SEVENTH SEAL LIBRARY

God's Truth Not Smooth Words

Confession for Salvation

Confession for Salvation

©copyright 2006 Bonita M Quesinberry, R.C.

  

“Confess your faults to each other and pray for each other, that you may be healed. The powerful passionate prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much good.” (James 5:16, AKJV paraphrased)

Confess our sins to each other? Christians like to refer to confession as testimonies; witnessing about how God has changed our lives, made us better than we were, helped us through myriad adversities, healed us of injuries and/or illnesses and diseases and, most of all, healing us of sin. The directive from Apostles James is to confess to each other, “that we may be healed.” That IS just one purpose for testifying, both to God and others. Luke 12:8 quotes Jesus, “Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.” It is easy enough for anyone to say, “I believe in Jesus; but, by definition to confess means to admit, own up to, plead guilty of, come clean about, acknowledge. Obviously, “confessing Jesus” does mean much more than merely saying we believe in Him.

God does not point to what others have done to us as a means of influencing His judgment of us; rather, He judges us only on what we did. While there is no doubt God recognizes as abominable the things done to us by others; what they did, however, never will justify our sin against God and our fellow humans. God’s judgment and salvation are personal, thus His judgment of us is not influenced by other people’s actions in our lives.

According to Romans 10:10, confession is done for the gain of salvation; not only our own but, quite possibly, the salvation of others; as implied in James 5:16. By sharing our personal testimonies of having been cleansed of our various sins, we are helping others to move toward salvation. Who among us is without sin or would not want to be a vehicle for the salvation of a lost person?

Some of us have taken to heart Christ’s admonition to “go and sin no more,” therefore no longer commit sin in accordance with God’s Law of Righteousness; but, because sin is in our past and as long as we are in our original flesh body, we will be called sinners based upon the scars of sin we bear, and will continue to be called sinners until we are given new bodies. However, some of our brethren, who believe but are not fully converted— as discussed in “Become Fully Converted“— still live in some form of sin due to a lack of knowledge and wisdom about God and Christ and God’s Word.  

Confession of our own sinful history is necessarily required by the spiritual needs of those who still are lost and/or not fully converted: a need to know they are no different than we once were; to know it is possible to become perfect, as Jesus instructed; the need to learn from us how to rise above a sinful nature they still nurture; to know how and why to confess their sins. Confession serves two purposes: not only might it save a lost person but it also serves as a reminder to us of where we once were; a prompt not to go that way again; a recall of why we do not want to return to those old, deadly ways; and, the remembering keeps us humble before our awesome Father.

It is so easy to become complacent, too comfortable in our obedience to God thus no longer feeling a need to confess. Unfortunately, becoming complacent not only removes us as a witness demonstrating God’s power and speaking His Truths but also makes us vulnerable to Satan’s temptations and tormenting with our past sins. Complacency leads to self-righteousness; a general attitude causing others to feel they never can measure up to the standard of perfection we have reached. As long as we continue to confess, we cannot become self-righteous; for it keeps us humble as it reminds us how filthy we were.

Confession prevents complacency, because of being humbled anew when we recall just how black and vile our hearts once were; a humbling reminder that we were no better than the world’s worst sinner and definitely no better than those who sinned against us personally, yet by only God’s merciful grace were our stony hearts softened to Truth.

It is important to remember that each person’s testimony is different and unique to him or her, yet not one person’s life is worse than another; for all sin is abominable to God. As He said, “Not one sin is greater than another, except blasphemy of the Holy Ghost.” Mankind likes to consider pedophiles, rapists and murderers as the worst sinners and the rest are considered minor sinners thus better than the worst. Well, God disagrees. In His judgment the speaker of a white lie is just as bad as the world’s pedophiles, rapists and murderers. If a person will lie, they are quite capable of committing all other sins and likely do in less obvious ways.

Therefore, each person’s testimony of deliverance is important and serves toward salvation for self and others. Each story will mean something different to different people: those who can identify will empathize, while others might not identify but will sympathize.

Many people can identify with this writer’s childhood fraught with every conceivable form of child abuse, including incest and rape; and, like many adult survivors, I could blame my parents and the rapist for each of my sinful acts. In that case, I still would be sinning. However, I believe God, thus I was and remain no better than what man deems the worst. In fact, I comprehend how my past was riddled with violations of all Ten of God’s Precepts, by some form or another and based on the Law’s weightier matters. Knowing and understanding and sharing this with others keeps me humble! And, it lets them know that, if I can rise above it all to sin no more, so can they; so can anyone.

