Tuesday: True Repentance and Confession

What spiritual principles do we learn from Leviticus 5:51 John 1:9Isaiah 1:16-18; and Acts 26:19-20 regarding the nature of true repentance and confession?

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Image © Providence Collection from GoodSalt.com

Genuine repentance is always accompanied by confession of specific sins. The Holy Spirit does not give us vague feelings of guilt. He convicts us of our definite shortcomings.

“True confession is always of a specific character, and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of such a nature as to be brought before God only; they may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals who have suffered injury through them; or they may be of a public character, and should then be as publicly confessed. But all confession should be definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins of which you are guilty.”-Ellen G. White, Steps to Christ, p. 38.

The purpose of the convicting power of the Holy Spirit is to reveal our need of the saving grace of Christ. Repentance does not make God love us more; rather, it enables us to appreciate His love more. Confession does not earn God’s forgiveness; it instead enables us to receive His forgiveness. God does not love us more when we repent or love us less when we fail to. His love for us is constant. The only variable is our response to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

The truth is that our hearts are hindered from receiving the abundant blessings that God has for us while our spiritual arteries are clogged with the sludge of sin. Sin deadens us to the Spirit’s prompting and makes it harder for us to respond to Him. Repentance and confession open the clogged channels of our spiritual hearts so that we may receive the overflowing of the Holy Spirit’s presence and power.

However much we long for forgiveness when we confess and repent, we must remember that this is a two-way street. That is, how do we respond to those who have treated us wrongly and who ask for forgiveness? Who, though totally undeserving of our forgiveness, do we need to forgive anyway, and why is it so important for us to forgive?



Tuesday: True Repentance and Confession — 16 Comments

  1. It is so important for us to forgive those who have wronged us, because we want to be forgiven by our Father. Everyone has made mistakes, no one is perfect. Speaking for myself, I feel so much better when someone asks me for forgiveness, because It is so important to me that much time doesn't pass and we can pick up the pieces and move on. It is my goal to treat that person as if nothing happened between us. I pray about my hurt feelings and do my very best to forgive and must of all, never bring up the matter again. The same thing goes for myself, when God pricks my heart that I may have wronged someone, I do my best to make things right, right then. My conscience whips me too bad to let time pass without clearing the air, and for that I am so thankful. It is my prayer to be Christ like in every way.

    If Christ could ask His Father to forgive those who mocked Him, nailed Him to the cross and all of the other wickedness that took place during His crucifixion, I can surely forgive those who have wronged me.

  2. I really like Serena's point that when I look at what Jesus went through and forgave, I can forgive any wrong done to me. Still, it takes God's miracle in me to forgive, and I pray that He will help me to have that attitude of forgiveness. I want the air cleared between God and me, and so I pray He will help me keep the air cleared between me and other people. I thank God for the work of the Holy Spirit in my heart!!

  3. I am very happy for what the lesson has taught me --- God's love is constant, and it is not my repentance that makes Him love me more rather my repentance helps me to appreciate His love more. Realising Christ's boundless love and His limitless acts of forgiveness for the human race, I find no justification if I do not forgive my fellow friends of the wrongs they do to hurt me. Jesus has forgiven me even more!!!

  4. Following on from what Serena said, If I forgive someone who does not come to ask for forgiveness and does not acknowledge, their wrong, will my forgiveness clear the air between the offender and God?

    • In response to Victor, I truly believe if our heart is right , we can intercede for others until they see for themselves that they have wronged someone. It is an earnest prayer of mine to pray constantly for God to show me when I'm wrong about a situation and He does. Like I said earlier, I don't take long apologizing for my wrong, because for one thing, I don't want to close my eyes for the final time on this earth without making my wrongs right or at least give my very best attempt. I pray the same prayer for my family, friends, church family and etc. Sometimes a person may not know that they have hurt someone. Just like I pray for my heart to be pricked, I pray the same prayer for others. I've seen God work with and through others to fulfill that prayer. Sometimes it takes someone else to show another person they have wronged someone. With that they must approach that person without judgment, but lovingly.

      Pray for those who have wronged you. Treat them with respect, speak when your paths cross, keep a smile on your face and believe that God will come through for you. I've learned that an apology can come in many ways. I can't think of one person who does not want to hear the words, "I apologize for - ?" It can come by way of a smile, a wave, a wink, and etc. please believe me, 9 times out of 10, the apology is not going to come the way you want it. It may not be BAM in your face, it could be very low keyed and missed if you're not paying close attention.

