The Truth About Confession and Repentance
If we aren’t parents, then we are a child of parents. We are part of a family. Relationships with our family may be without conflict or a constant source of aggravation, but they are permanent.
When we become a Christian, we belong to the family of God. Though our place is secure and our relationship as God’s children is everlasting, it doesn’t mean there isn’t conflict. Because we are human, we have ‘issues’ that interrupt our relationship with God. These ‘issues’ are called sin.
When we ask Jesus into our lives by admitting that we are sinners and asking Him to change us, we can claim forgiveness. We don’t have to wonder if we’re forgiven. We are.
When Jesus said, “It is finished,” on the cross forgiveness was ours—no strings attached. The psalmist says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalms 103:12).
Our sins are forgiven. God doesn’t remember them anymore, whether or not we confess each one. The Bible tells many stories where forgiveness and salvation were obtained without confession or repentance. Don’t believe me? Check out Matthew 9.
Why Confession and Repentance Matter
So why do we need to confess and repent after salvation? Because God wants us to be in relationship with Him. Though nothing can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39), refusing to admit sin and change will damage the relationship just like refusal to admit we’re wrong damages our human relationships. We are still a part of the family, but we don’t enjoy the benefits.
Confession is more than “Whoops! My bad!”
And repentance is more than “Geesh! I’m sorry.”
Confession is admitting our sin to God. Repentance is allowing that recognition of sin to change the way we think, which changes the way we behave.
Heartfelt confession and repentance says, “This is MY sin. I want to change my mind about this area of my life and turn it over completely to Jesus.” Anyone can confess; but only a believer changes.
5 Reasons To Confess And Repent
1 John 1:6-9 is one of the best explanations in the Bible for why we should take confession and repentance seriously:
“If we claim to have fellowship with God and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:6-9).
Confession and repentance does five things in the life of a Christian:
1. It causes us to acknowledge before God that we know and take responsibility for our sin.
2. It proves that we are not trying to hide our sin from God, others, or ourselves. It humbles us.
3. It shows that we are asking for and relying on God’s strength to help us change.
4. It allows us to be continually healed.
5. And most importantly, confession and repentance sustain our loving relationship with God.
We don’t NEED to confess and repent in order to obtain forgiveness. But doing so is the best way to please God and become who Jesus wants us to be.
By Dalton Blankenship
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