Have you examined your past using God’s Law as the yardstick by which to measure just how sinful you were before your heart was softened? Allow me to share with you how my past measured up to His Ten Commandments, as cited in Exodus 20:3-17, after I finally realized by what measure He judges us and I pointed the finger to myself:

I. Thou shalt have no other gods before me — Well, I did; because I judged my success by how much money I made, the prestigious positions I held, and the things I owned. Money became my god when I also did not share it with those less fortunate than myself ­and I did not pay tithes with it. Simply greed. I clearly did not measure my success by God’s standards. I also indulged in pride: proud of the fact I personally worked for all I had, proud that I did it all myself. God considers pride, vanity, and stubbornness the same as idolatry. Only God has the right to pride, because He not only created all that there is but also gave me the ability and mindset to work, to achieve: it was not something I did of my own volition and power. I set up myself as a god when I judged my perfection according to the world’s standards instead of judging myself by God’s values.

II. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image — Based on having violated the first precept, I violated this one, too. After all, money includes graven images to false gods upon it and the frivolous things it can buy are graven images; and, I bought plenty of the frivolous things when I could have been helping the less fortunate. Only the necessities of life are exempt and I had not trusted God to provide those necessities nor had I given Him the glory for what I did have.

III. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain — Yes, I broke this one, too. Being disobedient to God in any point of His Law, while claiming belief, IS to take His name in vain. Jesus called it “flattering lips with no heart.” Of course, there are many ways to violate this statute, such as believing man’s teachings instead of God’s, or using God’s name as a curse word, and so forth. Nevertheless, only when I ceased to sin did I no longer violate this commandment.

IV. Remember to keep holy the seventh day Sabbath — Having been raised Southern Baptist, therefore observing the counterfeit Sunday, in itself caused me to violate this vital Law: God’s Holy Seal, as it were. Some might say, “You didn’t know any better at the time.” And this is true, I did not; albeit, I also did not seek God’s word for myself; still, when the Holy Spirit showed me the importance of this Law, even then I did not immediately comply. I should have done so. In fact, I knew about the seventh day for a whole year before becoming fully compliant: I worked one Saturday every month, shopped on Saturdays, had dinner out on Friday nights, obviously loving my job more than I loved God, because I did not want to give up the job; these behaviours actually causing others to violate God’s Sabbath, for which I was held accountable. Thus, for one year I knowingly violated this crucial, validating law.

As now evident, I violated all four of the very laws affecting our relationship with God. Needless to say, I wasn’t in very good standing with God and was surprised He had not erased my name from His Book of Life. We are fortunate to have Jesus as our Attorney in God’s courtroom. Nevertheless, if the above trespasses were not bad enough, I also violated God’s next six statutes; those affecting our relationships with other humans!

V. Honour thy father and thy motherThis is the precept where many people ask, and are irate as they do so, “Well, how do you honour abusive parents?” While such parents might not deserve to be honored, at least insofar as mankind thinks, we are nonetheless told to do so. I have come to learn that the only way to honor any earthly parent, good or bad, is to become what God wants us to be: righteous, just, and perfectly fit to be presented as a chaste virgin to Jesus, our coming Bridegroom. I violated this commandment every day that I lived in sin. Only when I fully ceased to sin did I begin to honor my parents and God, who is truly our only Parent.

VI. Thou shalt not kill. While I have never literally killed a person’s body, I have slain their spirit with my tongue; and, God considers this murder, the same as if I’d held a gun to someone’s head or stabbed a knife through their heart. I had my days of saying hateful, hurtful things to others with that wicked little member known as the tongue. Even wishing another person dead is a form of violating this precept. The only thing I did not do was lie about another person, which also is to slay another with the tongue. Thus, even in this Law I was not without guilt. Please note that fighting in wars, where killing others is common, does not fall into this law; yet, it can if a military person kills just for the sake of killing, considered war crimes, when killing really was not necessary. We are told to obey our governments and military personnel, for the most part, do just that.

