Scripture Reading:
Prov. 28:13; Psa. 19:12

“He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”(Proverbs 28:13)
the importance of dealing with sins

In one young people's conference we saw that the young people only received help when they brought out what was hidden inside them. Then, without anything artificial and without the "cloak" of being spiritual, which is common among young Christians that are not in fellowship with the Lord, they exposed their real situation. They confessed that they were not reading the Bible, that they only prayed at night or only when they remembered. Because they opened themselves so much to the Lord, they had a very positive reaction toward God. They said, "Lord, I want to change. I don't want to wear a disguise of spirituality or live an artificial life. Lord, I want my life to be recovered." Actually, all the children of God who want to have a genuine Christian living need to have the same mind: we always need to "converse" with our heavenly Father, opening our heart to Him and listening to His speaking.

In this matter of dealing with our sins, the most important thing is to intensify our fellowship with God. Through fellowship we are able to identify the sins we commit related to God and man. The second step is to confess and forsake the abnormal situation that God shows us. Proverbs 28:13 says, "He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy." If we cover our sins we may struggle and strive, but we will never prosper. However, if we confess them, we will obtain mercy. Therefore, in order to deal with our sins, the first point is to have fellowship with God, the second is to confess the sins that have been exposed in fellowship, and the third is to forsake them. It is not merely a matter of asking God to forgive you for doing something you didn't know you did, but to confess what you saw in the light of God's presence in order to receive His forgiveness and cleansing. You are conscious that God has enlightened you. This is different from simply saying, "Lord, forgive all my sins." Forgive what? First John 1:9 shows us clearly that confession is the condition for us to receive cleansing.

There are also some sins which we do not become conscious of through our fellowship with God, but rather through reading the word, having fellowship with other saints, or through the testimony of someone confessing, who has sinned in a similar way. Although these situations are not sufficient reason to deal with our sins (it may be that we do not feel uncomfortable in our fellowship with God nor do we lack peace), even so, it is good to go before God and confess: "Lord, I heard the testimony of that brother. He confessed that he sinned in that situation and I did the same thing, but I don't feel I have sinned. Lord Jesus, is it because I didn't realized I was sinning because my conscience is seared? Lord, I want You to show me. If I sinned, Lord, I ask You to forgive me." What we see as being sin, while in fellowship with God, this we confess in order to receive His forgiveness. The sins we commit, which we have become conscious of through other means, we also bring before God in order to see if we have really sinned or if we have been insensitive to the enlightening of our conscience.

Psalm 19:12 says, "Who can discern his errors? Clear me of my secret faults." In this psalm we see that there are sins which are hidden. They are sins that we cannot see in our fellowship with God and about which we have not been told through the Bible or through fellowship with other saints. We should ask God's forgiveness for the things that we have not realized as being wrong. We should not make this an obligation. Rather, as the psalmist felt when he expressed in his prayer that he was conscious that, because he was human, he made mistakes without knowing it, we can pray, "Lord, forgive me for the faults that are still hidden from me."

Whenever we confess our sins, dealing with the impurities within us, God has to make us vessels of honor, sanctified and useful in His hands. Through the blood of Jesus His Son, He cleanses us of all our sins and satisfies the demands of God's righteousness. First John tells us that whenever we confess our sins "He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Because He is faithful and righteous, when we confess our sins, God has to forgive us. Many times we do not have confidence in this statement because we do not know the value God places on the blood of Jesus His Son. The blood of Jesus satisfies the demands of God's righteousness. To God, the blood of His Son is sufficient; we only need to confess!

We can all be vessels unto honor! All we need to do is deal with the mistakes we make. If we sin against God, and others are not aware of it, we simple confess it to Him. If we did something against a brother and he knows it, in addition to confessing to God, we must go to the brother and confess to him. This deals with the barrier between us. If we sin by offending all the saints and they are all conscious of what we did, that is, if our sin was exposed publicly, then the principle is the same: we must confess to God and we must also confess publicly to all the saints who were involved. The important thing is to deal with our sins and be cleansed from our errors because then we will become vessels of honor.

Key Point:
To whom should we confess in what situations?