Joseph Prince’s no-confession of sin teaching is a scam, as revealed by 70 eminent Bible teachers & Christian leaders:

 

John Calvin, John Wesley, Arthur Pink, DL Moody, JI Packer, Watchman Nee, Walter Kaiser, Martin Luther, Gordon Fee, Warren Wiersbe,

 

AW Tozer, Jack Hayford, Paul Washer, Charles Swindoll, Reinhard Bonnke, Charles Spurgeon, James Hudson Taylor, G Campbell Morgan, Billy Graham, Charles Finney,

 

George Whitefield, Francis A Shaeffer, John F Walvoord, Roy B Zuck, Andrew Murray, James Montgomery Boice, John Warwick Montgomery, Jonathan Edwards, David Brainerd,

 

Ben Witherington III, Bill Bright, DA Carson, Eugene H Peterson, Jack Deere, Lee Strobel, Charles Colson, Stuart Briscoe, Charles Hodge, Dallas Willard,

 

Dick Eastman, George Mueller, J Dwight Pentecost, John MacArthur, Herbert Lockyer, J Sidlow Baxter, Michael Brown, Jerry Bridges, Mike Bickle, Kevin DeYoung,

 

Ray C Stedman, John Ortberg, Neil T Anderson, Oswald Chambers, RA Torrey, Nicky Gumbel, Philip Yancey, Randy Alcorn, Michael Horton, Robert Murray M’cheyne,

 

Scot Mcknight, Steve Lawson, Tim Keller, John Stott, Derek Prince, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Piper, RC Sproul, Zac Poonen and David Pawson.

 

– By Rev George Ong (Dated 18 Sep 2023)

 

Part 1 & Part 2

 

This is Part 1.

 

Part 2 will probably be featured at the beginning of next week.

 

70 Vs One!

 

What’s the score?

 

It’s 70 against one – the Lone Ranger, Joseph Prince.

 

What’s the issue?

 

In his sermons and writings,

 

Joseph Prince teaches that confession of sins in 1 John 1:9

 

wasn’t written to believers but unbelievers.

 

Prince further said that when you sin,

 

and if you confess those sins,

 

you are insulting God.

 

What about the opinions of the 70 men of God?

 

All 70 hold to the view that 1 John 1:9 was written to believers

 

and that the doctrine of confession of sins for believers

 

is entirely biblical.  

 

Remember, these 70 are no fly-by-night Bible teachers, writers and leaders.

 

They have been proven in their ministries.

 

If these 70 men of God are right,

 

then Joseph Prince is wrong.

 

If Joseph Prince is right,

 

then all 70 of these men are wrong!

 

Only a fool would dare to say that all 70 are wrong

 

and Joseph Prince is right.

 

If all 70 men are wrong,

 

then Joseph Prince must be the brainiest

 

and most accomplished theologians of all time,

 

beating all 70 hands down.

 

But this cannot be

 

as I will prove to you in the next article

 

that Joseph Prince can’t even get the context right

 

for a text that he preached yesterday on 17 Sep 2023

 

at New Creation Church.

 

Yet, despite this, Joseph Prince would not admit defeat.

 

He would still insist that he is right.

 

This is arrogance of the highest order!

 

Well, let’s see if Joseph Prince would again invoke

 

the majority-is-not-always-right argument

 

in his next sermon.

 

(This article was also sent to Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian, General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) office, and for the attention of the Executive Committee Members.)

 

Please click here

 

to view the entire video.

 

In a weekly Sunday sermon aired on YouTube

 

on 10 Sep 2023, 2 Sundays ago, Joseph Prince said;

 

Please click here to view the 2-minute video:

 

“But the moment you talk about her baby,

 

straightaway, there’s a rapport’;

 

there is a heart communion with her.

 

Her eyes light up.

 

Though she’s tired,

 

she starts talking about how beautiful and wonderful the baby is.

 

How cute the baby is.

 

Now you found a place of communion.

 

You are both communing.

 

You are both fellowshipping

 

over a common object, the baby.

 

How to have communion with God?

 

I used to think that the way to have communion with God…

 

One guy says you must confess every sin that you have.

 

So, I went to the seminar,

 

I confessed every sin that I have,

 

and there’s a list, you know.

 

Yes. You have sinned.

 

So, I confessed my sin,

 

every sin you can imagine.

 

Alright, there was a list.

 

I kid you not.

 

And this seminar was actually in Singapore many years ago.

 

And I confess everything

 

so that I can have this pious feeling,

 

this feeling of nearness to God.

 

And I felt that that was communion with God.

 

How wrong was I,

 

until the Holy Spirit open my eyes;

 

to have communion with someone,

 

is both of you are communing or fellowshipping

 

over a common object.”

 

George Ong’s comments:

 

Joseph Prince’s argument is so sentimentally put forward

 

– that just because we have a common object to commune with God,

 

we don’t have to worry about confessing any sin

 

or any wrongdoing that we have done against Him.

 

To Prince, a common object

 

is all that’s required for communion with God

 

– and God will, somehow, magically, overlook all your sins

 

even though they have been committed against Him.

 

What a feel-good theology!

 

Which carnal person doesn’t want such a feel-good theology?

 

Have you noticed that almost all of Joseph Prince’s Grace theology

 

is to make you feel good.  

 

No wonder droves of carnal people are swept into his fold.

 

These people have been deceived by Joseph Prince

 

that he is preaching wonderful truths in the Bible,

 

when he isn’t.

 

Multitudes of undiscerning people

 

have been taken up

 

by such too-good-to-be-true grace doctrines.

 

The truth is when something is too-good-to-be-true

 

chances are, it isn’t.

 

George Ong’s comments:

 

Joseph Prince said:

 

“And I confess everything

 

so that I can have this pious feeling,

 

this feeling of nearness to God.”

 

Since when did the Bible tell us

 

that we are to confess our sins

 

so that I can have this pious feeling,’

 

as Joseph Prince has put forward?

 

This guy, Joe, has again daringly added to God’s word.

 

God’s word in 1 John 1:9 plainly says

 

that we are to confess our sins

 

so as to get forgiven by God.

 

George Ong’s comments:

 

Joseph Prince said:

 

“How wrong was I,

 

until the Holy Spirit open my eyes;

 

to have communion with someone,

 

is both of you are communing or fellowshipping

 

over a common object.”

 

Friends, it is so obvious

 

that it is not the Holy Spirit

 

that has so-called opened his eyes,

 

but an evil spirit

 

that had given him this unholy thought.

 

The obvious reason is that

 

the Holy Spirit will never contradict

 

what is revealed in God’s word.

 

as the confession of sins is clearly taught in 1 John 1:9.

 

In a sermon, Zac Poonen said;

 

Please click here to view the 1-minute video:

 

“Verse 9 (1 Jn 1:9),

 

‘If we confess our sins,

 

He is faithful and righteous to forgive us

 

and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’

 

One little point here:

 

to whom should we confess our sin?

 

Very important because there is a lot of false teaching on this,

 

particularly in cultist groups that try to control you

 

by saying confess your sins in public.

 

I’ve heard of groups, Christian groups, born again people,

 

where people are told to confess all their sins in public

 

which they committed way back from their earliest memory.

 

This is of the devil. It’s not of God.

 

Sin must be confessed in a circle

 

in which it was committed.

 

For example, if I have a dirty thought,

 

who is in that circle?

 

Only God.

 

You don’t know about it.

 

So, I confess only to God.

