Confession and Repentance of Sin


“Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay and cost you more than you want to pay.”


“Sin fascinates and then it assassinates.”


1 John 1:9-10 (ESV) 9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 


1 John 2:1-2 (ESV) 1  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2  He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 


1.  A Definition Of Repentance


Repentance is agreeing with God about your sin.


Repentance is a very crucial in the process of salvation.  


The Bible has a lot to say about repentance.


Not only is repentance a necessity for salvation it is also to be an ongoing aspect in the life of a saint.  


It has to be a habitual and conscious act that bolsters our walk with God.


A definition of repentance would be a heartfelt sorrow for sin, a renouncing of it, and a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk in obedience to the ways of God.  


The process of repentance involves every aspect of one’s life - mind, emotions, and your will.


Last week – Psalm 51 - Change of heart.  Change of mind.  And...Change of direction.


Repentance is something that takes place in the heart and then is lived out in our actions.  


You can't just say "I'm sorry."  It so much deeper than that.


Full repentance can only be fully realized when the sorrow and remorse is accompanied by the forsaking of the sin that once held that person.


Simple grief for the act is not enough.  


Paul did not rejoice over the fact that the Corinthians were grieved by their sin - but he rejoiced only when their grief brought them to a clear point of salvation (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).  


2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (ESV) 9  As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. 10  For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. 


A false repentance will give way to sorrow for wrong actions and may even show some fear of punishment but only a godly grief will cause one to renounce the sin and make a commitment to live in light of obedience.  


Esau is a very clear-cut example of one who sought repentance with tears but was unwilling to fully acknowledge that his actions were sin (Hebrews 12:17).


Hebrews 12:17 (ESV) 17  For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.


  • Genuine repentance will plead with God to remove the burden of sin.
  • Genuine repentance is not behavior modification or reform.
  • Genuine repentance is a change of purpose and inward turning away from sin.
  • Genuine repentance is having a great sorrow for a sin against a holy God.
  • Genuine repentance is a longing to be released from the defilement and helplessness of sin.
  • Genuine repentance is a total surrender of the human will to the divine purpose of God.  
  • Genuine repentance is a change of mind and a change of heart.
  • Genuine repentance will lead to restitution of the damage that the sin accomplished.
  • Genuine repentance will be motivated by faith in God.


Hebrews 6:1-2 (ESV) 1  Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2  and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 


The writer of Hebrews identified some foundational principles and doctrines for the Church to adhere to.  


"Therefore" - why is it there for?


He was affirming that repentance was a foundation that had already been laid and it did not need to be revisited or revised.  


It was the initial step working in tandem with faith in God that would open the door for the saint of God.  


If repentance was not present, there would be no salvation!


One of the defining marks of a saint is his/her willingness to repentance.


How many know that if there is something wrong with your life – God has a way to deal with it?


In 1 John - there were 3 major heretical premises which John addresses:


2. Three Groups That Identify Unbelievers


Group 1 – We Can Walk With God and The World At The Same Time


1 John 1:6 (ESV) 6  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.


1:6  --  The first group stated that they have fellowship with God but they walk in darkness.  


John said this group is filled with liars and do not practice truth.  


They have no understanding of truth and walk in darkness thinking it is the light.  


If one would ask this group about sin, they would answer, “What’s that?”  


They are characterized by darkness.


Group 2 – We Have No Sin


1 John 1:8 (ESV) 8  If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.


1:8  --  This group stated that they did not have any sin, in fact there was no capacity for them to sin.  


John said this group was self-deceived because the truth was not in them.  If one would ask this group about sin, they would answer, “I have none.”  


They are characterized by the deception of denial.


Group 3 – We Have Never Sinned


1 John 1:10 (ESV) 10  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.


1:10  --  This group stated that not only was sin not real but that they had never sinned.  


John said this group had made God a liar and that the truth was not in them at all.  


If one would ask this group about sin, they would answer, “I have never sinned.”  


These three thoughts identifies a people who are unbelievers.


Notice the pattern in these verses...


In all three groups that there is an absence of truth that draws them together.  


Each group has a little bit of the truth but they believe falsely about God.


If you have 2 parallel lines and one of the lines is 1degree off – it will greatly affect the 2 parallel lines down the road.


In each group there is a further progression away from truth.


The first group indicated they were in the Church without transformation.  


The second group surmised they did not need the truth because sin did not exist.  


The third group says that have never sinned!


How a man reacts to sin proves his identity in the Kingdom of God.


Now we’re going to at what defines believers.


Because God is Light and the Light of God shines through the life of the saint, there are some marks that will also be present in the life of the saint.  


3. Three Words That Identify A Christian


1st Word  -  Cleanses


1 John 1:7 (ESV) 7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.


John opens up this verse with the conjunction “but” which he uses to show the difference between a saint and a sinner.  


There are three particular words that need to be noted in this verse that are conditional if one will walk in the light.  


People who walk in the light have a different set of values.


Notice some of the words that help us in the area of cleansing.


  • Walk


Step by step.  The man walking in the light is one who is in fellowship with God.  


Someone who is always stumbling about in darkness and sin gives proof that they are not filled with the Spirit.  


