Myth: Hypergrace Preachers are Against Confession


“Hyper-grace preachers say it’s wrong to confess sins. They say confession is a form of unbelief.” Ever heard that? It’s not true. Actually, every hyper-grace preacher believes in the power of confession. We say things like, “confession is good for you,” and “confession is healthy.”

But what is confession?

Like the word repentance, confession is a word that has been mangled in the machinery of manmade religion. Instead of bringing healing to the hurting and life to the dead, confession is seen as the cost of admission into the house of grace. “You wanna be clean? Then ‘fess up you miserable sinner! Tell God your dirty little secrets.”

But that’s not confession. That’s manmade religion.

To confess literally means to agree with or say the same thing as another. Biblical confession is agreeing with God. It’s verbalizing faith in his goodness and acknowledging your dependence upon him (Rom. 10:9–10). It’s saying, “God, I believe you are faithful and true and will do all that you promised.”

But some people have a different definition of confession. They think confession is something you must do to make yourself clean, righteous, and forgiven. “I have to review all my sins to receive forgiveness.” This is a dead work. Confessing-to-be-forgiven is like washing with dirty water. No matter how hard you scrub you won’t make yourself clean.

Faithless confession puts the focus on you and what you have done, but faith-based confession puts the focus on Christ and what He has done on your behalf.

Does that mean we should never confess or that it’s wrong to confess our sins? Not at all. Biblical confession is good for you. It will help you to walk in the grace that God has provided.

One of the clearest descriptions of confession comes from Max Lucado:

Confession is not complaining. If I merely recite my problems and rehash my woes, I’m whining … Confession is so much more. Confession is a radical reliance on grace. A proclamation of our trust in God’s goodness. “What I did was bad,” we acknowledge, “but your grace is greater than my sin, so I confess it.” If our understanding of grace is small, our confession will be small: reluctant, hesitant, hedged with excuses and qualifications, full of fear of punishment. But great grace creates an honest confession. (Grace, p.83)

We don’t repent and confess to get God to forgive us. We repent and confess because God has forgiven us.

Your repentance and confession won’t change God, but it will surely change you. It will help you receive God’s life-changing grace. As Clark Whitten says, “Confession is for my healing, not for God’s forgiveness.”

Those who don’t understand this may point to 1 John 1:9 which seems to say God’s forgiveness is contingent upon our confession of sins. This scripture is so widely misunderstood that it gets mentioned in just about every book on grace. To paraphrase Andrew Farley, John cannot be saying God forgives us on account of our confession because just a few verses later he says we are already forgiven on account of Jesus’ name.

Happy-KidWhen you sin it takes no faith to beat yourself up and agree with the Accuser who calls you a sinner. It takes faith to look at the cross and say, “Thank you, Jesus, for carrying all my sin.” It takes faith to praise your Father for his superabounding grace that is greater than your transgression. And it takes faith to agree with the Holy Spirit who says, despite what you did, you are still righteous, acceptable, and pleasing to God.

Adapted from The Hyper-Grace Gospel, pp. 27-29.


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72 Comments on Myth: Hypergrace Preachers are Against Confession

  1. great timing on this,I was about to add that not confessing gives the enemy a chance to do his thing ,but i think you covered that ,im going to share this at the risk of confrontation,especially with the confessional cartoon,but hey hear it goes haha.

  2. Is not the opposite true, as a palindrome, with John 1:9, “if we do ‘not’ confess our sins, he is faithful and just ‘not to’ forgive us our sins…” Of coarse it is, even though as you, rightly say, that He ‘already has’ forgiven us! As He died once and for all, 1 Peter 2:24, “who his own self bore our sin’s on His own body on the tree…” But, that does not negate our responsibility to, ‘respond’(if) to His ‘ability’(then)! This is what contingent means. A clear, “if”- “then”!

    You say, “It will help you receive God’s life-changing grace.” James 4:6 “…Wherefore he say’s, God resist the proud, but gives ‘grace’ unto the humble.” That’s right, and confession is humbling.

