“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his son cleanses us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7 Confession of sin glorifies God. Here are 3 ways:
1) When we confess our sin we own up to who we really are and proclaim who God really is.
When we are honest with ourselves in light of what scripture reveals about sin, we are left with the conclusion that we are not ok without Jesus. By fallen nature we are prideful creatures who hog glory at every chance we get. We want love, acceptance, praise, even worship, at all costs - even at God’s expense. Romans 3:10 says, “None is righteous, no, not one.” When we confess our sin we acknowledge this truth. We finally own up to who we really are – sinful creations of a sinless creator.
This gives us the opportunity to see who God really is – holy and blameless. He alone is righteous. By admitting who we are as sinful creatures, we acquit God of any wrongdoing. This mess we’re in is our fault, not his. Through our confession he retakes the throne that we have occupied in our selfishness within our hearts and minds. Therefore, our confession glorifies the Lord’s goodness, righteousness, and holiness because we are proclaiming who he really is.
2) When we confess our sin and look to God in Jesus to save us from the penalty of those sins, we glorify him in the gospel of grace.
1 Timothy 1:15 says, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Jesus himself said in John 6:40, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” The reason Jesus came to earth was to accomplish the salvation of sinners. When we confess our sin, we are stepping into the very path that Jesus tread in his earthly life. We are getting into the race. We are saying to him, “Jesus, you said you came to save sinners like me. Ok, then save me! I confess this sin! I confess it all! Save me! Rescue me! Help me!”
The salvation of sinners glorifies Jesus. Our confession of sin now prepares us for that great day when, as Revelation 7:9-10 says, “A great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!’”
3) When we confess our sin and are forgiven, we are set free to be in fellowship with him – thus glorifying him for accepting sinners by his grace into his fellowship.
1 Corinthians 6:15 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ?” When we are saved by God, it isn’t like joining a club. We haven’t paid our dues and so now we’re in the building. Being saved by God is becoming member of Christ. We are literally saved into him. Christ isn’t a building, or a concept, or a theory. He’s a person. And when we’re saved, we’re saved into him. In other words, salvation by God gives us access to God the Father, through Jesus the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit into fellowship with the all-holy, triune God. This one God in three persons existed from eternity past and will exist in eternity future. There is never a time when God will not exist, will not rule, will not love, will not accept forgiven sinners into his presence.
We barely understand a God like this. A God who is one but in three persons?! Yet, this is the same God that created us, we ruined the relationship by our sin, and yet he brings us back into relationship with him through forgiveness of sins by the death of the Son. This is astounding. This is the gospel. When we confess our sins, we get into fellowship with this God. We don’t belong there, but he brings us there anyway. Confession of sin, the first step in the process, then, glorifies God.
So, there are at least 3 ways that God is glorified in the confession of sins. All Christians desire to give God proper glory and honor. Confession of sin is one way we can do that. After all, what is more central to the gospel than the salvation of damnable sinners at the hands of a gracious God? Confession is the first step in the outworking of the gospel.