Confronting Ourselves We all fall short of the glory of God (see Romans 3:23).
But admitting our sins to ourselves is only the first step. We must learn how
to take our guilt, our anger and our pain and transform it into love and
compassion. We must learn how our sins can be washed clean so that we can once
more become clean in the eyes of God. We must, as Jesus tells Nicodemus in the
Gospel of John, be “born again” (John 3:7). This new birth is about casting off
our old, mortal life and entering into a new kind of life: the eternal life! By
putting our trust in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, by accepting the
beauty of the truth that he has died for our sins, we can start the process of
Christlike growth (maturity).
Confessing Sin The confession of sin
is critical to the Christian life and the process of new birth. If we refuse to
admit that we are sinful, we refuse to acknowledge our need of a Savior and we
cannot be cleansed from the sin in our lives. The Bible tells us that “if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us
our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We don’t deserve
God’s forgiveness, but when we confess our sins and ask for forgiveness, he
freely gives it to us by his love and his grace (see Ephesians 2:3–4).
We know that our
lives are the most precious things we have—the whole world is not enough to
make up for the stain of sin on our lives (see Mark 8:36). And in order to keep
our souls clean for God, we must pray, as the sinner on the cross prayed, “God,
have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). This prayer—and the humility that
accompanies it—is the first step toward a redeemed life. (The above originally appeared as an article I provided for the Essentials of the Christian Faith New Testament, published by Zondervan. Used by permission.)