  3. Great way of putting things into perspective! There are so many misconceptions, and for many of us “confession” leaves a stale, bitter taste because of this. So thank you for turning it into a manifesto of greatfulness and a chance for joy 🙂

  4. It takes grace to understand grace!
    Bro. Paul, I am always startled with the phrase “HYPER-GRACE”. Hyper means:- “beyond, over” and “hypo” means:- ‘under’. Since grace is God, grace is boundless, immeasurable, everlasting,irrepressible, etc, and nothing in existence either in the past, present or future can be more than grace…I think it’s high time we used another phrase rather than hyper which in the true meaning of the word, there is nothing like hyper grace gospel.
    In truth, all that have ever been said, written, preached, imagined, etc about grace are ALL-FAR LESS, INFINITESIMALLY SMALL to what grace means.
    No one has ever been able to or will ever be able to tell or write or imagine fully what grace has done, is doing and will do.
    I know that this expression came as way of criticism, but do we allow that to undermine what grace means in response to them? In all that people have been writing and teaching about grace are still “HYPO-GRACE” in juxtaposition to God’s grace.

  5. Most people who are against the “hyper grace” message are hung up on the issue of sin. They see nominal Christians in society who have low standards and excuse sin in their lives saying it is “covered by Grace.” Definitions are important, and when they say confession, I think they are really saying “acknowledge sin.” “Calling a spade a spade.” That is important! There is no condemnation and our confession is “agreeing with the finished work of the cross.” I think this is the heart of the conflict between these “camps,” and if we really agree with what Christ has done, than that grace is going to produce the fruit of Righteousness.

  6. The difficult part is not the confession of sins, but rather believing Righteousness persists even without confession

    • Got to ask yourself, why would it say “if” we confess. It’s an ‘if’- ‘then’ proposition . Speaking of righteousness, it’s for those that walk in the spirit, and not in the flesh. Flesh is where sin resides. Don’t be deceived, he that does righteousness is righteous, even as Jesus is righteous. That’s why, He that say’s he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Seems that this is all saying, if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. Romans 8:4, 1 John 3:7, 1 John 2:6, 1 John 1:7

      • I may be reading some of these posts wrong but I get the distinct impression that many folk here view confession at best as something negative, something one would normally want to avoid but perhaps in some small way may have some future benefit- kind of like brushing your teeth or going for a check up with the dentist! I don’t understand this negative connotation to confession. The invitation to confessing our sins and mistakes is a precious gift from the God who has forgiven us, who accepts us unconditionally in Jesus and who longs to bear the emotional weight of the pain and sorrow we feel over how we have lacked love for Him and others (the essence of sin). A God who longs to give us the joy and psychological catharsis of relational confession. Confession in the Bible is presented as something to be cherished not shunned and avoided.
        When we hold ambivalence about confessing out sins to our precious divine Friend and Father we expose our false and unbiblical beliefs about confession but worse we expose our hidden false beliefs about God.
        Psalm 51 is a classic confession inspired by the Spirit of Jesus through David. This beautiful confession Psalm was not David’s idea – it was Jesus idea! Jesus still lives to confess our sins IN US TODAY.
        “Jesus Christ – the same yesterday and today and forever.”

      • oh yes. the Thief confessed.
        Luke 23:42-43 And the thief, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”
        43 And Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

  7. Robert Tague // September 4, 2014 at 5:27 am // Reply

    Paul you paraphrase Andrew Farley,
    “John cannot be saying God forgives us on account of our confession because just a few verses later he says we are already forgiven on account of Jesus’ name.”
    I would also consider john’s own words in verse 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 tells us if we walk in the light, we are cleansed, not if we walk in the light and confess.

    • That’s exactly the way Jesus put it Himself when He said those who are forgiven much will love much (in the Greek it’s in the perfect tense) Thank God He was already talking about these issues even before Paul, John and others came along.

  8. This helps a lot but I still find the entire concept of confession rather confusing . In every other interpersonal relationship we naturally and spontaneously understand and know the relational benefits of confession to each other and the paralyzing effects on our relationships of prideful refusal to confession to each other. One man bragged to me, “I haven’t had to confess my sins against my wife to her in the 5 years since I came to understand Gods grace.” … As I looked at the pain, anguish and torment in his poor wife’s eyes!!!!
    Come on lets get real! Confession is absolutely essential in the healthy maintainence of every into personal relationship ( in families especially). Every child is always forgiven by a loving parent and every spouse is forgiven by a promise keeping marraige partner – but that doesn’t negate the need for relational maintenance through heart felt confession to one another. Is God not a family member too? Does He not grieved when we pridefully refuse to fess up with our offenses against Him in the name of “grace”?
    Of course through Jesus grace we are perpetually forgiven – that doesn’t mean we don’t keep our relationship maintained by the loving act of saying, “My God I hurt you by my sin in this situation. I love you enough to admit that openly to you .”

