Thursday: Confession’s Healing Power

Confession lances the boil of guilt and allows the poisonous pus of sin to drain. Confession is healing in many ways.

Image © Janet Hyun from

Image © Janet Hyun from

It opens our hearts to receive God’s grace. Through confession we accept the forgiveness that Christ freely offers us from the Cross. Confession is healing because it allows us to receive grace. Confession also breaks down barriers between us and other people. It heals relationships.

Read Psalm 32:1-8. What does this teach us about confession and repentance?

Read Acts 24:16. The apostle Paul strove for a “conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men.” What does that mean?

Is guilt good or bad? It all depends. If the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, and the guilt of that sin drives us to Jesus, guilt is good. If we have already confessed our sin and continue to feel guilty, the guilt may become destructive. “This feeling of guiltiness must be laid at the foot of the cross of Calvary. The sense of sinfulness has poisoned the springs of life and of true happiness. Now Jesus says, ‘Lay it all on Me. I will take your sins. I will give you peace. Banish no longer your self-respect, for I have bought you with the price of My own blood. You are mine. Your weakened will I will strengthen; your remorse for sin I will remove.’”-Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 9, p. 305. The answer to guilt is Jesus. His grace abolishes the destructive guilt sin lays upon us.

There are times we may have confessed our sins and we still feel guilty. Why? One reason might be that the devil is attempting to rob us of the assurance of salvation. He loves to steal away the blessed assurance of forgiveness and salvation that we have in Jesus. Secondly, the Holy Spirit may be pointing out something between us and another individual. If we have hurt another individual, our troubled conscience will be eased when we confess our wrong to the person whom we have hurt.

How has guilt impacted your relationship with the Lord and with others? What can you do to help to alleviate the burden of guilt that you carry? Even if you have done wrong and the guilt is in a sense justified, what promises can you claim from the Bible to help you to move on?



Thursday: Confession’s Healing Power — 15 Comments

  1. I find it sad that that within the culture of "the remnant" there is no room for corporate confession because "We keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus" What would happen if we found a sinner in the midst of the righteous?

    • Larry, could you explain what you mean by "corporate confession"?

      Who would offer the prayer of confession for the corporate body? How could that person be sure that s/he would represent everyone in the body?

      Moses and Daniel prayed prayers of confession for the corporate body, including themselves as representatives of the body. There is nothing to prevent you or me from doing the same. We can pray, "Lord we have sinned. We have .... [list sins]... etc. (That's why I'm not sure what you are referring to.)

    • I'm not sure what you mean. We are all sinners. I have seen many people make public confession before the church, that they have sinned. They have been well loved and well accepted by the congregation. I'm sure this is not true eveywhere, as some congregations may be apart from Christ, and act in an unforgiving manner. If that is the case, then at least be assured that there are literally millions of SDA Christians who are loving, forgiving, and supportive of sinners, as they well know they are cut from the same cloth as everyone else, and their only claim is the forgiveness and love of Christ.

  2. This lesson as a whole, I think, has taught us that indeed when we commit sin, we are sick. Spiritually sick and therefore confession becomes a medicine. Not that life becomes easier when you confess,but your heart lightens up and receives forgiveness from an all loving Father, which in turn gives a smile to our faces because of such great love. There was a time when I was so angry at my father...he left my mother, left us in a dungeon of poverty. We had no food, my mother wasn't working and life took the worst turn on us. I finished my high school through the tender love of Christ, when my mother's employer, from nowhere decided that she will pay such that I write my exams. I hated my father for putting us in such a life-damaging situation. But only after my baptism did I realise that anger and denying to forgive him only hurt me inside. I learned how easy it becomes to forgive when you're with Christ. I felt happiness only after I forgave my father. So let us take this healing with both hands...!

  3. I agree completely with Inge on that point. Larry's question has brought to light the importance of us interceding for the church and I also believe we have a responsiblity to pray even for all Christians everywhere. Christ said if they are not against us they are for us. Mark 9v40, Luke 11v23 and Matt 12v30. It is our privilege to pray for that time when there will be one flock and one Sherpherd to be hastened for our Lord has promised that He will bring them all in so that they will be part of one fold. Blessings!

