Does Sin Hinder our Prayers?

Ever heard this one: “God is holy. If you have unconfessed sin in your life, he will not hear your prayers.”

It’s. Not. True.

If sin made God deaf, no sinner could be saved. They would pray the sinner’s prayer, but God wouldn’t hear them.

Pray all you like, but I’m not listening. Lalalala. I’ve got fingers in my ears.

Imagine if you had to confess all your sins before God would listen. Most people would die of old age before they were done! And there would be no guarantee you got them all.

Sorry, kiddo. You forgot a sin from the summer of ’82. You’re toast.

“Confess your sins so that God will hear you.” What a stupid theology. Forgive me for getting agitated, but this sort of nonsense leaves people crippled with guilt and condemnation. It causes them to hide from their Father in fear.

Imagine if Jesus had not listened to sinners.

“Sorry, woman-with-a-hemorrhage, I can’t heal you because there’s unconfessed sin in your life.”

“Sorry, woman-caught-in-the-wrong-bed, I can’t stop these men from stoning you.”

“Peter, James, John, I can’t hear a word you’re saying. What’s that, Judas? I see your lips moving but I can’t hear you.”

Jesus is the exact representation of God the Father. If the Son listened to sinners, it’s because the Father listens to sinners. He hears our prayers. Every single one.

God hears us because he loves us

But didn’t David say, “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” (Ps. 66:18)? Keep reading:

Hear my prayer, O Lord, give ear to my supplications! Answer me in your faithfulness, in your righteousness! And do not enter into judgment with your servant, for in your sight no one living is righteous. (Ps. 143:1-2)

David, knowing that he was not righteous, asked God to hear him on account of his righteousness, and God did. Your heavenly Father hears your prayers not because you are good but because he is good and he loves you.

But what about that verse that says, “God does not hear sinners” (John 9:31)? The Jews believed that, but Jesus didn’t. He said things like “When you pray” as if we are to pray all the time, and he told stories to encourage us to pray (Matt. 6:7, Luke 18:1, 10-14).

The Bible never discourages prayer. Instead it says things like “devote yourselves to prayer” (Col. 4:2), and “pray continually” (1 Th. 5:17). Only one person is looking for excuses to get you not to pray, and it’s not the Lord.

Okay, what about John. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Keep reading:

I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for his name’s sake. (1 John 2:12)

In the new covenant you are not forgiven because you confess; you are forgiven on account of Jesus’ name.

This idea that we have to confess or cleanse ourselves before God will hear us, forgive us, or receive us comes straight out of the old covenant. See the cross. Your sins are there, every last one of them, including all the sins you confessed and all the sins you didn’t.

What really hinders prayer

Jesus said, “And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Matt. 21:22).

The number one hindrance to prayer is not sin but unbelief, and notice that unbelief is not a hindrance to God hearing us but us receiving from him.

We need to pray with faith. We need to pray believing that God hears our prayers no matter who we are or what we’ve done because of who Jesus is and what he has done.

When John says confess he means “agree with God.” Agree that Jesus has dealt with all your sins once and for all. Agree that God is good and he longs to be good to you. Agree that your Father loves you and cares for you and he hears your prayers.

You may say, “But I don’t know how to pray. I’m afraid I will pray wrong.” Here’s Brennan Manning writing in The Ragamuffin Gospel:

There is no such thing as bad prayer…. A little child cannot do a bad coloring; nor can a child of God do bad prayer.

Your heavenly Father loves it when you talk to him. Whatever is on your mind, you can tell him all about it.

Talk to him about your hurts and worries, your hopes and dreams.

Tell him about your secret fears and struggles.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from him. (1 John 5:14-15)

The key word in that passage is confidence. You can be confident of your Father’s goodness, and you can be confident when you pray.

Whatever your need today, ask your heavenly Father for help. Ask with the confidence that he hears your prayers and rides across the heavens to help you (Deu. 33:26).

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89 Comments on Does Sin Hinder our Prayers?

  1. So many great points here. We can do our theology a lot of good by looking at whether our beliefs about God fit the character and nature of Jesus. We can do our belief a lot of good by believing in His goodness rather than our own.

  2. Neil Obeyesekere // November 18, 2021 at 3:29 am // Reply

    Hello there I am a member of Patron but I cannot open the various titles or writings. Please let me know why.Thank you amd blessings Neil

    • Hi Neil, I can’t see ypur name or email on Patreon. If you have an account with another name or email address, log in first, then you will be able to read the articles. If that doesn’t work, send me a message via Patreon. Thanks.