  9. Amen! and Amen! Thank you Paul for this awesome post. We don’t confess to be forgiven. We are already forgiven, there is a big difference.
    Our confession is about His righteousness about what Jesus has done for us.
    This does not mean that we don’t admit our mistakes to one another and say sorry. In fact I’ve found that when I’m secured in His righteousness, I’m not defensive about my mistakes and don’t mind apologizing.

  10. Sahr Yambasu // September 4, 2014 at 9:21 pm // Reply

    You, Paul, and Barry are so right. Thank you for this very clear explanations. I had never known this before – especially graceful confession versus flesh-full confession. Thank you guys. Sorry i am straying from this point now. But how would you respond to a Christian, separated from her spouse and is living with another separated Christian, both believers and active worship attenders, hoping to eventually marry but want to participate in more than just worship in their church?

  11. Evening all. I hope your day has gone or is going well.

    I’ve posted a lot recently here. I have been honest from the first post to this. I have shared that I suffered from severe anxiety every day for the last 26 years (I’ve been a believer for 30 years) and how I drink alcohol to take the edge of it. The anxiety always peaks when I think about spending time on my own with God and then when I do. The main reason for this revolves around repentance/confession/forgiveness/doing and full acceptance. It’s not only works based theology that has contributed to this but also a traumatic childhood which I will not go into here.

    I have read the e-mails sent out and have really been looking into them and struggling with them. Let’s be honest a real paradigm shift is needed here for people like me. I’ve come to realise that this doesn’t happen by doing and trying to believe what has posted here but by asking God to reveal the things of him and what Christ has done through the Holy Spirit.

    My mindset has been repent/confess to be forgiven and as sad it sounds this is true of me, when I came before God I would even ask for forgiveness for the sins I would commit tomorrow. No wonder I find it hard to drag myself out of bed in the mornings.

    Anyway what I want to say and share is that for the last few weeks my anxiety has gone through the roof. I thinks it’s because I have been digesting all off the above and daring to believe. Last night after coming back from church very dejected because I could see the experience of love and joy and worship that fellow believers have for God I don’t experience.

    After my family had gone to bed I came before God in the quiet of my room. I purposely did not and had to struggle coming before him in my usual fashion. I was honest with him. I expressed my confusion. He reminded me of what Jesus said “The only work you have to do is to believe in the one whom he sent” then he reminded me “There is no condemnation for those who are in Chris” then “HE would complete the good work he started in me” NOT ME BUT HIM. The fruit of the Spirit I so yearn for and try to walk in are already mine because I have the Holy Spirit in me as a deposit of my inheritance. In a sense I don’t need to strive because it’s the Holy Spirit who strives in me revealing the true nature of my saviour. I thanked God for all HE HAS DONE. Then I found myself thanking God that every single one of sins have been nailed to the cross, even the ones I may commit tomorrow. I thanked him that I don’t have to do but just be what I am in Christ. Forgiven/Justified and sanctified and reconciled to a loving Father who loves me so much that he sent Jesus to rip that big curtain in two so I can come before him MY ABBA FATHER.

    Anyway this morning I did not have to drag myself out off bed. A little bit of anxiety but nowhere near the levels I’ve been living with. For the whole of my day it’s remained stable and not increased at all. To me this is relaxation.

    Sorry for the long post but had to share.

    Paul I have downloaded the Joseph Prince book you recommend “The power of right believing” Been a few weeks since you suggested I did and to be honest I was to frightened to do so. Have come to realise why should I fear the very man who came to save me and heal me and give me an abundant life

    • Bill, thanks for sharing your struggle. Every step towards peace and freedom is a victory worth celebrating, and we’re celebrating with you. The One who has begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion. Grace and abundant peace to you.

      • Thanks Paul. I’m off to bed soon and as I do so I’m going with a sense of renewed strength. Not mine but God’s strength. I’m actually not worried about waking up tomorrow. My Father promised to complete the good work he started in me and I’m taking that thought to bed with me:0). Thanks for all you do and I pray blessings for the rest if your day.

