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Confessing Faults and Forgiving One Another


Confession of Sins to God


What has God promised to do when in sincerity we confess our sins?


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


How has it been possible for sins to be forgiven?


“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” 1 John 2:1,2.


To whom should sins be confessed, and why?


Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.” Psalm 51:4. (See also Genesis 39:9.)


When we do wrong, what is the natural thing for us to do?


Excuse it, seek to hide it, or blame someone else for it. (See Genesis 3:12, 13, 4:9.)


After David’s great sin had been pointed out to him, what did he say?


“I have sinned.” 2 Samuel 12:13.  “I know my transgression s, and my sin is always before me.” Psalm 51:3. 


When David in contrition of heart confessed his sin, what was God’s word to him by Nathan, the prophet?


“Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.” 2 Samuel 12:13.


Note – This scripture is extremely encouraging. God hates sin. He wants us likewise to hate it and shun it, because it invariably gets us into trouble, cause sorrow of heart, and in the end brings death. But when involved in it, as was David, as soon as we sincerely repent and confess our sin, that very moment it is forgiven.


Pointing Out a Brother’s Fault


Is it ever right to tell a brother of his faults?


“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.” Matthew 18:15. “Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.” Leviticus 19:17. 


In what spirit should this work of pointing out faults be done?


“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.” Galatians 6:1.  


Forgiving Others


When we pray, what does Christ tell us to do, and why?


“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins.” Mark 11:25.


If we do not forgive others, what will God not do for us?


“But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your sins.”

Verse 26. (See, for illustration, Christ’s parable recorded in Matthew 18:23-35.)


What words of Joseph to his brothers show that he forgave them for selling him into Egypt?


“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and no reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.”

Genesis 45: 5-8.     



What was Christ’s reply to Peter’s question as to the number of times we should forgive one another?


“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me” Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Matthew 18:21,22.


Note – That is, an unlimited number. We must pardon offenses against us though ever so often done; we must forgive to the end.


What spirit did Jesus manifest toward those who nailed Him to the cross?


“Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

Luke 23:34.


How did Stephen manifest the same spirit toward those who stoned him?


“While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this he fell asleep.” Acts 7:59, 60. (See also 1 Peter 4:8.) 


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