Steps to Christ
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 4: Confession
< Prev T. of C.
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall
have mercy." Proverbs 28:13.
The conditions of obtaining mercy of God are
simple and just and reasonable. The Lord does not
require us to do some grievous thing in order that
we may have the forgiveness of sin. We need not
make long and wearisome pilgrimages, or perform
painful penances, to commend our souls to the God
of heaven or to expiate our transgression; but he that
confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall have mercy.
The apostle says, "Confess your faults one to
another, and pray one for another, that ye may be
healed." James 5:16. Confess your sins to God, who
only can forgive them, and your faults to one another.
If you have given offense to your friend or neighbor,
you are to acknowledge your wrong, and it is his
duty freely to forgive you. Then you are to seek
the forgiveness of God, because the brother you have
wounded is the property of God, and in injuring him
you sinned against his Creator and Redeemer. The
case is brought before the only true Mediator, our
great High Priest, who "was in all points tempted
like as we are, yet without sin," and who is "touched
with the feeling of our infirmities," and is able to
cleanse from every stain of iniquity. Hebrews 4:15.
Those who have not humbled their souls before
God in acknowledging their guilt, have not yet [p. 38] fulfilled the first condition of acceptance. If we have
not experienced that repentance which is not to be
repented of, and have not with true humiliation of
soul and brokenness of spirit confessed our sins,
abhorring our iniquity, we have never truly sought for
the forgiveness of sin; and if we have never sought,
we have never found the peace of God. The only
reason why we do not have remission of sins that are
past is that we are not willing to humble our hearts
and comply with the conditions of the word of truth.
Explicit instruction is given concerning this matter.
Confession of sin, whether public or private, should
be heartfelt and freely expressed. It is not to be
urged from the sinner. It is not to be made in a
flippant and careless way, or forced from those who
have no realizing sense of the abhorrent character of
sin. The confession that is the outpouring of the
inmost soul finds its way to the God of infinite pity.
The psalmist says, "The Lord is nigh unto them that
are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a
contrite spirit." Psalm 34:18.
True confession is always of a specific character,
and acknowledges particular sins. They may be of
such a nature as to be brought before God only; they
may be wrongs that should be confessed to individuals
who have suffered injury through them; or they
may be of a public character, and should then be as
publicly confessed. But all confession should be
definite and to the point, acknowledging the very sins
of which you are guilty.
In the days of Samuel the Israelites wandered
from God. They were suffering the consequences of [p. 39] sin; for they had lost their faith in God, lost their
discernment of His power and wisdom to rule the
nation, lost their confidence in His ability to defend
and vindicate His cause. They turned from the great
Ruler of the universe and desired to be governed as
were the nations around them. Before they found
peace they made this definite confession: "We have
added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king."
1 Samuel 12:19. The very sin of which they were
convicted had to be confessed. Their ingratitude
oppressed their souls and severed them from God.
< Prev T. of C.