    • Bill, what a great word you received directly from the Lord – Awesome! His words are life and He will remain faithful to complete the good work He began in you. Grace and peace be multiplied to you.

      P.S. After I wrote this I noticed it’s nearly the same thing Paul said. I could have changed it so I wouldn’t look like a copycat, but that’s something. (when we say “that’s something” in my family it’s code for “that’s God”)
      Blessings 🙂

    • Bill ,thats great ,thats close to a major deliverance I got while standing in my kitchen years ago from rejection,it was just me and the Lord,I started laughing,and and didnt stop for a while,I think people thought I finally lost it,my elder at the time said it was holy laughter,after that I began to realize how inadequate we are, and adequate he was,and I felt so accepted,that I could go BOLDLY INTO THE THRONE ROOM, and was not afraid to express or talk to him .{perhaps including a few colorful metaphors] I was NEVER rejected,and if I needed correction his mere loving presence corrected me,I swear I could hear him say { now you need to calm down} we should rejoice in love{ agape} because it would be simple for me or any of us to simply not exist…..hang in brother,he WILL finish the job.

  12. Amen. Great blessing I received from this post!

  13. Confession was meant to be a once of occurance , but we choose to play hide and seek with God. It is time to step out from behind the bushes, show yourself and take a long walk with God, when you walk with him you do not need to confess, he is not blind, he only respects your privacy and free will, you may hide again if you wish to.Your only hiding place is your pride that hides your sin, are you trying to tame your leviathan, trying to make him your obedient pet. Continuous confession may be evidence of this.

  14. Great post Paul , I also believe confession is and should be agreeing and fellowship with God.

  15. Bill, your testimony to the freedom you have been finding in His grace is AMAZING and so encouraging. Thanks for sharing so openly. I can really identify with an “obsession with confession” in years past and the resulting anxiety it produced on many levels. I just thought that was the lot of Christ’s followers .. you know, to be constantly screwed up over how rubbish a Christian you were and to be sure you confessed every possible detail of that failure to God as a way of showing Him how sincere you were. I laugh at it now but at the time it was crippling and my heart weeps for anyone still being robbed of the joy of knowing His full, free and unconditional forgiveness for our whole lifetime of sin. What a Saviour! I do still talk with my Papa about my mistakes sometimes and say I’m sorry but never with any hint of heaviness or condemnation or to get myself “right” with Him again. I love how in those times He reminds me of who I am through His eyes and shows me where He’s helping me to trust Him more. For me, confession is not about unloading my dirt anymore but getting my mind renewed and my soul encouraged in His love, all through Jesus’ perfect finished work on our behalf. Praise Him!

  16. They are when it’s of the “1 John 1:9” format. That was written to the Gnostics.

  17. Brian Midmore // September 9, 2014 at 7:59 pm // Reply

    Our cleansing from sin is contingent upon our walking in the light. 1 John 1.7. It is impossible to see how 1.7 was written to the Gnostics.

    • @Brian Midmore “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light”…
      take note “as he is in the light”. it means you walk in the light because he is in the light.
      walking in the light is not a matter of decision we make. because you are “IN Jesus” and Jesus walks IN the light you therefore walk in the light. Jesus is seated at the right side of God. so are you! Jesus is seated at the throne, so are you! all this because you are in Jesus.
      now ask this. is Jesus righteous? am I righteous?

      • 1 John 3:6, “Whosoever abides in him, sins not; whosoever sins, has not seen him, neither has known him.”
        Those that so walk (in the light) show that they know God, that they have received of the Spirit of God, and that the divine impress or image is stamped upon their souls. They do not sin habitually, as 1 John 2:1, say’s “and ‘if’ anyone sins…” Pretty ‘iffy’ statement, and not a guarantee statement, as in (and ‘when’ anyone sins)
        Notice in Pauls statement expressed; “ When you sin it takes no faith to beat yourself up and agree with the Accuser who calls you a sinner.” “When” should be “if.” Lets stay Biblically accurate.
        1 John 2:4, “He that say’s, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

      • @Tom Howard “1 John 3:6, “Whosoever abides in him, sins not; whosoever sins, has not seen him, neither has known him.””
        i’m not sure if your comment was directed to me.. but i will answer it.

        “Sins NOT”.. have you not sin even after becoming a Christian? if you have sin, then it means you have not known Jesus?

