How to deal with Public Sin and Private Sin

Dealing with Sins

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper; but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall find mercy” (Prov. 28:13). According to this verse we can do one of two things: we can cover our sins and not prosper, or we can confess and forsake them and find mercy. When sin is of a private nature, i.e., no one knows about it but the individual and God, the person should repent and pray to God for forgiveness. If the transgression is public (generally well known) the individual needs to confess it publicly.

Some have the idea that a public confession of sin is not necessary, They ridicule the idea of one coming down the aisle and confessing his sins before all. They would liken this to a Catholic confessional. But it ought to be self-evident to the Bible believer that when one sins publicly he should confess the sin publicly. James say, “Confess yours faults one to another” (Jas. 5:16). John says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:9). Just here, I want to say a word to some who are claiming that God will forgive the Christian of “certain kinds” of sins without the guilty confessing those sins. There is no Bible for such an idea. All sin is washed away or cleansed (whether one be an alien or a Christian) by the blood of Christ (Rev. 1:5; 1 Jn. 1:7). But according to 1 John 1:9 God is faithful to forgive the Christian’s sin and to cleanse (by the blood of Christ) him from all unrighteousness, if he confesses his sin. Where is the passage that reveals God forgiving the erring Christian’s sins (any sins) without confessing and forsaking them? So, one is to confess before the Father in heaven and he is to acknowledge his sins before others, if they are of a public nature.

What does the confession of sin entail? It seems clear to this writer that the Bible teaches a public confession involves openly admitting the sin. If one is genuinely sorry to God for his sin and fully repents of that sin he will have no problem of confessing and forsaking the same. But some are teaching that the brother overtaken in public sin does not have to openly admit that he is wrong. He can just say, “I need the prayers of the church” or “I need the brethren to help me be a stronger Christian” or “if I have done wrong, I am sorry.” I ask you brethren, what has this person done? Wherein has he sinned? Actually, this person has not confessed in the Bible sense of the word. A thorough study of the word “confess” will show that it involves openly admitting the sin.

The individual who comes before the assembly to confess a public sin ought to confess his sin publicly. How can you pray for and help a brother if you don’t know that he has actually sinned publicly? If one is guilty of drinking he ought to confess the sin of drinking. If he is guilty of using dirty language, he ought to confess the use of filthy communication. Instead of encouraging erring brethren to confess they have “made mistakes” we ought to rather encourage them to confess the “mistakes they have made.” Instead of encouraging “if I have sinned” type confessions, we ought to rather encourage them to confess the “sin they have done.” Do you see the point? Listen friends, we all need the prayers of the church, we all make mistakes from time to time, and certainly we ought to be sorry when we sin. But in this article we are talking about specific acts of sin that need to be confessed publicly.

Perhaps one of the problems in this area is the desire for numbers in the church. Some live ungodly lives, but because of pride will not openly confess their sin. Brethren want them back in the fellowship so they accept them on the basis of a “if I have sinned, I am sorry” confession or “I want to be a worker again in the church. We had a problem in the past, but it was all just a misunderstanding, and I want to start over.” I ask you brethren, is that a public confession of sin or is it just slipping back into the fellowship without admitting sin? If one does not know whether or not he has sinned, he cannot publicly confess a sin. If one wants to be a worker in the church again, then let him clear up the problem and straighten out the misunderstanding and he can start over as God directs!

In Acts 19:18-19, we read: “And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all.” It appears plain from this verse that “confessing” involves “telling their deeds” (admitting sin). Also, it involves clear evidence that one will do something about his sin.

I’m sure some would have told these poor misguided souls that they did not have to “tell their deeds,” just say “there has been a little misunderstanding. Burn your books if you want to, but do it in private, for if you openly confess what you have done and go too far with this thing it will cause people to talk.” Can’t we see this is not what the Bible teaches concerning public confession and forsaking of sin and that it weakens the force of the gospel? It covers over sin instead of confessing and forsaking it!

In conclusion, brother R.L. Whiteside wrote: “But if you good and faithful Christians feel that you must make public confession of sins, name the sins you are confessing. A blanket confession is really no confession of sins.” “Of course, to graciously make public amends would be considered very humiliating, but to do so would be such an outstanding example of Christian manhood at its best that every right-thinking person would applaud the deed; and such a deed would ease the conscience and make the one feel more content with himself.” Please remember, if sin is of such a nature that it calls forth a public confession then one needs to openly and humbly admit his wrong in confessing his sin.