      For those times, we have not or will not receive the apology we want, think about Christ. All who crucified Him didn't apologize and He was able to ask His Father to forgive them for they know not what they do. A time will come if it hasn't already, that we may have to say those same words. Be encouraged, we serve an awesome God, who can take our hurt and turn them into something wonderful!

  5. The problem we have is that our confessions are lip service they do not come from the heart. We do not really mean it, that is why we cannot even be specific about which sins we want God to forgive. We say with our lips forgive us of our sins, yet we still cherish them and are not ready to forsake them. Someone would be praying a prayer of forgiveness at the same time looking at the clock and mourning that the service is taking long to finish, so that they can be free, to go and accommodate the cherished sins they were just praying to be forgiven a while ago. When true repentance comes in, there should be a newness of life, which implies that the life style has to have a complete turn around or for those military minded an about turn. Publicly people are afraid to be specific about the sins they want forgiven as this will call for the brethren to anticipate and expect the person to move away from the old habits into a new life.

    • Victor, I couldn't have said it better myself. But there's something we must keep in mind, we must keep our eyes on Jesus and allow Him to do His work of changing the hearts of those who are doing the lip service. When things like that happen, it's easy to get sucked in and judge. Just like we had to allow our hearts to be pricked by God, others will too. Stay in His Word and continue to live the life of Christ before others, you never know who is watching. Be assured though someone is watching, you may never know who, but someone looks up to you and are modeling their life as a Christian after you.

      If it's lip service that's disturbing you or the church, give them some lip service about the love of Christ when they come to you with anything negative. One person can make a difference. Try it!

  6. Just like David When he realized his sins,he drastically confessed and repented them and God did forgive him,we too, we need to state the real sins that we have committed so as to receive forgiveness from God.God help me that i may not hide any sin that i have committed and forgive me all.

  7. It is so great, the love that God has for us. He has devised a way for us to confess, repent , and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us, our sins forgiven, and eternal life made available to us.

  8. Lesson teaches me that the dirty laundry is not enough to be put in the basket, but must be washed in the blood of Jesus, or will stink and mold.
    The smell will infect the House -Church, even if laundry is hiden from the sight of visitors.

  9. This is a very pointed lesson today. No generalities. Vry specific.
    From now on, during our prayers, we will not say "Lord, forgive our sins" without mentioning 'the sin'. When I say we, I mean I the individual. You the individual and you the other individual, and so on, in our individual and private conversations with the Lord.

    What remains next is defining the public prayer on the topic of forgiveness of sin.

  10. [Thank you for your testimony 🙂 We do ask that you give your full name the next time you post. ]

    I have been a seventh day Adventist for a while, but for the last few years i have been astray, until yesterday my God and savior brought me online and directed me to this website while i was looking for something totally different. I know the Lord has a plan for me, that's why he brought me back.
    Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

  11. As Victor put it; we not only need to confess our sins from our lips, but, from our heart of deceit. There is nothing good in us and if we confess and turn from our wrong, GOD will forgive and forget. Remember to let go and not cherish the sin. I have heard some say they are glad to be assebled together to give thanks to GOD, but on the other had they ask -is he ever going to stop talking?-the question is, when are you going to search your heart and ask GOD, please help me to give up my cherished whatever.....
    Let us pray for oneanother to remember to give our hearts truly to GOD and not take back what we give to HIM. May GOD bless us all as we journey HOME..

  12. True repentance is a gift of God manifested by the Holy Spirit of God in us, when we surrender our will to Him. This is the power of God that convict the sinner that leads the sinner to confession. True repentance will produce the fruit of confession, and will lead the Sinner to cling to the Good Shepherd from that point forward for his safety daily and the strength to overcome sin. We must recognize our deadly and hopeless condition and understand, there's nothing we can do to remedy our situation. We can only choose to surrender to Christ for the power we need to stop sinning. This is the power of God unto salvation. He that abideth in ME sinneth not. 1 John 3: 6. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Thank you Father for the gift of your Son Jesus and thank you Jesus for your faithful promise of the Holy Spirit that convict of sin and sustain us to eternal life. We may never fully understand God's love towards us, but one thing that is certain, God so loved us. We must experience the love of God in our lives, for this will bring the uncompromisable faith, that will stand the test of our faith in God. Cheers!!!

  13. I read that you need to confess specific sins to be forgiven in the book Steps to Christ. The two men who went up to pray in luke 18 the publican did not confess a specific sin but yet Jesus said he went home justified. I have not read of many other Bible characters outlining specific sins during repentance not even Paul before he was baptized.


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