  3. I love this post, Paul. All the points are great, but I lit up with delight when I read “the Jews believed that, but Jesus didn’t”. That’s how we have to approach the bible – mining for what Jesus believes. “I believe this, but what does Jesus believe?” “My pastor believes this, but what does Jesus believe?” “The disciples believed this, but what does Jesus believe?” So much of our commonly taught crooked theological understanding is tied to bible passages that contain what someone believed and wrote from their point of view, but it may or may not be revelatory of truth from God’s perspective. This is tough for modern Christians to grasp because we’ve spent so much energy defending the authority and inerrancy of the bible that we’ve inadvertently put it on a pedestal more or less as a replacement for the Holy Spirit as our teacher. If bible knowledge equated to ideal Christianity then the Pharisees would be our roll models. As the post says, it’s recognizing our identification with Jesus and our participation in his sonship that sets us free from the prison of identifying ourselves according to our sin that causes us to run and hide from our Father who adores us. Indeed, “God hears us because he loves us”. Anything to the contrary is the devil’s con game. All we have to do is go to the cross to see the lengths that Jesus will go to, and the abuse he is willing to suffer at our hands, to get us to see and believe we are loved and cherished.

    • Thomas Howard // November 18, 2021 at 11:15 pm // Reply

      Great points, though scripture are for us in both the authority and inerrancy, as Paul wrote them by revelation of Holy Spirit who taught him, Galatians 1:11,12. As we would have no identification with Jesus without ‘his’ Gospel (Romans 16:25), for what Paul was taught was what Jesus believed. Sure, Jesus told the Pharisees “search the scripture, for in them you think you have eternal life : and they are they which testify of me.” But their problem was not bible knowledge, rather unbelief; and such would only be overcome by ”the word abiding” in them, John 5:38,39.. as it was in the head, not the heart (Psalm 119:11).
      Right, “God hears us because he loves us”, but without the word we would know nothing of such lengths of love that he has once (Hebrews 9:26 and 1 Peter 3:18) gone through, and never again.
      Thanks ,

      • Hi Thomas. What a well-developed response you put together. Thanks for taking a minute to write it. To further expand these thoughts, consider the problem of “unbelief”. For sure, humanity is suffering and destroying itself under the consequences of our own unbelief. And Jesus is the cure.

        But what we call unbelief is really “wrong belief”, is it not? Everybody believes something. The Pharisees believed in A god – just one that happens to be the polar opposite of Jesus’ Father. Surely it is our wrongheadedness about God that keeps us trapped behind such thoughts as “Unconfessed sin hinders my prayers”. I think this distinction is helpful because we often try to fix our unbelief by flexing our faith muscles, gritting our teeth, and believing really really really hard – turning faith and belief into a work, by bringing them into the plain of achievement where they don’t belong. But Jesus’ solution to our unbelief is to unveil to us who his Father truly is and always has been so that our wrong belief can be replaces with what Jesus believes and has always known to be true about his Father. I think the story of the centurion at the beginning of Mathew 8 and Jesus’ response to him and the crowd puts on display the significance of recognizing the authority and inerrancy of Jesus. The centurion “got it”, but the Pharisees did not. The Pharisees were looking for hoops to jump through and the centurion recognized the light shinning in the darkness.

  4. Brandon Petrowski // November 18, 2021 at 5:54 am // Reply

    I love this.
    This topic has frequently agitated me also. The verse in 1 John 1:9 should be better understood as confessing our sinfulness or prior unbelief when we come to Christ for salvation, not an ongoing need for staying saved. It is referring to those in denial of their need for a savior. This also does not mean that it is okay for believers to continue in sinful behavior. There are still natural consequences, but God ignoring us is not one of them.

    • Thanks Brandon. I agree that 1 John 1 was originally written for unbelievers. As you say, we need to agree with God’s assessment of us and our need for his righteousness.

    • Brandon, There was no inference to woks that don’t save in my comment regards, choosing to sin after we’re saved. Neither was it made to give cause for you or others to see 1 Jn 1:9 being used by me as a crutch of sorts for staying saved. That would not be a spiritual-work that fits the one good-news. It does though help us to know humility before GOD, as we go to him in prayer, confessing sins after salvation. And gratefully thanking him for having cleansed right there on that confession.

  5. Good theology leads to Good living, my loving Father is Good. Thanks Paul for the good word, and a good job in clarity.

  6. Good point about 1 John 1 being written for unbelievers. Just another fallacy of conventional theology.

  7. Thanks, Paul. Your articles are always enlightening and blessing me.

  8. lawshk2099gmailcom // November 18, 2021 at 11:44 am // Reply

    Thanks for all the uplifting messages. Lawrence

  9. William Rudd // November 18, 2021 at 1:46 pm // Reply

    Have you considered making posts like this one shareable on FB, Twitter, etc.? ________________________________

  10. Fantastic, Paul! I love this article and will be sharing it with everyone I know. 🙂 Thank you!

  11. Darren Sweet // November 18, 2021 at 4:59 pm // Reply

    What do you think about the Lord’s prayer – “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us”?

    • Hi Darren, I have written extensively on the subject of forgiveness and also on the Lord’s Prayer. You can find the relevant articles by searching in the Archives > Scripture Index. Thanks.

