Saturday, January 14, 2012


I admit that I am fascinated by church ads for pastors. Often I read them and end up amazed at the variety of different doctrinal belief systems fond in different denominations or even individual churches.

One church was adamant that to be saved a person DID NOT have to confess totally ignoring just a few verses like Matt 10:32; Luke 12:8; Acts 19:18; Romans 10:9; Romans 14:11; Phil 2:11; 2 Tim 2:19; James 5:16; 1 John 1:9; 1 John 4:15.

I admit that I have a hard time with this church and their misunderstanding and misapplication of Scripture to come to this conclusion.

Recently I was teaching a men’s Bible study and the subject of confessing sins after we are saved. I used 1 John 1:9 to explain how even after we have made a profession of faith and become a follower of Christ that from time to time after sinning we needed to reconnect with God the Father. That seemed to satisfy the guys at the study at least for the moment.

After our Christmas break the question came back up because one of the men had been poling a number of pastors. At least one was of the opinion that since Christ died for all of our sins past, present and future that we never had to confess again.

I was asked about it again and I gave a good answer at the time but I thought I would flesh out my answer in this blog.

I guess we need to start with: “What does the word “confess” mean in the original language?” It simply means to “say the same thing.” In other words we agree with God’s assessment that our actions and attitudes were wrong and we are agreeing with His assessment of our situation. This means we admit that we were in rebellion with God and His commands and we need to not only admit our wrong doing but we also must change our direction (this is the meaning of repentance).

The book First John was written to believers who were already followers of Christ. It to these believers that John says:
1 John 1:8-9 (NIV)
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Now could this be referring to our original confession? I don’t think so because the author goes on to say
1 John 2:1-2 (NIV)
1 My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
The fact that this is written in the present tense to believers means that believers do sin after they have come to know Christ. Our conclusion to these passages has to mean that 1 John 1:9 is referring to the present.
Additionally, James 5:13-16 tells us to confess our sins to the other believers as a way of holding each other accountable. First Corinthians chapter eleven tells us to examine ourselves so that we can correct our lives so that we will not be judged or undergo correction from the Lord.
Jesus also speaks to the need to our responsibility asking for forgiveness as we forgive others. (See the Lord’s Prayer Matthew 6:9-13) We are taught that our relationship with God and His forgiveness of our sins is predicated upon our forgiveness of others.

Matthew 6:14-15 (NIV)
14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

In the Gospel of John after the Last Supper Jesus take a basin and a towel and washes the disciples feet. When He comes to Peter after explaining why He is doing this Peter asks for Jesus to give him a complete sponge bath. Jesus tells him

John 13:10a (NIV)
10 Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean."
In the 1st century because people walked over dusty trails and streets a person needed to wash their feet upon entering a home. Think of the way many people want you to rinse your feet off prior to getting into their pool to keep extra dirt out of the pool. The implication of this teaching is that while we are cleansed from the sin of the world occasionally we need to rinse off our feet from the pollution of the world.

Trying to keeping my feet clean,

Pastor Val