© 2010 • Hillcrest Church of Christ
by Danny Boggs
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). No two spiritual responsibilities are more often confused than confession and repentance. Like a bow and an arrow, they work in concert, but each plays its own part in a faithful response to God.
Biblically speaking, when we confess sin, we admit our guilt to God. We do not try to conceal our transgressions. We do not deny that we did anything, we do not deny that what we have done is sinful, and we do not try to justify the sin. We plead guilty before the Judge.
Biblically speaking, when we repent of sin, we change our minds about the sinful course of action we have taken, and we resolve to do right. Beyond merely confessing our wrongdoing, we forsake it.
When we confess our sin to God, we pick up the bow. But many religiously minded people think that they have hit the target simply by admitting sinfulness. Admitting that we sin without resolving to turn away from sin is like taking up the bow without the arrow. We’ll still never hit the mark. Confession is essential, but without repentance, it goes nowhere. He who confesses and forsakes his transgressions will obtain mercy.
A faithful response to God will assuredly meet with divine mercy. Since Christ died to secure mercy for our sins, Christians can “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). His mercy is rich. Earth knows no prosperity like it.
We can never find God’s mercy without both confessing our sins and repenting of them. Confession is not repentance.
Confession Is Not Repentance