  12. Stephen Meek // November 19, 2021 at 3:25 pm // Reply

    2-fold issue_ our sins are forgiven once at the time of Jesus’ blood-shed on a rotten tree branch. That being separate and wholly different from being cleansed by God, from our unrighteous acts – when we confess [Jesus does not teach, we ask forgiveness] the sin we sinned 1Jn 1:9. If, we’re truly born-again.

    Telling God your heartily sorry – by naming the sin and thank Him for having cleansed you from that sin – I suggest humility is what relationships in-part are about.

    • Brandon Petrowski // November 21, 2021 at 3:17 am // Reply

      Stephen, I agree there is merit in showing humility and owning up to mistakes made. It just isn’t an issue of needing to “make it right” for the sake of our eternal security or for God to hear us.

      • Steve Meek // November 24, 2021 at 8:37 am //

        Brandon Petrowski – My comment was intended to show the difference between our sins forgiven at the Cross and the sins we will commit after our new birth; having been adopted into Jesus Kingdom.

        Ergo: Born-again [true Jesus Followers] Saints are not making mistakes when we sin. That’s why we’re commanded by Jesus to confess [name] the sin. If we do not, we’re not cleansed from that unrighteous choice 1 Jn 1:9.

      • Brandon Petrowski // November 24, 2021 at 4:35 pm //

        And what does “not being cleansed from that unrighteous choice” mean? Exactly what are the sins forgiven at the cross? Are you saying the cross is only strong enough to cleanse sin prior to salvation, and we have to cleanse ourselves after embracing the cross? If so, that doesn’t even make sense and isn’t Biblical. We don’t and can’t cleans ourselves. If that isn’t what you’re saying, then what are the consequences of sins committed after the new birth of salvation? You seem to be talking in circles and are pretty vague about consequences and cleansing or lack thereof. Nobody is saying that a believer is not capable of sin or that mistakes made are not also acts of sin sometimes. 1 John 1:9 is referring to the experience of salvation, not an ongoing debt on our part. There is still value in confession. It may cleanse our conscience and bring us back into agreement with God about how we should live our lives. It might help us to shed any guilt or shame imposed by the enemy or our own minds. When the prodigal son gave his speech of confession to his father, the father didn’t even acknowledge or respond to his son’s words of confession. He welcomed him into his loving embrace.

  13. Hello Paul, I have noticed that one of the more frequent arguments used against the Gospel of Grace is found in 2 Timothy 4 where Paul talks about people not wanting to hear sound doctrine and wanting only to hear what their “itchy ears” want to hear. Many have claimed that this is a referring to the Gospel of Grace because the news is always good and exactly what people’s ears wanted or needed to hear. I was just wondering if you have ever come across this argument before. Many claim that the Gospel must be hard to avoid the “itchy ear” syndrome and therefore live a life of mixture. I was wondering if you have ever commented about this?

    • Hi Ely, yes I have written something on this passage. For future reference, you can search for everything I have written by scripture in the Archives > Scripture Index.

      • Steve Meek // November 25, 2021 at 9:46 am //

        Brandon Petrowski – To your 3 opening questions above just below here_ my reference to 1Jn 1:9 is in keeping and respect to Gsl5:16-26. Choosing to live/walk by the Spirit results in us not encouraging our sinful flesh to have its way in our words and actions. Even after being saved we’re continually conflicted – so that we do not do what we want. Choosing the flesh, we put ourselves back under the Law.

        Answers_ 1. ) Being cleansed is not our doing as you seem to think I said. I did not claim that. 1 Jn 1:9 clearly states, GOD cleansed us at the moment that contrition/confession is spoken from a contrite position. This cleansing is not with respect to the Cross. It’s granted on the spot because of our humility; the confession is our responsibility – from an obedience to the command in vs 9.

        2.) The Cross is the act of humility by the Son to the Father, submission to the cost of putting Death in a place where it cannot affect those being Saved. Jesus’ returning will consummate that at the Wedding Supper. The sin forgiven here is Adam’s not having honoured GOD position as Head of the man.

        3. ) We, those being Saved do nothing to cleanse ourselves. The consequences for choosing to sin after being born-again are what GOD says – the unrighteousness that comes from living in the flesh puts us under the Law.

        Any false-Gospel has the propensity to keep us from obeying any number of GOD’s commands. A command does not offer us another way. Mt 5:17-19. Example: Do not take the life of another made in the same image as we are made (paying violence with violence), Mt 5: 38-48. People are not our enemies; that is reserved only for powers and principalities in the spirit-realm.

      • Brandon Petrowski // November 26, 2021 at 5:16 am //

        Again, 1 John 1:9 refers to the salvation experience, not an ongoing tightrope act of righteousness and unrighteousness based on our behavior. The only thing that makes us righteous or unrighteous is belief or unbelief. The Bible clearly tells us we have been made holy or sanctified by Christ’s work of the cross. When we are told to be holy or righteous, it is telling us to act like our identity. The Holy Spirit convicts the believer, not of their sin, but of their righteousness. He says, this is who you ARE, so behave that way out of gratitude for what was accomplished for you. There are certainly consequences for behaving in a sinful unrighteous manner, but becoming unrighteous is not one of them. Yes, we can subject ourselves to the Law, but that happens when we become works-minded, not by commiting an act of sin. This is the whole point of Galatians 4.

