12 reasons why you don’t need to confess-to-be-forgiven
The grace of God has many expressions, but forgiveness is the first. Miss forgiveness and you’ll miss grace.
How do we set aside grace? One way is to treat forgiveness as something other than a gift. If you work to earn what God has given, then you have made the cross of Christ of no effect. You have set aside grace and made yourself a co-savior.
Over the past few weeks we have looked at 12 reasons why we never need to confess our sins to be forgiven. By “confess” I mean listing all your sins. I thought it might be worth pulling all these reasons together in a single list with links back to the original posts…
12 reasons why Christians don’t need to confess-to-be-forgiven
1. It’s not in the Bible. To confess (homologeo) is to agree with God. We all need to agree that we are sinful and in need of a Savior. We also need to agree that our sins were dealt with once and for all at the cross. We need to agree with the scriptures that say we are eternally and completely forgiven. We need to stop misreading 1 John 1:9.
2. You were forgiven 2000 years ago. All your sins were future sins – you hadn’t been born yet.
3. You were forgiven through his blood. Your forgiveness was paid for with God’s blood. Your works don’t come into it.
4. You were forgiven completely for all time. Jesus will never go to the cross again.
5. You were forgiven in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Forgiveness is his business and his gift to give. Receive it or reject it but you can’t earn it.
6. Your sins are long gone. Jesus’ sacrifice was the atom bomb that did away with sin.
7. God chooses to forget your sin. God is love. Love keeps no record of wrong. Your heavenly Father is not a fault-finder.
8. The Holy Spirit is not convicting you. The law convicts, but the Holy Spirit liberates. How could he convict you of something he chooses not to remember?
9. Confessing-to-be-forgiven puts us under law. Mixing God’s grace with man’s works is like mixing milk with poison. The result is not going to be good for you.
10. Confessing-to-be-forgiven empowers sin. Instead of dealing with sin and releasing life, law-based confession stirs up sin and leads to death.
11. Confessing-to-be-forgiven keeps us from God. When dealing with people, confessing sins and seeking forgiveness may help heal a guilty conscience. But God doesn’t relate to us with human love. Reviewing our sins in a religious way can harm a good conscience and shipwreck our faith.
12. Confessing-to-be-forgiven makes us sin-conscious, not Christ-conscious. Every minute you spend dwelling on your sin is a minute wasted. You’re not worthy? Get over yourself! Christ is worthy!
Why confess-to-be-forgiven when it’s not in the Bible?
I am not against confession. True confession is putting faith into words; it is articulating God’s promises, God’s declarations, and God’s will. But confessing-to-be-forgiven is a dead work. Whether you confess to a priest or directly to God makes no difference. If you do it because you believe it makes you righteous or acceptable to God, what need have you of a Savior? You have set aside grace and put yourself under law.
You won’t find any believer in the New Testament confessing their sins to be forgiven. So why do we do it? Why do we spend so much time and energy on a death-dealing extra-Biblical practice? I can think of at least 4 reasons.
- We do it simply because we’ve always done it. (So read your Bible, renew your mind and live free.)
- We do it because we think our sin is greater than God’s grace. (It isn’t.)
- We do it because we are fearful of unconfessed sin. (Sin is sin and on the cross Jesus dealt with it all – big sin, small sin, secret sin and unconfessed sin. There is no sin that escaped his perfect redeeming work.)
- We do it because we are fearful of judgment day and uncertain about our forgiveness. We hope we’ve been forgiven, but we worry that might not be. If this is you, listen to the words of Jesus: “My friend, don’t worry! Your sins are forgiven.” (Mt 9:2, CEV)
At some point you’re just going to have to step out in faith and trust that when Jesus said “it is finished” that it really was finished. At the cross, your sin was dealt with once and for all time. Look at Jesus and cheer up!
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Eager to hear your thoughts on 1 John 1.
My thoughts on 1 John 1 can be found here, here and here.
I think confession is part of our santification. The sin that we commit corrupts us and connfession is the way to for us to be cleansed. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.(ESV)”. I will agree that it is belief in the finished work of Jesus that saves us, but confession is key component in our battle with sin.
Grace and Peace.
Tony, are you saying we are not forgiven/cleansed/sanctified for sins we don’t confess?
Hi Paul, do you not agree with or believe 1 John 1:9?
Mark, do I think we should agree with God that we are sinners in need of grace, forgiveness, and cleansing? Absolutely! I have probably written more posts on 1 John 1 than any other chapter in the Bible. Find them by entering the phrase “1 John 1” in the search box at the top of this site.
It seems like this topic has already been discussed at length but I wanted to add that I think the clearest answer to the confession conundrum, is found in the latter part of 1 John 1:9…”to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” If he is speaking to those who are unrighteous, then he is clearly speaking to people who have not come to know Christ yet, since those that know Christ are the “righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21)
If believers are the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21) then there is no longer any unrighteousness we need to be cleansed from. Therefore, as has been stated numerous times already in this feed, a believers confession is one of a privileged position and agreement that we are righteous and made perfect forever (Hebrews 10:14). Thankfully we have forever been cleansed from unrighteousness and no longer have to “do” anything in order to attain this status.
Hi Tony! There is no way people can confess every sin. What if you miss one? The Bible says whatever isn’t of faith is sin. People doubt everyday, so you would be confessing non stop. We are forgiven forever. We don’t confess in order to be forgiven; we confess because we are forgiven. 1 John 1:9 was written to the Gnostics who were unbelievers. Read 1 John 2:12, is says we are forgiven of our sins. Read Hebrews. Read and study the Bible for yourself. You can’t rely on your pastor.
I think the Peter passage is talking about life post conversion. I see it this way. We are seperated from God by sin. God should punish us with death and eternal sepration from Him yet the punishment we deserved was inflicted on Jesus. I feel that it is faith/belief in Jesus as our substitute that sets us right with God. Now post conversion God indwells us with the Holy Spirit to conform/transform us to the image of Jesus and to essentially make us perfect, however the sinful flesh still exists and from it, desires contiue to arise that produce temptations that produce sin(James 1:13-15). I feel that Peter is teaching us here that the sin we engage in post conversion hinders the process of our conformity to the perfection of Jesus, but as we confess it God removes the hinderances. I saw that you linked serveral posts as response to what you feel Peter is teaching. Can you sum it up?
Tony, it’s one year later and I’m curious as to whether you ever went to those links and read them yourself, rather than asking Paul to rewrite it in a condensed form to save you the trouble.
Pardon me; *two* years later. I’m sure you have had time by now… 🙂
Your definition of confession under #1 makes sense. Then below the list you talk about confession as though it means to admit fault privately to a priest or someone else. Both are good for the soul, but that sounds like apples and oranges for definitions. And is it required for salvation? What is it we believe in to be saved if not what amounts to confession by your definition under item 1? It isn’t confession specifically, but it is agreement which is admitting our condition, then submitting, which is where mental acknowledgment becomes genuine faith, then commitment which is the working out of our salvation in fear and trembling, then transmission which is fulfillment of purpose and mission to bear the fruit of salvation. As James said, show me your faith and I’ll show you my works. If only my faith were like that of his.
As I have said consistently throughout this series, I am not against confession. Biblical confession is agreeing with God.
Since I heard this from Joseph Prince I struggled with this topic and it brought me to this conclusion:
My sins are eternally forgiven (past, present and future). I am dead to sin and dead to the law, so where there is no law, sin isn´t counted against me (Rom 3).
The fathers plan is to transform me into the likeness of Jesus. Therefor he has sanctified me, made me righteous and given me his glory – this is my starting point and not the goal, because I am in Christ : my position. My daily life is full of mistakes and things that are not in the likness of Jesus : my condition.
