Confession As the Restoration of Sanity


Why do we confess our sins? Is it in order to sustain our salvation?

We should proclaim the Son of God to the non-Christian—what are you going to do with the Son who has already died for your sins? Such a statement radically changes the message. No longer is it a question of a guilty conscience; it’s a question of ingratitude. If God should choose to pay the bills and die for us, giving us an identity found in Christ and teaching us about living the life God intended, what are we going to do with Him? The issue for the nonbeliever is, “What are you going to do with the Son who already died for your guilt and has opened the way to Heaven?”

The issue for the believer is, “Are we going to continue living in the shadows, separating ourselves from the good and loving characteristics of God the Father and not acknowledging our problems to Him?” That’s the issue for all of us as His children.

For the nonbeliever and for the believer, the real Jesus Christ, Son of God, is the satisfaction. John 1:29 illustrates this:

The next day, he (John the Baptist) sees Jesus coming to him. He says repeatedly, “Behold the Lamb of God, the One carrying away the sin of the world.”

This occurred in the wilderness. The language John used is very similar to Bible verses in the Old Testament. Leviticus 16:20-22 describes Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Once a year, on that day, all of the iniquity, or guilt of Israel, was atoned for, or covered. A goat was killed in Jerusalem, and another goat had all of the guilt of Israel pronounced over its head while the High Priest held it. Then, the goat was handed over to a man who led the living animal out into the wilderness where it was set free. The sacrificed goat was supposed to represent Christ’s death on the cross, and the other living goat represented His carrying away the sins of the entire world. Like our sins, that living goat just went off into the wilderness and disappeared.

Now why do we confess our sins? Is it in order to sustain our salvation? No, our helper, Jesus Christ the righteous, is very good at saving us until the uttermost. He does a far better job than we could ever do, and we can have confidence in Him. He’s the High Priest forever. That being the case, why do we confess sins? This is what happens when we sin—we step out of a relationship with God and over the line into darkness. Confession of sins is a restoration of sanity.

Have you ever heard the statement that we confess our sins in order to restore fellowship? Actually, that’s putting us on a much higher plateau than where we belong. When we sin and we’re not open with God about it, we go into spiritual insanity, and He wants to restore our sanity, teaching us again how to have a personal relationship with God while living the life God intended.

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