VII.  Thou shalt not commit adultery. God talks about committing adultery against Him, which is to violate any point of His Law and/or to change it in any way or to do anything He did not command. Already I was guilty of adultery, as evidenced by violation of the first four statutes; then, I compounded the insult by committing adultery against man when I married the first time. Some have said, “But, Bonnie, you didn’t know you were committing adultery!” In my heart, I knew but listened to others instead of God. I really magnified this sin when, after divorcing, I then committed fornication, then married twice again! My first husband had caused me to unwittingly commit adultery by his lies and adultery; but, the last two were on me. So, in the first marriage I was guilty of adultery by association; but, I now had made it my sin and the next two men’s sin. God also considers it adultery for a married person to lust for another person, even if it is just in his or her thoughts. Yeah, been there, too.

VIII.  Thou shalt not steal. Yep, this too, when I was 11-years old, and I definitely knew better than to steal. I was so riddled with guilt that, as soon as I got home, I threw away the cheap little item I thought I just had to have. And, in the early years of my career, I did walk out of the office with a pen or pencil or a small note pad; often it was accidental, BUT I never took them back to the office. Theft by failure to return. Well, each of these things is stealing! These were items for which I did not pay! Guilty again. Have you ever taken a monogrammed ashtray or glass or towels from a hotel as a souvenir? This too is stealing. Oh, but the worst theft I ever committed was in not paying God the ten per cent tithes He requires and by not helping others less fortunate: I “robbed God.” I failed this law for a long time; at least until I fully trusted God to cover my expenses, despite giving Him ten per cent of whatever income I had in addition to financially helping others. Yes, in the Old Testament God said, “You have robbed me,” then went on to explain that it was of tithes not paid.

IX.  Thou shalt not bear false witness. I have never lied about someone; however, my past does reflect lies. I have lied for another person, not once but several times, yet even bigger lies were told during those days of adultery; though worse, I lied about God, although at the time I was unaware. How so? I justified divorce by society’s standard while God does not. I justified fornication by thinking I’d not be loved if I abstained. I taught my kids all about God and His Law but during their early years I was not their living example: same as if I had lied to them. I also lied by omission, which is to know a truth yet not reveal it when it should have been revealed. And, little white lies we tell and justify that we did it so as not to hurt another person’s feelings? There is no justification with God and no such thing as a white lie. A lie is a lie is a lie, thus is a sin is sin is sin. I was guilty!  Gees! Nine out of ten. Alas, ten it was.

X.  Thou shalt not covet. Is it not to covet when you work at keeping up with the Joneses, so to speak? Gotta have what everybody else has? Gotta have the very best, because society says so or you are considered a failure? Gotta have everything you want, despite the fact it might put you in debt way over your head? Gotta have it, thus you rob God? All I have to do to know I violated this law is to know I violated God’s second and fourth Commandments; especially the latter because it is a form of coveting the world when we violate the Sabbath statute in favor of the world’s behaviour and desires on this holy day. Also, to want another person’s job is a form of coveting, when we should be “satisfied with what we have and joyful for other people’s gains.” It even is to covet when we envy another person; whether it is envying their looks or their career or their spouse or anything they have.

As I shared each of my above sins with you, my heart broke anew; once again appalled at how badly I offended our Father, yet by this review I am also humbled anew: so, it’s a good thing. After all, Jesus said, “Whoever falls upon me will be broken; but whomever I fall upon will be destroyed” (Matthew 21:44). And, it is a good thing because my confession just might cause another person to analyze his or her standing with God, doing so by God’s standard, and to make changes to assure he or she enters heaven’s gate.

My past life has left ten huge scars of sin on this flesh body, even more when considering I violated each law in more than one way and, certainly, on more than one occasion. I also should add rape to my list of crimes. How so? I the same as raped God by accepting man’s take on God’s Law instead of going to God for His Truth, and thereby committed adultery against Him. I robbed Him, too, in that for many years I did not pay tithes. I cringe in shame yet I am so humbled that He still helped me to overcome, healed those grossly bleeding wounds, and, at last, gave to me the “Mind of Christ.”

Coming to gripes with the many ways in which I sinned against Almighty God, my only loving Father, came about because I truly love God and Christ; thus, when I realized my life had spiraled out of control, I petitioned God: “Father, please show me the weightier matters of your Law and your Word. Show me what I need to change and give me the strength to change them. I need your wisdom and knowledge, and only yours.”

