Acknowledging Sin

June 28, 2022

Have you ever been engaged in sin but refused to admit it to yourself or to God?  We sometimes rationalize our sin, or make excuses for it, or pretend that it’s not a big deal.  This is a very dangerous game.  Unacknowledged, unforgiven sin in our lives will lead to feelings of guilt.  Unresolved guilt is a powerful force that can have a devastating effect on your life.

Listen to the experience of David when he refused to acknowledge his sin.  “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.” (Psalm 32:3-4 NASB) What did David experience when he kept silent about his sin?  He suffered severe physical and emotional consequences.  The Lord’s hand was pressing heavily upon him, and it was causing his body to waste away and become weak.  It was causing him to groan all day long.  I am convinced that the Lord pressed His hand down upon David out of love for his soul—to try to get his attention and to get him to confess his sins and turn away from them before it was too late. 

It is interesting to note how sin can also have such a profound effect on our bodies.  Of course, it would be incorrect to think that anytime we have physical ailments it is because we have sinned.  This is clearly not true.  But if we are practicing sin and refusing to acknowledge it to the Lord, physical and emotional anguish can certainly come as a result.

What do we need to do?  Instead of justifying, excusing, or hiding our sin, we need to admit it to God.  We need to come to Him and confess our wrongdoing.  Sometimes this is not easy, but it will bring peace and joy back into our lives.  It will be a great relief to us.  As David says, “I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’; and you forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5 NASB)

Let us confess our sins to God and rejoice in the fact that they are covered by the blood of Jesus our Lord.

—Scott Colvin

Deny or Confess?

April 9, 2015

When Jesus warns that the disciples are going to fall away, Peter confidently asserts, “I will not.” He believes he is ready to follow Jesus to prison or to death. But he is further warned “before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”

Peter strikes the first blow in defense of Jesus at the arrest, but Jesus commands him to put away his sword. Still, Peter follows at a distance and enters into the courtyard of the high priest.

I don’t know how Peter imaged his bravery in the face of arrest or death, but reality finds his first denial of Jesus at the challenge of a slave woman: “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” It is not much of an accusation. It is guilt by association, but Peter denies: “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” Peter begins his physical retreat. He moves from the courtyard to the gateway (or forecourt).

The second encounter is a bit more challenging. Again, the accuser is a slave woman, but this time, she also speaks to the bystanders: “This man is one of them.” Again, Peter denies. The risk is greater with bystanders now involved. If an officer in charge finds out, an arrest might follow.

Finally, the bystanders make the accusation: “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” It would appear that his Galilean accent betrays him as not being local. The Babylonian Talmud (b.’Erub. 53b.) has a section that makes fun of the Galilean accent:

A certain Galilean went around saying to them, “Who has amar” [which can be pronounced so as to yield wool, with an ayin, a lamb, with an alef, an ass, with a het, or wine, with a het but a different accent].

They said to him, “Idiot Galilean, do you mean an ass for riding, wine to drink, wool for clothes, or a lamb to kill?”*

The danger threat is greatest now, and Peter’s response is with curses and an oath. The object of the curses in Greek is unspecified, but likely they are on himself, if his oath is not true. The rooster crows the second time, and Peter breaks down and weeps.

Why are we told this account? Christians will always face situations where we will face the temptation to deny or confess Jesus. Peter’s story is a warning example. It is also an encouragement for us to follow Peter in moving from failures to faith. Will you deny or confess?

*Jacob Neusner, The Babylonian Talmud: A Translation and Commentary, vol. 3 (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2011), 261.