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Do I need to confess to others what I have done?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by JesusSaves623, May 9, 2017.

  1. JesusSaves623

    JesusSaves623 New Member

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    I have a question. I committed a couple terrible sins (that I won't post here) (years ago) in my life. I have totally repented, confessed to God, and do not struggle with those sins anymore. I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior. I have done my best to forgive others of their sins. However, I am struggling with the idea of confessing my terrible sins to other believers. Like, if I do, it could literally destroy my life (and my family's life). Am I still saved if I don't confess these sins to others in the Church? Like has God truly forgiven me? I will say that I have told a couple close people but they won't tell anyone else and promise to keep it confidential. Please help!
     
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  2. Bluerose31

    Bluerose31 Christian Flower Supporter

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    You do not have to confess to others your sin. It is best to keep it to yourself and God. God would not make you do something that would destroy your life and your family's life.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
  3. RaymondG

    RaymondG Well-Known Member

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    I would say you should confess to the people you offended and to yourself and God. I dont believe telling random people has any bearing on your salvation.
     
  4. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Few Christians and even fewer churches would agree with the perspective outlined in the OP. The overwhelming majority of Christians would say that although our sins were like scarlet, the Lord who knows the secret recesses of our hearts and forgives them all upon a sincere act of repentance on the believer's part...and there is no stipulation that you confess them to every other member of the church or your community.

    There is some indication in the New Testament that when the Christian communities were small and very close-knit that confessing one's sins to each other was practiced--just as they shared their possessions, which we do not do anymore. But even so, and if this is the way of your particular congregation, you need not think that you are to recount every detail as opposed to just admitting to having sinned.
     
  5. Phil 1:21

    Phil 1:21 Well-Known Member

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    Do you need to confess your sins to a third party to be forgiven by God? Absolutely not. However, confession of current sins to fellow Christians is a helpful part of accountability—keeping one another on the right path. We're not talking about random followers of Jesus, but friends, family, members of a Bible study group...folks like that. But to unload old, dead and buried sins to other people would serve no purpose.

    That being said, it's important to note what Jesus said in Matthew 5:23-24.

    23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”

    This has to do with making things right with people who still carry the burden of harm you’ve done to them. It’s like in AA when they make amends. Does this mean you can’t come before The Lord until you locate and apologize to the classmate you hit with a spit ball in 40 years ago? Of course not. But it does mean you can't leave wreckage in your wake and disregard your responsibility to fix it just because you confessed to God and received forgiveness.
     
  6. AvgJoe

    AvgJoe Member since 2005 Supporter

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    Question: "Do we need to confess our sins to those we have sinned against?"

    Answer:
    We know we are to confess our sins to God, but many Christians wonder whether we need to confess to those we have sinned against. Do we need to tell the person we’ve sinned against that we’re sorry? “Walking in the light” (1 John 1:7) means that we are living in obedience to God’s commandments. In the same verse, we have references to forgiveness through Christ and “fellowship one with another.” So, there is a connection between having a “clean slate” and our relationship with other people.

    Every sin is ultimately committed against God (Psalm 51:4). The Bible consistently emphasizes our need to confess our sins to Him (Psalm 41:4; 130:4; Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9). As for the confession of our sins to people, the Bible gives no blanket command. We are told many times to confess our sins to the Lord, but the only direct command to confess to someone else is in the context of church elders praying on behalf of the sick (James 5:16).

    This does not mean that we are never to seek another person’s forgiveness. The Bible gives examples of confession to other people. One is Joseph’s brothers asking for his forgiveness in Genesis 50:17-18. And person-to-person confession is implied in such passages as Luke 17:3-4; Ephesians 4:32; and Colossians 3:13.

    The principles here seem to be 1) We should seek forgiveness from the Lord for every sin. He desires “truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6). 2) If our relationship with the Lord is right, then our relationships with other people will fall in line. We will treat others graciously, with justice and honesty (Psalm 15). To sin against someone and not attempt to make it right would be unthinkable. 3) The extent of the apology for a sin should match the extent of the impact of the sin. In other words, we should seek forgiveness from whoever was directly involved in order to ensure healing.