 

If I slap you, there are 2 people in that circle:

 

God and you.

 

I confess to you and I confess to God.

 

Sin which is committed only against God,

 

you confess only to God.

 

Sin which is committed against God

 

plus x number of people,

 

we confess to God and those x number of people.

 

That’s all.”

 

In a sermon, RC Sproul said;

 

Please click here to view the 1-and-a-half-minute video:

 

“It certainly requires confession.

 

God willing, I’m going to talk about that tomorrow too,

 

about what repentance means.

 

That repentance does not mean simply,

 

I’ll say it now and I’ll say it again tomorrow, God willing,

 

a resolve to change and behave differently

 

in the future from what I do today.

 

I don’t believe that I need to confess

 

every one of my sins of my childhood,

 

or at any time to everybody in the world,

 

or to all of the people in my family.

 

Ultimately, my sin is against God.

 

And what repentance does require, always requires

 

is confession of our sin before God,

 

and confession, not only confession,

 

but confession

 

accompanied by contrition, real remorse. 

 

But yes, we have to confess,

 

and with that confession, comes a real godly sorrow,

 

not just a fear of punishment, what we call ‘attrition’,

 

but a broken and a contrite heart God doesn’t despise,

 

but He desires it as the reality of our repentance.”  

 

In a sermon, John Piper said;

 

Please click here to view the 3-minute video:

 

“The Bible teaches that there are traits that God’s people have

 

that show they are in fact God’s people,

 

and do truly belong to Christ,

 

truly born again, truly have union with Jesus.

 

These traits are how we can know

 

that our sins were fully paid for

 

and our forgiveness fully secured

 

by the death of Jesus.

 

And one of those traits

 

is how we deal with ongoing sinning in our lives.

 

And this is the complicating issue.

 

Christians sin. 1 John 1:8,

 

that’s what John is dealing with.

 

1 John 1:8 says,

 

‘If we say we have no sin,

 

we deceive ourselves.’

 

So, the question becomes,

 

‘Well, if you are a true child of God;

 

if your sins are truly and fully paid for, covered, cancelled,

 

what would you feel,

 

what would your thoughts and actions be

 

toward your ongoing sinning?

 

What trait would mark you?’

 

And here are two biblical answers.

 

Colossians 3:3:

 

‘You have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.’

 

That’s it.

 

That’s a description of wonderful completed salvation.

 

We’re all already home.

 

Next verse:

 

‘Put to death therefore what is earthly in you, sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires.’

 

So, one trait of those whose sins are fully paid for

 

is that we make war on our sinning.

 

That’s the mark of those whose sins are fully cancelled.

 

We make war on our sinning.

 

We put them to death.

 

But you can’t do that if you don’t admit,

 

that is, confess that you have any.

 

So, the second trait, 1 John 1:9,

 

is confession.

 

If we confess our sins,

 

which you have to do in order to make war on them;

 

if you don’t think you have any;

 

if you are not confessing,

 

‘Yes, I have sinned, I’m sorry.’

 

If you don’t confess that,

 

you won’t make war.

 

If we confess our sins,

 

He’s faithful and just to forgive our sins.

 

So, confessing our sin

 

is the agreement with God that we have sinned,

 

and it must be fought and killed.

 

If we don’t confess this truth, we’re living,

 

John says, in an illusion.

 

We’re lying.

 

We’re deceived and calling God a deceiver,

 

and we’re not saved.

 

If we’re living in the illusion that we have no sin,

 

and that it doesn’t need to be killed,

 

we’re living in an illusion,

 

not in salvation.

 

So, confession of sin is not the basis of our forgiveness.

 

It is one of the traits that show we are truly in Christ

 

where all our sins are covered by His blood.”       

 

George Ong’s comments:

 

In the last part of what John Piper said,

 

he clearly stated that if we don’t confess our sins,

 

we’re lying and we’re calling God a deceiver, 

 

and the worst part is that we aren’t saved.

 

Piper further added that the confession of sin

 

 is one of the traits that proves we are truly in Christ.

 

This means that Joseph Prince

 

who teaches against the confession of sin

 

is lying, making God a deceiver

 

and isn’t saved to begin with.

 

In a sermon, David Pawson said;

 

Please click here to view the 30-second video:

 

“But a general confession,

 

when I hear it; I look at the congregation

 

when they’re confessing their sins,

 

and I wonder,

 

‘Are you thinking of anything you’ve done

 

or anything you’ve not done,

 

or are you just signing a blank cheque?’

 

You see, I’m going to show you that repentance (or confession)

 

is always repentance (or confession) of particular sins.

 

You can’t repent (or confession) of general sins.

 

You can only repent (or confess) of this, and this, and this.” 

 

In ‘The John Calvin Collection, 12 Classic Works,’

 

John Calvin wrote:

 

“It is not always necessary, however,

 

openly to inform others,

 

and make them the witnesses of our repentance;

 

but to confess privately to God

 

is a part of true repentance

 

which cannot be omitted.

 

Nothing were more incongruous

 

than that God should pardon the sins

 

in which we are flattering ourselves,

 

and hypocritically cloaking

 

that he may not bring them to light.

 

We must not only confess the sins

 

which we daily commit,

 

but more grievous lapses ought to carry us farther,

 

and bring to our remembrance things

 

which seemed to have been long ago buried.

 

Of this, David sets an example

 

before us in his own person. (Ps. 51.)

 

Filled with shame for a recent crime, he examines himself,

 

going back to the womb,

 

and acknowledging that

 

even then, he was corrupted and defiled.”

 

In ‘The John Calvin Collection, 12 Classic Works,’

 

John Calvin wrote:

 

“Other examples everywhere occur in Scripture:

 

the quotation of them would almost fill a volume.

 

“If we confess our sins,” says John,

 

“he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,” (1 John 1: 9.)

 

To whom are we to confess?

 

to Him surely;

 

– that is, we are to fall down before him

 

with a grieved and humbled heart,

 

and sincerely accusing and condemning ourselves,

 

seek forgiveness of his goodness and mercy.”

 

In ‘Walking the Path of Prayer,’

 

Jack Hayford wrote:

 

“See it, dear one. Forgiving faith goes both ways:

 

We must confess our own violations against God,

 

and we must forgive others

 

who we believe have violated us.

 

… Notice that by emphasizing our need for forgiveness of sin,

 

Jesus is not shaking a stick of condemnation in our faces.

 

The fact of our guilt is not the issue.

 

The real problem is that we need to be taught to pray for forgiveness.

 

We are all people bent from God’s original design and purpose.

 

Not one of us is flawless;

 

no one is without selfishness and pride.

 

Sin is an inherited inclination in us all,

 

and it needs to be forgiven.

 

The call to pray this prayer

 

is the promise that it will be answered.

 

We need to pray, “Forgive me, Father,”

 

and we need to pray it often.

 

The Lord’s Prayer, however,

 

is not meant to level a focus on guilt

 

but rather on grace.

 

Jesus taught us to pray for forgiveness on a regular basis,

 

not to remind us of our sinfulness,

 

but to keep us from becoming sloppy in our ideas

 

about the grace of God.

 

We often distort God’s grace

 

and give in to the deception

 

that we can do anything we want

 

as long as God’s grace encompasses us.

 

But in Romans 6:1–2,

 

the apostle Paul demands pointedly,

 

“What shall we say then?

Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?

Certainly not!

