Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Lesson 12 - Confess


Principle 4: Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.

Happy are the pure in heart.” (Matthew 5:8)

Step 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16)


For the last month and a half, we have been talking about our Inventories. The three steps consisting of Inventory, Spiritual Inventory 1 and Spiritual Inventory 2 consist of thinking back through out life to those that we have hurt, and the hurts that we have experienced from others, and making a list.

Going through this process, especially if this is your first time through this process, can seem overwhelming when viewed as a whole, and in some cases folks may think it is too painful to bring all this up again.

But healing comes from bringing things in the past to the surface in a safe place, within the context of an open share or 12 step group, along with a sponsor or accountability partners.

God has ordained that forgiveness comes from confessing our shortcomings to Him, and healing comes from confessing our shortcomings to others.

If we leave these things buried, deciding that it is more comfortable to leave these things unremembered, then neither forgiveness nor healing can take place. A partner such as a sponsor or accountability partner can help us press through and deal with these things so they don't keep affecting us from behind the scenes like a festering sore.

The writer to the Hebrews speaks about entering the promised land, a land of rest. He explains to us how to lay hold of this rest “Today”. In a very real sense, the words to the Hebrews speaking of a time of rest speaks directly to the issue of recovery, in that in “rest”, our struggle ceases. There are wonderful applications that we can draw from Hebrews that will guide us in our own search for recovery / rest.

Heb 3:12-15 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. (13) But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called "Today," so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. (14) We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. (15) As has just been said: "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion."

Heb 4:9-11 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; (10) for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. (11) Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

Heb 6:10-12 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (11) We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. (12) We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

Heb 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

Heb 10:35-36 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. (36) You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Celebrate Recovery takes us through the steps to reach the “promised land”, a place of rest where we find victory over our struggles. Those steps include finding a sponsor and engaging in a mentoring relationship with them, creating an inventory that we can bring before God, then confessing those things in our inventory for forgiveness from God and healing from others, and other steps that will be taught in the upcoming weeks such as admitting our shortcomings, getting ready to make amends, and making amends. All of these are our “work” to reach the promised land.

The best place to systematically do this work is within a 12 step group.

So let's look at the next step in the process that we have been discussing, Confess.


The first step is to CONFESS my wrongs. Tonight’s acrostic will show you just how to do that.

Confess your shortcomings, resentments, and sins

Obey God’s direction

No more guilt

Face the truth

Ease the pain

Stop the blame

Start accepting God

The C in confess is CONFESS your shortcomings, resentments, and sins.

Proverbs 28:13 tells us, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Confession to God brings forgiveness, confession to others brings healing.

1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Jas 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

The O in confess stands for OBEY God’s direction.

“‘As surely as I am the living God, says the Lord, everyone will kneel before me, and everyone will confess that I am God.’ Every one of us, then, will have to give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:11–12, GNB).

This passage of scripture talks about the times of judgment for all people. Unbelievers will be judged at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:11-15), and Old Testaments saints will be judged at the Sheep and Goat judgment at the second coming of Christ (Dan 12:1-2, Matt 24:36-42). Christians will have a special judgment for rewards following the Rapture of the church that will be based on our works here on earth.

One of the side benefits that we have as Christians for confessing our sin to God is that in the process we are storing treasure in heaven. Like investing, your storehouse in heaven is where future benefits are stored for your future use. The account that you have to give to God will determine your rewards (1Co 3:11-15). This should be an encouragement and hope that motivates us to good works of service.

1Ti 6:18-19 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (19) In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

Mat 6:19-20 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. (20) But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

The next letter is N: No more guilt.

All have sinned; … yet God declares us ‘not guilty’ … if we trust in Jesus Christ, who freely takes away our sins” (Romans 3:23–24, TLB).

This process of confessing to God and to others is vital to restoring our confidence and our relationships. People describe it as a great burden being lifted off their backs when the inventory is shared with a sponsor or accountability partner. A feeling of peace and “rest” comes over them.

The process of confessing is a part of living in union with Christ. And one thing we know is that “There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)

After we “fess” up, we will have four positive changes in our lives. The first is that we will be able to FACE the truth.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

This is the first of four positives that result from confession. That the act of confession results in being set free is a spiritual law that God has decreed. As we come to know this truth, the practice of it will set us free from the grips of our sin and addictions. Being “set free” can be compared to what the writer to the Hebrews calls “rest”.

Note the preceding verse:

Joh 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.

When we confess, we are holding to Jesus's teachings, and those teachings will set us free.

Have you ever noticed that a person who speaks the truth is always at ease? The next positive change that confession brings is to EASE the pain.

Psalm 32:3–5 (TLB) says, “There was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration.… My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess them to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”

The second positive that results from our confession is a healthy self-worth when the Lord removes our guilt. Remember, “there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). The expression of freedom is pictured as our “rest” in the “promised land” as our guilt is taken away by God's forgiveness.

The first S in confess reminds us that we can now STOP the blame.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:3 (PH): “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and fail to see the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me get the speck out of your eye,’ when there is a plank in your own? … Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you can see clearly enough to remove your brother’s speck of dust.”

This passage is speaking of the hypocrisy of judging others when we do the same things, like the pot calling the kettle black. People who do this have a spirit that is constantly fault finding and severely critical, always pointing and accusing. Such a person is carried away by his actions, he can't help himself, and it is an unhappy disturbing way of life.

This brings up a third benefit that results from our confession. As our guilt is removed, our desire to separate our selves from our sin by blaming others grows less and less as we experience forgiveness for that sin. We no longer have a desire to project the sin onto others, and no longer blame others. The fault finding and critical spirit diminishes. We become increasingly at peace and serenity becomes a dominant trait in our lives.

Finally, the last S shows us that it is time to START accepting God’s forgiveness.

For God was in Christ, restoring the world to himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out” (2 Corinthians 5:19, TLB).

The forth benefit that results from our confession can be expressed as:

In confession we open our lives to the healing, reconciling, restoring, uplifting grace of Jesus Christ who loves us in spite of ourselves.”

All we have to do is accept it.


This lesson on “Confess” will hopefully enable you to look forward to doing your inventories. Recording an inventory and thinking about what you are going to do with it once you have it down on paper can be daunting. This lesson was meant to help put you at ease with the process, one step at a time. Once you have your inventories recorded, it's time to confess, and in confessing, there is freedom.

In two weeks, Mike will discuss the how-tos of finding a person with whom you can share your inventory with the “Admit” lesson as we take small steps to learning how to bring our recovery about.

And don't forget, these principles are the same for all people, whether we suffer from addictions or we are just looking to learn how to be set apart for God's use. Celebrate Recovery is for the whole church.

No comments:

Post a Comment