Note from Randy: While we have a settled once-and-for-all forgiveness in Christ, we also have a current ongoing relationship with Him that is hampered by unconfessed sin. We should keep short accounts with God. When we sin, we should confess immediately, relying on God’s grace and mercy for forgiveness. Otherwise, we’ll become desensitized and go another step further before our dulled conscience objects. Delayed confession is the next worst thing to no confession.
Ask Pastor John is one of my favorite podcasts, and I encourage you to listen to it. The following is an excerpt from the episode All My Sins Were Canceled — So Why Continue to Confess?
Since we are conformed to Christ progressively and not all at once, therefore Christians are going to sin. There are no sinless Christians in action. “If you say you have no sin, you’re a liar,” John said (see 1 John 1:8–10). What should our attitude be, then, toward our ongoing acts and attitudes and words of sin?
No genuine Christian who loves Christ can be cavalier about the very thing Christ died to abolish — namely, our sin. That would be one mistake we could make: we could be cavalier in our attitude. “Well, he died to forgive them all, so they don’t really matter, because they’re all covered by blood.” No true Christian talks like that about his own sin.
But the other mistake would be to panic and feel that with every sin, there needs to be a new redemption, a new sacrifice, a new penance. …“I have to pay something, right? I see it. I have to pay something. I have to make this right.” That would be a great mistake. The payment was perfect. You can’t add to it at all. You can’t add to your sin-covering at all.
Instead, what the New Testament says, in 1 John 1:9, is this: “If we confess” — and I’m underlining that word confess. Repentance or penance might not be the most helpful word here. Just stick with John’s word. Confess means “agree with,” “see it the way God sees it,” “feel about it the way God feels about it.” So John says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
So confessing is not a payment. It is simply an agreement with God that this was an ugly and unworthy thing for me to do, and I’m ashamed of it. I’m sorry for it. I turn from it. I embrace the finished, complete, perfect, once-for-all work of Christ afresh. I rest in it. I enjoy the fellowship that he secured.
By John Piper. © Desiring God Foundation. Source: desiringGod.org