Should We Confess When We Do Wrong?
By: Bill Petri
Titus 2:11-13 For
the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath
appeared to all men,  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly
lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God
and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
The Apostle Paul penned these words to
Titus to instruct him how to put the church in Crete (Titus 1:5), in order.
Interestingly, Paul does not instruct Titus to put the Cretan back under the
law. Instead, he tells him to teach the Grace of God. Notice what Paul says
about the Grace of God:
1.) The Grace of God teaches us
(verse 12). He does not say 'saved by grace but have them walk according to the
law.' Nor does he say that the law can teach, but that it is the Grace
of God that teaches us.
2.) It is the Grace of God that teaches me
how to live correctly, and how to deny the fleshly lusts. Paul does not
instruct Titus to teach any aspect of the law, but rather to teach God's Grace.
sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under
This verse, more than
any other states why we do not teach, nor apply the law
to out lives. We do not teach it, nor live under it, because we are not
under its authority. Often times I hear people say 'Yes. That is true, but what
do I do when I act ungodly?' 'Shouldn't I confess my transgressions to God to
get back in a good standing with Him?' It is questions like these that this
article will try to address. Uncertainties about our identity and God's ability
to forgive are the reasons such questions are asked.
whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according
to the riches of his grace;
This important verse tells me that I have
redemption, and that I have forgiveness already. These are things I have.
God gave forgiveness the minute I believed. Notrice
how this was accomplished- through His Grace! I had nothing to do with it.
Hence, we see that we are not doing anything to get any forgiveness from God.
Why? We already have it as a present possession. Therefore, I have in my
possession God's total forgiveness.
be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God
for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
Once more we see a passage dealing with
the fact that I received all forgiveness from God up front. I do not have to do
anything to get it, or to earn it all over again because God already 'hath
whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision
of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all
After reading these verses, can there be
any doubt that we have a total forgiveness of sins? Furthermore, we see that all
trespasses are exhaustively pardoned.
In Time Past, this was not so. Forgiveness
of sins was a major issue under the law dispensation.
in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. 
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away
These two verses very clearly demonstrate
that the issue of forgiveness was of great importance in Time Past. We read the
words 'remembrance', and 'not possible' in reference to total forgiveness in
this legal economy. In fact, even after Jesus� ascension, we read what the law
says about Israel's forgiveness of sins in the following verse:
ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the
times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;
Hence, Israel, as late as Acts chapter 3,
is looking for total forgiveness of sin
Praise God that he interrupted their program to usher in this present Dispensation
of the Grace of God. Therefore, in the Here and Now, we see the following
to be true:
1 Corinthians 1:9
is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 1:30
of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and
righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
Mark well that the Body of Christ has a total
forgiveness of sins because our fellowship is not based on law, but grace.
Hence, we have fellowship based on the fact that God is faithful. It is
not based on us doing anything. We do not have to be good Christians,
we do not have to bear fruit etc. because my relationship with God is not based
on me. It is based on the fact that GOD did, and that He already has
accomplished. Furthermore, once you believe the Gospel,
you are instantly placed into an unbreakable fellowship with Him. A fellowship
is based on the fact that He (Not you), is faithful. According to
verse 30 above, you then are found to be 'In Christ',
hence, Jesus Christ is your 'wisdom', 'righteousness', 'sanctification', and 'redemption'.
This, my friends, is a reality the minute you believe. This is why we are no
longer under the law.
we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish (bear
out) the law.
By the fact that Jesus Christ kept it (the
law) perfectly, and I'm 'in Christ,' we establish the law. Once more,
this had nothing to do with me, but everything to do with the finished
work of Jesus. Therefore, the law has no dominion over me because Jesus kept it
perfectly and I'm in Him!
