Confession in America is firmly rooted in the Protestant faith. The Puritan
settlers of America came with a Biblical basis of confession and its importance.
Through the long history of the Christian Church, confession has happened
in different ways--confession booths, public confession, private confession,
forced confession (although, really, nobody expects a Spanish Inquisition.
But they do happen.).
The following are a listing of scriptures that show characters in the
Bible making various types of confession. If you are unfamiliar with Christian
scripture, you should read a few to get an idea of where confessional
culture in America began. There are a lot of quotes. Feel free to skim.
But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers-their
treachery against me and their hostility toward me...
When anyone is guilty in any of these ways, he must confess in what way
he has sinned
1 Samuel 7:6
When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before
the LORD . On that day they fasted and there they confessed, "We have
sinned against the LORD ." And Samuel was leader of Israel at Mizpah.
While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down
before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites-men, women and children-gathered
around him. They too wept bitterly.
let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant
is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel.
I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father's house,
have committed against you.
On the twenty-fourth day of the same month, the Israelites gathered together,
fasting and wearing sackcloth and having dust on their heads.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I
said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD "- and you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces
them finds mercy.
Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples,
"Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out
to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan
He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, "I am not the Christ."
Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But
because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they
would be put out of the synagogue;
Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed their evil deeds.
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your
heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is
with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will
bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' "
2 Corinthians 9:13
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise
God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of
Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God
1 Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which
you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of
1 Timothy 6:13
In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus,
who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I
2 Timothy 2:19
Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription:
"The Lord knows those who are his,"and, "Everyone who confesses the name
of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your
thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice
of praise–the fruit of lips that confess his name.
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that
you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our
sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.