        “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning” – 1 John 3:6

        if this is the case, then we are all liars and we are not of God! because we sin everyday.
        we are not of the light because we sin everyday!

        BUT NO, we are of the light even when we sin… look below

      • “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.”
        – 1 John 3:9

        we are all born again, born of God. God’s seed, who is Jesus remains in us, until our day of redemption.

        we are in the light, not because we do not sin, but becase our fellowship is with Jesus and Jesus is in the light.

        as far as God is concern, WE ARE SINLESS IN GODS SIGHT.

        but the way we look at ourselves, are as if we are sinners.. THERE LIES IN THE PROBLEM.

        we are not against 1 John 1:9. i am against us looking at ourselves as if the blood of Jesus did not cleanse us of all sins.

        – grace and peace

  18. Dear Paul–
    I really do enjoy reading your posts— I agree with most everything you say.
    I also wish you would prayerfully consider not calling grace “hyper-grace” –it’s just grace. pure and simple. The Bible doesn’t add the adjective– neither should we.
    Thanks for your ministry Steve Henry

  19. Warren (South Carolina) // June 17, 2015 at 8:22 am // Reply

    Go Paul 🙂
    Hyper Grace it is!!!
    Warren (South Carolina)

  20. “Biblical confession is agreeing with God. It’s verbalizing faith in His goodness and acknowledging your dependence upon Him (Rom. 10:9–10). It’s saying, “God, I believe You are faithful and true and will do all that You promised.”

    I don’t believe this fully encompasses the confession or repentance God wants from us. “A broken and contrite heart you will by no means despise” “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”.

    Unfortunately the theology I’m seeing here falls short of calling people to humility before God when it comes to their sin. That humility is a “sorrow” that comes from sin, that would cause one to say “I’m sorry” to God for sinning. A prayer that simply says “God I believe you are faithful and will forgive me for this sin I’ve committed, Amen.” seems to fall short of the Biblical call to humility in our sin. I cannot imagine someone looking at porn, cheating on their wife, killing another human, and then saying “God I believe you are faithful and will forgive me for this sin, Amen.” Can you?

    • Actually God has ALREADY forgiven us for all our sins. It is only a question of whether we believe it or not, whether we accept the enemy’s attempts to bring condemnation. The first part of Hebrews 10 says we should not have any consciousness of sins. Romans 4 says that God does not even impute sin to us.

      When I first heard this teaching I was very offended at it. But the Holy Spirit brought me around to seeing it is true. And it has changed my walk with God and has resulted in me sinning less.

    • I answered this same question you have on a different post but I will say it again here for everyone’s benefit.
      Thing is I know someone who was delivered from porn addiction after learning about grace, our position in Christ and all the things that this website teaches. It was not until he knew that he was fully secure and that Jesus was the final sacrifice that he found deliverance freedom. I was delivered from a pretty big anger problem too. Before when I was trusting in my sorrow, feeling bad about it and trying really hard to not blow my top I never could stop until the damage was done. After once I had learned and believed the teachings here I was catching myself sooner and sooner in the cycle and most importantly the inner thought wasn’t self condemnation but a still small voice saying you are so much better than this and believe it or not that stopped the anger cycle dead.

    • Hi Stephen,
      The biblical humility that qualifies people for the divine grace of absolution and forgivnrss is not some kind of self induced sorrow as you imagine. What you describe is the epitome of self centred pride. Biblical humility is accepting Gods ONLY means of forgiveness- JESUS blood plus nothing! I’m sorry sir but sorry just doesn’t cut it with God. You need to humble yourself , reject the notion that all the tears, sorrow or sorry lines you can muster will satisfy a thrice holy holy and accept the blood of Jesus plus nothing as a little helpless humble and impotent child .