We have already looked at Romans 6:14
where the Apostle Paul tells me I am not under the law but under grace. What is
the ramification of this statement in regards to our discussion? Consider the
following three verses:
1 John 3:4
committeth sin transgresseth
also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (Israel's program
under the law)
the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there
is no transgression. (Body of Christ's program under Grace)
until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no
law. (Body of Christ's program under Grace)
The definition given for sin by John is 'the
transgression of the law.' We can make the following equation then:
LAW + TRANSGRESSION = SIN
Paul�s statements would make our equation as follows:
What is missing is the law. Paul is clear --we are not
under it because we have already established it by being 'in Christ'.
Therefore, if there is no law, there can be no transgression.
Hence, there can be no sin! This my friends is what
total forgiveness is all about. We, in the Body of Christ, can never
have sin imputed to our accounts. Oh, how marvelous the Grace of God is!
What about 1 John 1:9
Many dear Saints will still ask the question, 'What
about 1 John 1:9'? The remainder of this article shall look at this question as
it has plagued many people throughout the history of Christianity. Let us begin
with a discussion about who wrote 1 John. The book is written by the Apostle
John. But who is he? Let us have scripture tell us about him.
the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first,
Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee,
and John his brother;
From the above verse we see that John is
one of the Twelve Apostles called by Jesus during his Earthly ministry to
Israel. If we read further in Matthew 10, we read the following:
twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the
Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye
not:  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
We see then that Jesus forbade John to go
to the Gentiles and restricted him to only go to Israel. We may ask what about
Jesus' commandments before He ascended? Let us see what John does after those
Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being
the ninth hour.
Is John going out to the Gentiles? No, he
is still in Jerusalem following the precepts of Temple worship according to the
Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great
persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all
scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the
In this, we see everyone else has
scattered, but the twelve Apostles filled with the Holy Ghost stay in Jerusalem
with the Jews. There is no going forth to the Gentiles here. In fact, nowhere
in scripture do we see John go to any Gentiles.
when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be
pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and
Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen,
and they unto the circumcision.
This verse tells me that John restricts
his ministry to the saved remnant of Israel only. He will not go to the gentiles in this
It is very clear that John's
ministry is to Israel and them alone. He is one of Israel's apostles who
will sit on one of twelve thrones ruling the twelve tribes of Israel.
Where does 1 John 1:9 fit Dispensationally
It is now imperative for us to see where
the book of 1 John fits. If we can determine where it fits, we can also decide
what 1 John 1:9 is talking about.
1 John 2:18
children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist
shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know
that it is the last time.
The context of this
verse if twofold.
First, the context is the antichrist. John is looking at the antichrist as
being imminent. How do we know this? Out second point answers this question. 'it is the last time'!John is looking to the last days of
prophecy. He is viewing a time frame where the antichrist is about to be
revealed. Prophetically he is looking to Daniel's 70th week.
1 John 2:13
write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning.
I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I
write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
Notice the words John uses here: 'wicked
one' (one of Satan's names, also the name of the one Satan indwells - the
antichrist) and 'overcomers.' Nowhere do we find
anyone in the Body of Christ referred to as an overcomer. The reason is
simple, as we have seen earlier in our article, we
have already overcome, because we are 'in Christ.'
they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and
by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell
in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of
the sea! for the devil is come down unto you,
having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath
but a short time.
This verse is talking about the Great
Tribulation, the 'time of Israel's trouble.' Notice again
whom John is talking about, those who overcome the antichrist during the
tribulation. The church which is Jesus' body is already caught out before
the tribulation begins. Since we are not here for the tribulation, it is
impossible for John to be writing to the Body of Christ.
know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know
the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the
synagogue of Satan.
I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are
not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy
feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
The issue in at least two of the seven
churches that john writes to is that there are individuals who say they are
Jews, but are not. Hence, they then belong to Satan. The issue that John is
getting at is the ability to manifest who is really a Jew (part of the 'little
flock'). Hence, 1 John is written to identify those who are 'born' of Israel.