Look at some of the ways we are to walk in the Bible…


  • Psalm 26:11  --  Walk in integrity.
  • Psalm 86:11  --  Walk in truth.
  • Psalm 119:1  --  Walk in the law of the Lord.
  • Psalm 119:3  --  Walk in His ways.
  • Proverbs 2:20  --  Walk in the way of good men and in the path of the righteous.
  • Romans 4:12  --  Walk in the steps of faith.
  • Romans 6:4  --  Walk in newness of life.
  • Romans 8:1  --  Walk after the Spirit.  (Also Galatians 5:16; 5:25)
  • Romans 13:13  --  Walk honestly.
  • Ephesians 2:10  --  Walk in good works.
  • Ephesians 4:1  --  Walk worthy.
  • Ephesians 5:2  --  Walk in love.
  • Ephesians 5:8  --  Walk as children of the light.
  • Ephesians 5:15  --  Walk circumspectly.
  • Colossians 4:5  --  Walk in wisdom.
  • 3 John 4  --  Walk in truth.


Ephesians 5:8-11 (ESV) 8  for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9  (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10  and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11  Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.


Both John and Paul are striking the same chord when they encourage the saints to walk in the light.  


A synonymous term with light in this case would be the word “holiness.”  


A Christian’s lifestyle is DIFFERENT than that of the world!


To walk in the light would be to have a heart that desires to walk in harmony with the revealed light that comes from Scripture.  


To walk in the light would also be marked by a life that will practice holiness.  


To walk also indicates that this is not a static position that one is holding but rather a very dynamic and moving ahead in a growth of holiness and Christian maturity.  


It is a soul that is “pressing” toward a goal of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-16). 


Philippians 3:13-16 (ESV) 13  Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14  I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15  Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16  Only let us hold true to what we have attained.


  • Fellowship


We are to walk in fellowship with God and with one another.


Fellowship with God has some very interesting components.


  • Walking in Godliness.
  • A life of holiness and separation.
  • A increasing hunger for Truth.
  • A desire to know and understand the Word.
  • Communion with the saints of God.
  • A conscience that has a very strong voice of direction.


As our fellowship with God heightens – the more we realize how sinful we really are.


The presence of God actually convicts us immediately of sin.  


The presence of Light causes us to see all the things that will dwell in the darkness.  


A classic example of this is found in Luke 5.


Luke 5:1-11 (ESV) 1  On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2  and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3  Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4  And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5  And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6  And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7  They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8  But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9  For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10  and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11  And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him. 


The disciples had worked all night long trying to catch some fish and they had miserably failed.  


When the Lord sent them back again to the sea they gathered a large catch.  


Once Peter was exposed to this great display of the power of God, he was so convicted that he found himself at the knees of Jesus with a plea for the Lord to depart from him because of the great sin that he felt within himself.  


This will always happen when we are in the presence of the Lord for any period of time.  


The more that we fellowship with Jesus Christ, the greater that we realize the grace of God and the corrupt nature of the flesh.  


This is why that time in prayer, worship, and the Word is the very lifeblood of our relationship as saints of God.  


It is this process of fellowship that enlightens us as to the glory of God.  It is also this process of fellowship that makes a constant provision for the covering of the blood of Jesus Christ in our life.  


  • Blood


There is an old classic song that has been sung in Pentecostal circles for close to one hundred years.  It was written in 1899 by Lewis Jones and was commonly sung in numerous camp-meetings around the nation.  


It is entitled “There Is Power in The Blood.”  It is literally loaded with good theology concerning the doctrine of the blood and the work of Calvary.  


Verse 1:  Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you o’er evil a victory win?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Chorus:  There is power, power, wonder working power
In the blood of the Lamb;
There is power, power, wonder working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Verse 2:  Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Verse 3:  Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow.
There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Verse 4:  Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There’s wonderful power in the blood.


When a saint of God finds himself committing a sin, the blood of Jesus Christ continues to cleanse us.  


The blood of Jesus Christ has the ability to continually cleanse the saint of God from any exposure to sin that he may encounter.  


Revelation 1:5 (ESV) 5  and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 


1 Corinthians 6:11 (ESV) 11  And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 


Ephesians 1:7 (ESV) 7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,


2nd  Word  -  Confess


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


The word “if” John shows that there are some conditions that must be applied in regards to sin.  


If we confess” is the responsibility of the saint of God, the cleansing part belongs to God.   Therefore, confession belongs to the saint, cleansing belongs to God. 


Look at some of the words that help define the word “confess.”


Confession and repentance go hand in hand.


Confession is a continuous on-going process in the life of a saint of God.  


The more maturity that comes to the life of the saint the more prone he is to see how small he is in the sight of God.  


The more knowledge, wisdom, and understanding that comes into the life of a saint of God, there is often an overwhelming sense of gratitude that develops in his life.  


Confession and repentance go hand in hand.  


Remember 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 – Godly sorry produces repentance.


Paul’s message of sorrow would not have gone over very well in our times.  


3rd Word  -  Conquering


1 John 2:1 (ESV) 1  My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 


The last word that we come to is found in 1 John 2:1.  Cleansing, Confession, and finally, “Conquering.”  


There is enough of the power of the Holy Ghost to assist us to the place where we can live above the sinful practices in an all-out pursuit of holiness.


It is the will of God that sin be mastered and conquered by an overcoming life.  


We are no longer slaves to sin anymore.  


Paul’s great treatise on freedom from sin is found in Romans 6.  


The Right Attitude Toward Sin    


Romans 6:1-23 (ESV) 1  What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2  By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. 5  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6  We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7  For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8  Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9  We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10  For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11  So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13  Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14  For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 15  What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16  Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17  But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18  and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19  I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification. 20  For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21  But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 


As we grow in the Lord, there should be a decreasing frequency in our sinful actions.  


The closer we get to God the more we should desire to become like Him. 


Song – “Oh To Be Like Him”