    • Hi friends,
      This thought isn’t directed at Stephen per se but I think it is important to realize that each of us (believers in JESUS) is unique in the way we express and work out our faith relationship with God . One man expresses his faith in Jesus as it relates to his sins by not needing to “say” anything . His faith expressed confession is simply within his own heart before God. He trusts Christs death implicitly and entirely to secure his full acceptance and forgiveness before God and God honors his faith. Another man expresses his faith confession very emotionally – with remorse , sorrow, penitence and brokeness of spirit before the Lord and God honors that mans faith expression just as much .
      The operative ingredient is not the expression of confession but FAITH in Jesus! We need to be careful not to judge each other on outward expressions – faith is the victory!
      Groveling, sorrow, penitence or tears OR NOT- is not what God honors. Faith in Jesus is what God honors- faith in Jesus blood is what God honors. Tears, sorrow, penitence and a broken and contrite heart without faith in Jesus blood – (believing my tears and sorrow is what secures my forgivenenss ) is an abomination to God , a trampling underfoot the blood of the Corvenant and an insult to the Spirit of grace. If tears and sorrows could forgive and take away sin then CHRIST died for nothing!
      “For in Christ Jesus neither (confession nor unconfession, niether emotion nor unemotion) means anything, but faith working through love.” Bracketed phrase mine. Galatians‬ ‭5:6‬ ‭NASB‬‬

  21. John Leonard // November 14, 2015 at 1:16 pm // Reply

    when I encounter Jesus in my life, the way I confess is “thank you Jesus for the cross for I am righteous because of you, my flesh is weak but your grace is superabounding! Let your will be done always. I love your father!” I feel so loved after praying. I never felt any sorrow, guilt nor condemnation at all, instead a pure and genuine love of Jesus. 🙂 I never thought of this way to confess, until I tell this to my friend who showed me the way to Jesus and said you are on the right track. 😉 Grace and peace to everyone.

  22. Roy Bowden // August 6, 2016 at 6:22 pm // Reply

    James said…confess your sins one to another. God knows what we will do or have done. Confessing to one another simply means….righting a wrong done to another by asking for forgiveness. It’s our relationship with our fellow man that should be transparent and transgressions admitted. It does good to our human relationsips. Only by pride comes contention.

    • That’s so right on Roy- because of grace we don’t HAVE to confess our sins because our sins are not forgiven on the basis of our confession but on the basis of faith in Jesus death which alone can secure the forgivness of our sins. But BECAUSE we believers enjoy this grace of not HAVING to confess our sins for forgivness we OUGHT be the first to confess our sins and happily out of gratitude and love we OUGHT to be the ones who confess our sins more often than anyone to our beloved Redeemer Friend and to our beloved nieghbours.
      Show me a man who claims the grace of God yet is too proud to WANT to confess his sins and I will show you a man who is too proud to accept Gods indescribable gift of grace! ”
      “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” is not a law of humility not is it a works based rule but an objvetively divine relationship reality -just as gravity is not a moral law but an objective physical reality.

  23. Confessing past sins to those we wronged is something many do to free themselves of the guilt conscience. And that is a good motivator but who makes us feel guilty? Is guilt (condemnation) of God?

    Here are things I see wrong with feeling a need to confess past sins to others.

    A) It’s reminding God of what He said is forgotten.

    B) It nullifies His grace and forgiveness.

    C) Fear has to do with punishment. So if we’re afraid of hell if we don’t confess, we’re not perfect in love…we don’t truly understand how much He loves us.

    D) Go and sin no more is being turned into Go and tell everyone you sinned and then sin no more.

    E) If we cannot confess everything we don’t recall or have means to confess, why would one confession be more important than those others?

    F) If Christ came to set us free, why are we so burdened with this need to confess to everyone? It was the Pharisees who placed heavy burdens which they themselves didn’t follow. Jesus said His burdens were light.

    Jesus’ burden was to love God and one another. By loving others, we may feel a need to express our sorrow for having harmed them. But it isn’t a requirement to grace. And confession can at times make things worse to the one who never knew you had done or thought something hurtful to them.

    If out of love, knowing that it would relieve the person or mend relationships, go tell them. But just as giving money, if you do it for the wrong reasons (fear of punishment), it won’t be honored.

    • Some here would put the charge of grace abuse etc. If you want to be transparent you would reveal Christ in you, but some prefer the wages of sin. This in no way should end our need to preach grace. It’s better than the alternative. Repentance saves lives, but preaching on repentance saves no one. We have a new human spirit, but my software doesn’t always remember that (or hardware). So preaching the goodness of man won’t compare to preaching God’s goodness. But the fact is His worthiness is greater than our unworthiness.

    • REALLY???
      Feeling no guilt or remorse over your sin doesn’t make you a fan of the gospel of grace. It makes you a sociopath!
      Refusing to seek out your loved ones and friends to apologize and to ask their forgiveness when you have sinned against them won’t make you honour the message of grace. It will make you friendless!
      Our sins are forgiven us and can be repented of but stupid is stupid forever.

