Read carefully Ezra 9 and 10. In these verses, we see several steps leading to revival (Ezra 9:9). First, we see a conviction of sin (Ezra 9:3). Second, we see an acknowledgment of sin (I am guilty). Third, we see a confession (verbally communication) of sin to God. Fourth, we see a turning from sin (repentance). These were the conditions revealed to Ezra for the revival he spoke of in 9:9. If we are to experience genuine revival in our personal lives, our homes, our churches, and our nation - these fundamental steps cannot be ignored.
So far in our series, we have seen that for revival and awakening to take place, there must be a recognition of our lukewarm state (this includes any compromise of God’s Word), and a call by Jesus to be zealous, on fire, and burning hot for Him and His Word. We also learned, that as true Christians, in order to avoid the pitfall of steps to revival becoming works of the flesh or law on our part, we must know who we are in the spirit - who we are in Christ. And, as of late, we learned the importance of prayer and fasting, which humbles us, and drives out unbelief.
Now, we will focus on confession of known sin. The Believer in Christ - not the lost man - is to confess his sin (1Jn 1:9 - written to the church). The sinner, upon conviction, is to repent and believe on Jesus. The saved, upon conviction, is to confess his sin, and repent. Some may say, “I am already forgiven of my sins.” Indeed, a child of God is judicially forgiven of his sins. However, though delivered from the penalty of sin, the Believer needs to be delivered from the power of sin, through confessing any known sin, and being consistently filled with the Spirit. As true Believers, we are right with God in our born again spirit through faith; but we need to be right with God in our soul (mind, will, emotions) and body. This we must yield to and act on.
Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, “I forgive you; go and SIN NO MORE.” He told the lame man He healed at the Pool of Bethesda, “SIN NO MORE, lest a worst thing come upon you.” You see, even though we are forgiven in Christ, we still need to confess the sin we allow in our soul and body, and go and sin no more. This is a command of our Lord. We are to wash ourselves, and make ourselves clean in soul and body (Isa 1:16). Why?
First, because known, yet unconfessed sin, hinders you from receiving the blessings of God (Jer 5:25). Your faith is made shipwreck because of your guilty conscience, and you will not be able to have faith to receive the good things of God. Second, you break fellowship with God (Ps 66:18-19, Isa 59:2). Confessing known sin restores sweet communion with God. Otherwise, you put up barricades in the spirit between you and The Father, when you ignore the voice of The Holy Spirit, and refuse to confess and repent. If you ignore His voice long enough, you can become hardened, and eventually reprobate - forsaking Christ and eternal life (Heb 6:4-6, 10:26-29). Believer, be quick to confess and repent! Do not harden yourself to God’s voice!
Upon Holy Spirit conviction, we must acknowledge our sin (Ps 51:3, Jer 3:12-13). Own up to it. Don’t hide. Don’t make excuses. Don’t ignore it. Don’t deny it. Admit it! God knows anyway! You ain’t foolin’ God for a minute! You may lie to yourself and others, but God knows. Next, we must confess that sin we have allowed in our life (Prv 28:13, 1Jn 1:8-10, Job 33:27-28, Ps 32:5, 38:18). Jesus is our High Priest (Heb 3:1). He is our Mediator (1Tim 2:5). We are to confess our sins to God, and not to man. The only time we are to confess our sin to another person, is if we have sinned against that person (Jam 5:16). If a man were to cheat on his wife, he is to confess that sin to God and his wife, for he sinned against her and God.
If you say you have no sin to confess, you are deceived, and the truth is not in you (you are a liar - Jn 1:8). There are only three reasons why you would have no sin to confess. These are: 1. You are walking full of the Spirit and on fire for Jesus, and are quick to confess anything as soon as it is revealed to you. 2. You are carnal and dull of hearing, and are not seeking God nor waiting on Him. 3. You are not saved. I believe much of the “professing” church falls into the last two categories - but all Believers should be in category one! We must know that God comes running towards us, when we turn back towards Him (Lk 15:18-24)! He is looking for us to acknowledge, confess, and repent! He loves to cleanse and pardon and restore! He is merciful, kind, and loving! Get out of the hog pen! Run to Jesus, and get clean!
Are you ready for genuine revival? While we cannot “produce” a grand-scale revival, you can have a personal, one-man revival, any time you want! The only factor in a one-man revival is you! Your willingness! Your hunger! Your passion and desire for Jesus! For holiness! For renewal! Catch fire, in Jesus Name!