What about continued confession and repentance of sin? read more
We believe we become a Christian by conviction we are separated from relationship with God by sin and cannot in any way restore right relationship with God. Ephesians 2: 1 -10 and 1John 1: 9 clearly speak of our initial need to confess our sinfulness and receive total cleansing from our sin. But we also are fully convinced Jesus became sin so that we might be saved (i.e. restored to God) by becoming the Righteousness of God (right standing with God), fully and only by His grace and His obedience at the Cross. Our salvation is by faith (our trust) in Christ alone and His finished work on the cross for us. In one way our sin issue (past, present and future) is completed dealt with by the blood of Christ FOREVER. This sacrifice of Jesus was once and for all and for our eternity with God in right restored relationship as per Hebrews 9 : 11 – 28 and Hebrews 10: 1 -22.
Our initial confession of sin is our vital transaction of receiving the Gift of Righteousness with our faith. In one sense this NEVER has to be repeated as “God remembers no more our sin!”, but as Christians we will sin and as this happens it is good not to pretend it didn’t happen as our conscience could be trained to become cold. So it is good to acknowledge we have sinned and OK to say sorry to God but on the understanding it is not part of our new creation nature compared with our previous nature of sin. Our new confession after our once off initial confess is on the basis of the eternal hope that belongs to us in Christ (Hebrews 10: 23 – 25)
The word “confession” Biblically means “to say the same things”. Therefore our confession of sin to God is all relational primarily for our sake. It is NEVER to make us again a child of God nor to plea or beg that Christ would not leave us and or take the Holy Spirit from us! Our confession reminds us to say the same as what God says: eg. “I thank You that Your Son Jesus dealt with all my sins so that now I stand as the Righteousness of God in Him and I praise You I live knowing You do not count my sin against me. Sorry for my shortcoming, but turn it for good as I freshly come boldly right now into the throne of Grace by Jesus blood to receive your ability to empower me for life.”
We are strongly against sin. As it is destructive for a Christian. However the new creation nature in Christ we have doesn’t want to sin compared to the old nature of sin we once lived by before salvation. Titus 2: 11 & 12 trains us by His GRACE to say No to sin!
Before Christ we could get forgiveness after sin.
But under Grace of Christ we are forgiven before we sin.
So basically, we don’t confess ourselves as sinners as we are now saints. We do confess Christ because we are under the new covenant of Grace and not under the old covenant of law.
This law is self-conscious, sin conscious and performance conscious and creates in us a cycle of condemnation, guilt and forever saying we are sorry with NO power to be changed. Only behaviour medication at best without any transformation!
The law is a old covenant based on “flesh” (i.e. self-effort) and it’s purpose as clearly explained in Romans 4: 13 – 22 and Galatians 3: 10 – 26 to stir up all manner of sin in us especially that of self-righteousness and unbelief to “tudor” or lead us to Christ. The power of sin is the law! (1Corthinians 15: 56) Therefore if we preach or try to live by the law after receiving Christ it leads us into more sin and an ungodly religious syndrome that often leads people away from Christ and into guilt, condemnation and easy target of satan’s schemings. (Galatians 3: 1 & 5: 4) The way people use to try to draw near to God under old covenant was to offer sacrifices of repentance and confession of sin daily as lifestyle.
The Grace through Christ is a new covenant based on “Spirit”- that takes us into life of His Spirit’s leading, intimacy and empowerment. It’s all about faith in the perfect performance of Christ on our behalf and HOW RIGHTEOUS our spirit has become in Christ! This creates joy and confidence to draw near to God even when we sin from our shortcomings. The way we draw near in the new covenant is never our blood sacrifices but rather remembering the blood of Jesus once and for all sacrifice. This is why Jesus gave us communion to remember Him in the blood of the new covenant. To remind us to keep faith in the finished work of the cross! Keeping our eyes on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith!
The syndrome or cycle of sin-consciousness is thinking we need to earn His forgiveness through feeling bad and condemned, but as sincere as we apologize and promise to never do the sin again. This is called in the Bible as “dead works” because it is based on unbelief in the finished work of Jesus.
To those whose preach it must be undiluted pure grace with no fear it could lead people in comparison that law is the power of sin! The truth is living in GRACE is the only way to overcome sin as taught so clearly in Titus 2: 11 & 12.
Finally, the distinctions between the old covenant of law and new covenant of grace must be the lenses we use about whether we continually confess sin as a Christian. Our new covenant fellowship with God cannot be broken, but it easily could under the old covenant. That’s why old covenant in Hebrews is called a weak and useless covenant. (expect to lead us to Christ) But under the superior new covenant of grace we are united with Christ, seated in Heavenly places in Christ, full of the Holy Spirit who Jesus said will NEVER LEAVE US as we are one in Him. In dealing with our old sin nature and the power of sin the Word of God under the new covenant says, ‘He separates our sins as far as the east is from the west’. ‘He remembers no more our sins.’ ‘He will never count our sins against us.’ ‘Christ became our sin so that we might become His RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ ‘We were made holy once and for all.’ ‘We have been made perfect forever.’ ‘Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God.’
It is GOOD to say sorry to God for our sake when we sin as a Christian, but to think we are separated from God in fellowship and relationship by our sin UNTIL we confess is based on OLD COVENANT LAW and we “fall from Grace” because we are either ignorant, trust in our own fears or deceived away from our trust in the power of the Gospel and finished work of Jesus!
This GOSPEL (Romans 1: 16 & 17) reveals the RIGHTEOUSNESS given by Christ to us from the beginning to very end of our journey as Christians!
In saying as all this about confessing our sin to God the Bible FULLY teaches we do confess our sins to each other as our fellowship with each other is radically affected by each other. This then leads us into receiving the power of forgiveness by HIS GRACE as we forgive as we have been already forgiven by Him!