So realizing my position keeps me in faith, grace and protects me from dead works, law and an introspective, selfcenterd mindset.
My personal confession is this: I am the righteousness of god in Christ. Thank you father your are not counting my sins against me. Holy Spirit transform me.
When the foundation of grace is laid in someones life i think confessing or not is not the issue. But when you are not established in a new covenant mindset, righteousenss imparted as a free gift and freedom from the law – this theme can crush you!
Suddenly this weird teachings get hold of you that when you sin god will punish you, the devil will get you, your salvation is gone, god hates you, demons get into your life and many more……
Whats the fruit of that one : no joy, no freedom, sin conciousness and the worst one: you go back under law, that brutal, fault-finding husband Jesus has saved you from.
I am on this grace journey for 4 years now (beeing saved 14 years) – I can not go back!
Thanks Tobi! I have just entered into the Catholic Church and now I have heard Joseph Priest and understood that we are under the new covenant, I cannot go to Confession! Hallelujah! There’s not need and finally I feel that completely. I also cannot go back! Praise God
I think this is beautifully and perfectly stated. Pharisees may come out of the wood work regarding this. Also many who have been taught wrong but genuinely desire to understand this in light of the scriptures will come out of the wood work as well. I am confident the Holy Spirit’s discernment will continue to lead and guide you in comments you may receive as to when to respond and when it is a trap to respond. Love you beloved and God bless!
so are you saying if an individual commitss a sin knowing the sacrifice of Jesus this sin is already forgiven so there would be no need for Jesus being an adovocate for us .
Very Good Paul. I AGREE!!!
I am in Charis Bible College and really like the way Andrew Wommack explains about what is a good thing when we have sinned…to keep our conscience clear or else it will condemn us (not good..leads to death), so the enemy cannot hold anything against us (open door), just acknowledge that you just missed the mark and thank God that you are the righteouseness of God and thank God that Jesus has already paid the price for what I just did. Thank you Papa, i receive that cleansing of my sin right now of any unrighteousness that the devil may try to put on me. Praise God, I am free from any effect of sin as I am dead to it Hallelujah! You keep your heart sensitive towards God this way and not insenstive to sin…:)
Andrew WOMMACK says when a believer comit sin ,it does not affect his spirit but it gives satan
legal entry point.I am confused how is it possible when I believe Iam already forgiven eternally by free gift.If what A.Wommack says is truth how can i operate in faith to resist works of satan like sickness. Please clarify. Regards, M.K.M.Chandersingh.
Dear MKM, I used to wonder the same thing and if you had asked me yesterday, I would’ve said, “ask Wommack.” But now I know exactly why AW says this. Here’s my paraphrase of his thinking:
Wommack says there are two reasons why Christians live holy. (1) We have a new nature and living holy is a fruit (not a root) of salvation, and (2) it stops Satan’s inroads into our lives. In other words, we no longer sin because it’s not who we are and because sinning is stupid and hurtful. If you want to know more of Wommack’s thinking, read ch.9 of “Grace – The Power of the Gospel.”
Confess your sins to one another so that you are healed! Freedom and peace and joy come only if you are aware of sin and confess to someone. You can confess to God but wisdom to confess to someone else helps them help you to keep on the narrow path.
Then why did Our Lord institute the “Sacrament of Confession – why did He give the Apostles the power to forgive sins “whose sins you loose here on Earth will be loose in Heaven and who ever sins you retain here on earth will be retained in Heaven”. In the early Church the people used to confess in front of the whole community; it was only in the 11th centuary the the “private confessional” came into being.
All sins have an affect on the community thus we should confess to the community about our wrongdoing and the truely Christian community should forgive us our sins/tresspasses. Thus the priest represents Christ and the community.
Thanks for your comment. This series of posts is not against confession. It is against the extra-Biblical idea that our forgiveness hangs upon our confession, where confession is defined as listing sins. The truth is our forgiveness is based on the blood of Jesus; nothing more, nothing less (eph 1:7, Col 1:14). I’m not sure what you have in mind by the “sacrament of confession,” but if you are referring to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6, please see my response here. Regarding John 20:23, I recommend this. In the New Testament church there is no evidence of believers ever confessing their sins to be forgiven. Confession has come to mean something very different from what is discussed in 1 John 1:9. I do not doubt that being honest and keeping short accounts is very healthy in a church (see James 5:16), but again, this has nothing to do with the forgiveness of sins. I hope this clarifies matters.
You say no where in the new testament about confessing or repenting of someone’s sin’s Remember Acts 8 when the Apostle Peter told Simon to repent for trying to buy the miracle working power of God? It says in the same chapter Simon was a Born Again, Baptised with the Holy spirit and Yet Peter told him to repent what do you have to say abour that?
Are you implying that God did not forgive Simon until he confessed? If so, someone better tell Jesus that he was wrong when he declared the words of Luke 24:46-47 and Paul when he made the claims of Acts 13:38, Rom 4:7, Eph 1:7, Col 1:14, 2:13, and so forth. Are you really claiming we are saved by our confession? Because, if so, you are trampling the blood of Jesus underfoot and insulting the spirit of grace. You are building a theology of confess-to-be-saved on something Peter said when he was angry. Why not build your theology on something Peter said when he was writing his letters?
When we are baptised and take Jesus as our Saviour. our sins are forgiven us. Maybe this is what the Apostles did back then to forgive sins. It doesn’t mean they were constantly hearing about people’s transgressions. Maybe there was a misinterpretation about this as well through the ages. either way, Christ said, ‘It is finished,’ and I choose to believe that!
We need to remember the original meaning in the Greek, for the word repent is to change ones mind. There is no confession needed for anyone to repent. You can change your mind on sin or anything concerning your walk with Christ at any time anywhere. I have been a Christian for over 42yrs. and every time I hear the word being taught repentance is happening, because my thinking and believing is changing and growing when I here the word. RELIGION has taught us here in america, that repenting is beating our chest tears flowing act… or you have not truly repented. Once you hear Gods truth and your mind has changed concerning that issue, that is true repentance. It brings about true change.
I agree that repentance is to change the mind but both Paul and James clearly state that genuine repentance includes deep sorrow (and sometimes tears) – James 4:9 says to lament and mourn and weep…
Guys, I don’t mean to intrude on what may yet prove to be a scintillating discussion about repentance, but please limit comments to the post above. If you would like to debate different old and new covenant meanings of repentance, check out this post. Thanks.
We don’t need confession. We need to hold the Law close, not in order to follow it, rather as a reminder that we have no standing with God outside His unlimited unmerited favor. If we make a big deal about wanting to become better people, God can’t do anything to help us, because we’re saying we want to become worthy of His favor. That’s another way to say “I want to make Christ’s death on the cross superfluous”. As we remain in the place of humility which we find ourselves in when we realize we are totally dependent on his grace, God changes who we are. And the change “who we are” finds a need to express itself, because if it doesn’t… we’ll feel more and more uncomfortable until who we have become finds expression.
There is countable sin (when we do specific things that grieve God) and there is uncountable sin (or rebellion). Countable sins are forgiven. Uncountable sin makes it so God’s grace is no longer effective in our lives. Uncountable sin occurs when we think we can please God by works, when we think we have standing with God and look down on the less “given”. We enter the place of rebellion when we leave the place where God was able to shed his grace on us… the place of humility where we realize beyond all doubt how unworthy we are of His amazing and eternal grace!
John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. If you think Gods love is conditional,
then the love you give to others will also be conditional. Trust me, 17 years in the catholic church made
a conditional lover. God new exactly the right way to deal with man in the New Covenant….Praise God!!!!!