    • Brandon Petrowski // November 21, 2021 at 3:15 am // Reply

      From my perspective, the itching ears is referring to teaching that excuses or even justifies sinful behavior. The good news of the Gospel doesn’t encourage sin. There are still natural consequences to engaging in sin. God wants us to avoid those consequences, just like a parent doesn’t want their kid to play in a busy street. The Gospel says, if you screw up, God still loves you and is there with open arms to comfort and teach you. He doesn’t say, “Talk to the hand until you make it right.”

      • Steve Meek // November 24, 2021 at 8:43 am //

        Brandon, That’s right_ GOD does not say, ‘talk to the hand’; as though he’s indifferent. So he provides a path of humility on our behalf- in humbly coming to him, naming/confessing the sin and by that confession we are immediately cleansed from the consequences of that sin. And after confession we thank thank GOD too for his having cleansed us.

      • Brandon Petrowski // November 24, 2021 at 4:07 pm //

        Confession doesn’t cleanse us though. Jesus shed blood and the work of the cross is what cleanses us. Confession is still good, agreeing with God that we still need His help in overcoming the flesh. It is indeed an expression of humility, but not for the sake of reconciliation, but jumping into Daddy’s waiting protective arms, just as the prodigal did.

  14. With great respect for those who like me can get caught up in false-teachings. But by the mercy of GOD come to realize that false-Gospels are not uncommon. I hear a thread of danger in some of the comments here. I call this specific danger – the Love Gospel.

    When we sin and we know when we have, when we walk and or live in the Spirit – as true Jesus Followers born-again Believers in and on Jesus’ exiting yesterday, today and forever_ we’re not making mistakes or screwing up when we sin. As though that’s somehow ok with GOD. He does not just look on past our behaviour in this way. He commands us to humble ourselves and own the choice to act, name/confess the sin [1Jn 1:9] and be cleansed from any consequential outflow resulting from having sinned. Yet, when we choose to walk or live by our flesh – the fallen-Angels which influences our sin-nature has us thinking and believing the opposite is true – that we can sin and call that making mistakes and or screwing up.

    • Brandon Petrowski // November 24, 2021 at 4:15 pm // Reply

      You don’t exactly define a difference between mistakes and sin. How is the “Love Gospel” a danger? The very definition of the Gospel is love. Respectfully, you are not handling 1 John 1:9 correctly, but nobody is saying that God ignores our behavior. He disciplines those He loves, but that doesn’t mean spankings, it means training. His correction doesn’t shame us for our sinful behavior. The Bible is explicitly clear about that. His correction says, “That isn’t who you are, THIS is who you are.” He reminds us of our identity in Christ and says, “You have been made holy, so act like it.” Jesus didn’t ignore the sinful behavior of the woman at the well, but He also didn’t rub her nose in it or punish her. He loved her and told her to go and sin no more. He didn’t add an “or else”. His admonition was one of love for her well being, not a threat.

    • Hi Steve. Can I ask a question about your comment? What is it exactly, that you would say, is the thing that gets a person from the Jesus Follower category to the “TRUE” Jesus Follower category? And when a person accomplishes this category jump, how does it effect the way God relates to them?

      • Steve Meek // November 25, 2021 at 3:32 pm //

        jason b – Thank-you for your kindly inquiring. There’s no difference. Please, help me to see where I may have [to you] inferred that after being born from water and Spirit and having been in the process of being Saved in this Age – that there are 2 types of Followers. I was answering the posted question by saying that the commands of GOD are not always something we abide by. Thus: GOD is faithful.

        GOD in 1Jn 1:9 reminds us that even as sinners saved by grace through faith – we don’t always live by the Spirit; and so, we choose to sin at times. He’s processing that sin, assuring us he cleanses us from the consequence – when we confers the sin.

      • Brandon Petrowski // November 26, 2021 at 5:18 am //

        So Steve, are you saying that we are always already cleansed as a believer, but the confession part is just a reminder for us that we have been cleansed? That might make more sense, but it isn’t clear if that’s what you mean?

    • It was just your use of the term “true Jesus Followers” that got my attention. I often wonder what people mean when they say that. Thanks for answering. You’ve got some interesting thoughts you are putting out in your comments. Some seem to conflict with one another though, in my opinion. If you don’t mind, let me ask you another question from the answer you gave. Specifically, about “the commands of GOD are not something we always abide by”. My question is: Do you think that Jesus lives in harmony with the Father by abiding by his commands? Or, do you think that Jesus lives in harmony with his Father by abiding in his love? And I guess I’d go on to further ask, what difference should it make to us how Jesus manages to go about living in harmony with our Father?