      • I’m not sure who you’re responding to but it’s not in response to what I said.

      • Barry, the intention not to sin is not the same as the power not to sin. I’m not promoting the power of positive thinking, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Some say sin is sin and your just going to have to get over it, but Jesus didn’t suffer and die to make his children orphan spirits. He gave us the spirit of sonship by which we cry “Abba, Father.”

      • There might be a little of sin avoidance, but when you think of a toddler learning to walk, the father disciplines in the sense of guidance, not punishment. The same with holiness.

  24. I have a question- where do we draw the line regarding our confession of sin to others? I do agree it may be helpful to mend a relationship. But recently, I made a joke about someone at work, and it just kind of came out. They weren’t around when I said it, but I’ve felt this urge to confess to them what I said. It seems quite ridiculous the feelings I get sometimes, and I know I shouldn’t live by them. I always thought this feeling was the Holy Spirit prompting me to confess all my junk. Is it more important to rest assured that I am forgiven, rather than confessing to others to “make sure” I’m forgiven?

    • I read the Bible this way: we are not forgiven by confession ; we are forgiven by the death of Jesus alone. So while confession never secures forgiveness any more than apologizing to people secures their forgiveness . But when we apologize to God and to others when we offend them it is a demonstration of our love for them. There is no law against love: you can do that as much as you like .
      And if someone tries to tell me that God’s unconditional forgiveness and love means He never feels hurt or offended when we hurt him by hurting others I would tell them they don’t know God or His word very well. “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” If God is never grieved by our mistreatment of others they why does the Holy Spirit tell us not to grieve him ?

    • “What exactly didn’t you understand about, ‘THOU SHALT NOT’?
      God (To the Jews 198 years after Mt. Siniai)
      “What exactly didn’t you understand about,
      God (To the western church 1980 years after Mt. Calvary)

  25. I want to believe that 1 John 1:9 is not written to me, but I am having trouble. Almost all authorities interpret this a question of fellowship, the full sharing of a believer and his joy. I am looking at the work homologeo in the verse and the flow of we. I know this letter seems to me the only place that makes forgiveness conditional! I wish it wasn’t there but it is.
    I still have a problem with homologeo here. I am not a Greek scholar, but I found it is “present, active subjunctive” Forgive “aphiemi” is 2 aorist, active, subjunctive and cleanse is kathartizo aorist active subjunctive. I read aorist tense is a little hard to translate exactly but is close to past tense “forgiven” and same goes for cleansed.
    So If I understand the verse is saying “ If we continue confessing (present tense) our sins, He has forgiven us and cleansed us?? What? Does that mean we shouldn’t be confessing them because it is not necessary?
    Any ways I have trouble accepting that the “we” is not believers.
    I believe believers who are deceived can walk in darkness.
    Why does the NT exhort us to walk as children of light, walk in love if we as believers could not walk any other way? As in EPh 5:2, Eph5:2, 1 Cor3:3, Col 2:6 I am confused on this. Looking for some help!

    • A believer is someone who agrees with God not once, but daily. So I find the active, present tense is perfect. If we continually agree with God that Jesus has eternally done away with our sins, then we will daily walk in his grace and forgiveness. It’s certainly true that believers can walk after the flesh, but John is talking about having fellowship or koinonia with the Lord. He’s describing the believer’s secure union. You are not married to Jesus one day and divorced the next. Jesus doesn’t believe in divorce. Find more on 1 John 1:9 here and here.

  26. Amen to that. If confession of sin was forgiveness it can be likened to sitting in the middle of a land fill or rubbish dump trying to remove all the rubbish. It would be impossible, exhausting and futile. I agree, confession is for our healing not our forgiveness.

  27. Roshan J Easo // March 22, 2017 at 9:32 am // Reply

    Thanks for the latest comment from Robin. You very well saved me anguish and gave me much needed joy. Thanks for saving my life!

  28. Confession or no confession – it’s all so moot!
    I’m mean really ? Is God a man that he doesn’t know us our motives and our hearts intentions? Is God through His grace not the very ONE who initiates and works all authentic repentance and change of heart and mind in our lives that causes us to even want to confess our sins? Is He like man priest that we have to tell him our sins? Does He not know our hearts that we have to “say” confession? If He hasn’t initiated the repentant heart that produces the hearts desire to confess what good is confession of the mouth? If the mouth is full of confessions but God sees it not in the heart what good is confession? Confession in the heart doesn’t need to be in the mouth in order to do whatever comfession might possibly do for us.
    LORD JESUS HELP! People- let’s not loose our common sense and reasoning in all our religious Mumbo jumbo rules!
    Religious rules can make us such complete idiots .