A brother in Christ, Steve Renaud
Paul says to CONFESS the Lord Jesus- CONFESS what He did for us,on the cross, on our behalf!! Romans 10:9 Look to Jesus and His finished work for us!! BE FREE!!! JUST AGREE WITH GOD’S PERFECT PLAN…JESUS!!!
so should we ask for forgiveness of a sin after being saved? i know andrew wommack says dont, because jesus already has forgiven our sins,but in his audio teaching hardness of heart he says he prays for a little boys crossed eyes to be healed he says he was telling the boy not to be let down if it wasnt instant sometimes healings took time, but when andrew was done praying he looked at the boy and his eyes were perfect, then andrew said i dont believe it! instantly the boys eyes were crossed again, he said he was grieved went back to his hotel room he prayed to god saying he was sorry and said he asked for forgivness, i dont understand why he asked for forgivness when he teaches dont
Why do people keep asking me to explain the behavior of other people? You should really ask Andrew Wommack! But okay, here’s my best guess. When you make a mistake it’s perfectly natural to feel bad about it and to ask for forgiveness. Wommack knows he was forgiven 2000 years ago. But he was grieved. He felt bad. Talking over his error with His loving Father was Wommack’s way of processing it. He’s learning – as we all are – and one way we learn from our mistakes is by talking about them. Do we conclude from this that Wommack is a hypocrite who preaches one thing but does another? No. Do we conclude that we must ask for forgiveness to get forgiveness? No. Do we conclude that Wommack is a perfectly normal human being who sometimes makes mistakes and feels so bad about them that he’s grieved and says to God “forgive me” even though God already has? Yes!
Thank you so much for this reply, Paul. You have been such a blessing to me. I have suffered from severe recurrent depression and OCD/Scrupulosity for most of my life (I am 56). During the current depression, I have become so aware of my own sinfulness (I used to blame the mental afflictions for most of my difficulties). The result has been incredible brokeness (see Psalm 40 – my sins have overwhelmed me, they are more than the hairs of my head). Because of this, I have been suffering through my days for a long time. Several times, I was so overwhelmed by the realization of my past sins and how I had hurt people I love, that I may have asked for forgiveness out of desperation of wanting to be free from the mental torment I have been suffering. I had only recently been reading about the correct interpretation of 1 John 1:9 and your writings about NOT asking for forgiveness.
Then I read your post on the unpardonable sin and it appeared to be saying that asking for forgiveness when you should know you are already forgiven is tantamount to trampling on the blood of Jesus. Understand that for the last 50 years, every church I went to taught that 1 John 1:9 was for the believer. It has not been easy (to say the least) to overcome 50 years of wrong teaching in just a year, especially when suffering the mental afflictions I suffer from.
So, I humbly thank you for this reply. I agree with your last line. I only fell back into asking for forgiveness because I was suffering such extreme mental anquish. I also think that I qualified it by telling Jesus I knew that I was not in any way earning or deserving His forgiveness. Anyway, I am learning more and more about the gospel of grace from you, Joseph Prince, Steve McVey, etc. I am
trusting Jesus for His pure life being lived out in me and for the healing I so desperately need. I know that I need to forget the past (this is incredibly difficult for me, because I have done so much wrong, including two divorces-yet I know the blood of Jesus is infinitely greater than ALL my sins) and fix my eyes on Jesus.
good answer, thanks.
Another thing i dont understand, If once we are saved and sin isnt an issue,why in ephesians 5:5 it says no fornicator unclean person covetous man has any inheritance in the kingdom of god.
We are not judged on our works but on the basis of our response to Jesus’ finished work. Neither are we defined by our works (which is why I dismiss the very confused label of “gay-Christian”). Our identity comes from our Father. When we were in the world we were slaves to sin and, in a manner of speaking, children of the devil (the father of lies). Now that we are in Christ we are children of God. All this is because of Him – His grace, even His faith is a gift to us (Eph 2:8). It is not by works (Eph 2:9).
The punishment that brought us peace was on Him. If you are in Christ you are a new creation – you are not a fornicator, unclean person or whatever. You are brand new person and Christ is your life. Although Hell will be full of murderers, adulterers, etc., you don’t go to hell for doing any of these works. All of our sins were dealt with at the cross. You go to hell for rejecting the grace of God revealed in Jesus. I believe that in the early church Christians were very clear about the difference between sheep and goats. Consequently they didn’t need Paul, Peter et al. to qualify everything they said when they wrote stuff like this. But we have 2000 years of religious muddling to contend with. The gospel has been diluted with awful additives and the result is it doesn’t take much to shake us and make us wonder, “What did he mean by that?” Until we’ve had a clear revelation of what happened on the cross (including what happened to my old self on the cross) we dither.
“If you are in Christ you are a new creation – you are not a fornicator, unclean person or whatever. You are brand new person and Christ is your life.”
Just ran across your site and stopped reading at this post to ask about your understanding about those who continue to sin…..after making a confession of faith in the Lord for the forgiveness of sin.
Good to meet you. Two quick thoughts: (1) Only those who have attained perfection in their conduct can legitimately be described as not continuing to sin, so it seems to me you’re pretty much describing every single believer. Is your conduct consistently faultless? Mine isn’t. But I know my Father loves me just as I love my children regardless of their conduct. (2) One characteristic of those who receive grace is they stop sinning – not because they are trying harder but because grace changes us. When you fall in love with Jesus, you fall out of love with sin. So I would say anyone who continued unchanged has not received the grace of God that empowers us to say no.
Hello Paul nobody used to believe in the confession of sin like I did. I was so sin conscience that I spent more time confession sin than I did knowing my savior. Your right it is a dead work and it actually empowers sin. What I used to do is lower the standard of the law to were I could fulfill it and only confess sins that where convenient. Just as it is impossible to fulfill the law perfectly. It is impossible to live a life as a christian and confess perfectly every sin because to get perfect forgiveness we would have to confess sin perfectly( Jealousy, anger, doubt, fear, evil thoughts, know to do good and do it not, and many more). Christ fulfilled the law and forgave us perfectly on our behalf. So now as we put our faith in Christ its as if we fulfilled the law perfectly and are forgiven perfectly. This teaching is some of the best I heard on forgiveness. Are you a pastor? Also are you on facebook?
Hi Presley – sorry for my late response to your questions. They got past me. I was a pastor in Hong Kong for 10 years. I mostly teach now through the written word. You can find me on FB here.
Hello Paul, Wow thats great I have been in Hong Kong a couple of times. My wife is from the Philippines and we do a great deal of mission work their. We are in the process of planting a church in Davao Philippines. A grace church is needed their badly. We have a great vision to explode with grace their. I am going to really refer your blog to our leaders and members. Joseph Prince is one of my favorite pastors as well. I am even considering of taking our Ministry team to Singapore to visit the church their. God bless, Presley
Many thanks again for your posts. I’m hoping you can shed some light on Acts 8:18-24. Simon the Sorcerer had believed he could buy his authority, and was rebuked by Peter. But it’s the nature of Peter’s rebuke that I need a little help in. If Simon was saved (vs 13) why did Peter tell him to confess the sin for the possibility of it being forgiven? Simon was told that “his heart wasn’t right in the sight of God”. Hopefully I’m missing something here in the Greek. I’ve looked at a couple of translations and all conform to similar language – that a sin had been committed (correct) for which forgiveness was still waiting (puzzling).
Looking forward to your answer.
