How the Devil Uses our Confession of Sin


Never have I heard or read of anyone else expressing my own experiences in confession of sin.  In Galatians 6, Paul warns us when helping others deal with sin to “keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Galatians 6:1b).  The devil is always crouching at the door (Genesis 4:7), even in our times of confession.

Robert Murray M’Cheyne helps us again:

I find that the devil often makes use of the confession of sin to stir up again the very sin confessed into new exercise, so that I am afraid to dwell upon the confession. I must ask experienced Christians about this. For the present, I think I should strive against this awful abuse of confession, whereby the devil seeks to frighten me away from confessing. I ought to take all methods for seeing the vileness of my sins. I ought to regard myself as a condemned branch of Adam,–as partaker of a nature opposite to God from the womb (Ps. 51.),–as having a heart full of all wickedness, which pollutes every thought, word, and action, during my whole life, from birth to death. I ought to confess often the sins of my youth, like David and Paul,–my sins before conversion, my sins since conversion,–sins against light and knowledge, against love and grace, against each person of the Godhead. I ought to look at my sins in the light of the holy law, in the light of God’s countenance, in the light of the cross, in the light of the judgment-seat, in the light of hell, in the light of eternity. I ought to examine my dreams–my floating thoughts–my predilections–my often recurring actions–my habits of thought, feeling, speech, and action–the slanders of my enemies and the reproofs, and even banterings, of my friends–to find out traces of my prevailing sin, matter for confession. I ought to have a stated day of confession, with fasting–say, once a month. I ought to have a number of scriptures marked, to bring sin to remembrance. I ought to make use of all bodily affliction, domestic trial, frowns of providence on myself, house, parish, church, or country, as calls from God to confess sin. The sins and afflictions of other men should call me to the same. I ought, on Sabbath evenings, and on Communion Sabbath evenings, to be especially careful to confess the sins of holy things. I ought to confess the sins of my confessions,–their imperfections, sinful aims, self-righteous tendency, etc.,–and to look to Christ as having confessed my sins perfectly over his own sacrifice.

If you’d like to read Andrew Bonar’s biography of M’Cheyne for free, click here!


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