Confession in the Bible: Verses About Confessing Your Sins


When many people hear ‘confessing your sin’, they think it reserved for monks in a monastery or of paying penance to God by entering a church confessional.

But Scripture teaches us it is an important practice for the life of every Christian.  The answers to these questions about confession in the Bible may surprise you:

What does the Bible say about confession?

What will happen if you don’t confess your sins?

Psalm 32 offers us several powerful reasons to confess our sins and shows us the consequences of unconfessed sin.  David felt weak and was miserable when he did not confess.  Verses 3-4 says, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

Before confessing his sin, David was exhausted.  Why?  The life was being drained out of him by sin.  If you do not weaken sin, it saps your spiritual strength, it weakens you.  When I see a sin forming in my life, I must say, “If I’m to serve Christ, I dare not let this grow!  It’ll drain the life out of me…”

Why should you confess your sins?

In addition to avoiding the negative effects of unconfessed sin, biblical confession is a way to experience more of God’s grace.  Biblical confession should be in some ways a joy due to the rich benefits God gives us through it.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

This does not mean that God will only forgive a sin only if it has been specifically confessed.  When a Christian repents and believes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, all of their sins, past, present, and future are immediately forgiven!

Confessing is part of the sanctification process and aids Christians in dealing with sin and healing from it.  James 5:16 says, “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.”

Why confess your sin if God already knows your sin?

Christians confess their sins to God to practice humbleness before him and to fess up to the bad things they have done.  It takes a humble person to admit their mistakes!  Humility is a vital part of confession and aids the restoration of Christians who have quenched the Spirit of God.  Peter in 1 Peter  5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

A True Confession is Done in Humility with an Attitude of Repentance

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.  1 Peter 5:6

“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6

“…you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God…For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation…”  2 Corinthians 7:9-10

List of Bible Verses About Confession

Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah Psalm 32:1-5

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Proverbs 28:13

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  1 John 1:9



unlocking the bible subscribe to email

Kevin Halloran is a Christian, blogger, and coffee aficionado. He serves with Leadership Resources International, training pastors to preach God’s Word with God’s heart. Follow Kevin on Twitter or visit his blog.

Date Posted: Jun 1st, 2012

  • Brigette Miguel

    This is pure and directly from the Holy Bible. God loves this and we shall too :), thanks brethren.

  • safari

    This is awesome. Thanks for your hard work

  • Tammy Noel Smith

    I wish the Word of Faith pastors would read this article.Pastors like Joseph Prince teach that we need not confess our sin,but confess our righteousness in Christ.He sure is leading a lot of sheep astray with this false teaching.Thank you for posting this! This makes very clear why our country is in such a bad state,really bad…..we need to confess a whole mess of sins as a Nation and as people individually….

  • vklo

    is it absolute to confess to someone?

  • Sila

    May God forgive me for i am sinner.

  • MegAguilar

    I feel that this is something that has been lost in the Protestant churches in America in the past and even still today. I grew up in a So. Baptist church in SE Alabama and also in my grandparents’ Methodist church. And though we did learn these scriptures on confession, there wasn’t really any great amount of time spent on confessing and what it means for the Christ follower. While I don’t necessarily agree with Catholicism and some their worship practices, I must give them credit that at least they do teach/preach more on the importance of confession than our Protestant churches.

  • Tig

    How can you affirm that our future sins are already forgiven? Do you have a bible verse that confirms that? Tig

    • Shadu

      I agree with you Tig. I need he verse too that says your sins past present and future are forgiven when you ask but once. That would give you fee rein to do what ever you want because it is forgiven. Please give us the verse from the Holy Bible that says that. And why the disciples met in private with new Chrisitians so that they could do ask to do that in the privacy of others. ( 1. being that those confessionals in that time were because of spys that could hear, then take their lives on behalf of Herod and Nero.

  • Gabe Sosa

    Yes, confession is a way to redeem grace. However I don’t agree too much with the statement, “believe the gospel and all will be forgiven”. As paul tells us, even demons aknowledge God’s power, and shudder, but that doesn’t mean forgivness. However a human could be forgiven for the sake of fullfilling God’s plan for humans, but he can’t just swipe away all he established through his son, just because one feels repentance. I mean, what is a sin? An act that goes against God’s will, we can all agree. And if we believe Jesus is true man and true God(as proven in all 4 gospels, and the gospel of John in specific) we must obey his commandments, “do this in memory of me” and especially “all sins you forgive will be forgiven”. Having knowledge that he established a sacrament of forgivment, we are oblogated to use it, not just to remind us of his power and forgivment. And as shown many times before, despite the “main event” of Jesus’s crucifixion has passed, we are called to practice it many times again for the sake of spiritual health.