      • Steve Meek // December 1, 2021 at 6:27 am //

        jason b – Many people were actual followers of Jesus in his years living as a human-being on earth. And many of them would not continue hearing and listening to him, they walked away and stopped following. True Jesus Followers will be seen not walking away from the Faith.

        To your question re: Jesus abiding: living in harmony with the Father, Jesus abided in love; the Father’s commands were not an adjunct – as being separate from Jesus love in the Father. At Gethsemene, Jesus abided with the command to put himself on that rotten tree branch. Though he cried, Father if you might take this cup from me.

        Jason, when I mentioned our not always abiding by the Father’s commands. When Believers ate told things by God that are based in our obedience with action – we often fail. And many in generations past have failed too. Mt 5:17-19 is one place where this is evident to me. Those words there connect Jesus command in Mt 5:38-48 to not take the life of others who are made like us. Citing that we must not forget who our enemies are – our human-reasoning gets in the way – yet, his declaring it in Mt 5:38-48 is not just words but a command to obey. And still, we ignore. Ergo: as of the time of the NT and the changes the Son on earth brought to bear on our behaviours, post OCovenant times – the number of times NT Believers put to death others in God’s Name and thinking and believe if his blessing. That was only one action that I was pointing to re: not abiding by the Father’s commands.

  15. Yes, our sinning can hinder our prayers. Not by stopping them necessarily but by the residual outflow resulting from the influences that come when choosing to live or walk in our flesh – rather than choosing the same in the Spirit.

    • Brandon Petrowski // November 24, 2021 at 4:17 pm // Reply

      I can see what you mean here in that sinful behavior may hinder us from praying, but it doesn’t hinder our prayers being heard. If we continue in unrepentant sin, it can cause a numbness and distance from God, but that is our own making, not His. He is like the father of the prodigal, waiting expectantly and with joy when we reach out to Him.

      • That’s good stuff, Brandon. Is the prodigal son not the best story every portraying the Father-heart of God! What a genius Jesus is to plop that little tale in the lap of the Pharisees. I’ve recently been blown away to see that REPENTANCE for the prodigal son DID NOT happen when he came to his senses and wanted to go home. At that point he was just hoping and planning to go home and work the religious program to get back in the good graces of Dad to get some food and a warm bed. We may look at that and say that when he left the hog pin is when he turned from sin and repented. Oh no. Not yet. He basically just lined up with his brother’s thinking at that point. Repentance (rethinking what we think we know) happened when his father came running to him, threw his arms around his filthy body, called for a celebration, and put the family ring on his finger – repentance for the prodigal son happened in the moment of that embrace, when he discovered he was dead wrong about his father. At it’s foundation sin is much deeper than stuff we do. Those are just fruits of the darkness we live in that keeps us from seeing who our Father really is (and by extension, who we really are) – that’s SIN. Thankfully, Jesus came to take away the sin of the world.

      • Brandon Petrowski // November 26, 2021 at 3:06 pm //

        Amen, exactly, and well said. 🙂 I love the prodigal son parable. The father didn’t even acknowledge the son’s speech of confession. He didn’t question him or lecture him or make him earn his way back. He responded with joy and love at his son’s return.

  16. Brandon – Your love for me, joy, peace, forbearing, kindness, goodness, gentle, self-control with me here is appreciated_ we, who belong and are in Messias, continually put down our flesh, ‘if’ we live by the Spirit.

    No, we’re not told anywhere in the bible message that we’re always, already cleansed [as though pre-cleansed] because we believe; we’re cleansed in the moment. ‘if’ we confess the sin GOD is faithful, right and forgiving the sin; cleansing us from the act. The context is in our action; where we live/walk. We do not always live/walk in the Light. It’s imperative, we be careful not to create a pretext out of context. These fallen-Angels will always have us [believers] saying and doing things that result in sin – until this Age is taken out by Jesus’ returning_ ‘if’ we’re not careful, conceit will give us cause to live by that sinful flesh – Darkness. We are sucked back into the Law; we lie and make GOD to be a liar.

    Gal 5: connects together 1 Jn 1 and tells us as believers, ‘if’ we live/say and act by the Spirit, our sinful and fallen-Angel influenced flesh is not encouraged to rise in us. This sinful flesh cannot be expunged by us or GOD. This is so that we don’t do what we want but what the Spirit intends us to do. The active issue is our response and doing – GOD cannot do this for us.

    • Brandon Petrowski // November 26, 2021 at 11:19 am // Reply

      The thing is, you continue to use the word cleanse ambiguously, so it’s hard to follow your meaning. Additionally, you are basing much of your interpretation from English translation that does not always best reflect original wording and intent and context. However, the Bible is very clear that our belief is what allows us to receive cleansing. If we believe in our hearts that Jesus died and rose again, and if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, then we are saved. There are many verses that suggest we are cleansed of all our sins (past, present, and future) based on our confession of faith at salvation. We are made righteous positionally, not behaviorally. So, again, it comes back to what you mean or don’t mean by the ongoing requirement for confession. We aren’t righteous one day and unrighteous the next based on keeping commandments or commiting a sin. I don’t dispute that there are consequences for sin, but the only cleansing that takes place with ongoing confession might be our personal shame or guilt that we feel when we recognize we have sinned. Remember, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We aren’t in one day and out the next.

