Do you feel guilty when you think of God? It’s easy to get in a pattern of blaming ourselves…to immediately think, I don’t spend enough time reading God’s word or Every time I pray, I’m full of me and my needs and wants, and they’re all physical things–health, finances. How about, I don’t do enough for God. Or, I know this is a sin, I’ve tried to stop, but I can’t. I have too many things to confess to ever get caught up… Etcetera. We convince ourselves that we’re failures. That we’re letting Him down.
These inner whisperings work away at us, creating a distance between us and God that is wholly one-sided.
Here’s the truth.
Our sin has been dealt with. God, our Father, has removed it from us who believe, through His Son’s work on the cross. Psalm 103:12 says that He’s removed it from us, “as far as the east is from the west”. 1 Corinthians 6:11 says, “Your sins have been washed away.”
He holds no condemnation against you, dear friend. (Romans 8:1).
Here’s His promise, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” Ezekial 36:26-27
Wait a minute.
Don’t misunderstand me here. We are all sinners. Sin is an attitude of wanting our way over God’s way. Sins exist in our past, our present, and some are ongoing struggles we strive against.
1 John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Why confess sins if Jesus already paid the price?
Confessing sin is simply agreeing with God that you’ve done something wrong. The above verses are actually encouraging to believers, in fact, if you read 1 John 5:13, you see that John wrote this book so that we believers may know that we have eternal life. One way to know God is in our lives–to *know* we’re in the faith, is to experience His forgiveness, His faithfulness and mercy. We are human and fallible, He is God, and He loves us anyway.
That second part, verse 9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” is our promise. God won’t count our sins against us. He will remove them from us. And He does this to affirm His faithfulness. Look at these following two verses:
Jeremiah 31:34, “…for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
If you follow the link to this Jeremiah passage, and start in verse 31, you’ll see that God is foretelling the New Covenant, the one Jesus bought and paid for with His death on the cross. That’s our promise to claim!
Colossians 2:13-14, “When you were dead in your transgressions…He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” (Italics mine)
I’m still confused. Confessing a list of sins is intimidating. If God doesn’t see sin when He looks at me, why bother?
As a teenager and young person, I worried that I’d forget a sin when confessing. I mean, who can remember every single selfish or unkind thought or action? I’m sure there have been and are sins in my life that I’m not even aware of, perhaps I haven’t been convicted of them yet. But here’s the thing: It’s NOT about confessing a list of sins.
We know our sins have been forgiven by Jesus on the cross, not by our ongoing list of items to confess, right? That’s what Colossians 2:13-14 say above. That God canceled our record of sin and nailed it on the cross. We know we have no hope of ever being able to confess EVERYTHING, right?
So when we “confess” we are doing so for this reason: We are repentant. We desire change. We love God and want a right relationship with Him–friendship aka “fellowship”. This is a humble heart seeking forgiveness, removal of guilt, and God’s assurance that Jesus’ sacrifice paid for it all.
Jesus covered our sins. When God looks down from Heaven and sees us, He sees us through the filter of His Son in us. Yes, when we sin, when we get caught in the trap of worry or anger or whatever, we need to confess/acknowledge our sins to Him, to restore fellowship. Just as we make things right with our husbands or wives or children after hurting them, rather than letting pride keep us from admitting we’re wrong, and subsequently put its walls up between us and our loved ones. We are God’s bride. And God is ever faithful.
Ask God to show you what He thinks of you. And don’t believe Satan’s lies, because you can be sure, the last thing the great deceiver wants is for you to believe that God can love you. Sin is not the deepest thing about you.
You have a new heart. Believe that.
All scripture references are linked to the full passages at blueletterbible.org, and are taken from the New American Standard Bible.