Two examples will suffice to prove our point here. In the Old Testament, after the prophet Nathan pointed out to David his sin, David openly confessed, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Sam. 12:13). There were no “ifs, and, or buts” about the matter. What we do see is an open admittance of sin and a confession of the same. In the New Testament we have the blessed confession of the prodigal son. After he had messed up his life in the far country of sin, devouring his living with harlots, he came to himself, he woke up or came to his senses. He realized where he had been, where he was, and with a penitent heart, determined where he was going. With his mind fully persuaded and his course laid out, he openly confessed, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son” (Lk. 13:21). Again, we do not see any “Ifs, ands, or buts”; rather, we see the open confession of wrong.

If a Christian falls away to sin and it is known both within the church and outside, is it necessary for that Christian to repent before the church? Could you please give some scriptures in answer? I have always been taught that the repentance should go as far as the sin, in other words, if it is known within and without the church, it needs to be addressed before the whole church. I know private sins are then only between the individual and God.

Where does the Bible teach that when we sin in a public way, we must confess our sin to the church?

The Bible speaks both about private sins and public sins and what our attitude should be toward both. In thinking about private sins, there are two types. The first are private sins that are known only between God and us, individually. When we sin in this way, we have the obligation to confess that sin to God. John writes in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Once we have repented and made that confession to God then the blood of Christ forever erases that sin.

There is a second kind of private sin that can be committed as well. This is when one brother sins against another brother. This kind of sin is not public because it was only committed in the presence of a one or a few Christians. The Bible teaches that when such a sin is committed that we are to handle it in as discreet a way as possible. Love will not try to publish this sin beyond its original circle of influence but will try to keep the sin concealed to as few as possible. 1 Peter 4:8 says, “above all things being fervent in your love among yourselves; for love covereth a multitude of sins�.” However, Jesus makes it clear that while our attitude should be to deal with this in a private way, if the person who has committed the sin refuses to repent of that sin, then others are to get involved.Matthew 18:15-17 says, “And if thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established. And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican.” There is a three step process that is laid out here. First talk to the person individually and if the problem is resolved, let it go. Second, if the problem is not resolved one on one, then take two or three more with you so that the matter may be established. Third, if the problem still cannot be resolved, then bring it before the church. Then the church has the obligation to withdraw fellowship from the one who has sinned. Let’s be clear, however, this is still in regard to sin that was first committed in a semi-private environment.

Public sins, however, are handled quite differently within the New Testament and we have several examples of public sin. The first public sin that was committed within the church was that of Ananias and Sapphira. We find this recorded in Acts 5:1-11. This couple sold some land and gave part of the price to the church, but claimed that they had given the entire price to the church. In essence they lied about the amount of money they had given to the church. In a very public way, Peter confronted Ananias about the money. No doubt, opportunity was given Ananias to change his story and confess the truth, but he did not do this and God took his life away. In the same day, Peter asked Sapphira about the money and she too refused to tell the truth and she met the same fate as her husband. Now while God does not use miraculous means of church discipline today, the church is still expected to exercise earthly discipline in this regard. The great failure of Ananias and Sapphira was not in that they sinned, for all men commit sin according to 1 John 1:8 and 10. The failure of Ananias and Sapphira was that they failed to confess their very public sin in a public way–before Peter and the rest of the church. Had they made confession, no doubt, they would have been forgiven.

In Acts 8 we read of another public sin. Simon the sorcerer was watching how the apostles were bestowing miraculous gifts to the newly converted Christians and offered Peter money for the ability to bestow miraculous gifts as well. Simon’s motive for wanting these gifts was that he wanted to use them for his own profit. However Peter rebukes Simon in Acts 8:20, 21. He then tells Simon these words, “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity. Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.” Notice that Simon was given the opportunity to repent just like Ananias and Sapphira. However, instead of refusing to repent, he did repent and asked for them to pray for him. Simon gives us an example of one who sinned publicly and then realized his mistake and made correction. The result was that he confessed his sin, asked for prayer and was forgiven.

In Galatians 2:11 Paul tells us that Peter committed a public sin. Paul writes, “But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.” Paul rebuked Peter in a public way for Peter’s hypocrisy. Again in this example we find public sin dealt with in a public way.

Finally, we have the example of the man who was committing fornication in the church at Corinth. The sin in which this man was engaged was a public sin. Paul writes in the first part of the chapter that it was “commonly reported” regarding this man’s situation. The remedy that Paul gives for this problem was to handle it in a very public way. In 1 Corinthians 5:13 Paul tells the church at Corinth to “�put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” Was the problem regarding this person that he had committed a sin? This was not the problem at all, but that he refused to admit his sin and repent of it. We find in 2 Corinthians 2:6, 7 this man did repent, but that the church in Corinth refused to forgive him. Paul writes, “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.” What do we learn from this example? There was a public sin. The man initially refused to repent. The church withdrew fellowship from him. He then publicly repented and confessed. The church then was obligated to forgive him. Herein lies the pattern for dealing with public sin today.