      • Brandon – I reviewed my comments to you. And may not have made clear to you, the imperative differences between being made ‘righteous’ at the Cross and the willful and unwillful sins we commit in the years after the point of being born-again snd the following subsequent process of being saved in this life, by Jesus. I apologize for that.

        Being made righteous at the Cross is not synonymous with being cleansed by GOD from sins we willfully and unwillingly continue to commit – after these two realities, to point of our death.

        This is the specific differences to what I am referring. We’re positioned Right before GOD at the Cross but the acts is of sinning after that will see us saying and doing things that are the result responding from the power of fallen-Angels. Because we will often step away from living by the power of the Spirit. Our righteous position as a result of the Cross, is not at issue here. That continues to be true through our lives. But that position does not cover our sinful Flesh – the words and actions resulting in sin – post position righteous. The 2 actualities of living by the power of the Spirit of Jesus and by the power of fallen-Angels is “the” constant that we’re responsible to GOD to answer. When we sin and know that we have, we’’ve stepped away from living by the power of the Spirit. And there we’re commanded v9, to humbly confess that sin, being grateful to GOD – for he declares that on the confession – we’re cleansed. We’re not to use our Right position and then turn snd sin and believe that position protects us from the consequences from sinning. It’s by the confession of that sin that we’re cleansed from the natural outcome of sinning. 1 Jn 1:9 GOD there did not inspire Jon to reference our static Right position. He succinctly wrote, “confess” the sin. Does that help?


      • Brandon Petrowski // November 27, 2021 at 4:31 pm //

        It is a little clearer, but I am still not following what you think those consequences are and what we get cleansed from. I do agree there are consequences to engaging in sin. However, in 1 John 1:9 it says confession for forgiveness. What do you think that forgiveness entails? Are you saying that for a believer who is struggling with sin that when they confess and are “cleansed” that forgiveness which comes now cancels whatever natural consequences resulted from that sin? Because that does not make sense. Many times we can be repentant over sin we have struggled with, and we can acknowledge and confess that sin, but we may still experience some natural consequences for having stepped away from that walking by the Spirit. For example, a thief might be sorry and make restitution, but they may experience jail or loss of trust from someone they robbed from. My position is that 1 John 1:9 refers to the salvation experience when we come before God confessing our sinful state and need for salvation. I do still think confession is a good thing when we are convicted of sinfulness. As I said previously, we are cleansed from shame and guilt we might feel.

  17. Brandon P. & Jason b. – I love your comments. 1 John 1:7 says the blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son cleanses us from all sin. In original Greek, this verse is in the present continuous tense, meaning the blood of Jesus Christ keeps cleansing us every moment 24/7 from all sin. The word “all” in the Greek is pas, meaning any & every. The blood of Jesus is ever cleansing us from any & every sin.

    • Brandon Petrowski // November 27, 2021 at 9:30 am // Reply

      Exactly! Well said Karen.

    • Yes, Karen, what a wonderful thing it is to realize our sins are no more. That the issue of our sin has once and for all been radically and totally dealt with. The cross of Christ puts on eternal display for all the ages and realms to see the love God has for his creation. We were not created to perish, but to be adored and cherished… and we are. The cross is a byproduct of Jesus’ determination that we come to see his Father through his eyes as apposed to seeing him through the black veil of the quagmire of evil we’ve become entangled with. Once we see the depths Jesus went to at the cross to find us in our depraved and twisted darkness, we need to also see the relationship of overflowing communion with the Father and Spirit he brought with him – this GOOD and eternally abundant relationship has unified itself to you and me at our very wretched worst. And they aren’t going anywhere, no matter what. We stand in something altogether new. In this new relationship (with our sins removed), Jesus puts his gentle hand on our chin, lifts our head from glaring shamefully at the floor, looks deep and passionately into our eyes, and says “There you are. You were lost. I finally found you. Oh how I’ve longed to have you know who I am. Come with me. We have a celebration to attend.” Heb 12:2 speaks of this divine motivation Jesus walked in: “Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame”.

  18. It’s because of Jesus’ humility and submission to the Father that he put himself at and on the rotten tree branch. And by that we [those born-again and being Saved in this Age] have gained the blessing of living in and by the power of his Spirit that he left with us. When we appropriate that Spirit, and come to GOD in humility, we then have the power to confess sins we will ultimately committed. If not, we will be influenced by the power of fallen-Angels to do the opposite_ sin and not confess. And the tendency go away from staying / living by the power of Jesus’ Spirit can increase with time.

