A = Adoration – praising God for His attributes and character
C = Confession – of sin
T = Thanksgiving – for what God’s done
S = Supplication – praying for myself and others
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 1 John 1:9 NLT
The word confess in 1 John 1:9 is from a compound of two Greek words that mean “to say the same thing” or “agree with”. It means I agree with God and/or say the same thing about my sin that God says.
To say the same thing God says means I need to deal with my sin specifically. I’ve heard people pray for years: “Forgive us for our many sins.” Bill Hybels says this approach is a “cop out” because we neglect to deal with the real issues (the specific sin) in our life. This is like a child who is caught in a lie and tells their parent: “I’m sorry for any of the things I’ve done that are wrong.” Most parents want the child to deal specifically with the issue of lying because they know lying is unloving and hurts everyone involved.
Ok, but if I’m already forgiven by God when I believe in & receive Christ as my Savior – why do I need to confess any sin? Glad you asked; we’ll get to that and a couple of other issues related to confession in the next few days.