"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (Pro. 28:13) (NIV). The one who commits sins is a sinner. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23) (NIV). The soul that sins will die (Ezek.18:4). "The wages of sin is death (hell) (Rom. 6:23). "If anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:15). "The cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars - their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death" (Rev. 21:8) (NIV).
The one who sinned should be remorseful of his or her sins and should repent (II Cor. 7:9,10). One should believe in Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31-33). One should confess his/her sins without concealing them, and be baptized for repentance of sins, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). Then his or her sins would be forgiven and he/she shall be cleansed (Acts 22:16; 2:38). Afterwards he should abide in the fellowship of the church (fellowship of the apostle) and worship the Lord. If he has erred, he must confess before the congregation, else, he should confess his sins without concealing before an authorized minister of God and request his prayers for him. Sin hides the face of God and causes separation from Him (Is.59:1). God does not listen to sinners (John 9:31); The fellowship with the church and God is disturbed. God hears the prayer of righteous man (James 5:16; John 9:31). God does not hear the prayers of sinners (Pro. 28:9; Zach. 7:11-13).
In the Old Testament:
1. Only the priest ordained by God could make atonement for sins. When the sin committed inadvertently comes to light, the sinner must come to the priest with the sacrifice and confess his sins before him. The priest would then make atonement for the sins. Then his sins would be forgiven (Lev. 5:5-10). 2. God forgives sins, hearing the intercessions of judges and ministers ordained by Him. Therefore one should confess his sins only before them. See: When people confessed to Moses that they had sinned, Moses advised them to look at the bronze snake, which he had put up on a pole. Those who had looked lived (Num. 21:6-9). Though a sinner, man conceals his sins and presents himself as a good man in front of others. When he goes before God (in prayer), he reveals his true state. However before men he hides his true state and claims to be good and sinless. Therefore confession is revealing oneself. It is not necessary for someone to reveal himself before God, as God knows everything. Everything remains uncovered and lays bare before His eyes. Not only when someone is sinning, but even before such a thought enters his mind, God knows it (Heb. 4:12,13). Only men of God (ministers of God) are not aware of everything. Therefore only before them, one needs to declare, reveal and confess. Moreover God ordains the men chosen by Himself for the people. They (ministers, prophets and holy men) are appointed by God to pray for the people for their sins. Hearing their prayers, God forgives the sins of the sinners. A believer should confess his sins in front of the congregation or before a true minister of God and request prayers for himself.
The method of receiving remission of sins:
Sin is divided into three categories:-
1. Sin committed by man against himself: drunkenness, drug-addiction, smoking, masturbation, sodomy, fornication etc.
2. Sins against others: Telling lie, stealing, killing, anger, jealousy, cheating, blaspheming, carrying tales etc.
3.Sins against society: Discrimination (racial/caste), dirtying public places, bribery, transgressing common laws, unlawful activities etc.
Generally, all types of sin are acts against God. As man sets aside by his sins, the ordinances and the conscience given to him by God, it is nothing but a sin against God Himself! Moreover, man is obliged to be grateful to God for the handiwork of God which he enjoys such as water, air, light and the world. When man fails to be grateful to God, he becomes guilty. In this way, as man realizes his sin and is convicted of his erroneous past life, he should be remorseful of his sins, repent (to God), believe in Lord Jesus Christ and confess his sins in the presence of God. He should request the ministers of God to pray for himself. Then his sins would be forgiven (Gen. 20:7).
In the New Testament, only when a man repents and is baptized for the remission of his sins in accordance with the verses Mat. 3:5,6 and Mark 1:4,5 that his sins are forgiven and washed away. Afterwards if he commits a sin, he should receive forgiveness for his sins by confessing in the above manner. During that time, he will also receive counsel to escape from sin. See Luke 3:7-14. Remission of sins is one of the authorities, which God had given to the early apostles. This is an apostolic authority. Only the true church has the apostle. The church, which does not have the apostle, is not the true church. Only in the perfect church there can be perfect doctrine. Only in such a church, Christ will act to bestow perfect salvation.
"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).