    • Brandon Petrowski // November 27, 2021 at 4:34 pm // Reply

      Ok, so what about when we sin and don’t realize we have committed a sin. Sometimes we get caught up in the heat of the moment, and in the surge of emotions, it doesn’t even register that we have sinned. Sometimes we engage in a pattern of learned behavior that we don’t realize is sinful.

    • Brandon Petrowski // November 28, 2021 at 3:41 am // Reply

      In Mark 2:5, Jesus told the paralytic man that his sins were forgiven without the man having confessed. The woman at the well and the woman who was about to be stoned were both shown grace and mercy without offering a confession or even repentance. As Romans 2:4 says, God’s kindness leads to repentance. They demonstrated faith in God, AFTER they had received His goodness.

      • Yes, yes, yes! That’s how it works. We are all being summoned to respond to the kindness and goodness of the one who loved us into existence.

  19. Brandon, Yes, we get caught up in the heat of a moment and sin in that moment and don’t realize we’ve sinned. GOD is just and faithful – his Spirit he leaves with us to lead us to recognizing this getting caught up. As we continually to live by his power – live by that same Spirit, we will get caught up less often. And with the fellowship [iron on iron] of those in our lives who are also being changed from glory to glory – they too, along with the leading of the Spirit help us to stay living in the Spirit.

    When we fail at times [we do] and sin by the power of Influencers [fallen-Angels] who can by our sinful Flesh – still cause us to think and believe that our enemies are other people made in the same image as us. And we do get caught up in that our sinful Flesh cannot be expunged. And so, we respond to situations and people by stepping away from the Spirits power to live holy – results in our words and behaviours there to be doing the opposite – which is living by the sinful Flesh.

    This is the struggle we bear in this Being Saved position. We know we cannot change without the influence of Jesus Spirit. This is so that, in order that we might not do what we want to do. Rom 7:15 is an example.

    Praise Jesus m, he does not leave us alone to our sinful Flesh.

    • Brandon Petrowski // November 29, 2021 at 3:20 am // Reply

      That is more clear, and I can respect that perspective. I find that mornings where I get caught up in busyness, if I don’t spend time in prayer and the Word, I am more likely to commit an act of sin that day. I don’t think it is so much about confession of sin restoring us to Spirit powered living though. I think it is more when we stay close to Him and His presence, spending time with Him, we are empowered to live “rightly”. When we do stray, conviction is being reminded of His goodness and love and agreeing with Him about our identity in Christ.

      • Steve Meek // November 29, 2021 at 9:31 am //

        Brandon – I agree, my thinking and believing his work in me, is why staying in and on his promise to be in me and having left me his Spirit to Guide me in this life – is mine to continually live by.

        As an adopted son of the Most High god, I also agree, our confessing sins only helps assure us we need not be encumbered by feelings that would keep us from staying close to GOD. Just as our confessing sins also, does nothing to restore us to Jesus Spirit.

      • Brandon Petrowski // November 29, 2021 at 11:15 am //


  20. jason b – By your 3 yeses, as one form of saying, Alright already… I yield but for the sake of GOD’s love. What is it. Only saying this to be care-full with truth.

    The good-news I am aware of – does not in any wise demonstrate that GOD’s Agape love has been or is today, calling/summoning all people to respond to his having created them. And if I mis-understood your comment here, I am sorry and apologize.

    If any one is given the good-news and that can only come by the power and invitation of Jesus Spirit – then GOD the Father is not asking for a response yet, does in love, act on each response. Irrespective, whether or not the person hearing the good-news actually receives that invitation with a yes, no or ignores it; GOD acts.

    If he chooses to provide his good-news to anyone’s hearing through the centuries – the god of gods (Most High) who also adopted me into his Kingdom – in my understanding, has no affection nor attraction to man; though he created us for his purposes. Today, I believe Jn 3:16 is the most mis-understood, mis-applied and mis-interpreted verse in the NT. I mentioned in an earlier comment that I am seeing GOD’s love today, much differently than in the past.

    • A major problem is that we continue to define and reference the ‘sin issue’ through the frame of legalistic language instead of relationship language, thus hiding from our minds the solution that Jesus provides. Jesus came to solve this problem: “no one knows the Father, except the Son.” Matthew 11:27. That is Jesus’ interpretation of the mess we are in as a result of Adam’s, and humanity’s, fall – the sin issue. Jesus DID NOT come to solve this problem: “My Father needs a blood sacrifice offered up to him because his holiness has been offended and he can’t love you until that side of him is satisfied. So, I’m here to take the beating that you deserve.” It’s time we let that rubbish go and see what Jesus accomplished – He’s made his way into our side of the relationship, into our darkness, where we are so blind and alienated that we can’t recognize the Father or even our true selves, where we have projected our shame and misery onto the Father’s face and think that he is just a bigger version of us. His cry of “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” was the declaration that he had completed his mission – he had arrived at his intended destination: total identification with us in our darkness where we THINK AND FEEL that God has abandoned us and that we are on our own. But he never believed that for a second, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” Jesus has brought his trust and knowledge of the Father’s love and faithfulness, their union in the Spirit, into OUR HEARTS and is now sharing his communion with the Father with us from within our side of the equation. Our salvation is not about reaching up to heaven, but about heaven reaching into the depths of our wretchedness, finding us, joining to us there, with divine determination to lead us home. He is the good shepherd.