Therefore, we read the following:
1 John 2:11
he that hateth his brother is in darkness,
and walketh in darkness, and knoweth
not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath
blinded his eyes.
One way that an unbeliever was manifested
to the remnant was the individual's attitude towards those who are saved (The
little flock). If an individual hates another person in the saved remnant, that
individual is in darkness (unbelief).
1 John 3:15
hateth his brother is a murderer: and
ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
This verse adds further information to the
previous verse. If a man hates his brother, he is a murderer. Hence they have
no life. In the tribulation, this becomes a very important issue.
Remember the Lord said mother would be against daughter, father against son,
1 John 1:6
we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and
do not the truth:
There are those who say they have
fellowship, yet they walk in darkness. Hence, they lie and are thereby made
manifest to the remnant. Furthermore, the issue we read in the seven churches
of Revelation is there are some who say they are Jews, yet they are not. Hence,
they lie, and do not the truth. Therefore, they are not part of the remnant,
because they are in darkness. Moreover, it they are in darkness they are not in
1 John 1:5
then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God
is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
This verse shows us that God is light. If
God is light, then those who walk in Him will walk in light. They must overcome
the temptation to walk in darkness, and by doing this, they will manifest the
1 John 1:6
we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and
do not the truth:
1 John 1:8
we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in
1 John 1:10
we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in
Notice the phrase 'if we say'. The issue
in these verses is that there are people making a claim to something. What they
are claiming is that they are Jews, that they are part of the believing remnant
of Israel. Distinguish 1 John 1:6 carefully where it states 'if we say that
we have fellowship with him.' The consequence is that they are not saved.
The claim is made that fellowship is a reality, when in fact, they are in
1 John 2:22
is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the
Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth
the Father and the Son.
The lie in 1 John is that there are those
who say they are saved (again this is during the Great Tribulation), yet they
have denied the fact that Jesus is their (Israel's) Messiah. This specific lie
strikes at the claims that Jesus made in His earthly ministry.
1 John 4:20
a man say, I love God, and hateth
his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his
brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
The idea here is that is a man hates his
brother, he has denied Christ.
know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and
how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which
say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Notice, that these individuals are found to be liars.
Their works found them in Darkness. What was their work? They made false claims
about their position before God.
1 John 1:7
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 cleanseth us from all sin.
Those who are saved in this time frame are one with
each other in light, and it is based on the fact that the blood of Christ
1 John 1:8
we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Verse 8 here shows a false claim by one
who walks in darkness. Notice again the phrase 'of we say', which identifies
the individuals in this verse back to verses 6,10.
1 John 2:4
that saith, I know him, and keepeth
not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
Hence, the whole issues
comes down to the Mosaic law. If someone does not keep the commandments,
and yet says 'I know Him', he (the individual) is a liar, 'and the truth is not
in him'. We can contrast this with the following:
1 John 3:18-19
little children (the
remnant), let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. (the keeping of the law)  And hereby we know that we
are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.
are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He
was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is
no truth in him. When he speaketh a
lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar,
and the father of it.
Remember 1 John 3:15, where an individual
who hated his brother was called a murderer. Why? Because they are of their
father the devil, and he is a liar, hence all who are liars are of the devil.
I write all this to now go back to our main question, 'What about 1 John 1:9?'
1 John 1:9
we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse
us from all unrighteousness.
The only conclusion we can make about this
verse is that the ones being cleansed are the unsaved. Why? Because verse 7
tells me the saved are already cleansed. Verses 8 and 10 are verses
dealing with those who are unsaved, hence the
context of verse 10 is the unsaved. Therefore, John is writing this
passage to show how an unsaved Jew is to be saved in the 'Time of Jacob's
We can now safely make the following 4
Confession is a doctrine of law, not
Confession of sin deals with Israel, and
not the Body of Christ.
Confession of sin deals with judgment and
Confession of sin always has a
physical aspect or ceremony (read carefully Leviticus 5:4-7, and Numbers
5:5-10, to get an example of this).
