Why Christians need to confess

In the comments section of the Sinners or children of God?, Judah and Turgonian have been very helpful to advance some of the thinking.

The discussion has evolved into a question of why children of God need to continue to confess their sins. The answer, in short, is sanctification.

I have found a very helpful resource, a short chapter (8) of the book “God forgives sinners”, by WE Best, that takes a fairly comprehensive look at the same question.

It can be found here:

God bless.


6 responses to “Why Christians need to confess

  1. Hey August,

    Might I also recommend reading
    The Doctrine Of Repentance
    by Thomas Watson. (Link to online version). Watson outlines 6 crucial steps for true repentance.

    1. Sight of sin
    2. Sorrow for sin
    3. Confession of sin
    4. Shame for sin
    5. Hatred for sin
    6. Turning from sin

    Watson also warns of counterfeit repentance.

    “A man has gone on long in sin. At last God arrests him, shows him what desperate hazard he has run, and he is filled with anguish. Within a while the tempest of conscience is blown over, and he is quiet. Then he concludes that he is a true penitent because he has felt some bitterness in sin. Do not be deceived: this is not repentance. Ahab and Judas had some trouble of mind. It is one thing to be a terrified sinner and another to be a repenting sinner. Sense of guilt is enough to breed terror. Infusion of grace breeds repentance. If pain and trouble were sufficient to repentance, then the damned in hell should be most penitent, for they are most in anguish. Repentance depends upon a change of heart. There may be terror, yet with no change of heart.”

  2. PL, as always, valuable insights.

    The question we are wrestling with is the difference between repentance before conversion, and confessing sins as children of God. I think there is a difference, maybe not in the actions, but in the purpose.

    The passages I looked at earlier clearly distinguishes between sinners and children of God. Sinners are called wicked, and are called to repentance, i.e. the complete turning to God away from your sins. Once you have turned to God, and have been reborn, you still continue to confess your sins. “Why?” is the question I am trying to answer.

    Both Ahab and Judas, in your reference would fall under tha sinner category, not children of God. While I think that 6 steps still apply during sanctification, it does not answer what the purpose is for born-again children of God.

  3. Gotcha, but this does beg the question.

    Is there a such thing as repentance before conversion? Does not true repentance require an infusion of grace?

    I do hold that there is a difference in purpose, and that a Christian’s life is one of constant repentance as we grow from glory to glory.

  4. Lol, gotcha indeed. I misprinted that, of course repentance is caused by an infusion of grace.

    So the correct rendering should read:
    “The question we are wrestling with is the difference between repentance at the time of conversion, and confessing sins as children of God.”

    The continuous confessing of our sins is part of the humbling experience of sanctification indeed.

  5. But if you have suffered anguish over sins, in the sense Puritan Lad talked about, and you turn to Jesus for forgiveness, there’s no going back and you can have objective assurance. Right?

  6. Sure you can have objective assurance. That objective assurance comes from reading the Bible, and believing when it says:

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

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