Psalm 51:1-2 “Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!”
How often should we confess our sins to God?
If we have already been saved from sin, why is it necessary to then confess further sins?
If I’ve been given the power of God for salvation, why do I keep on sinning?
These are questions we often ask ourselves or others and grow quite frustrated with the answers. Learning we have a fallen nature that continues throughout our lives isn’t a great thought, knowing I’m going to wrestle with sin for the rest of my life can either be a formula for giving up or it places me in the mindset of what it takes to persevere.
Knowing how to move onto maturity in Christ is almost as important as coming to Christ in the first place. Why would God save our souls and then leave us on this earth to struggle against sin unless He has a purpose for us?
A big part of walking with Christ on a daily basis is recognizing the elements of our fallen nature that keeps trying to get in the way of that relationship. Confessing our weaknesses is not a practice in dwelling on failure but is rather a practice of recognizing where our strength lies.
Psalm 38:4 “For my iniquities have overwhelmed me; they are a burden too heavy to bear.”
Sin carries weight. We may not be able to physically measure the weight of sin but we can feel it in our countenance and we suffer from the effects.
Psalm 51:4 “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
Sin bears responsibility because it’s nature.
The Nature of Sin
The foundational elements of sin go back to the very reason mankind has suffered for the past 6 thousand years. Losing intimate fellowship with the Lord was the relational fracturing that occurred but the effects went far deeper than that.
Mankind has proven he is incapable of perfection on his own. The law of the Lord is perfect, for man to walk with God he must also be perfect and that ended very quickly with Adam and Eve. When examining how God describes sin, we gain a better understanding of why it is so detrimental to our soul. A short list of sin can give insight so I’m including John W. Mahony’s, “A Theology of Sin for Today,” in Fallen: A Theology of Sin).
- It’s a failure to keep God’s law thus resulting in unrighteousness. (1 John 3:4)
- It’s an absence of reverence for God. (Rom. 1:18)
- It’s a refusal to know. (Eph. 4:18)
- It’s falling short of God’s glory. (Rom. 3:23)
- It’s an offense against God’s very nature. (Gen. 39:9; Ps.51:4; 1 John 3:4)
- It’s a willful act. This can be a tough one since so many people look for excuses for sin.(Ezek. 18:4)
- It’s a current state of human existence. (Matt. 7:17)
- It involves a deed done (commission), a deed left undone (omission), and reveals a corrupt nature (done w/ wrong motives) (Matt. 22:37)
- It is an aberration of Creation (Gen. 1:31)
- It is a corrupt image of the Creator. (Jer. 2:11-12)
- It is the basis of guilt. (Mark 7:21-23)
- It is formed in the corruption of thought. (Ex. 20:17; Matt. 5:22,28)
- It is corrupt actions. (Ga. 5:19-21)
- It is the basis of deceit. (Jer. 17:9; Heb. 3:12-13)
- It has a beginning and it will come to an end. (1 Cor. 15:55-57)
A common response to sin is to make excuses for it.
“What do you expect, I’m only human“
“It’s not as bad as what others are doing“
“Well, I’m a lot better than I used to be.”
We are always looking for comparisons, or relegating our actions to a nature that is impossible to escape.
We do have a fallen nature and if left on our own, we are a complete failure.—-but we haven’t been left alone.
The Good News
Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
The Lord leads us to repentance and yet this road doesn’t end in failure or frustration, it ends at the cross. Jesus conquered sin and death, gave us His Spirit to strengthen us in the journey so that we might live free from the constraints of sin and death.
God called you because He loves you. He didn’t call you because you were perfect but because He knew you would respond to His call.
1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;”
When we feel weak because of the drain that sin causes in our spirit, He strengthens us as we repent of our failures and continue to walk in Him.
Isaiah 40:29 “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.”
As you go, He sustains your walk and leads you on paths of righteousness for His name sake. You see, when you choose Christ, you choose to to be a testimony of His glory before the world. There is responsibility that comes with being a man or woman of God, it’s not all about you.
1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
The hope is that we can be a testimony of God’s power and goodness to those who have no hope.
Can you see why the encouragement is to confess sin, repent of the weakness and failure and move forward in righteousness? It is so destructive, not just in our testimony, but in our walk with God. How can we continue in sin if we say we love Him? How can we justify any part of our lives being in conflict with Him if we desire to walk in His Spirit?
Healing and restoration come by way of acknowledgement and a turning away from sin in repentance.
Psalm 32:5 “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Selah
Walk in freedom, walk in the testimony of God’s greatness and let others see Christ in you. Your joy will be made into strength as you go.