“If you are truly trusting in Christ, you can’t confess a sin for which God has not provided forgiveness in Jesus.

Indeed, if you work at the discipline of confessing your sin, it should not lead to despair at all, but rather to rejoicing over the extent of God’s love to you in Christ.”

—Mark Dever and Michael Lawrence, It Is Well: Expositions on Substitutionary Atonement (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 42

HT: Of First Importance.

Grace allows me to see myself as I truly am, a new creature in Christ who stumbles in many ways (James 3:2). Pride and legalism wants to hide my stumbling. If my relationship with God is based on my merits, then I hide to myself the many stumblings of my life. But grace lets me see and repent of them. I can look upon my many failures and know there is hope. Confession does not become an experience of depressing myself because I don’t measure up.  It is, instead, an acknowledgement that Christ’s blood covers all my sin. The more I dwell in the grace of God, the more that grace trains me to be quick to confess my stumbling.

Thus, if we want more confession, and therefore more of the Spirit moving and working in our churches and in our lives, we need more of the gospel residing in our hearts.