Confess/Confession – What Does The Bible Say?

For a few weeks, I’ve been thinking about starting a series on words in the Bible and what does scripture actually say about them, what’s the context? I think today being Valentine’s Day and following the previous post about salvation, it’s important to look at the word: confession or confess.

To confess: admitting wrongs, declaring or announcing something.

In scripture, we often see confession associated with our mouth, to be vocal.

We are told to be careful with what we say. We are accountable for our words.

  • (NIV) Matthew 12:36, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”
  • (ESV) Matthew 12:37, “for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (See also: Proverbs 18:21)

In scripture, our words reflect what we are storing in our heart. Do not be fooled, speaking good words and “sounding” godly is different than being godly, no matter how others view us. God knows the difference. What we proclaim with our mouth SHOULD match up with our actions, including what we do and think in secret.


Confession Of Sin

  • (NIV) 1 John 1:09, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
  • (NLT) Proverbs 28:13, “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.”

Note this scripture in Proverbs. “Confess and turn from sin.” (See also: Ezra 10:11)

A confession is a form of obedience, and when we obey the Lord, we honor Him as well. If we confess for forgiveness, then we MUST repent and turn away. No one is perfect, people stumble, but this is no reason to feel comfortable using the forgiveness of the Savior as a crutch. God knows if we are doing this, and He knows this action is not sincere if we keep seeking forgiveness and continue to sin. (Read Romans Ch. 6) 

In the book of Acts, the fear of Jesus was being awakened upon believers. They believed in Jesus and because of their belief, they then started to confess their sins. Some of these confessions dealt with people using magic books, and they burned quite a bit of these books because they turned to Jesus Christ and confessed.

  • (ESV) Acts 19:18, “Also many of those who were now believers came, confessing and divulging their practices.”

Confession works among believers, as well. If we struggle with each other, we need to confess our sins and forgive. (Colossians 3:13)

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Consequences For Not Confessing Sin

Not confessing sin CAN affect our body. This doesn’t mean that everyone who is sick is sinning. But our body can be affected by sin. Seeds of pride, bitterness, anger, selfishness, etc are very real. It may not be an obvious sin to us because we’re desensitized. Prayer is crucial. We must ask the Lord to direct us and reveal sin.

  • (ESV) Psalm 32:03, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.” (See also: Psalm 31:10, 38:03, & 39:11)
  • (NLT) James 5:16, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” Please note: God can use sickness for His glory, as a way to witness, and to minister to others. Again, sickness DOES NOT always mean sin. 
  • (NASB) Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts…”
  • (NLT) Psalm 19:12, “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.”

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Confessions We Proclaim

Often water baptism is where people proclaim that Jesus is LORD. In scripture, sometimes people confessed their sin when getting baptized.

  • (ESV) Matthew 3:06, “and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” See also: Mark 1:05Acts 2:38

However, water baptism should NEVER be the only place we proclaim Jesus is LORD. We need to tell others about Him. Share the Gospel. Proclaim the physical resurrection of Jesus.

  • (NLT) Matthew 10:32, ““Everyone who acknowledges Me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.”

Our words should also be encouraging and edifying to the church body. This includes being vocal, and not hidden, about false teaching.

  • (ESV) Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
  • (NLT) 2 John 1:07, “I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist.”
  • (NIV) 2 Thessalonians 3:14, “Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed.” (See also: Romans 16:172 Thessalonians 3:06

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Summary Of Confession:
  • Confessing our sins needs to result in repentance from these sins. This happens through the acceptance of Jesus as our Savior and believing in Him. He alone helps us repent. We cannot do it on our own.
  • Not confessing sin has consequences, not just for eternity, but for our current life.
  • Confession, regarding scripture, can relate to water baptism. One way as seeking repentance and another as proclaiming Jesus as our Lord to others. 
  • We are to confess our sins to each other and forgive.
  • We are to proclaim to the world Jesus is LORD & point out false teachings (with proper discernment). 


What stands out to you about confessing sins and proclaiming Christ?

Monthly Scripture- (NKJ) Psalm 85:02, “You have forgiven the iniquity of Your people; You have covered all their sin. Selah.” 

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6 thoughts on “Confess/Confession – What Does The Bible Say?

  1. I would also add that although confession is good, it is not enough alone. It needs to be accompanied with repentance. Judas confessed he’d betrayed innocent blood, but failed to repent.

    Thanks for the post 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I remember when I heard confession described as aligning yourself with the truth. Agreeing with God. When we confess sin, we are agreeing with God that we are in the wrong. When we confess Jesus is Lord, we are agreeing with God that He is right! I was glad you also covered a bit of confession of faith; there’s something so powerful about declaring truth out loud, whether you’re alone or with others. Let all Heaven and Hell know where I stand! Jesus is Lord!

    Liked by 2 people

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