- to admit that you did something wrong or illegal
- to talk about or admit something that makes you embarrassed, ashamed, etc.
- to tell (your sins) to God
Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD. – Lamentations 3:40
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. – Psalms 51:1-3
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. – Psalms 139:23-24
… that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. – Romans 10:9-10
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. – Hebrews 4:14-16
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. – James 4:8
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. – 1 John 1:5-10
- F aith
- A doration
- C ONFESSION
- T hanksgiving
- S upplication
In the Old Testament, confession is acknowledging one’s sin. In the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the Temple (2 Chronicles 6:1-7:11), he uses the expression “confess Thy name”, doubtless meaning the acknowledgment of Jehovah as the one against whom the Israelites might sin, and the justice of punishment meted out by Him. In the New Testament, the Greek word translated “confession” is homologeo, literally, to “say the same thing,” i.e., not to deny and so to admit or declare one’s self guilty of what he is accused. (New Unger’s Bible Dictionary)
Sin separates us from God. We cannot come into the presence of God clutching the putrid, carnal passions of this sin-sick world. The presence and power of God’s Holy spirit will be quenched in our lives until we confess our sin, turn away from that sin (repent), and pursue the righteousness and holiness that God demands of His children.
So to come into God’s presence, you must first and foremost confess and repent (turn away from) your sin. This is not just periodically saying ” Sorry” while continuing in those same sins. We need to agree with the Holy, righteous God that our sin is in fact repugnant. God will not, cannot just wink at our sin and look the other way. Yes, God is indeed intolerant of sin, which is appropriate. Would you tolerate a rabid animal in the backyard where your children are happily playing? Neither will God. If we will not judge our sin, He will.
So examine yourself, hear the still, small voice that convicts you of your sin, and know the godly sorrow that leads to repentance. A shallow, empty, and superficial acknowledgement of our sin, or ignoring it altogether, grieves the Holy Spirit and impedes our prayers. Prayer is simple, but serious business. Come before the throne of God appropriately, i.e., cleansed of your sin through sincere confession and repentance.