How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

 

In calling us to pray, “Forgive us our trespasses,”

 

Jesus is not seeking to remind us of our failures;

 

but He does want to sensitize us to sin

 

and to the fact that sin hinders our growth in Him.

 

God’s forgiveness

 

is graciously offered and abundantly available.

 

In the Scriptures He extends a warm invitation to us

 

to receive pardon, cleansing and release:

 

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12), “He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities” (Micah 7:19),

 

and

 

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

 

Forgiveness can be counted on.

 

The condition, confession, is presented clearly,

 

and the availability is promised:

 

We can depend on Him to forgive us.”

 

In ‘An Exposition of Hebrews, Faithful Classic, by A. W. Pink,’

 

Arthur Pink wrote:

 

“When a professing Christian

 

ceases to maintain a daily repentance

 

and confession to God of all known sins,

 

his conscience is already asleep

 

and no longer responsive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.

 

If over and above this,

 

he comes before God as a worshipper,

 

to praise and thank Him for mercies received,

 

he is but dissembling and mocking Him.

 

If he continues in a state of impenitence,

 

thus allowing and siding with the sin into which at first,

 

he was unwittingly and unwillingly betrayed,

 

his heart will be so hardened

 

that he will commit new sins deliberately,

 

against light and knowledge,

 

and that with a high hand,

 

and thus, be guilty of presumptuous sins,

 

of openly defying God.

 

The terrible thing is that in these degenerate times

 

the consciences of thousands

 

have been drugged by preachers

 

(whom it is greatly to be feared

 

are themselves spiritually dead,

 

and helping forward the work of Satan)

 

that have presented

 

“the eternal security of the saints”

 

in such an unscriptural way,

 

as to convey to their poor hearers

 

the impression that,

 

provided they once

 

“accepted Christ as their personal Savior”

 

Heaven is now their certain portion,

 

that guilt can nevermore rest upon them,

 

and that no matter what sins they may commit

 

nothing can possibly jeopardize their eternal interests.

 

The consequence has been

 

– and this is no imaginary fear of ours,

 

but a patent fact of observation on every side

 

– that a carnal security has been imparted,

 

so that in the midst of fleshly gratification

 

and worldly living it is, humanly speaking,

 

quite impossible to disturb their false peace

 

or terrify their conscience.

 

All around us are professing Christians

 

sinning with a high hand against God,

 

and yet suffering from no qualms of conscience.

 

And why?

 

Because while they believe that

 

some “millennial crown” or “reward”

 

may be forfeited should they fail to deny self

 

and daily take up their cross and follow Christ,

 

yet they have not the slightest realization or fear

 

that they are hastening to Hell

 

as swiftly as time wings its flight.

 

They fondly imagine that the blood of Christ

 

covers all their sins.

 

Horrible blasphemy!

 

Dear reader, make no mistake upon this point,

 

and suffer no false prophet

 

to cause you to believe the contrary,

 

the blood of Christ covers no sins

 

that have not been truly repented of

 

and confessed to God with a broken heart.

 

But presumptuous sins are not easily repented of,

 

for they harden the heart

 

and make it steel itself against God.

 

In proof note,

 

“But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent” (Zech. 7:11, 12).

 

Rightly then does Thomas Scott say on Hebrews 10:26,

 

“We cannot too awfully alarm the secure, self-confident, and presumptuous, as every deliberate sin against light and conscience, is a step towards the tremendous precipice described by the apostle.”

 

Alas, alas, Satan has, through the “Bible teachers”

 

done his work so well that,

 

unless the Holy Spirit performs a miracle,

 

it is impossible to “alarm” such.

 

The great masses of professing Christians of our day

 

regard God Himself much

 

as they would an indulgent old man in his dotage,

 

who so loves his grandchildren

 

as to be blind to all their faults.

 

The ineffably holy God of Scripture is no longer believed in:

 

but multitudes will yet find, to their eternal sorrow,

 

that it is “a fearful thing” to fall into His hands (Heb 10:31).

 

We make no apology for this lengthy introduction,

 

for our aim is not so much to write a commentary on this Epistle,

 

as it is to reach the consciences and hearts

 

of poor, misguided, and deluded souls,

 

who have been fearfully deceived

 

by the very men whom they have regarded

 

as the champions of orthodoxy.”

 

George Ong’s comments:

 

Arthur Pink wrote:

 

“When a professing Christian

 

ceases to maintain a daily repentance

 

and confession to God of all known sins,

 

his conscience is already asleep

 

and no longer responsive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Yet, Joseph Prince has strongly implied in the sermon

 

that it was the Holy Spirit

 

that has revealed to him that in our communion with God,

 

there is no need to confess our sins.

 

(Anyway, that is his teaching

 

that can be gleaned from his books and his other sermons.)

 

As I have written, it is not the Holy Spirit

 

but a demonic spirit that has come over him,

 

as the Holy Spirit can never speak against

 

what is revealed in God’s Holy word. 

 

George Ong’s comments:

 

Arthur Pink wrote:

 

“If over and above this,

 

he comes before God as a worshipper,

 

to praise and thank Him for mercies received,

 

he is but dissembling and mocking Him.”

 

Joseph Prince, by communing with God

 

despite not dealing with his sins,

 

is indeed mocking God.

 

In ‘An Exposition of Hebrews, Faithful Classic, by A. W. Pink,’

 

Arthur Pink wrote:

 

“He that covereth his sins

 

shall not prosper:

 

but whoso confesseth and forsaketh

 

them shall have mercy” (Prov. 28:13):

 

this holds good in every dispensation.

 

… Yet, notwithstanding,

 

the fact remains that Christians ought not only once a year,

 

but every day, call to remembrance

 

and penitently confess the same,

 

yea, our Lord Himself has taught us to pray every day

 

for the pardon of our sins: Luke 11:3, 4.”

 

In ‘1 John 1:1 – 3:1, An Exposition of the First Epistle of John, by Arthur W. Pink (1886-1952),’

 

Arthur Pink wrote:

 

“Confession is not optional but obligatory, a necessary thing.

 

First, that God Himself may be honoured (Jos 7:19).

 

Non-confession is a virtual and practical disowning of His rectoral office

 

– “he confessed and denied not” (John 1:20).

 

Second, that God may be obeyed.

 

He has appointed that His children

 

should daily acknowledge their sins

 

and ask for His forgiveness (Luke 11:4).

 

… All through Scripture pardon

 

presupposes confession

 

(Lev 26:40; 1Ki 8:33; Jer 3:12-13; Luk 15:18).

 

Nowhere is there a promise of forgiveness

 

unless acknowledgment of sin is made.

 

… Third, that we may be affected and afflicted by our offences in a due manner,

 

for genuine confession is an expression of hatred of sin and grief for it.

 

Failure at this point is a bar to our advancement:

 

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper” (Pro 28:13).

 

Fourth, in order to the maintenance

 

of our communion with the Holy One.

 

“Only on the footing of sin daily confessed and pardoned

 

can there be any fellowship between us and God

 

this side of heaven” (Charles Spurgeon).

 

Confession of sin is both the consequent

 

and the condition of fellowship with God,

 

as also is walking in the light.

 

Communion with God

 

produced frank and honest dealings with Him,

 

bringing things out into the open.

 

Such a one not only walks in the light,

 

but he owns whatever in him is opposed unto the light.

 

Yet, it is much more than a bare admission

 

that he has sin (in contrast with verse 8):

 

it is the acknowledgment

 

of individual and specific sins

 

which is the form that confession must ever take

 

if it is to be real and valid.