The honest answer is that only God knows the state of Simon’s heart and whether he was saved or not. In light of that, I’ll give you two views and you can choose:
1. Simon was not saved. Although he made a profession of faith and followed others into the waters of baptism, his heart wasn’t in it. Sure, he believed the gospel but he had never repented. He never turned to God on the inside. He was like the crowds that followed Jesus because they were drawn to the supernatural. Romans 10 says salvation is based on believing and declaring. You have to believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead (Rm 10:9-10). Peter could tell that Simon’s heart was not right before God and that he was still captive to sin so he challenged him to repent.
2. Peter was very touchy about people who tried to use money to pursue blessings or favor from the Lord. He basically killed Ananias and Sapphira with his words in Acts 5 after he perceived they had been lying to the Holy Spirit. So when Simon comes offering to pay for the gift of the Holy Spirit, Peter goes berserk with righteous indignation. “What were you thinking? Are you out of your mind?! Perhaps the Lord will forgive you but I don’t know because this was monumentally stupid.” I wouldn’t build a theology on an outburst though, particularly as Peter says elsewhere that the main reason Christians are ineffective and unproductive is that they’ve forgotten that they have been forgiven.
Can I just tell you I came across this and it has helped me tremendously. I have been struggling with accepting God’s forgiveness for sin in my life years ago. Every time I feel like I get over it and am able to move forward, I feel like I’m back there again dealing with the “youre not worthy” feelings. I actually did confess to God, but then I wondered if I needed to go confess to a priest or something? But this really helps me.. thank you!
Some theologians says we need to confess our sins every day,as a worldly man we directly or indirectly commits sins.How the scripture says about it?
Scripture says lots of things. Did you read the post?
I like to compare the conversion of a sinner from a prison called sin (noun) to a prison called righteousness, with that of a larva’s conversion to a butterfly.
A sinner is like a larva inside a cocoon. One day, the larva comes out of the prison-like cocoon and became a beautiful butterfly, free to enjoy God’s goodness, not again to be imprisoned inside a cocoon.
Once in a while, the beautiful butterfly, carefree as it may be falls into the garbage dump feeling dirty and useless for what it may deem as “God’s plan for it”. However, the feeling does not alter the status it is in, the way God sees it, a butterfly that the Lord God in His time has made beautiful.
1) It is still a beautiful butterfly (a born-again believer)
2) That falls into a garbage dump (not always able to do things correctly or commits an error)
3) Freed by God (saved through Jesus’ finished work).
4) All it need to do is stretch its wings and fly again (enjoy his everlasting freedom from sin through Christ)
5) And to confess that it is a beautiful butterfly (agree with God that he is the righteousness of God in Christ) each time it falls into a dump.
A believer’s standing with God is irreversibly established forever, paid-for by the eternal blood of Jesus Christ (as Jesus narrated in the story of the prodigal son).
Good read. However, I’m still a bit confused. I know that many times confessed sin allows for certain demonic activity, illnesses, etc. Listening to a man of God like Derek Prince, he says that many people he has dealt with while ministering were under certain things because of un-confessed sins in their lives. What are your thoughts on this?
Hi Jeremy, there is no doubt that our actions have consequences – we reap what we sow – yet I have several problems with the idea that confessing-our-sins scares demons or impresses God. The fact is, we all have unconfessed sins in our past. It’s a universal problem; “All have sinned.” So telling people they have unconfessed sins doesn’t actually help anything. It will just cause them to become sin-conscious and introspective instead of Christ-conscious and free. Ever since Adam tried to cover his shame, humans have been natural problem-solvers. Tell us we have a problem – “you have a demon” – and our next question will be, “How do I fix it?” It’s DIY Christianity and I have no time for it.
I have enormous respect for Derek Prince – he understood grace better than most of his peers and I have made one of his books freely available here on E2R. But we all have blind-spots. We’re all growing in grace. We all have the same Spirit. We are all men and women of God.
Whatever your problem – demonic bondage, sickness, etc. – Jesus is the Answer. It’s His work, not yours, that provides for our salvation and healing and deliverance.
I agree with what you’re saying in that there is nothing a Christian can do to earn salvation, grace, etc. It’s just that I’ve seen and watched Derek Prince only effectively do things after a person confessed or exposed some undisclosed sin in life, i.e., witchcraft practice, a charm, some type of object being in their homes, or harbing un-forgiveness in their hearts towards someone. There is a sermon he has on blessing and cursing that is very scriptural y sound. I can only assume that perhaps when Derek Prince and some talk about un-confessed sin, they may be talking about sins that are being done, knowingly or unknowingly, that is impeding a move of God in that person or a particular situation.
I’ve got his book Blessings or Curses on my shelf. Unforgiveness can make you sick, no doubt about it. Sin is destructive. But is the solution to sickness/bondage to go on a sin hunt or to preach Jesus? Think of all the sick and oppressed people that Jesus met. How many were required to confess before they were forgiven or healed? Not one. How often did Paul preach about unconfessed sin? Not once. I’m tired of religion that says we have to do all these things before God will bless us or before we can be free. The gospel is simple.
How should people view Derek Princes’ teaching? I agree with what you’re saying, but it seems—just maybe–to contradict what they are saying and showing. I am trying to make sense of it, as I don’t like confusion when it pertains to things of God and the Body of Christ. I believe that both can be reconciled so to speak, I’m just trying to make the connection clearer.
As I said, we all have our blind spots. Only Jesus is perfect theology. This is not confusing. You should not feel obligated to reconcile another man’s theology to Jesus. How should people view DP’s teaching? The same way the view anybody’s teaching – in light of the finished work of the cross. Take what’s good and spit out the bones.
On the contrary, It can be confusing. And, in my humble opinion, it must be reconciled. I know many people in the Body are not wired like me, but I can’t just accept, “Take wha’ts good and spit it out” especially if it makes sense. If a man of God is preaching Christ, is using the Word of God, and is sound in his theology, and another man says something that is also sound, but it–in many ways—seems contradicts what the Man of God preached, it is indeed confusing. In layman’s terms, how do two seemingly sound doctrines contradict? I’ve seen with my own eyes people not get released, under a curse, some ailment, etc. because they have some sin in their life that has not been dealt with. In some ways they have given demons legal access to harass them. With this being said, I understand that it is non nonsensical for a person to walk around all day trying to get righteousness and grace extended by feeling saved through confession.
If two doctrines contradict, they can’t both be true. Hold to them both and you will be confused. There may be 101 reasons why some people aren’t healed the moment they are prayed for. None of us has figured this out completely. As far as I know there has only ever been one Man who healed 100% of the sick who came to him and that Man never asked anyone to confess their sins. Follow the Man who gets 100%.
Demons don’t have a legal access to do anything. That’s old covenant thinking. Jesus said “ALL authority on heaven and earth has been given to me.” All means all. There’s no place on earth where Jesus doesn’t have authority. That’s not to say demons can’t get up to mischief because they do. But when they do it is not because Jesus gave them a legal right. Demons attack illegally. The neighbor’s cats sometimes climb into my yard and make a heck of a racket. When that happens I don’t turn to the Scriptures to learn about cats’ rights. Neither do I start searching for faults in my life. I just kick the cats out!
BTW, if you are in Christ, then you are just as much a “man of God” as me or Derek Prince or any other brother. There are no levels here – it’s the same Spirit that lives in us all.
I agree with your last statement. Still, Derek Prince is a very good teacher. Perhaps I should clarify on “legal access.” I mean to say that when we sin, we are opening ourselves up, knowingly or unknowingly, to demons. I can’t think of the scripture off the top of my head, but from what I gather from it, sin can cause ailments, sickness, etc. If I bring a ouija Board in my home, and start dabbling in the occult, Christian or not, I have giving the enemy room to operate. I think that’s why holiness and obedience are important to believers. Yes, he has given authority to us, but when the authority is compromised through sin, Christians are not exempt.