    For example, if a man looks with lust at a woman, he should immediately confess the sin to the Lord. It would not be needed or appropriate to confess that sin to the woman. That sin is between the man and the Lord. However, if a man breaks a promise, or does something that directly impacts the woman, he must confess to her and seek her forgiveness. If a sin involves a large number of people, such as a church, a man or woman must then extend the confession to the members of the church. So the confession and apology should match the impact. Those impacted by the sin should hear the confession.

    While our forgiveness with God is not dependent on our confessing our sins to others and/or their forgiving us, God does call us to be honest and forthcoming with others regarding our failings, especially when our mistakes involve them. When we have offended, hurt, or sinned against others, we should seek to offer a sincere apology and confession and ask for forgiveness. Whether the forgiveness is granted is up to those who were confessed to. Our responsibility is to genuinely repent, confess the sin, and ask for forgiveness.

    www.gotquestions.org/confess-sin-against.html
     
  7. GandalfTheWise

    GandalfTheWise In search of lost causes and hopeless battles

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    There are many good comments on this thread. I agree that your salvation does not hinge on confession of particular sins to particular people.

    Having said that, I think there are times God might lead us to confess particular sins for the purpose of healing and freedom. Confessing something to a "3rd party" Christian might be a freeing thing to do because it's no longer a secret bottled inside you. Apologizing to a hurt party (from long ago) might be something God leads us to do. I've known a few people that made restitution for theft and turned themselves in for illegal acts. I think that such things should prayerfully considered as to what God wants us to do.

    I think any such confessions should be out of a sense of moving forward in freedom and healing rather than doing something because we feel guilty. There is a difference between God's conviction (which is "I want you to do this to move ahead") and unhealthy guilt which is sometimes a form of doubting that we are really forgiven. Unhealthy guilt just dredges up muck from the past and does no one any good. God's conviction is to repair and fix and improve things.
     
  8. OwainK

    OwainK Member

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    No, confess only to God. Jesus himself is the one who has the power to forgive sins, not man. Anything else is catholic belief.
     
  9. Traveling teacher

    Traveling teacher Well-Known Member

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    Bro from what I am reading these sins were committed before being a christian or committed when you were yourng in your faith......

    Its not an easy yes vs. no question!!!!!!

    From what I know you do not have to confess this to others......
    But after becoming a christian if you still struggle in these areas...yes you need to confess to 1-2 brothers you know who will pray for you and not judge you ......especially in the area of pornography!!!!!
    And keep you aaccountable not to go back to those sins.....
    Confessing to one another as a Christian is written in the Bible....
    I have maybe 1 brother that I can truly confess to without judgement and without him excusing my sin either.....
    I believe an altar call for most is good where you can ask for prayer in certian areas of your life without revealing too many detrails....

    However lets say you were 16 and stole 500$ from your dad or mom or uncle.....to buy drugs
    God may lead you to return the 500$ as an example of fruits of repentence of a converted christian???
    but you must pray about this and see if this would cause more damage to your relationship and to the one offended????

    But for the most part I would focus on tiday and not get into condemnation of the past.....
    This could be the acuser of the brethren trying to trap you!!!!
     
  10. JesusSaves623

    JesusSaves623 New Member

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    This is basically what I am asking about. However, I am not entirely sure if what I did was illegal or not and I do not have any way of apologizing to the offended party.
     
  11. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Well, why didn't you say so up front?

    Legal or illegal isn't the issue. You said in the OP that you had sinned, not that you had broken the law. If whatever you did is a sin--whether or not it was against the law--and it hurt some other person, you need to make that right if at all possible.
     
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  12. JesusSaves623

    JesusSaves623 New Member

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    Sorry. The thing is, I seriously doubt it hurt the other person. I could be wrong though.
     
  13. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Very well, my friend. We sympathize, but because we obviously have not been given to know all the facts, we really are in no position to give advice beyond offering very general guidelines.
     
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