 

A merely general acknowledgment

 

soon degenerates into an empty phrase.

 

The God of truth will tolerate no pretence.

 

The flesh would have us gloss over things

 

and call them by a pleasanter name than “sins,”

 

but close dealing with God purges the spirit of guile.

 

In the light, things are seen in their true colours;

 

contact with God convicts of what is contrary to His holiness,

 

and that leads to a contrite confession.”

 

George Ong’s comments:

 

Charles Spurgeon said:

 

“Only on the footing of sin daily confessed and pardoned

 

can there be any fellowship between us and God

 

this side of heaven.”

 

Yet, Joseph Prince can wildly presume

 

that communion with God

 

won’t be affected by our unconfessed sin

 

as long as there is a common object

 

in our communing with God.

 

In ‘The Gospel Call & True Conversion,’

 

Paul Washer wrote:

 

“It is important to note

 

that such sensitivity to sin and confession of it

 

is a mark of a true believer,

 

but the lack of such is evidence

 

that a person may still be in an unconverted state.

 

The apostle John writes,

 

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us [i.e., we are not Christian]. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [i.e., we are Christian]. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us [i.e., we are not Christian]” (1 John 1:8–10).

 

One of the greatest evidences of true conversion

 

is not sinless perfection,

 

as some have erroneously supposed.

 

Instead, it is sensitivity to sin,

 

transparency before God regarding sin,

 

and open confession of sin.”

 

In “The Eerdmans Companion to the Bible,’

 

Gordon D Fee, the Editor (and another co-editor), published:

 

“The New Testament concept of repentance

 

includes both the confession of sins

 

and the forsaking of them (1 John 1:9)

 

… Claiming sinlessness is self-deception,

 

but confession of sins

 

brings God’s forgiveness

 

and his reckoning of the repentant sinner as righteous (cf. Rom. 3:21-5:21).

 

… Anticipating their moral imperfection, however,

 

he encourages their confession of sins

 

by portraying Christ as the righteous Advocate

 

who represents them before God the Father

 

and who has already appeased his just anger

 

over the sins of all humanity (cf. Rom. 8:33-34).”

 

In ‘One Life, Jesus Calls We Follow,’

 

Scot Mcknight wrote:

 

“It is too easy to think we can just stop our sinning.

 

Or perhaps we are tempted to appeal to the solidarity theme.

 

That is, to admit our sin by saying:

 

“We are all sinful. We all fail. We’re all alike.”

 

The implication, of course, is:

 

“I’m not so bad after all.”

 

But the younger son goes one step further

 

and enters into the embrace of his father

 

by telling the deeper truth about himself:

 

“I have sinned against heaven [God] and against you [his father].”

 

This confession gets beyond solidarity with others into the solitary zone;

 

he makes it doubly personal.

 

He has sinned and he has sinned against God and his father,

 

both of whom are persons

 

whose love he risked in his rebellion.

 

In other words, real confession admits

 

more than that we have done something wrong

 

(like I have stolen or I have lied or I have cheated).

 

Real confession, true confession,

 

admits that I have done something to someone else.

 

True confession admits that I walked away from God’s Dance,

 

and true confession asks God to walk me back to the dance floor.”

 

In ‘The Case for Grace,’

 

Lee Strobel wrote:

 

“When I was a spiritual seeker

 

investigating whether Christianity made sense,

 

I needed time on my journey to Jesus.

 

Nearly two years elapsed

 

between the moment I walked into a church in suburban Chicago

 

and when I received Jesus as my forgiver and leader.

 

Along the way, I also needed to be confronted periodically

 

by the Bible’s hard teachings

 

on sin, confession, repentance, judgment

 

– and, yes, even on hell.

 

… “Simple prayer

 

– no, it’s more than that.

 

When we authentically come to God in repentance and faith,

 

when we confess our sins and turn from them,

 

he has promised to forgive us.

 

… “The Bible says,

 

‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ (1 Jn 1:9)

 

In ‘The Complete Works of Francis A. Shaeffer, A Christian Worldview

 

Francis Shaeffer wrote:

 

“1 John 1:9

 

After self-judgment, acknowledging his sin to be sin,

 

the believer must confess his sin to God

 

– not to a priest or any other man,

 

but directly to God.

 

He is our Father,

 

and in prayer we can come into His presence at any time.

 

We must bring the specific sin

 

under the finished work of Christ.

 

Then our fellowship with God is restored.

 

After this confession,

 

the matter is finished,

 

unless I have injured other people by my sin.

 

Then, of course, if I am repentant,

 

I will desire to make restitution.

 

… This process is as much a universal

 

as any continuity we have studied so far.

 

It is the principle of God’s judgment of His people.

 

It is unchanging throughout Scripture

 

because God really is there.

 

God is a holy God, God loves His people,

 

and God deals with His people consistently.

 

God blesses His people,

 

and one thing can spoil the blessing

 

– sin, either individual or corporate.

 

When either life in the Church or doctrine is not cared for,

 

this stops the blessing as much as when an individual sins.

 

Sin among the people of God

 

either diminishes the blessing

 

or brings the blessing to a halt

 

until it is confessed, judged and removed.”

 

In ‘Tough-Minded Christianity,’

 

John Warwick Montgomery wrote:

 

“Real freedom may have been restricted

 

by psychological or manipulative factors,

 

but that is not necessarily so.

 

In any event, as the person examines their own choices and life,

 

the Christian discipline of confession for sin and guilt

 

is an integral strand in pastoral care.

 

It is integrated with the grace of forgiveness.”

 

In ‘The Hole in Our Holiness,’

 

Kevin DeYoung wrote:

 

“I love John Calvin’s phrase that God,

 

while not ceasing to love his children,

 

can still be “wondrously angry” toward them.

 

God will never hate us,

 

but he will mercifully frighten us with his wrath

 

so that we might “shake off our sluggishness.”

 

God disciplines us for our good,

 

so that we may share his holiness (12:10).

 

As the Westminster Confession of Faith puts it,

 

those fully and irrevocably justified

 

“may by their sins come under God’s fatherly displeasure

 

and not have a sense of His presence with them

 

until they humble themselves,

 

confess their sins, ask for forgiveness,

 

and renew their faith in repentance”

 

(Westminster Confession 11.5).”

 

In ‘The Spiritual Man’,

 

Watchman Nee wrote:

 

“How we need to confess our sins before God

 

and ask for His forgiveness.”

 

In ‘Revive Us Again, Biblical Insights for Encountering Spiritual Renewal, by Walter C, Kaiser Jr,’

 

Walter Kaiser wrote:

 

“All sin is actually a transgression of the law of God,

 

as John taught in 1 John 3:4.

 

Thus, all who sin break God’s law

 

and need to be reconciled to him.”

 

In ‘Revive Us Again, Biblical Insights for Encountering Spiritual Renewal,’ by Walter C, Kaiser Jr,

 

Walter Kaiser wrote:

 

“The purpose of these revivals

 

is to call the church back

 

to a new hearing of

 

and responding to the Word of God.

 

It must involve a forsaking of sin,

 

a confession of that sin,

 

and a deep desire to reverse the pattern of spiritual declension

 

and apostasy that has begun to typify that ministry,

 

either locally, regionally, or nationally.”