God heard my plea and found my heart sincere, but only after I had proven to the Holy Spirit that I meant it by following my request with action on my part; then, He sent the Spirit to guide, teach and strengthen me in His Word. I ask again, “How do you measure up to God’s yardstick, the one determining our level of righteousness?” If you do not know for sure, then it is time to find out; because, when Jesus comes through earth’s door, which all signs indicate could be any day and hour, it will be too late to change anything that should have been changed beforehand. We must judge our self and prove to self that, indeed, we love God; that we are not just flattering Him with only our lips.

Oh? You were taught we are dead to God’s Law? An interesting lie from Satan; for even the New Testament states clearly: if we claim belief in God and Christ, we will be judged according to God’s Law. It would seem prudent that, if we are to be judged by His Law, then it is in our best interest to make sure we comply with His Law; otherwise, we are subject to the Law’s condemnation: the penalty of twice dead, to be utterly destroyed in earth’s end. Of those who do not have God’s law, He simply says they will perish without the Law. They are not even judged, just merely will perish forever.

The above premise is confirmed by Romans 2:12-13, which speaks further, “For the hearers of the Law are NOT justified by God, but the doers of the Law shall be justified.” To be justified, which is to be validated, confirmed as it were, by God is to be found worthy to share His Son’s kingdom for eternity. Desire only God’s validation, therefore judge self by His Law; for He WILL judge you by that same Law. Truth begins by being brutally honest with self. Truth succeeds by working out your own salvation.

Truth is: True Love Motivates Change and Obedience.  

~~ end Article    

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21 December 2006 - Posted by | Bible, Bible Related Articles, Bible Study, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Church, End Times, Escatology, Evil, Faith, Give, Giving, God, Grace, Holy Spirit, Jehovah, Jesus, Lord's Day, Love, Memorial, Redemption, Religion, Remnant, Sabbath, Salvation, Saturday, Seal, Sign, Spiritual, Spiritual Study, Sunday, Ten Commandments, Testimonies, Theology, Token, Truth

8 Comments »

  1. Thank you, Maria, for sharing your thoughts about testifying. Indeed, it really is humbling to fully realize how badly we’ve offended our Father. The blessing, however, comes when our testimony helps another to grow in Christ. 🙂

    Much love in Christ,
    BonnieQ

    Comment by bonnieq | 28 December 2006 | Reply

  2. I find it humbling and freeing to confess my sins to others.. it takes courage tho!
    God bless
    Maria in the UK
    http://www.inhishands.co.uk

    Comment by Maria | 28 December 2006 | Reply

  3. Hi Shannon! Thank you for reading “Confessions for Salvation” and for trusting me with your dilemma. I have responded to your request in private to your email address. If I can be of any help at any time, just let me know. 🙂

    Much love in Christ,
    BonnieQ

    Comment by bonnieq | 27 December 2006 | Reply

  4. Hello. My name is Shannon. I have looked desperately for an answer to a question that I have and Hope maybe you can help me. I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 5 years and love him very much. I’d do anything to ensure his happiness, even if it means letting him go. We’re having a rough time right now and have been on a break for 2 months. My question is this: I cheated on him in August. What is the christian thing to do? Tell him or don’t tell him. I’m trying to make my peace with God and I’m truly remorseful.

    Comment by Shannon Armstrong | 27 December 2006 | Reply

  5. Thank you for the good wishes, Ronda! I hope your holiday was filled with many joyous moments. 🙂

    Much love in Christ,
    BonnieQ

    Comment by bonnieq | 26 December 2006 | Reply

  6. Bonnie,
    Have a Merry Christmas!
    Ronda

    Comment by iluv2prshim | 24 December 2006 | Reply

  7. Dearest Sistah, thank you so much for trusting me by sharing your pain. I responded to your concerns with an email to your yahoo address. Know that my prayers are with you and yours and that I am just an email away when you need a shoulder and/or godly advice.

    Much love and prayers in Christ,
    BonnieQ

    Comment by bonnieq | 24 December 2006 | Reply

  8. bonnie thanks again for helpfull info im very gratefull and may god bless you for your loving heart. id like to get your advise on a family situation if it would be ok? my husband has a drug and alcohol problem thatis both putting a toll on my marriage and the children to the point that im concidering divorce because its been 8long years of trying to help him with no results.like right now its christmas eve and i have no idea where he is. so my question is with someone battling with these problems all their life is it possible for them to change and if so how do i support him or help him.Thanks Again and may you have a happy blessed christmas! LOVING SOUL SISTA

    Comment by lovingsoulsista | 24 December 2006 | Reply


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