Yes, you reap what you sow. If you sow to the flesh you will reap destruction. No argument there. But what do you do about it? An old covenant preacher will put the focus squarely on you and what you must do. You must confess sins. You must examine your heart for wickedness. You must inspect the family tree for genealogical curses and all that sort of thing. An old covenant preacher will mix it up with new covenant jingo but it’s still carnal Christianity. (A simple test will prove it.)
A new covenant preacher will simply reveal Jesus. He will say things like this: “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1 Jn 2:1). Someone who is a Christian won’t want to dabble in the occult but if they did, perhaps out of ignorance, and they got into trouble, the cure is not to “un-dabble” or otherwise try and undo your sin. That’s actually dumber than the sin itself for it’s saying “I can save myself.” It’s faithless D.I.Y. Christianity.
“No weapon that is formed against you will prosper because your righteousness is of me says the lord.” Jes 54 I think sin conciousness will keep people from being healed and delivered. To free the conciousness through confessing is a good “tool”.
I do not believe in an open door theology anymore. That’s makes many Christians weird: O, I watched 2 hours TV maybe I have a TV spirit – this would be funny if it was not so sad. I think 99% of all Christians would have trouble to eat “meat sacrificed to idols” because they are afraid of an “open door”. Paul says “we know better” – do we?
The devil has no real weapon. He has been disarmed by the putting away of the letter of guilt (and commandments) nailed to the cross – do we believe it – most of us not. I threw this kind of theology over board and guess what the demons went with it.
I like DP (I recommend the book that is available her for download) – what made me think is that he witnessed that he first experienced the fathers love in his 80ies – I wonder how not knowing this love may effect your theology.
I would agree technically that you don’t have to list all your sins in order to be forgiven (but honestly who preaches that these days?!) but I think all the ‘you don’t have to confess to be forgiven talk’ is generally misleading and unhelpful unless very very carefully explained and nuanced because it is very likely to give the impression that no grieving over sin or repentance for sin is ever necessary or right. While it is not technically required for forgiveness (for many of the reasons you have listed above), still sin is rebellion against God and personally offensive to Him. We should still grieve over sin we commit, though our sorrow over our sin leads us to fix our eyes on Christ and glory in Him for his mercy and grace. It’s like a marriage. If I offend my wife, I don’t have to say sorry in order to stay married – I legally am married even if I sin against her, however for there to be sweetness and fellowship in our marriage I can’t continue to sin against her, never apologize and just act as though nothing has happened.
Therefore, Christians should repent of their sins and confess them, though not in order to gain forgiveness, but as a right response to the horror of sin and it’s offense to the God we love with all our hearts. I would love any thoughts on this, thanks.
I really don’t think God gets offended that easily. My kids make mistakes all the time – I don’t have time to allow myself to be wounded by their imperfections and the fastest way for them to grow is to be more conscious of my love than their sins. By all means be open and honest in all your relationships but do so out of love rather than in response to the horror of sin.
Yes, sin is rebellion against God. But your rebellion .was punished on the body of Christ 2000 years ago.ALL your sins , -past, present, future-were forgiven forever.You have correctly understood that it is not ‘technically’ required to ‘confess’ our sin . This is basically the point that Paul Ellis(and all good Grace preachers) are trying to convey i n order to correct the error that confession is a precondition for forgiveness.
i feel that, what you are trying to say, is, that, by not’ confessing’, we may be in danger of taking for granted, Christ’s sacrifice for us. -that we are ‘cheapening’ His work on the cross.?
Could you also be confusing ‘non repentance’ and non confession’? God knows how sorrowful and repentant you are about certain sins. There’s no limit on saying sorry to God.He understands. You may feel great anguish, sorrow and remorse. The good news?He’s already forgiven. – YOU have to forgive yourself.
Paul is right – God is not offended. He knows all about us. The problem is – we don’t.
So if I committed a sin 46 years ago and I am now a Christian it is under the blood and that’s it? Should I try and make things right or just leave it under the blood and trust God ?
As far as God is concerned, ALL sin was dealt with at the cross. You don’t need to ask for his forgiveness; you need to thank him for his amazing grace. But if your sin affected some person – a friend, a family member – and you can make it right, then why wouldn’t you? At the same time I am aware than in our efforts to fix the past we can often mess up the present and the future. Don’t think of this as a quest to find the right thing to do; ask yourself, what would bring life (or death) to this situation? Ask God for wisdom.
Im sorry to tell you this confession is in the bible. John 1:9 If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us from all our sins and to clense us of all unrightousness. Last james 5:16 read it and learn.
Daniel, read this.
THE BIBLE IS VERY CLEAR!! Galatians 5:19-21 “When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”
HE EVEN WENT SO FAR as to call the Galatians ( note: these new Christians! ) deserters of Christ, people who turned away from the truth toward a gospel contrary to the one they had received from Paul (Galatians 1:6–9).
HEAR THIS: 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
AND FINALLY: Proverbs 28:13 “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
AVOID FALSE TEACHINGS: Romans 16:17-18 “I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.”
WHEW!! That’s MY sermon for the day! 😉
Here’s a link: 7 characteristics of false teachers ( like Paul Ellis ) http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/eschatology/7char.html
I have a couple questions for you lisa…
are you saying that if i am already a believer in Christ, and i don’t confess my sins to be forgiven, that I can take myself out of God’s hand once I am in it? read john 10:28-29…last time i checked, the definition for “no one” means NO ONE… including myself. 😉
what is the gospel paul preached that they first received…? and how do you know that the one you have been taught to beleive isn’t contrary to his?
Lisa, Every one of the sins we will ever commit were nailed to the cross and erased by Jesus blood. There are no transgressions to conceal because God cannot see them any more, they are gone. (Colossians 2:14, Hebrews 9:24-26)
Psalms 103:12 says that our transgressions have been removed from us as far as east is from west.
Hebrews 10:17-18 God will not remember our sins any more. In fact remission(forgiveness, deliverance) of sins exist for the believer.
Jesus blood sacrifice did something amazing for us. It sanctified us before God. Sanctified means made HOLY. (Hebrews 10:10 &14)
You accuse yourself in quoting Romans 16:17-18 and Galatians 1:6-9. Apostle Paul wrote “contrary to the doctrine that you have learned”. The doctrine of Romans 8:1 says that for those in the Spirit there is no condemnation for those struggling with sin(Romans 7). We are fully in the Spirit if we belong to Christ.(Romans 8:9) Galatians also teaches that it is Christ alone that justifies us and not our own works or our attempts at trying to be good.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11 says that the unrighteous will NOT inherit the kingdom of God but it also says “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11
I have lied to many people, lied to cover up sins of which I’ve commited many years ago and are probably forgotten. Am I required to confess those lies to those I have sinned against? It is against God and God alone I have sinned, and God has already forgiven me, right?
“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy” (Heb 12:14). If digging up old hurts brings healing and life, I would do it.
Paul, are you suggesting that once we receive Christ we need never to confess sin again? This invariably leads to becoming what Paul describes in 1 Cor. 3:1-3 as a “carnal Christian”. If I understand you correctly, you are teaching that because of Christ’s sacrifice 2000 years ago all sins present and future (past sins are already atoned for at salvation) are automatically forgiven as soon as they are committed. No repentance, no confession necessary.
This sounds all to familiar. Paul asks in Romans 6:1: ” What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” His answer is a resounding NO! He asks a second time in verse 15: “What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace?” again his responce is a resounding BY NO MEANS!. We are declared rightous in Christ and are born again from our imputed sin nature but we will continue to commit willful sin (or original sin if you prefer) until the day we die. Only then will we be glorified (made sinless forever with Christ). Until then we confess our willfull sins and receive forgiveness and through the process of sanctification the stains of sin from our old life are cleansed.
