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This may make some of you mad so I want you to know that this is only the opinion of one person. Neither do I know if I have understood this correctly, but I am writing this with my whole heart because I see so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ trying to “be good” and hide themselves from their brothers and sisters in Christ. And, in seeing all this hiding going on, it makes my heart hurt.

For some reason, since I became a Christian, I have always had a problem with asking God to “forgive me my sin” . I’ve always remembered James 5:16 where it says to “confess your sin so you may be healed”. Anyway, today I thought I’d look up all the passages under “confessing sin” on Bible Gateway. I was blasted. I copied what I found, below.

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Here are all the passages I found where the Bible talks about confessing sin.

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Leviticus 5:5
when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what they have sinned.
Leviticus 26:40
“‘But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors—their unfaithfulness and their hostility toward me,
Numbers 5:7
and must confess the sin they have committed. They must make full restitution for the wrong they have done
Ezra 10:1
While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself down before the house of God, a large crowd of Israelites gathered. They too wept bitterly.
Nehemiah 1:6
“I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you.”
Nehemiah 9:2
They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the sins of their ancestors.
Psalm 32:5
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Psalm 38:18
I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin.
Proverbs 28:13
Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Daniel 9:20
While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill—
Matthew 3:6
Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
Mark 1:5
The whole Judean countryside and all the people of
Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

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Finding all these passages was very enlightening to me and further cemented my thoughts about this. To me, asking God to “forgive me my sin” over and over again, has always felt like a slap in the face of Christ. Hadn’t He already been slapped enough? When He died, He died to forgive us – and He said; “It is Finished”. To me that means that all our sins – past, present, future have been completely forgiven; so why am I talking to  God like He needs to forgive me over and over again  – now? Does the Bible say we’re supposed to do this? Am I saying I know better than Christ about what happens with our sin?

I know that asking for forgiveness of debts is in the Lords prayer, but that’s in the first half of a sentence that continues on saying; “… as we forgive our debtors…” , and this creates a whole new meaning to the phrase as far as I can see. It might be there, but  I don’t remember reading anything in the Bible about needing to continue to ask for forgiveness over and over again.

This is what I see the Bible saying about what to do to deal with sin – and this is what I do… confess it.  I go to my Pops (my name for God) and talk to Him about what I’ve done so that I’ve confessed to Him.  I do this out loud. For some reason it seems more real to me when I talk about it out loud. I know He already knows what I’ve done but talking to Him about the sin I did makes me feel like we’re both on the same page about it. He knows… that I know… that He knows… etc.

Then, like the Bible tells me to, I go and confess what I said or did to another loving brother or sister in Christ – or several, if that’s what it takes. If they are loving, they will be part of the forgiving process. Then, if the sin I did was against another person, I ask Pops, and these loving brothers or sisters,  for the courage and guidance, and go make things right with that person.

Pops knows I’ve been cleaned already by Him, but He wants me to feel clean too. So He set up this thing for us… confessing it… to Him and to a fellow loving brother or sister in Christ (or several of them if that’s what it takes) as part of the cleaning process. He set it up this way so that I can  feel the cleanness inside myself too. Pops wants me to feel the cleanness, so I can hold my head back up again, and continue to walk – with Him.

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So then…..what do I do instead?…..                             I THANK HIM!!

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I feel so much thankfulness. I did a wrong thing but I know He already forgave me for it when He died on the cross for me. So I thank Him. I thank Him over and over again. I feel a thankfulness with my whole heart. I have been forgiven. I have been utterly; completely; lovingly; willingly; and already – forgiven.

“Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Jesus. You died for me – to make me clean.”

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I hope I have communicated well enough what I understand about this. If there are parts missing, or parts that don’t make sense, please ask Him about this. I know He will fill in any gaps in understanding – in mine or in yours. What do you think?  I’m open to any input about what has been revealed to you in this.

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Robin Illustration
robin claire

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