HOW MANY TIMES MUST WE CONFESS OUR SINS?

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HOW MANY TIMES MUST WE CONFESS OUR SINS?

“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

This is a wonderful revelation given by our Father to the apostle John, assuring us of His faithfulness in ensuring that for us who believe, our salvation is secure. This is also wonderful assurance to any who have yet to believe, that should they change their mind, turn and come home to our Father, He will never turn anyone away.

But some people have turned this blessed assurance into a cursed demand. They think that the only sin that is forgiven is the sin that is confessed. So, if we miss any sin out, that sin is not forgiven and we are going to fall out of favor and head to hell, because of our omission. Beloved, Jesus wants to set the record straight. So let us come to Him and let Him lead us into His truth.

In the message, Jesus Is Glad He Died For You, we saw how an older brother could have been mistakenly accused for breaking his parents precious vase, just because he, out of the goodness of his heart, was helping his younger brother clean up the broken pieces of his misconduct. Now, the lesson for us there is that we need to take things in its entirety. Verses cannot be taken out of context; else we lose the intent of the verse. So what is the context of 1 John 1:9?

“If we claim that we’re free of sin, we’re only fooling ourselves. A claim like that is errant nonsense. On the other hand, if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing. If we claim that we’ve never sinned, we out-and-out contradict God—make a liar out of him. A claim like that only shows off our ignorance of God.” 1 John 1:8-10 [MSG]

John was not really talking about confession now, was he? Notice the phrase ‘on the other hand’? The issue of confession was raised as part of another issue, the issue of us thinking that we are living right and therefore have no sin; the issue of self-righteousness.

Well, that cannot be, you say. Of course we all sin. It’s just that we are not that big a sinner. We are ‘ok’ sinners, right? We do not murder, we do not steal and we do not commit adultery. Surely we are not bad people and this does not really apply to us. Can you remember anyone in the Bible who thought like that?

“Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:16-22

Yes, him again; he who never murdered, never unfaithful, always filial and loved everyone. But because the young man valued his riches more than he valued God, and the treasure in Heaven Jesus had promised him; he broke the very first commandment given to Moses,

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3

So to say that we have no sin, or that our sin is little, small, insignificant, not deserving of punishment, is wrong. For Jesus Himself said,

“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.” Matthew 5:21-22 [MSG]

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

Oops.

But beloved, your sin is also not the point. What really is the point here is this.

“Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 26:27-28

For by this, that is why the apostle Paul said,

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

So all 1 John 1:9 is saying, is echoing the words of Jesus Himself when He said,

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 4:37

And that is why we can have the confidence and the boldness to call God, our Father, because,

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13

Indeed, Jesus Himself tells us,

“Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” John 20:17

Beloved, here is something that is going to blow your mind. Confessing your sins is not going to get you into Heaven, because confessing your sins is not the point. Even your sin is not the point because confession is not the work that our Father calls us to do. For Jesus said,

“Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28-29

The work of God is not for us to confess our sins. The work of God is for us to believe in Jesus and all that Jesus came to do for us. Our Father is really not interested in how many times a week you mumble a list of your bad actions to Him or to a priest in a room IF YOU DON’T MEAN IT. For He said,

“My son, do not forget my law,
But let your heart keep my commands;
For length of days and long life
And peace they will add to you.” Proverbs 3:1-2

What our Father really wants is for your heart to recognize that what you have done is wrong and displeasing to Him; and you will, by His grace and strength, not do it again. And once you have come to that recognition, then the next thing He wants your heart to know and be confident in is the fact that you therefore already have full remission of all your sin; past, present and future. That is what is meant by,

“If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].” 1 John 1:9 [AMPC]

Notice that the word ‘all’ is only in front of the word ‘unrighteousness’ and does not come after the word ‘confess’? Beloved, your confession is not the point. Jesus’ dying on the cross for your sins is. Your action cannot get you anywhere. Only your faith in Him can; because Jesus will for He is faithful to you who believe, and He can purge you of all your wrongdoing for He is God. Remember that immediately after that rich young man walked away, Jesus said this.

“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:23-26

Beloved, stop living under the curse of misunderstanding; stop looking at how you can get yourself right with God. You cannot. Only Jesus can. And the wonderful thing is, you need not, because He has done it for you. Confession is an action of the heart. What it really is, is a complete and comprehensive realization of how much your sins are forgiven; for you were forgiven of all sins past, present and future, when you accepted Christ.

And if by chance you have yet to believe in Jesus but you do now, and would like to tell Him that and respond to His call, and receive His gift of full remission of all your sins and redemption of your soul, then say this prayer with me.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for not basing my redemption on my actions. Thank You for not tying any conditions to my salvation, except for me to believe that I can receive it from You. Right now, I believe. I believe that because Jesus died for me on the cross, I too am now dead to sin. I believe that because Jesus rose from the dead, I too am risen together with Him into a new life in Him. I believe that by His shed blood on the cross, I have received full remission of sins, so that now, I can stand confident in my right standing with You, knowing that all my sins have been paid for. Thank You Father for not making my forgiveness dependent on my ability to confess. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Beloved child of God, fix your eyes on that which really matters; fix your eyes on Jesus and how much He loves you.

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