    • Roshan J Easo // July 10, 2017 at 10:06 am // Reply

      We are not judged by the state of our confession, but by the blood of Jesus. Never forget that. If you sin, you are still forgiven. But thank God, confession is not going to undo the finished work, If it makes you feel healthy confess.

      Momzilla brings up a good point, one I believe we can do because Jesus is inside. We can express our sins to one another because we love our brothers and sisters.

  29. God told his kids how to relate to his other kids who lived in unrepentant sin…..

    Matt 18:15 “If your brother sins against you, go and confront him privately. IF he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And IF HE REFUSES TO LISTEN even to the church, regard him as you would a pagan or a tax collector. ”

    Luke 17:3-4 “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and IF he repents, forgive him”

    I can see only two ways to read this:
    1. God gives us license to harbor unforgiveness in our hearts to unrepentant brothers in Christ
    2. The bible teaches us about more than one type of “forgiveness”. One has to do with forgiveness of sins for salvation, the other is something different.

    Obviously # 1 is ridiculous according to Scripture, “forgive as I have forgiven you” Jesus said. And knowing that, it is clear that God is teaching us that if someone in the Church lives in unrepentant sin against you, and you have confronted them with their sin and given opportunity for repentance, the fellowship between you and that person is broken/strained.

    Would God teach us to act in this way towards each other, and He Himself would not act this way towards us?

    So if we as a Christian do not repent of ours sin regularly, our relationship with God is the same as it was prior to our repenting? And I mean not just in our minds, but in the mind of God? Seems to be at odds with how God teaches us to relate with each other……

    • momzilla76 // July 10, 2017 at 1:56 am // Reply

      It is a good question. Yes God does have us act in a way differently than He does in this instance. Why? The between us and God sin issue has been completely settled by the one time blood offering of Jesus. Our sin is fully under the blood of Christ and God promises to not remember them. (Hebrews 9:24-10:18) He cannot have our sins erased from His memory and still let them get in the way of our relationship.
      However sin between people still exists and can cause problems. This is why God has the person to person sins here on Earth treated differently. Not only are relationships strained/broken it looks bad to those outside Christianity.

      • The problem with this view is that He said your sins are forgiven and not your as yet to be committed sins are also forgiven. In fact, He said “Neither do I condemn you. Now go AND SIN NO MORE.” It seems a strange thing to say to someone if you’re forgiving their future sins.

      • It’s not strange at all. It was sin that put this woman on death row; Jesus doesn’t want to see her here again. It’s silly to suggest that only some of our sins are forgiven, when Jesus said the opposite, as did the NT epistle-writers.

      • momzilla76 // July 12, 2017 at 9:18 am //

        The scripture I mentioned explains it fully. In a nutshell Jesus only died and poured out His blood one time. If that is not enough then nothing is. 🙂

  30. How should this verse can be understood according to grace teachings ‘He who conceals his sins will not prosper but whoever confesses and renounces them will find mercy.

  31. Barry Schmidt // March 12, 2019 at 5:25 am // Reply

    God’s forgiveness of our sin is never based upon the level of our awareness of our sin or upon the amount of confession of sin we have engaged in. This notion is based upon a very deceptive teaching. We can never know the enormity of the debt we have been forgiven. Our debt of forgiven sin was far beyond the scope of our comprehension. The best we can do is catch a dim glimpse of the enormity of our forgiven debt when we look upon the beautiful One hanging on the cross. Then we will forget about trying to confess our way to into His forgiveness and will instead begin to silently wash His feet with our tears .

  32. Clell Adams // March 23, 2019 at 7:35 am // Reply

    Did i stumble upon the insane christian’s web page? Taken to the logical conclusion of your argument – a person who was born again could commit child rape and murder once a week and as long as he agreed that Jesus’s blood had taken care of it he is still saved and on his way to heaven. Actually he doesn’t even have to agree since it’s true anyway – confession is just a nice way of him agreeing with God that his murder and rape are already forgiven, but may help him feel better.

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