By Brother Michel Lankford
Today we are exploring the question:
“Brother Michel, what is a True Confession? How Can I Make Sure that God will accept my confession?
This is a question that crops up once in a while, either in private correspondence or in public forums. So, I’m not sure who to attribute this to, since this question is cross my path at different times in different ways, but I do thank you for your question, and for caring enough to want to make certain that when you offer God something, He will accept it. That is important, and again I do thank you for the question.
Different Types of Confessions
One big issue that we encounter right off the bat, is that there are fundamentally two types of confessions. One is a confession of faith. The other type of confession is a confession of sin. Both types of confessions have a legitimate biblical basis, and both types of confessions have the same fundamental structure and function. There’s only a minor difference between the two. Fundamentally, both types of confessions have the same mechanics. The thing is, when I have read your questions, I am not certain whether you are asking about making a confession of faith, or whether you’re talking about making a confession of sin, in terms of asking whether or not God will accept it. Since I cannot be sure which one you’re asking about, I will attempt to cover both the confession of faith and the confession of sin in this podcast. If somehow, I miss answering your question, please do keep bugging me, until your concerns and questions are answered. I don’t mind.
God Does Hear It All
In one sense, for better or worse, God hears EVERY confession that you make. Whether your confession is good, great, bad, or terrible, God still hears that confession. The sticking point comes when you consider whether when God hears your confession, will God act upon it with favor and blessing, or will He look upon it unfavorably? He hears it all, but will He bless and honor it, is where the sticking point emerges. Of course, your question specifically asked about making sure that God ACCEPTS your confession, and we will proceed on that basis, but never forget that He hears EVERY confession.
As It Is Written: “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”(Matthew 12:36–37 NKJV)
These are the very words of Messiah. No matter how you slice it, we must be exceedingly careful about our speech and what we allow to come out of our mouth. It is life and death. What comes out of our mouth can be the difference between salvation and damnation. So, developing mouth control is a CRUCIAL discipline for any disciple of YHWH and of Messiah.
What Confession Means
According to the Biblical languages, the word used for confess is “homologeô“-(Greek Strong’s #3670), which most precisely means to be in accord or agreement; to be of ONE MIND, and to SPEAK the SAME thing.
Therefore, in order to make a biblically valid confession, I must first be of one mind in agreement with YHWH Almighty God and then secondly, I must speak the SAME THING that YHWH Almighty concerning a given situation.
Once again, we are confronted with one of the cornerstones of authentic discipleship. We encounter the Principle of AGREEMENT.
We have already seen in other lessons where we cannot walk with God unless we first come into agreement with God, (Amos 3:3)
We are clearly told that we should not conform to the thoughts attitudes and behaviors of the sinful world, but we should instead be TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our minds, so that we come into agreement with God, and we approve what He approves, and we honor what he honors, (as in Romans 12:1-2).
And now we see again, based on the biblical definition of what it means to confess, that we cannot make a proper biblical confession unless we come into agreement with God. So, coming into agreement with God is key, because you cannot make a proper biblical confession unless you agree with God.
The Confession of Faith
A confession of faith would be that I come into agreement with YHWH Almighty God, and then I speak the same thing that YHWH has said about my situation. It means that I speak confidently in agreement with a promise that God has given. There are several awesome examples of authentic confessions of faith in the Scriptures.
Example: When Abraham offers Isaac on Mount Moriah, (Genesis chapter 22).
- God had promised Abraham in Gen 17:21 that Isaac would be the heir of the spiritual promise. (Basically, that it would be through Isaac’s line of succession that the Messiah would be born which would crush the serpent’s head).
- In Gen 22:1-2 when God tells Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, in whom was the promise, Abraham logically thought if God had promised that Isaac would be the heir, He would fulfill His promise.
- Therefore, if he (Abraham) would sacrifice Isaac, God would bring him back to life some way or another, since God doesn’t lie. In Heb 11:17-19 Paul explains Gen 17:21 by saying, “….accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead….”.
- “But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” (Gen 17:21).
- On the basis of the promises that Abraham had received from Almighty God, Abraham made some incredibly strong confessions of faith here.
As It Is Written: “And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.”(Genesis 22:5 NKJV)
Did you see it? Abraham made a confession of faith before those young men that he would be RETURNING with his son Isaac, after they worshiped. Now, Abraham may not have known just HOW God was going to restore Isaac to him after the sacrifice, but based on the promises that God had given him in the past, he confessed by faith what he expected to happen, in spite of the fact that the circumstances made the outcome seem impossible.
So, when you make a verbal confession of some outcome that you believe is going to happen and it is squarely based on something that God says in His Word; that is a confession of faith.
- A true confession of faith is NOT a strong wish. It is not a strong desire for something you want or wish would happen. A true confession of faith is about coming into agreement with God, and speaking a result that God said would happen, regardless of how the present circumstances or situations might look at the moment. So, you are coming into agreement with a promise that God has made, and you are speaking the same thing that God said would happen. That is a true confession of faith.
