to confession. Done. But if you’re not, then were do you go to confess?
If it’s a sin that is only against yourself and God, confess to God. If it’s a secret sin that will continue without accountability, confess to a leader in your life and be accountable to them. If the sin is against a person, confess to them and a leader. If it’s against a group, confess to that group and the leadership. If it’s against the whole church, or against the whole world, confess to the congregation.
Your sins need to be paid for to get to heaven, but your sin does more than just keep you out of heaven. Sin destroys, and you can’t be healed without confession.