If you’ve been in church for any time at all you are likely familiar with the idea of confessing your sin to the Lord. What you may not know is that there is a right and a wrong way to confess sin. There are certain elements that are part of a genuine confession sin.
Base Your Confession On God’s Character And Nature. “Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions.” Psalm 51:1 (NKJV)
David basis his confession on the character and nature of God. He asks for mercy because of God’s loving kindness. He asks for his transgressions to be blotted out because of the multitude of God’s mercy. What is so important for us to see here is that David doesn’t base his request on David. He doesn’t say, “God forgive me because I’m such a good guy.” He doesn’t say, “God forgive me this time because of all the other times I didn’t blow it.” He didn’t say, “God forgive me because I am the King of Israel.” David’s basis for going to God was God’s mercy and God’s love.
One of the most important truths for us to remember is that our only basis for going to God is the character and the nature of God. In this case the mercy and love of God. This is a humbling and exciting truth. It’s humbling because I can never go to God because of who I am or what I’ve done. I never have any merit to come before God that God Himself hasn’t given me. Our only basis for going to God is His character and His nature, He is merciful and He is loving. That is a humbling thought.
At the same time, that is an exciting thought. It’s exciting because it doesn’t matter who I am or what I’ve done, I can still go to God. I don’t have to have any merit of my own to earn my way into God’s presence. I don’t have to be good enough to seek God. My basis for going to God, regardless of what I’ve done, is His character and His nature, He is merciful and He loves me. That is an exciting thought.
Take Full Responsibility For Your Sin. “For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me.” Psalm 51:3 (NKJV)
David takes full responsibility for his sin. David was guilty and he knew it. He couldn’t deny his wrongdoing any longer. He didn’t try to make any excuses for what he had done. He simply accepted full responsibility for his sin. David was saying, “I am responsible for my actions. I can’t blame anyone but myself.”
When we confess our sins we can’t blame anyone but ourselves. We have to take full responsibility that our sin was our fault.
Acknowledge That Your Sin Is Against God. “Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight– That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.” Psalm 51:4 (NKJV)
Think of all the people that were hurt because of David’s adultery. The list includes his wives, Uriah, Joab, the army of Israel, and even Bathsheba. Despite all of those he hurt, David said that his sin was against God. This is one reason sin is so serious. There is no sin you have ever committed or will ever commit that is not committed against God. The sin you commit in front of the whole world is a sin that is against God. The sin you commit in the secrecy of your home is a sin against God.
Why is it so important that we understand that our sin is against God? Look at what David said after he acknowledged his sin was against God. He understood his guilt before God. He understood that deserved to be condemned because of his sin. A hard thing for us to accept is that our sin is bad enough to condemn us . All sin makes us guilty in the eyes of God and deserving of sins wages (See Romans 6:23).
When you take all of this together, you get a really good picture of what it means to confess our sins to the Lord. But with confession is a great promise from the Lord.
“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 (NKJV)
God will forgive us for our sins when we confess our sins. Are there sins you need to confess? Do it today.