Example: The spies report (Numbers chapters 13-14)
- In short, the children of Israel are coming to the end of the wilderness and nearing the edge of the land that God promised to give them. Israel decides to send leaders from each of the 12 tribes. They were to spy out the land. They were to bring back some of the fruit of the land and bring back reports. God had told them to go in and possess the land, and that HE would fight for them. God told him that they would win and that the land formerly Canaan would belong to Israel as an inheritance and as a position.
- When the 12 spies return, 10 of the spies were absolutely terrified. They spread bad and fearful reports throughout the camps of Israel, until the rest of the people were so terrified that they refuse to enter the land that God promised to give them, for fear they would lose.
- Only two of the 12 spies, (Joshua and Caleb), remain faithful to YHWH. Caleb then goes on to make a huge Confession of faith, based on the promises that God had given Israel:
As It Is Written: “Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”(Numbers 13:30 NKJV)
Once again, it’s important to remember that Caleb was not basing his confession of faith on some incoherent belief. He wasn’t basing his confession of faith on wishful thinking. Caleb was not basing a confession of faith based on his own desire or presumption. He was coming into agreement with a Promise that God had made to Israel, since the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Caleb was coming into agreement with something that God had repeatedly promised, and he was speaking in agreement with that God given Promise. So, when Caleb spoke those words in Numbers 13:30, Caleb was making a genuine confession of faith according to how Scripture defines the term.
- So, to make a genuine Confession of Faith, you must know and understand what God truly Promised.
- You come into agreement with God, and you come into agreement with God’s Promise.
- Then you speak in AGREEMENT with God’s Word, and in AGREEMENT with God’s Promise, regardless of your feelings, and regardless of how the physical circumstances appear at the time. “Yes there are giants in the land, but God promised that he would be with us. He promised to give us His land as an inheritance and as a possession. He will give us victory over these people. So let’s go in and take the country.” Caleb wasn’t denying the circumstances. He was simply declaring that God and God’s promises were far SUPERIOR to the circumstance. Caleb made his confession of faith on that basis. Numbers 13:30, is by far a textbook example of a genuine Biblical Confession of Faith.
The Confession of Sin
The confession of sin follows the same basic pattern as any Biblical Confession. You must first come into agreement with God, and then you must SPEAK the SAME thing that God says, concerning what you did.
This is why we must cooperate with God, and allow God to change our internal dictionary so that we come into agreement with God and we learn to define every key term the same way that God defines those terms. Why? Well, the reason is obvious. If I am doing something that God has defined to be sin, but I don’t believe that what I did is a sin, or I do not recognize it to be sin like God says it is, then I will not be of one mind in agreement with YHWH Almighty God. I also will not be able to speak in agreement with what God says about what I did, which in that case, this would make it IMPOSSIBLE for me to biblically confess my sins.
If You Want to be Forgiven Making True Confessions of Sin Matters
From the Scriptures we read at the beginning of our study, we know that at a MINIMUM, there are at least two (2) conditions, which we MUST MEET, in order to receive the part of Yahweh’s grace which forgives our sins.
We MUST CHOOSE to, and we must FORGIVE others who have sinned against us (Matthew 6:14-15).
As It Is Written: ““For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14–15 NKJV)
We MUST CONFESS our sins (1 John 1:9).
As It Is Written: “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 NKJV)
- Notice that if we deny our sins, (if we claim that we have not sinned when God says we have), we are biblically considered to be LIARS, who do not have the truth in us. So, when we deny our sins we have piled sin on top of sin. What’s worse, if we deny our sins, not only are we lying, but the truth is not in us. That’s serious. Since Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life, (John 14:6), that also means that if we are liars and the truth is not in us, that also means that Jesus who is the truth is not in us, which would mean that such a person is not saved at that point. It doesn’t get more serious than not having the Messiah in you. That means that making a true and biblical confession becomes a salvation issue, if the Messiah is not in you, that means you are not saved by any definition.
- Notice that it says that IF we CONFESS our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
So, the question that every believer must ask himself or herself is, “how important is it to me that God would forgive my sins?” “How important is it that I truly have the Truth inside of me, and by extension that I would have the spirit of Jesus inside of me, since He is the Truth?”
- If being forgiven by God is important to you, then you’re going to have to learn to make True Biblical Confessions.
- If living in Christ, and abiding in Messiah is important to you, then you can’t deny your sins, you have to confess them. You have to come into agreement with God that something you did was a sin; and you have to speak in agreement with what God says about what you did. If you deny your sins instead of confessing them, then the truth is not in you, and Jesus who is the Truth, doesn’t live there. That means that making True Biblical Confessions of sins, does become a salvation issue.
So, are you coming into agreement with God? All your being of one mind with YHWH Almighty God? Are you then SAYING the SAME thing that God says about a situation? If you are, then you are making a Biblical Confession.
Thank you so much for your kind and patient attention. I hope that you found that answer helpful to you. Until I see you again,
May YHWH bless you and keep you. May YHWH make His Face to shine upon you and be Gracious unto you. May YHWH Almighty lift up His Countenance upon you. May he give you His Peace; according to His Unfailing Love, and in Messiah, the Prince of Peace. Omein.