 

In ‘Revive Us Again, Biblical Insights for Encountering Spiritual Renewal,’ by Walter C, Kaiser Jr,

 

Walter Kaiser wrote:

 

“It is all too easy in these days

 

of stressing the love and grace of our Lord

 

(which is correct and legitimate in and of itself, of course)

 

to ignore the stipulated conditions

 

attached to our participating in the blessings of God.

 

The four conditions mentioned in this text

 

were not of human origin, but divine.

 

This was God’s word to Solomon

 

but it is none the less his word to us as well.

 

Some will object:

 

“But this is yet another form of legalism.”

 

However, that would be wrong,

 

for legalism is the attempt

 

to earn our salvation by working for it

 

– a form that is totally antithetical to Scripture.

 

Salvation is God’s free gift;

 

it cannot be earned in any shape or form.

 

But if we are talking about fellowship and communion with our Lord,

 

then let it be noted that God cannot be present or work

 

where sin is present…

 

The conditions, then, were not for entrance into heaven or possessing eternal life,

 

but for the maintenance of fellowship and communion,

 

and for the enjoyment of life to its fullness in these mortal bodies.”

 

In ‘Revive Us Again, Biblical Insights for Encountering Spiritual Renewal,’ by Walter C, Kaiser Jr,

 

Walter Kaiser wrote:

 

“About ninety years ago,

 

a college student in Wales named Evan Roberts,

 

age twenty-six,

 

obtained permission to leave college

 

to return to his home village of Loughor

 

to preach his first sermon.

 

Seventeen people showed up to listen to his four points:

 

confess any known sin to God

 

and put away any wrong done to others,

 

put away any doubtful habit,

 

obey the Holy Spirit promptly,

 

and confess faith in Christ openly.

 

No one could have predicted

 

the nationwide impact that event would have.

 

J. Edwin Orr related that

 

“within three months

 

a hundred thousand converts

 

had been added to the churches of Wales.

 

Five years later, a book debunking the revival was published

 

and the main point made by the scholarly author

 

was that of the 100,000 added to the churches,

 

only 80,000 remained after five years.”

 

This same revival jumped the ocean

 

and spread to America’s shores

 

and was the last major nationwide revival

 

we have seen since 1905.”

 

In ‘Revive Us Again, Biblical Insights for Encountering Spiritual Renewal, by Walter C, Kaiser Jr,’

 

Walter Kaiser wrote:

 

“By now, God’s invitation to us is abundantly clear.

 

Why would anyone attempt to live with the guilt and despair of sin?

 

Why would we wish to risk so much for so little?

 

Why would believers live like spiritual paupers

 

and act with such mediocre results in their own churches

 

and in the spread of the gospel around the world?

 

Revival would come to America,

 

yes, to any nation of the world,

 

if we obeyed the injunction of Scripture

 

and confessed our sin.

 

How foolishly Israel acted and how stupid she appeared

 

when she did not quickly own up to her sin

 

and seek the Lord’s offer of forgiveness.

 

Are we not equally foolish

 

if we also refuse to repent?”

 

In ‘Separation and Service,’

 

James Hudson Taylor wrote:

 

“The bearing of this on the life of consecration to GOD

 

in the present day is important.

 

Nearness to GOD calls for tenderness of conscience,

 

thoughtfulness in service, and implicit obedience.

 

If we become conscious of the slightest failure,

 

even through inadvertence,

 

let us not excuse it,

 

but at once humble ourselves before GOD,

 

and confess it, seeking forgiveness and cleansing

 

on the ground of the accepted sacrifice of CHRIST.

 

GOD’S Word is,

 

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

 

… There is only one safe course,

 

to confess the sin that has grieved Him,

 

and take no rest till communion is restored:

 

this may always be done most easily by immediate confession

 

and turning to Him,

 

who is our Advocate with the FATHER,

 

and whose shed blood cleanses from all sin.

 

When sin is put away

 

the SPIRIT again lifts up His countenance upon us,

 

and peace fills the heart.

 

… Is there

 

any known sin unconfessed, or not put away?

 

Has wrong been done,

 

and restitution to the extent of our ability

 

not been made?”

 

In ‘The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, 1-3 John,’

 

John MacArthur wrote:

 

“Anyone, even a professed believer

 

seeking to cover up his or her sin,

 

is in the depths of spiritual darkness and deception,

 

and blasphemes God.

 

Conversely, when those truly in the fellowship fall into sin,

 

they do not deny sin’s presence

 

or their propensity toward it (Rom. 7:14-25; 1 Tim. 1:12-15; cf. Pss. 32:5; 51:1, 3; Prov. 28:13).

 

Instead, they openly and honestly confess their sins

 

before the Lord and repent of them.

 

… The fact that forgiveness is complete and irrevocable, however,

 

has led some to wrongly conclude

 

that those who have received salvation

 

need never again confess their sins before God

 

and request forgiveness.

 

The proponents of this view contend that,

 

in order for Christians to accept genuinely their full pardon

 

and fully enjoy their liberty in Christ,

 

they must ignore sin and focus solely on God’s grace.

 

But historically, such teaching has consistently led

 

to the error of antinomianism

 

– a practical disregard for the law of God

 

and a callous lack of concern for violating it.

 

If such people are truly saved,

 

they are indifferent toward the disciplines

 

that produce holiness in their lives.

 

The effects of such faulty thinking are disastrous.”

 

In ‘Soul Keeping, Caring for the Most Important Part of You,’

 

John Ortberg wrote:

 

“As I unburdened myself to Dallas,

 

I began to understand another soul truth:

 

Confession really is good for the soul.

 

The soul is healed by confession.

 

Sin splits the self. It split me.

 

It meant I tried to pretend in front of Nancy;

 

I tried to pretend before the church

 

that I was a better husband than I was.

 

Sin divided my will;

 

I wanted closeness,

 

yet I wanted to inflict pain when I felt hurt.

 

As long as I keep pretending,

 

my soul keeps dying.

 

Oddly enough, I don’t just pretend in front of other people.

 

I pretend with God.

 

My friend Scotty says that sometimes we ask for forgiveness,

 

but we know full well we will go back to the same sin tomorrow.

 

We don’t really want forgiveness;

 

we just want to get out of trouble.

 

He says it would be better to pray like this:

 

“Dear God, I sinned yesterday, I sinned again today, and I’m planning to go out and do the same sin tomorrow. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

 

Swindoll’s Living Insights, New Testament Commentary, 1 & 2 Corinthians, by Charles R. Swindoll,’

 

Charles Swindoll wrote:

 

“Something unhealthy happens

 

when Christians become dissociated from the family of God

 

around the Lord’s Table (Holy Communion).

 

… It asks us to reconcile with others

 

as we approach the Table as one body.

 

It requires that we confess and repent of unconfessed sin

 

prior to partaking.”

 

In ‘Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives,’

 

Charles R. Swindoll wrote:

 

“In resolving conflict or sin (no matter who’s guilty),

 

the best place to start is in your relationship with God.

 

Whether your contribution is small or great, own it.

 

Own it all.

 

Hold yourself accountable to God,

 

and confess any sinful part.

 

By doing so, you will have the necessary peace to make peace

 

with your brother or sister.

 

Do this, and you will leave a lasting positive impact

 

on the people around you, even as a sinner.”

 

In ‘Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives,’

 

Charles R. Swindoll wrote:

 

“Once we have been brought into the family of God by grace,

 

we must continue to live in grace.

 

At the same time, however,

 

we have no excuse for playing with sin…

 

“Fortunately, 1 John 1:9

 

tells us that God has a remedy

 

for both incidental spiritual failure and long-term rebellion.