In James 5:16 we read, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed�.” This is perhaps the most direct passage of scripture that deals with confessing sins one to another and it addresses both semi-private and public sin. The Bible teaches that there are separate processes for handling these sins. There is a process for private sin, semi-private sin, and public sin. We must honor God’s pattern in this regard. God is consistent, however, with each of these situations. If we sin privately and we refuse to confess to God privately, then we will have no forgiveness. If we sin semi-privately and we refuse to confess semi-privately we will have no forgiveness. If we sin publicly and we refuse to confess publicly then we will have no forgiveness. The bottom line is when we sin, whether private, semi-private, or public, and then act as if it is no big deal and refuse to repent and confess our sin (regardless what kind of sin it is), we are rejecting God’s plan for our ongoing salvation. We are refusing to acknowledge that forgiveness is in the blood of Christ. We are rejecting the covenant for which Jesus died. Let us always seek to acknowledge our sins in the way that God would have us acknowledge them, according to the pattern set forth in the scriptures.

COPIED RIGHT OBSERVED: Knowledge here is a combination of ideas from othere sites.


Quotes about Faith – Read scriptures that offer guidance, support and encouragement on subjects dealing with faith, such as Christian faith, faith in healing, faith in prayer, faith in others, and hope. Read verses from the Holy Bible about faith in relation to God, Jesus Christ, and the Christian faith.

Use our Bible verses by topic page which lists popular Bible passages from the Old and New Testament.

  • Chapter                  Parallel                       Compare     Commentaries
    5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
  • 1 John 5:13

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    13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
  • 1 Timothy 4:12

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    12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
  • Acts 16:13

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    13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.
  • Galatians 3:22

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    22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
  • Galatians 2:20
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    20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
  • Hebrews 1:3

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    3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
  • James 1:6

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    6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
  • John 1:12

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    12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
  • John 3:16

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    16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • John 3:18

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    18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
  • John 3:36

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    36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
  • John 6:35

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    35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
  • John 7:38

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    38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
  • Mark 10:52

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    52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
  • Mark 11:24

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    24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
  • Mark 16:16

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    16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
  • John 11:40

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    40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
  • 30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I have set my heart on your laws.
  • 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
  • 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
  • 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
  • Matthew 17:20

    20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
  • 1 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.
  • 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • Matthew 21:21

    21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.
  • Galatians 2:15-16

    15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
  • John 11:25-26

    25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
  • Ephesians 3:16-17

    16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
  • Matthew 14:31

    31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
  • Matthew 15:28

    28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
  • 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
  • 1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
  • 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
  • 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
  • 2 in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time,
  • 2 Corinthians 5:7

    7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
  • 1 Corinthians 15:14-17

    14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
  • 1 Peter 1:5-9

    5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
  • 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
  • 1 Corinthians 16:13

    13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.
  • 1 Timothy 6:11

    11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
  • 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:3

    3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:5

    5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
  • Hebrews 11:1-39

    1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones. 23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. 29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days. 31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. 32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised,
  • 1 Thessalonians 3:7

    7 Therefore, brothers and sisters, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.
  • 1 Corinthians 13:2

    2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:24

    24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.
  • 2 Timothy 4:7

    7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
  • 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
  • Ephesians 2:8

    8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
  • Ephesians 6:16

    16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
  • Galatians 3:11-12

    11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”
  • Galatians 3:22-26

    22 But Scripture has locked up everything under the control of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,
  • Galatians 5:5

    5 For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.
  • Hebrews 10:22

    22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
  • 4 “See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness —
  • 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
  • 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
  • 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.
  • 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
  • James 1:4-5    Commentaries
  • 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
    5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
    6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
    7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
    8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
    9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.
    10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower.
    11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.
    12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.


“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.” Genesis 1:16. We sometimes see the moon during the day, but only faintly; it does not rule the day. In the daytime it only calls attention to the brightness of the sun. As God has given two lights in the heavens to rule the day and the night, He has placed two lights in the spiritual world of these last days. The two are pointed out in these words: “The Lord has sent His people much instruction, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, and there a little. Little heed is given to the Bible, and the Lord has given a lesser light to lead men and women to the greater light. Oh, how much good would be accomplished if the books containing this light were read with a determination to carry out the principles they contain!”&mdashlEllen G. White, in Review and Herald, Jan. 20, 1903, quoted in Colporteur Ministry, page 125. (Italics added.) Here Ellen White refers to her writings as the “lesser light” intended by God to lead men and women to the “greater light” of the Bible. To use the two lights rightly we must understand their relation to each others—the place of each and its use.