Examples of the Doctrine of Confession
Let us take a look at an example of this.
the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the
years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would
accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.
We see the context in Daniel is one of
judgment. Israel was carried away to captivity.
I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with
fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:  And I prayed unto the LORD my God,
and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God,
keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his
commandments;  We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have
done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from
Let us put our attention on the phrase 'we
have sinned.' Daniel is thus viewing himself as part of the nation. He
confesses his own sin (verse 4) and then puts it into the context of the
nation. Notice also the physical aspect of his confession with the words, 'with
fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.'
all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might
not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is
written in the law of Moses the servant of God,
because we have sinned against him.  And he hath confirmed his words, which
he spake against us, and against our judges that
judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven
hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.  As it is written in
the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us:
yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our
iniquities, and understand thy truth.
We see from these verses that again Daniel
views himself in the context of the nation, under the law, and
being judged according to the law.
Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city
Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of
our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about
us.  Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of
thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy
sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.  O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine
eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for
we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses,
but for thy great mercies.  O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken
and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for
thy city and thy people are called by thy name.  And whiles I was speaking,
and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and
presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my
From these few verses in Daniel we see how
the doctrine of confession was supposed to work. Pay attention to the fact that
all four of our points are covered in this interesting passage in
there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem,
and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
Once more we grasp our four points on this
passage. The passage deals with the law, as Israel; was under the law at the
time of John performing these baptisms. The baptism is the ritual being
performed. Furthermore, it was all the land of Judaea (Israel) that was
involved in this confession. If we compare Matthew 3:7, we see that the baptism
was to flee the wrath to come. Hence, the idea of judgment is contained with
the issue of baptism.
What should we do?
Many dear saints will be asking about now,
'What should we do when we do not walk in a way God would approve?' This is a
very good question which deserves a concise answer.
2 Corinthians 7:9
I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance:
for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive
damage by us in nothing.
Repentance simply means 'a change of mind'. Hence, we
change our mind about what we did. We do not feel guilty; guilt can only bring
damage. We do not confess as we have seen in some detail, because we are not
under the dominion of the law. We simply change our mind about the behavior.
The Roman Catholics will say we should perform
penance. This means to pay a penalty of some kind. However, this view is wrong
because we do not have to pay a penalty of any kind. Jesus Christ already
paid any penalty we would ever have to pay. There is no double indemnity.
Protestants use a word called penitence. This means to
feel sorry for since. The problem with this word is it fails to recognize that
your sins are already paid. There is not a in that
can be imputed to you.
2 Corinthians 7:10
godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to
be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh
Penitence produces worldly sorrow. A sorrow where we go through some ritual to try to get back into
God�s good graces. We call this sorrow by 'another' name. Often it is
simply called guilt. Guilt is an inward reflection. Guilt is a thinking process
that has the focus on self. Anytime we focus on self, we have created a system
for failure. Our verse says that 'Godly sorrow' is produced. This leads to
salvation, not from hell, but salvation from defeat in our Christian walk. This
type of sorrow does not produce guilt; it produces repentance (a change of
mind), or a change in the thought cycle that produced the erroneous action. If we
all learned to walk in grace we would never have to go back under a defeated
system of works. I thank God I live under an Identity Based Acceptance program rather than the failed system of
Performance Based Acceptance.
For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
Verse 11, above, is the best description of how 'Godly
sorrow' works. It produces a total change of thought. It is not an inward
reflection which leads to guilt. Rather, it is a total clearing of the thought
process that led to the evil actions that were committed. It produced
repentance, which produced a new way to think.
The only conclusion left us is that the Body of Christ
has no part in the doctrine of confession. If we would but realize this, we
would see people enjoy the freedom that the total forgiveness of sins has
wrought through God's Grace in this dispensation of grace. Many dear saints
would finally experience the freedom from the law that grace has produced. We should
all rejoice n what Christ has already accomplished.