  4. "A conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men" means we must always seek to be at peace with everybody (as far as it depends on us) and above all, peace with our Creator. This peace is got when we sincerely and honestly confess known sins. If we seek to be be in heaven someday, we must allow ourselves to be governed by heavenly principles here. One of which is peace with all.

  5. On the issue of corporate confession I think we may need such confession yes but the truth of the matter is that is the individual who make up the corporate. Therefore as individuals confess genuinely the sins to God and God on the other hand hears the individual prayers and forgive, the effect is rolled up to the corporate and to the next level and to the next level.
    If you consider the 777 and its associated activities, it is geared towards the individual been revived and reformed and then translating to the corporate been revived and reformed

  6. These lessons are so empowering. For many years I've been a SDA, but never before have I really learnt to deal with guilt in such an empowering way-knowing that many times I have failed because I have allowed guilt to rob me of the spiritual, physical and emotional joys of forgiveness through Jesus. I am learning that His love is stronger than my weakness and His ears are open every time I pray. Really my eyes are now open to see how we can do nothing, but only through Him who strengthens us, and how genuine confession and forgiveness brings healing to body mind and spirit. What a wonderful saviour, who rescues the souls of men. I love these revival lessons, indeed, I as an individual is becoming more and more revived studying them. I can now share with others how God has been truly good to me.

  7. Larry: Corporate confession can be by all in the remnant, but the gift we have from the LORD "intercede", we as part of the corporate/remnant, can pray and intercede for that person that the Holy Spirit can convict the person we are interceding for and let that be just that.We all need to pray for one another without ceasing.
    May the LORD bless each and everyone of us in our journey to our home.

  8. To alleviate my burden of guilt with God, I think about a song called - "Into the sea of forgetfulness", by Helen Baylor. That song describes when we come to Jesus with a sincere heart, He casts our sins into the sea of forgetfulness as far as the east is from the west. It goes on to say 70 times 7 He forgives us and keeps placing our sins into the sea of forgetfulness.
    In my journey through this life, I strive daily to be like Christ. I thank Him for His assurance that when I fall, I can ask for forgiveness, dust myself off, get up and keep moving forward.

    To alleviate my burden of guilt with another person, I must do my best to solve the problem as quickly as my heart is pricked. I can't rest well, I can't concentrate, I just a nervous wreck, because I want to treat people the way I want to be treated. I don't want to hurt anyone intentionally or unintentionally.

    There have been numerous times I've done things I knew were wrong. I'm reminded of a saying, "what goes around, come back around and it comes worst than it first went out". That saying is so true! I'm reminded of the text of scripture that reads, "God will not put more on us than we can bear." And even during that time of reaping what I sowed, He's merciful and kind and He gives me strength to endure whatever the consequences may be for my actions.

  9. Whatever may be the kind of sin we have committed,Jesus is ever prepared to forgive provided you personally confesses.Without confession,your sins would not be forgiven and also even confessing your sins, you must feel stress for that partiular sin.By doing so all your trangressions will be forgiven and you will not find guilyt for those/that sin(s).Jesus will therefore give you salvation of eternal life.May God Bless Us All

  10. It is easy for us to use the quick lip response " I am sorry for my sin." For example if we look at the followings people in the Bible in the way they responded to their sins. Judas, what comes into your a mind regarding his repentance: Matt.27:3-5..." saying I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." And they said, "What is that to us? But think of Peter's confession when he went back to Gethsemane and wept bitterly at the site where the Savior had been encouraging him to "Watch and pray" Matt 27:41. I would like us to think of the changed man Peter became after his repentance and confession at Gethsemane. We all need to find our own Gethsemane to go to repent of sins. Where is your Gethsemane?

  11. Your position is in keeping with EGW: "This degrading confession of man to man is the secret spring from which has flowed much of the evil that is defiling the world and fitting it for the final destruction." GC 567


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