 

In a word, it’s repentance …

 

agreeing with God that what we have done is wrong,

 

a reaffirmation of our place in His heart,

 

and our need for an intimate relationship with Him in ours,

 

including a commitment to turn away from that sin.”

 

George Ong’s comments:

 

Charles Swindoll said:

 

“Once we have been brought into the family of God by grace,

 

we must continue to live in grace.

 

At the same time, however,

 

we have no excuse for playing with sin…

 

“Fortunately, 1 John 1:9…”

 

Obviously, and the great joke is that

 

Joseph Prince who is the super-grace teacher,

 

doesn’t even understand its real meaning and its implication.  

 

It has to take Charles Swindoll to teach him

 

that true grace is to take sin seriously and not play with it.

 

But what Joseph Prince does is even worse

 

– he says that if you confess your sins,

 

you are insulting God

 

as every single sin, all sins,

 

that you will ever commit,

 

have already been forgiven. 

 

In ‘Fascinating Stories of Forgotten Lives,’

 

Charles R. Swindoll wrote:

 

“Fourth, examine your motives,

 

call it greed when you see it,

 

and confess it.

 

Confession usually brings sin

 

to a necessary and abrupt end.

 

… Nevertheless, I can think of no other way

 

to deal with the sin of greed

 

than to name it,

 

openly confess it,

 

find forgiveness based on the free grace of Jesus Christ,

 

and then claim God’s power to choose a different path.”

 

In ‘Daily Fire Devotional,’

 

Reinhard Bonnke wrote:

 

“Our lives are as open to Him

 

as if He sat in our living room.

 

We may as well confess our sins;

 

He knows them anyway.”

 

In ‘Works of Martin Luther, Vol 5,’

 

Martin Luther wrote:

 

“After people have been thus taught and exhorted

 

to confess their sin and amend their ways,

 

they should then be exhorted

 

with the utmost diligence to prayer,

 

and shown how such prayer pleases God,

 

how He has commanded it and promised to hear it,

 

and that no one ought to think lightly of his own praying,

 

or have doubts about it, but be sure, with firm faith,

 

that it will be heard;

 

all of which has been published by us in many tracts.”

 

In ‘The Sermons of Charles Spurgeon in Four Volumes,’

 

Charles Spurgeon said:

 

“Whatever the transgression of any man may be,

 

pardon is possible to him

 

if repentance be possible to him.

 

Unrepented sin

 

is unforgivable sin.

 

If he confesses his sin and forsakes it,

 

then shall he find mercy.

 

God hath so declared it,

 

and he will not be unfaithful to his word.”

 

George Ong’s comments:

 

Charles Spurgeon said

 

unconfessed and unrepentant sins

 

are not forgiven.

 

Just imagine the loads of unforgiven sins

 

that Joseph Prince’s congregation are laden with

 

because he has deceived them that 1 John 1:9

 

was written to unbelievers

 

and that to confess our sins that have already been forgiven

 

is an insult to God?

 

In ‘Answers to Life’s Problems, by Billy Graham,’

 

Billy Graham wrote:

 

“Christ’s blood cleanses us from all sin.

 

“If we confess our sins,

 

he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,

 

and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 KJV).

 

My counsel to you is to simply thank God

 

for forgiving your past,

 

and then purpose to live entirely for Him…

 

Having confessed your sin to God

 

and asked Christ for forgiveness,

 

ask Him also for the strength to live a life for His glory.”

 

In ‘Answers to Life’s Problems, by Billy Graham,’

 

Billy Graham wrote:

 

“The Bible does not tell us

 

that we are going to live free from sin

 

as long as we are in this body.

 

The Bible says:

 

“If we claim to be without sin,

 

we deceive ourselves

 

and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).

 

Actually, what will happen is that

 

there is a rupture that takes place in our fellowship,

 

and this fellowship is not completely restored

 

until confession of that sin is made.

 

In other words, we may still be sons of God

 

without enjoying the fellowship that sons rightfully should have.

 

There are thousands of Christians

 

who do not have the joy and peace the fellowship with God brings.

 

There is no joy or ecstasy quite like that of daily fellowship with God.”

 

In ‘Enduring Classics of Billy Graham,’

 

Billy Graham wrote:

 

“Christ is calling Christians today to cleansing,

 

to dedication, to consecration, and to full surrender.

 

It will make the difference

 

between success and failure in our spiritual lives.

 

It will make the difference

 

between being helped and helping others.

 

It will make a difference in our habits,

 

in our prayer life, in our Bible reading, in our giving,

 

in our testimony, and in our church membership.

 

This is the Christian’s hour of decision!

 

But many ask, “How can I begin?”

 

I would like to suggest that

 

you take all of the sins that you are guilty of

 

and make a list of them.

 

Then confess them, and check them off,

 

remembering that Jesus Christ forgives.

 

The Bible says:

 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).”

 

… Then, after you have confessed every known sin in your life,

 

yield every area of your life. Yield your girlfriend,

 

your boyfriend, your family, your business, your career,

 

your ambitions, your soul, the innermost thoughts

 

and depths of your heart; yield them all to Christ.

 

Hold nothing back.

 

As the songwriter says:

 

‘Give them all to Jesus.’”

 

In ‘Enduring Classics of Billy Graham,’

 

Billy Graham wrote:

 

“Now apply those meanings to “pure in heart.”

 

If we are truly pure in our hearts,

 

we will have a single-minded devotion to the will of God.

 

Our motives will be unmixed,

 

our thoughts will not be adulterated

 

with those things which are not right.

 

And our hearts will be clean,

 

because we will not tolerate known sin in our hearts

 

and allow it to pollute us.

 

We will take seriously the Bible’s promise,

 

“If we say that we have no sin,

 

we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

 

If we confess our sins,

 

he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,

 

and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8–9).

 

… We must maintain a contrite spirit.

 

The Bible says:

 

“A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise” (Psalm 51:17).

 

Remember it was to Christians that John wrote:

 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).”

 

… When we break God’s law,

 

utter a hasty, bitter word, or even think an evil thought,

 

immediately, we should confess this sin to God.

 

And in accordance with His Word,

 

He will forgive and cleanse our hearts

 

and transform us into His likeness.”

 

George Ong’s comments:

 

Billy Graham recognises the obvious truth

 

that it is to Christians that John wrote 1 John 1:9

 

Yet, what is so obvious and biblical

 

is not to Joseph Prince.

 

He prefers to twist the text to fit his theology

 

and teach the false doctrine

 

that the first chapter of 1 John

 

was written to unbelievers.

 

Because the Scriptures is not the authority,

 

but his grace theology is.

 

In ‘Enduring Classics of Billy Graham,’

 

Billy Graham wrote:

 

“Christians are not immune to guilt feelings.

 

However, they have an advantage over the nonbeliever

 

because of God’s grace and forgiveness.

 

The Lord tells us to confess our sins

 

and He will forgive them.

 

Guilt, real or false, is a burden too heavy to carry.

 

Confession brings forgiveness

 

and forgiveness brings freedom.

 

Some of the most healing words in any language are,

 

“I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?”

 

How much more we need that confession

 

to our Father in heaven,

 

in order to have a spirit

 

which is unbound by stifling self-accusations.”

 

In ‘Foundations of the Christian Faith,’

 

James Montgomery Boice wrote:

 

“A second problem may be sin in the lives of the Christians involved.

