And there went out to him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan…
There is a two- fold confession of sins necessary in the practice of repentance.
I. TO GOD.
1. It must come from a feeling heart, touched with sense of sin and grieved for it: not verbal, or from the teeth outward.
2. It must come from a hatred and loathing of the sins confessed, not from fear of punishment merely. Saul. Pharaoh.
3. From hope of mercy, else we witness against ourselves. Judas.
4. Free and voluntary, not forced from us. God requires a freewill offering, else it is not pleasing to Him.
5. It must not be only in general terms, but there must be a laying open of our particular known sins, so far as we can remember them.
II. TO MEN. Not always necessary, but in some cases only.
1. When by our sins we have offended and scandalized men — either the Church in general, or some particular persons.
2. When any sin lies heavy on our conscience, so that we cannot find ease or comfort. In this case, it is necessary to open our hearts, and to acknowledge that sin which troubles us, to some faithful pastor, or other Christian brother, who may minister spiritual advice and comfort to us.
Parallel VersesKJV: And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.