Let me be clear, when we commit willful sin we do not loose our salvation, we do not need to ask for forgivness unto salvation but we do need to confess sin to restore our relationship with God our Father. Finally, Jesus taught us to pray “forgive us our trespasses (sins) as we forgive those who trespass against us”. This wasn’t intended to be a one time and done prayer but an on going examination our of heart before a Holy God.
No, sins are not forgiven as soon as they are committed. All sins were forgiven before the creation of the world in the heart of a loving God who decided to instill us with free will knowing full well that we would reject him and he would have to die to repair our mistakes. But if that is too much to swallow, then I will say with Hebrews that our sins were forgiven once and for at the cross. My point is the gospel is the eternally good news (Rev 14:6) – it wasn’t a Plan B whipped up by a God surprised by Adam’s fall.
As I explain elsewhere, there are many healthy reasons to confess sins. But confessing in order to move an offended God to forgive you and talk to you again is not one of them. As Jesus explained the night he rose from the dead, forgiveness is not something God does but something he gives. The cross really did change everything. Consequently, a carnal Christian is not defined by what he does or doesn’t do, but by whether he is trusting or trying. Someone who confesses in order to get God to forgive, restore, bless, etc., is not operating in faith. They are saying, “I don’t agree Christ’s death was a sufficient remedy for my sins – I have to act as well.” That’s called unbelief.
Paul, I never suggested that the Gospel was a ‘Plan B’ to address Adam’s fall, it’s a strawman arguement that I won’t address or defend since it wasn’t my statement.
You didn’t address my main point of willfull sin committed by Christians. How is a Chriatian restored after they willfully commit adultry for example. Maybe you’re teaching no restoration is needed since “All sins were forgiven before the creation of the world in the heart of a loving God”. A carnal Christian is defined by his actions and it is the point Paul was addressing to the Corinthians.. They were still living as they did before receiving Christ. Put another way, they were abusers of God’s grace.
I disagree with your statement that those who confess sin do so because “They are saying, ‘I don’t agree Christ’s death was a sufficient remedy for my sins – I have to act as well.'” The blood of Christ is the only remedy for sin. When a Christian commits willfull sin against God it brings seperation from God. God hasn’t moved away from us, we move away from him. The shame of sinning against a Holy God causes us to spend less time in prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other believers etc. We haven’t lost our salvation but our relationship with God isn’t as intimate as it was, sin always brings seperation. Confession reminds us that we are forgiven and brings cleansing. Cleansing from the shame of sinning against God, cleansing from the temptations that lead to acts of sin, cleansing from the stains and consequenses of our old life. Confession isn’t an act of unbelief but one of worship of the One who died for our forgiveness.
I’m curious, if no confession of sin is needed on this side of the cross, is it necessary to confess sin through Jesus Christ to receive forgiveness on the other side?
You asked me to clarify when sins are forgiven and I answered your question. The several posts I linked in my earlier response deal with the other issues about the benefits of confession.
The post above is about whether we need to confess to get God to forgive us. Since you don’t seem to be saying that here, this isn’t the proper place to comment. But I will maintain that confession doesn’t cleanse us. Only the blood of Jesus cleanses us. As your theology hinges on 1 John 1:9, I encourage you to read my post on that verse.
Hebrews 10:10 & 14 says that the death sacrifice of Christ sanctified(past tense) us. Read the story of the prodigal son and see what restores relationships. The son tried to “confess” but the father was too busy hugging and celebtaing to pay any heed to it.
Additional insight hope it will help About !st John 1:91 John 1:9..
Notice the pronounce here…
1 John 1:9 is written to the believers, to make them aware about the gnostics who had infiltrated the church, they taught that salvation is attain even without Jesus and His death, one can be saved through having knowledge, then John wrote a letter to the believers about those gnostics who were trying to convince them that there is no need of forgiveness…
Paul, I never said that confession cleanes us, I said “Confession reminds us that we are forgiven and brings cleansing”. Yes, only the blood of Christ forgives but His sacrifice was for more than forgiveness, His sacrifice fullfilled the entire law and its requirements including “cleansing from unrightousness”. May I suggest “The Power of the Blood of Jesus Christ” by Andrew Murray. Murray chronicles how Christ fulfilled the entire law and how His blood is applied to the New Testament believer beyond the initial forgiveness of sin.
I’m not trying to be an antagonist, just trying to understand your teaching. I’ve read your links and I honestly believe we’re closer to agreement on the application of God’s grace in the life of a believer than it may appear, apart from confession. So, let me ask one last time, how should a believer deal with willfull sin if not through confession (agreeing with God that my actions were sinful)?
Also, please don’t assume what another believer’s faith “hinges” on. If you’re not open to an apologetic discussion of your teachings then I’ll leave quietly.
Curt, I am very open to discussing my posts, but the post above is about confessing-to-be-forgiven and not other reasons for confession, which I discuss elsewhere. I don’t mean to be a comment Nazi but long-term E2R readers have made it clear that they do not like it when discussion threads wander off topic. And I could hardly expect readers to follow E2R’s comment rules if I myself didn’t honor them, could I?
If you want to discuss the link between confession and forgiveness, this is the right place.
James 5:15 There cannot be a double forgiveness. 2 Peter 1:9 teaches that our past sins are forgiven.
I agree that we as believers when we error and sin, we are not told to confess that sin, but we are to repent on what we did in error. Then we should thank God that all our sins including the one we just committed is forgiven. But my question is: what if a believer holds unforgiveness toward someone, for the Word tells us that if we do not forgive, we cannot be forgiven? What comments do you have for this?
You aren’t following the Bible… This will confuse people who aren’t rooted in the Word Of God. Romans 10:9-10 New King James Version… Also, the Holy Spirit does convict. Conviction is different than condemnation. I think you’re confused. Conviction brings you back to repentance, condimnation is from Satan to keep you down.
Rachel, you are confusing forgiveness with salvation. Everyone has been offered the gift of forgiveness; not everyone receives it. This is why I distinguish between healthy and unhealthy confession. Regarding the conviction-condemnation chestnut, that’s a distinction that is simply unscriptural.
What do you say about restitution?
is it conviction that causes us to repent? Remember repent is to change the way we think. If we think conviction is from God we really need to ask if the “conviction” is more from our own morality kicking in — God never called us to be “moral” he called us to follow his will — we can be “good” people and still walking outside his will. Sometimes we focus so much on behavior and not enough on his will.
How does Jesus addressing the 7 churches in revelation fit this discussion about needing to repent?
Liz, you can find an answers to your question by entering Laodicea, Thyatria, or Revelations 2, etc., into the search box at the top of this site. Thanks.
Luke 5:8 And seeing, Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, Lord.
2 Corinthians 5;21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
If we don’t need to confess-to-be-forgiven, then why did Jesus teach us to pray, “forgives us are trespasses…”?
I answer that question in this post.
You have to realize that when Jesus said this to the Apostles, they were still under the law, for He had not died and been risen at this point.
Hi Paul, I am getting around the grace theory and studying more and more. However, does this mean that I don’t have to ask forgiveness if I’ve done wrong to my brothers/sisters or anyone else. When the disciples ask Jesus “how many times should I forgive my brother…..?” Jesus replied 70×7 in one day. Please help me understand.
In the name of love we should seek to be reconciled when we hurt or offend our brothers and sisters and we should forgive those who sin against us. But God has already forgiven us. This is why Paul says “Forgive as Christ forgave you” (Col 3:13, see also Eph 4:32).