 

I mean not merely that we are all sinners.

 

I mean specific, unconfessed sin

 

that first of all destroys the Christian’s fellowship with God

 

and then necessarily also destroys fellowship with other believers.

 

… Sin erects a barrier between ourselves and God.

 

If that has happened,

 

the solution is confession of the sin, cleansing,

 

and restoration of fellowship,

 

first with God and then also with others.

 

… While God does not hear the prayer of non-Christians,

 

it is also true that

 

he does not hear the prayers offered by many Christians

 

when they cling to some sin.

 

David said,

 

“If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Ps 66:18).

 

Isaiah wrote,

 

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. (Is 59:1-2)

 

Do these verses describe your prayer life?

 

If so, you must confess your sin openly and frankly,

 

knowing that God

 

“is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9).

 

If I have been dishonest with a friend,

 

it is not very easy for me

 

to talk about anything with him or her.

 

I may be able to force my way through a conversation

 

about the weather, my work, or our families.

 

But I do not bring up more personal things.

 

It is only after the air has been cleared between us,

 

after forgiveness has been asked and received,

 

that I am once again able to open up with my friend.

 

It is the same in my relationship with God.

 

If sin keeps me from him,

 

then he is like a stranger

 

and my prayer flows slowly,

 

even though I have believed in Jesus.

 

Instead, I must confess my sin

 

and learn to spend time alone with my heavenly Father.

 

When I do that,

 

my prayer will become the kind of communion

 

that I have in conversation with a close friend.”

 

In ‘Sermon Archive 2014-2015,’

 

Timothy Keller said:

 

“Finally, think up, which means you ask the question …

 

This, by the way, again,

 

is in Martin Luther’s A Simple Way to Pray.

 

Martin Luther says after you’re done meditating on the text

 

ask it three questions.

 

“How can I praise God because of what I’ve read?

 

What sin can I confess because of what I’ve read here?

 

And what thing do I need to ask God for?”

 

In other words, rejoice, repent, request.

 

“How can I rejoice on the basis of this text?

 

How can I repent on the basis of this text?

 

How can I request on the basis of this text?”

 

Now you’re ready to go.

 

You’re ready now to pray.

 

Not just to read the Bible and then go pray,

 

but to read the Bible

 

and then pray in response to what you heard.

 

Now you have a dialogue going.”

 

In ‘Be Real, 1 John,’

 

Warren Wiersbe wrote:

 

“Once a believer discovers

 

why he is out of fellowship with God,

 

he should confess that sin (or those sins) to the Lord

 

and claim His full forgiveness (1 John 1:9-2:2).

 

A believer can never have joyful fellowship with the Lord

 

if sin stands between them.

 

God’s invitation to us today is

 

“Come and enjoy fellowship with Me and with each other! Come and share the life that is real!”

 

… First, we must have a heart that does not condemn us (1 John 3:21–22).

 

Unconfessed sin is a serious obstacle to answered prayer (Ps. 66:18).

 

It is worth noting that differences between a Christian husband and his wife

 

can hinder their prayers (1 Peter 3:1–7).

 

If there is anything between us and any other Christian,

 

we must settle it (Matt. 5:23–25).

 

And unless a believer is abiding in Christ,

 

in love and obedience,

 

his prayers will not be answered (John 15:7).”

 

In ‘The Jesus Way,’

 

Eugene H Peterson wrote:

 

“Praying with David, who knew a good deal about sin,

 

we soon learn that the remedy for sin

 

is not the extermination of sin,

 

not long training in not sinning,

 

not a rigorous program conditioning us

 

in a pavlovian revulsion to sin.

 

The only effective remedy for sin

 

is the forgiveness of sin

 

– and only God can forgive sin.

 

If we refuse to deal with God,

 

we are left dealing with sin by means of punishment

 

or moral education or concocting some strategy of denial.

 

None seem to make much of a dent in the sin business.

 

No.

 

The way, the only way, is to get in on God’s forgiveness.

 

And we do that by confession.

 

No excuses, no rationalizations, no denial,

 

no New Year’s resolutions,

 

only “I will confess. …”

 

Psalm 32 is straightforward:

 

I acknowledged my sin to thee,

 

and I did not hide my iniquity;

 

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”;

 

then thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. (Ps. 32:5 RSV)”

 

In ‘JI Packer Library,

 

JI Packer wrote:

 

“If we sin, we confess our fault and ask our Father’s forgiveness

 

on the basis of the family relationship,

 

as Jesus taught us to do

 

– “Father … forgive us our sins” (Lk 11:2, 4).

 

The sins of God’s children

 

do not destroy their justification

 

or nullify their adoption,

 

but they mar the children’s fellowship with their Father.”

 

In ‘JI Packer Library,

 

JI Packer wrote:

 

“Hence their failure to see, and say, with adequate clarity

 

that the moral law still binds believers,

 

as expressing God’s will for his adopted children,

 

and that the Father-son relationship

 

between him and them will be spoiled

 

if his will is ignored or defied.

 

The (Westminster) Confession says what is necessary:

 

God doth continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified:

 

and although they can never fall from the state of justification,

 

yet they may by their sins fall under God’s fatherly displeasure,

 

and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them,

 

until they humble themselves,

 

confess their sins,

 

beg pardon,

 

and renew their faith and repentance (XI:v).”

 

In ‘JI Packer Library,

 

JI Packer wrote:

 

“The Bible teaches and exemplifies prayer

 

as a fourfold activity,

 

to be performed by God’s people

 

individually both in private (Matthew 6:5-8)

 

and in company with each other (Acts 1:14; 4:24).

 

Adoration and praise are to be expressed;

 

contrite confession of sin is to be made

 

and forgiveness sought;

 

thanks for benefits received are to be offered;

 

and petitions and supplications for ourselves

 

and others are to be voiced.

 

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4)

 

embodies adoration, petition,

 

and confession;

 

the Psalter consists of models

 

of all four elements of prayer.”

 

In ‘JI Packer Library,

 

JI Packer wrote:

 

“The Anglican Prayer Book

 

rightly confesses sins of omission

 

(“we have left undone those things

 

which we ought to have done”)

 

before sins of commission:

 

the omission perspective is basic.

 

When Christians examine themselves,

 

it is for omissions that they should first look,

 

and they will always find that their saddest sins

 

 take the form of good left undone.

 

When the dying Archbishop Usher prayed,

 

‘Lord, forgive most of all my sins of omission,”

 

he showed a true sense of spiritual reality.”

 

In ‘The Works of John Wesley, Volume 6, First Series of Sermons (40-53), Second Series Begun (54-86), by John Wesley,’

 

John Wesley said:

 

“Thirdly, that the ninth verse explains

 

both the eighth and tenth (1 John 1:8-10).

 

“If we confess our sins,

 

he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,

 

and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness:”

 

As if he had said,

 

“I have before affirmed, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin;

 

but let no man say, I need it not; I have no sin to be cleansed from.”

 

If we say that we have no sin,

 

that we have not sinned,

 

we deceive ourselves and make God a liar:

 

But ‘if we confess our sins,

 

he is faithful and just,’ not only ‘to forgive our sins,’

 

but also ‘to cleanse us from all unrighteousness:’

 

that we may ‘go and sin no more.”

 

In ‘For the Love of God,’

 

DA Carson wrote:

 

“The New Testament writer

 

closest to saying the same thing

 

is John in his first letter (1 John 1:8-9).