I still believe that we a not since if then we are still calling ourselves that then what become the purpose of christ’s death
Thank you Pastor Paul Ellis I was really enlightened by what you’ve shared.
here’s what I understand based on what you’ve shared. (my own opinion) in 1John 1:7-9. It is very clear that it is not “OUR CONFESSION” that cleanses us from all sins. It is because:
1. He is faithful to forgive us, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (He is faithful)
2. and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (He’s blood)
Again, not because we confess is that we’re forgiven.
We confess our sins “to be healed” as it states in James. Christ came to give life to its absolute full. Whereas confessing does not save us, it does free is up and allows us to take His yoke upon us with a clear conscience so we may met easily fulfill the command to grow as stated in 2 Peter 1:3-9. Again the acts here not save us either. It only allows a clear and open path for growth and a deeper understanding of relationship with God, Christ, The Holy Spirit and one another. It allows us the freedom for greater understanding and application of the scriptures in our daily lives. Confession does not save us it does however heal us.
your post is by far the most liberating thing I have ever read, I dont look it as a license to sin because I do want to please my heavenly father, I just know I CANT do it by my works alone, I have never heard this theory before and it makes so much sense, I believe we live in a state of constant sin and yet the only way out of it is constant scripture study and worship, I do not believe this is what he wants for us yet, I would love to hear or learn if their are any other christians out there who teach/practice this way of thinking.
Craig, there are a growing number who preach undiluted grace. Check out this page.
Does God’s undiluted grace free us from the requirements of the entire law, both ceremonial and moral?
If grace had requirements it wouldn’t be grace.
God extends His general grace to all mankind, but His saving grace does come with requirements. We’re to lay down our lives and take up our new life in Christ and become what Eph 5:1 calls imitators of Christ. The ceremonial law has passed away but God’s moral law remains. First John 2:3 -4 declares, “We know that we have come to know Him if we obey His commands. The man who says, ‘I know Him,’ but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him”.
Pure grace theology as it’s been explained to me, teaches grace covers all and that willfull and habitual sin committed post salvation, no matter how grievious, are covered by God’s undying love and mercy and has no effect on the Christian.
If this is what you are teaching than it is nothing more than antinomianism with a fresh coat of paint.
“Grace with requirements” is a contradiction in terms. It’s nothing more than legalism with a fresh coat of paint.
What you have heard is half-right. God’s grace is greater than all our sins – that’s Romans 5:20 and many other places. But it’s silly to think sin has no effect on the Christian. Sin is destructive. We don’t stop sinning because “it’s required.” We stop because when you fall in love with Jesus you fall out of love with sin.
Curt- You do realize that your question at it’s heart is asking “Do I receive any of my righteousness(rightness with God) from following any part of the law?”
Romans 3:20-22, 10:4 says very clearly that our righteousness comes from belief in Christ not deeds of the law. A person is not saved to eternal life, freed from condemnation and forgiven their trespasses because they are good, moral, upstanding, church goers. A person is only cleansed, forgiven, purified and adopted by God and filled with the Holy Spirit because of faith in Jesus, who He is and what He did. Either your salvation is because of Jesus or it is because of your deeds.
Romans chapter 4 says that our right standing before God is not because we have earned it but because God has credited it to our legal-spiritual account because of Jesus.
!00% because of Jesus not of works(any kind) so we do not have any room to boast about how well we earned eternal life through proper law following.
Colleen I’m sorry if you misunderstood the point of my posting, I understand that by faith I am declared (not made) righteous for the sake of Christ and His finished work. I’m in agreement with Paul’s response that we turn from sin out of love for Christ not out of religous obligation.
JC Ryle wrote nearly 125 years ago that the only evidence the Scriptures give of a born again believer is his fruit. If we do not produce fruit then we are not abiding in Christ, Fruits are produced through works, works that testify to the life changing power of the Blood of Jesus Christ, they are acts of worship not religous duty. I’m trying to untie this pure grace knot, I see many who have made Christ their Savior but few have made Him their Lord.
Hi Curt the purpose of the law was for sin to abound the requirement of sin was death . I am sure that you are freed from the requirements of the law . If you have faith in Jesus who is life and have faith in NOTHING else, you have what you put your faith in, unconditional life defined as Eternal life. liberty and freedom , no worries about yesterday today or tomorrow. the freedom to go and live your life to the full unrestrained by death.
You go and have some fun now.
Ah I see in part anyway. He is my master because of who He is not because of how I act. I was adopted into the family-kingdom of God and He is my master-father whether I obey or whether I do not. This does not mean I should want to go and live any old way I choose. Our fruit for holiness surprisingly does not come from our actions see Romans 6:22. In the older translations it says that we have been freed from sin, made servants of God and have our fruit unto holiness. Fruits are grown in us by the Master gardener not by our own striving and running around following the traditions of Christianity. We need to be open to being led to grow but “fruit” is a is highly personal process.
How much is enough before the guy in the pew next to you is “really” a Christian and not a poser? This whole fruit business has been twisted by the evil one into a ranking of “I’m better than him cause I’ve got bigger baskets of fruit than he does” Seen it, suffered under it and unfortunately dealt it out too in the past. Works are acts of worship and thankfulness not barometers for the guy next to us to judge us. Yet we do need to let our lights shine but lights are bright when they are in tune with their power source. They do not shine out under their own power or efforts, except being plugged in to the Master. It isn’t go and do like Martha. It is sit and be like Mary.
curt, i dont understand why you are making a difference between being declared righteous and being made righteous… if God declares you righteous, its a done deal… or else He’d be a liar. God’s perspective is the true reality… ours is but a dim reflection. 😉
Jennie, the difference is justification vs sanctification. At salvation God declares us to be righteous IN Christ and we are perfected spiritually (justification). But in the flesh we continue to perform unrighteous acts (1 Jn 5:17) and through the prompting of the Holy Spirit we turn from them and mature in our righteousness (sanctification). Because we will never completely be free from sin we cannot be MADE righteous in this life. Only when we are glorified will our righteousness be complete. So it’s far from being a “done deal”.
1 cor 6:11 (and several other scriptures) say sanctified – past tense… it already happened
and yes, we are free from sin. paul says this 3 times in rom 6… vs 7, 18 & 22…
rom 6:10-11 says Jesus died to sin once for all…. and we are to count ourselves dead to sin once for all – just like Jesus. its not a repetitive thing – you cant die to sin daily – you can only die once. dead is dead – if you died to sin today and are resurrected to life the next day only to die to sin again tomorrow, that would be like saying the Life the Holy Spirit gives us is subject to dying – or that sin is more powerful than the grace of God…
my born again spirit is the real me – it is eternal. in the here and now i happen to be living in this house i call my body. (eternal life begins the moment we are born again – here and now on earth – not after our bodies die) since my spirit -the real me – has been made righteous by Christ’s perfect righteousness alone, then eventually my house is going to be an expression of the person that lives in it. maybe this is what you are defining as sanctification… i call it a continuing revelation of the full riches and complete understanding of the mystery that is Christ… the more i know Jesus, the more i learn about who i really am – who the real me became when i was born again… because as He is (right now) so is everyone who believes in Him… in THIS world (1 john 4:17)
Jennie, again you’re confusing sanctification with justification. Christ’s death and resurrection freed us from the penalty of sin (eternal death) and we are declared righteous (our spiritual state or our “real” us as you call it). Sanctification does not deal with our salvation, its not about living and dying, its about dying to sin daily. Paul Ellis pointed out in another response “it’s silly to think sin has no effect on the Christian. Sin is destructive”. God does not desire that we live lives marred with destructive behaviors. That’s where sanctification comes in. It’s not self maintenance to preserve our salvation, its the process of becoming imitators of Christ in our daily lives as we crucify the flesh and its evil desires. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer.