 

Writing to believers, John says,

 

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

 

There it is again:

 

the self-deception bound up

 

with denying our sinfulness.

 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

 

There it is again: the only remedy to human guilt.

 

This God forgives us,

 

not because he is indulgent or too lazy to be careful,

 

but because we have confessed our sin,

 

and above all, because he is “faithful and just”:

 

“faithful” to the covenant he has established,

 

“just” so as not to condemn us

 

when Jesus himself is the propitiation for our sins (2:2).

 

… While pleading for vindication,

 

it is urgently important that we confess our own sin,

 

and entreat God for mercy.

 

For the God of justice is also the God of grace.

 

If this be not so, there is no hope for any of us.”

 

In ‘True Revivals Are Born After Midnight, by AW Tozer,’

 

AW Tozer wrote:

 

“The cross of Christ creates a moral situation

 

where every attribute of God

 

is on the side of the returning sinner.

 

Even justice is on our side, for it is written,

 

‘If we confess our sins,

 

he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,

 

and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’”

 

In ‘The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Epistles & Prophecy,’

 

John F Walvoord & Roy B Zuck, General Editors:

 

“1 John 1:9. In view of verse 8,

 

Christians ought to be ready at all times

 

to acknowledge any failure

 

which God’s light may expose to them.

 

Thus, John wrote,

 

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

In modern times some have occasionally denied

 

that a Christian needs to confess his sins and ask forgiveness.

 

It is claimed that a believer already has forgiveness in Christ (Eph. 1:7).

 

But this point of view

 

confuses the perfect position

 

which a Christian has in God’s Son

 

(by which he is even “seated … with Him in the heavenly realms” [Eph. 2:6])

 

with his needs as a failing individual on earth.

 

What is considered in 1 John 1:9

 

may be described as “familial” forgiveness.

 

It is perfectly understandable

 

how a son may need to ask his father

 

to forgive him for his faults

 

while at the same time

 

his position within the family is not in jeopardy.

 

A Christian who never asks his heavenly Father

 

for forgiveness for his sins

 

can hardly have much sensitivity

 

to the ways in which he grieves his Father.

 

Furthermore, the Lord Jesus Himself

 

taught His followers

 

to seek forgiveness of their sins

 

in a prayer that was obviously intended for daily use

 

(cf. the expression “give us today our daily bread” preceding “forgive us our debts,” Matt. 6:11-12).

 

The teaching that a Christian should not ask God

 

for daily forgiveness is an aberration.

 

Moreover, confession of sin

 

is never connected by John

 

with the acquisition of eternal life,

 

which is always conditioned on faith.

 

First John 1:9 is not spoken to the unsaved,

 

and the effort to turn it into a soteriological affirmation

 

is misguided.”

 

In ‘Hyper-Grace, Exposing the dangers of the modern Grace Message,’

 

Michael Brown wrote:

 

“The difference is that Lloyd-Jones was not just a grace preacher.

 

He was also a holiness preacher (in other words, he preached grace and truth),

 

and he did not believe in the unique aspects

 

of the modern, hyper-grace message.

 

He believed that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin

 

as we walk with the Lord.

 

He believed that we should confess our sins to God.

 

He believed in progressive sanctification.

 

He believed that the Sermon on the Mount applied to believers today.

 

In fact, modern grace adherents listening to Dr. Lloyd-Jones

 

would probably call him a legalist and a law-preacher!”

 

In ‘Christ in Conflict: Lessons from Jesus and His Controversies,’

 

John Stott wrote:

 

“It is significant that,

 

before Jesus described to the Samaritan woman

 

the kind of worshipers

 

the Father was seeking, he said to her,

 

“Go, call your husband and come back.”

 

When she replied that she had no husband,

 

Jesus went on:

 

“You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true” (John 4:16-18).

 

Before she could offer the worship

 

Jesus was about to tell her about,

 

her sin must be faced up to,

 

confessed and forgiven.

 

This is why most forms of public worship

 

are introduced by an act of penitence and confession.

 

This is a clear acknowledgment

 

that we must engage in confession

 

before we are ready to worship.

 

Before we stand for praise,

 

we must kneel in humble penitence.

 

For,

 

“who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?

 

Who may stand in his holy place?”

 

The answer is:

 

“The one who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Psalm 24:3-4).

 

We are not fit to be seen in the courts of heaven

 

in the rags of our sin and guilt.”

 

In ‘The Collected Works of D. L. Moody,’

 

DL Moody wrote:

 

“The next is Confession;

 

sin must be put out of the way.

 

We cannot have any communion with God

 

while there is any transgression between us.

 

If there stands some wrong you have done a man,

 

you cannot expect that man’s favor

 

until you go to him and confess the fault.”

 

In ‘The Collected Works of D. L. Moody,’

 

DL Moody wrote:

 

“Another element in true prayer is Confession.

 

I do not want Christian friends

 

to think that I am talking to the unsaved.

 

I think we, as Christians,

 

have a good many sins to confess.

 

If you go back to the Scripture records,

 

you will find that the men who lived nearest to God,

 

and had most power with Him,

 

were those who confessed their sins and failures.

 

Daniel, as we have seen,

 

confessed his sins and those of his people.

 

Yet, there is nothing recorded against Daniel.

 

He was one of the best men then on the face of the earth,

 

yet was his confession of sin

 

one of the deepest and most humble on record.

 

Brooks, referring to Daniel’s confession, says:

 

“In these words

 

you have seven circumstances

 

that Daniel useth in confessing of his and the people’s sins;

 

and all to heighten and aggravate them.

 

First, ‘We have sinned;’

 

secondly, ‘We have committed iniquity;’

 

thirdly, ‘We have done wickedly;’

 

fourthly, ‘We have rebelled against thee;’

 

fifthly, ‘We have departed from Thy precepts;’

 

sixthly, ‘We have not hearkened unto Thy servants;’

 

seventhly, ‘Nor our princes, nor all the people of the land.’

 

These seven aggravations

 

which Daniel reckons up in his confession

 

are worthy our most serious consideration.

 

… Job was no doubt a holy man, a mighty prince,

 

yet he had to fall in the dust and confess his sins.

 

So, you will find it all through the Scriptures.

 

When Isaiah saw the purity and holiness of God,

 

he beheld himself in his true light,

 

and he exclaimed,

 

“Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips!”

 

I firmly believe that the Church of God

 

will have to confess her own sins,

 

before there can be any great work of grace.”

 

In ‘The Collected Works of D. L. Moody,’

 

DL Moody wrote:

 

“Speaking of Pharaoh’s words,

 

“Entreat the Lord that He may take away the frogs from me,”

 

Mr. Spurgeon says:

 

“A fatal flaw is manifest in that prayer.

 

It contains no confession of sin.

 

He says not,

 

‘I have rebelled against the Lord;

 

entreat that I may find forgiveness!’

 

Nothing of the kind; he loves sin as much as ever.

 

A prayer without penitence

 

is a prayer without acceptance.

 

If no tear has fallen upon it, it is withered.

 

Thou must come to God as a sinner through a Savior,

 

but by no other way.

 

He who comes to God like the Pharisee,

 

with, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not as other men are,’

 

never draws near to God at all;

 

but he who cries, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner,’

 

has come to God by the way

 

which God has Himself appointed.

 

There must be confession of sin before God,

 

or our prayer is faulty.

 

If this confession of sin is deep among believers,

 

it will be so among the ungodly also.

 

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