I had to smile when I read your statement “eventually my house is going to be an expression of the person that lives in it.” No truer statement could be made.
There is trying to be like Christ/spiritual maturity which occasionally uses the term sanctification in the NT. However sanctification(yes I know the diff between it and justification) is given to us by the blood of Christ. Hebrews 2:11, 10:10 & 14, 13:12. We are and have been sanctified, past tense, by the blood of Christ. God dealt with all our impurities at the cross not just our legal record of wrong doing.
Depending on where the focus is put for Christ-like conformity does alter whether it is of “self maintenance” or Spirit led. Are you polishing your behavior up out of fear, trying to earn acceptance-favor or to make yourself likeable to God? Then it is of the flesh. Are you open to the Spirit’s leading, resting in areas where He has not led(even if they are not yet right) and working in areas He has directed because you are listening to and in tune with the Master? Then it is Spirit led growth.
Jesus already died and God crucified your old man with Him. When Jesus rose again God made you a new man. Striving to kill what God has already made dead is a futile performance. Reckoning yourself dead is not “dying daily” it is simply learning to live in agreement with the facts of the old man’s death and the inner new man. You really should read The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee as he teaches this so much more amazingly than a brief comment can.
curt, you are right that sanctification is the work of the Spirit – sanctified means to be made holy – and we have already been made holy… Christ’s Spirit is one with our spirit (1 cor 6:17) and where the Spirit resides is the holy of holies. but you are associating holiness with outward appearance/behaviors, instead of it as a state of being. God said “be holy because I am holy” – He didnt say “appear and behave holy because I am holy”. the state of being exists before any authentic appearance or behavior manifests itself. we are transformed into the image of Christ by the Holy Spirit- in our thoughts, appearance and behaviors – when we look to Christ and His finished work (2 cor 3:18). “working out our salvation” is “working out the Jesus” thats already inside of us… when we mature spiritually (bear fruit), we arent merely behaving more like Jesus… we are actually resting and letting Jesus express Himself through us… my house will eventually look like the person who lives in it because that person is Jesus Himself… 😉
ps. i totally agree that sin is destructive and that God does not desire us to live our lives controlled by sin… but for the believer, sin is no longer the issue – the issue is trusting Christ and what He did to set us free from sin… through His death we died to it – through His resurrection we are made alive and free from it. Jesus is our salvation… truly, it is our Salvation that preserves us and not the other way around 😉
oops! that should read ” we are made alive and free from its power”
The Holy spirit is revealing and reinforcing this truth to all churches the problem is how the leaders accept it.Those that don,t may find that they will be following the flock and not leading it. It is no accident that you arrived here.
Things are as simple as this, and this may be the most important thing you will ever hear.
Eternal life by its nature has no conditions if it has conditions then it is not Eternal, you should think about this for a while and digest it, Jesus promises us eternal life if we do what ?.So I leave it to anyone who reads and ask have you accepted this promise . Do you believe.
You may be now answering the same way Martha did ” yes he will rise when everyone else rises at the last day” you should carefully consider the response to this question.John 11:24
Regarding the sanctification thread – what does “working out your salvation with fear and trembling” have to do with this conversation?
There is positional and then practical righteousness. Practical (living it out) is a response to our position in Christ. What does walking in practical righteousness have to do with sanctification, knowing it does not save us or make us more acceptable to The Lord.
“Dead” to sin, doesn’t it mean, inoperable in the Greek? That we are to consider ourselves dead to sin, knowing it is inoperable, but can be raised up if we allow it?
Watchman Née is from the Keswick theology, knowing this helps us understand this “deeper life experience” many in the Keswick theology search after (even though they would claim they are not searching, but
when we are born again our spirits are one with Christ’s Spirit – this means that everything Jesus has and is, is inside of us – things like His righteousness (justification) and holiness (sanctification). these things rise to the surface – are worked from the inside out – as we focus on Christ – who He is and what He accomplished. working out our salvation is agreeing (confessing), believing and resting in the Truth that is Christ… and Christ in us (the Holy Spirit) does the actual transforming. (btw salvation doesnt only mean saved – it also means healed, prospered, delivered, and made whole)
positional righteousness is somewhat of a mental disconnect… we say positional righteousness because we dont always see righteous behavior (practical righteousness). but the truth is, that Christ’s righteousness has been imparted to us – we are literally made righteous by Christ’s own righteousness the moment we are born again. rom 5:19 clarifies this: if we are only positionally righteous in Christ, then we were only postionally sinners in adam. but the truth is, when we were in adam we were literally sinners… so now, bc we are in Christ we are literally righteous 😉
There is no such thing as “positional righteousness”. The Bible teaches an ACTUAL righteousness. This imputed righteousness lie promotes sin and delusion in people’s lives.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
the bible teaches “the gift of righteousness”
Wow Preacher of un-Truth, you apparently do not know your bible very well.
You just called a something the bible says, using your exact words, a lie! Romans 4:21-24 says that “righteousness” is “IMPUTED” to those who believe on the One who raised Jesus from the dead!
With all due respect, you must confess ur sins to God, if not they are not forgiving , bible very clear on this, bless you
No sin will enter Heaven, this is clear, so it,s all about timing if you die with unconfessed sin you don,t get in ???
The 12 reasons are false, every single one of them is a perversion of Scripture. Imagine telling spouses they don’t need to repent to each other after sinning against one another. NO need to CONFESS??? And that God deserves less than this???
This position is UNIVERSALISM. If all sins are forgiven, then all are forgiven, hence all are saved! No need to become Christians, because ALL SIN WAS FORGIVEN 2000 years ago.
This is NONSENSE. All sin was PAID FOR, not forgiven UNTIL repentance.
And Christians who refuse to repent of their known sin WILL BE DAMNED.
Your poor wife.
My 14yr daughter once said so many Christians act as if they are out on parole and God is just waiting to send them back to prison if they mess up. We have been totally pardoned by the blood of Christ, not simply released because of tears & a promise of good behavior.(Romans 4)
Do not cheapen the blood sacrifice of Jesus by saying that God trades His forgiveness for sorrow & promises of good behavior. Dive headlong into the scriptural proofs given in the 12 reasons. You will not regret it. At the least study out Romans 5 and Hebrews 9:12-14 & 24-26 for where & how our sins are covered by the blood of Christ.
Christians who think they have to continually confess their sins to be forgiven are basically refusing to move from the cross into resurrection life. Jesus isnt on the cross anymore – He’s ALIVE!
In the same way that Moses was hidden in the cleft of the rock ,we cannot see God unless we are hidden in Jesus,and his Grace . for me this is a awesome prophecy of the Grace to come, and the revelation of God to those that accept this Grace.
THRUTHPREACHER – My attempt at commenting on marriage relevant to repentance, etc. i don’t have a clear answer on whether we ask forgiveness of our spouses. Clearly it seems good and right and obvious that we would, right? But, if we are to ask forgiveness, then we must be able to judge accurately (as God can) on what we did wrong, how serious it was, etc. I don’t think we can judge this. So, I’m not sure we can apologize for doing something wrong. But, here’s what we can judge accurately. We can see the other person is hurt. So, whether or not we know for sure that what WE did was wrong in the eyes of God (which we can’t), then what we CAN do is feel bad because a person we love is hurting because of our behavior, whether it was right or wrong. So, this gives us a motive (love like 1 Cor 13) to be empathetic with them and restore the relationship.