  21. Brandon and jason b – you both kindly engaged me in this thread_

    * GOD is good and hears our prayers, no matter who we are…
    * Agree GOD is good and that he longs to be good to you…
    * Agree your Father loves you and cares for you…

    No matter who we are_ Is the Most High god the Father of all?
    Is GOD’s love affectionate and attractive love to man?
    GOD’s love is written in 35 verses in the bible. Whose being addressed in these verses?

    • Brandon Petrowski // November 30, 2021 at 12:30 pm // Reply

      He loves everyone, but not all of them will be saved. 🙂

      • Steve Meek // December 1, 2021 at 6:41 am //

        Brandon – If God loves [all] everyone, you must know his love is not removed for them – when he does not save them all. By what type of love does God not save those many more people than he saves? And yet, he loves them even to their 2nd death.

        This, in my understanding is somewhat a conundrum for some. But I am certain that God’s love is not affection nor attraction to those many more he will not save. But just as his love toward Believers is the same same loves – as you said, “God loves everyone…” – that love is Agape.

      • Brandon Petrowski // December 1, 2021 at 10:16 am //

        Yes, I agree.

  22. jason b – You seem to think that my referencing Gal 5:16-18 with respect to our sinning after we’ve been adopted into Jesus’ Kingdom is bringing legalism into this thread. Where the posted question is: Does Sin Hinder our Prayers?

    How you came to hear me using legalism_ in reviewing my comments – my offerings here were to get us to see that actively living by the Spirit would see us sinning less and less through this life. Yet, because our sinful Flesh is not in our power to control, fallen-Angels will give us cause to say, and action sinfully – sometimes daily. In the Spirit we can put our Flesh at baie. But that is what these verses are so kindly teaching us in my view. In conjunction then – These Gal 5 verses with 1Jn 1 are helping Believers to stay humbled to the fact that God’s actionable [Agape] love is a dangerous place to tread. Confessing known sins then is his purpose for Believers. No more, no less our obedience to the Most High god’s position. Please, don’t tell me that’s legalism_

    • Hi Steve. My remarks in the previous comment were more of just a general comment building on the ongoing conversation, not really trying to correct what you said or call it legalism. Personally, I find your comments interesting and thought provoking.

      But while we’re on the subject. Legalism, in general, is kind of our default setting we all slip back into time and time again as soon as we take our eyes off Jesus. And it is 100% why someone would think their sin hinders their prayers. Look at Peter in Galatians – he loves the Lord, but in his desire to get along, make friends, be acceptable (all of which are not bad things) he fell back into our default mode: the trap of identifying ourselves through ‘performance evaluation thinking’. Paul saw the seriousness of this situation – the compromising of the gospel – and couldn’t stand by silently. I think our dear brother Paul Ellis is motivated in the same way and that’s where all these great Escape to Reality Post’s come from. The Father’s eternal Son, Jesus, that was expressing himself through the great apostle Paul is the very same Jesus expressing himself through Paul Ellis. AND the very same Jesus coming to expression through you and me, Steve. The more we get to know Jesus, it’s hard to keep our mouth shut, even if we are not sure what we are trying to say. We simply know there is something wonderful that people are missing out on and we are trying to find words to convey it. At least that’s how it is for me. Grace to you, my brother.

  23. jason b – sorry for the missing font, But that is ‘not’ what these verses are so kindly teaching us [Believers]…

    • I’ve enjoyed reading these comments and hearing everyone’s perspective. I’ve especially enjoyed the kind spirit of the comments even though there may not always be total agreement. Having read the comments, I’m left with a question… What is the goal? Meaning, what is God’s goal for us and what is our goal for this life as a Christian?

      • Brandon Petrowski // December 2, 2021 at 2:18 am //

        It sounds cliche and simple, but relationship with Him and glorifying His name, and trying to bring as many people with us as we can. 🙂

      • Amen Brandon! Cliche and simple perhaps, but magnificently true.

        Self-sacrificing other-centeredness: the opposite of self-guarding selfishness. That is the glory, or fundamental nature, of the Trinitarian relationship that is God. And it is the open and flowing life we were created to participate in – the goal. Our salvation through Jesus is about being saved from our own self-centered, self-destructive hell. We’ve become self-referential in our fall, alienating ourselves from God in our minds. Our history as a species proves time after time that no matter how hard we try to build a kingdom that is good and right for the world, it ultimately falls prey to corruption and in time will get reduced to nothing more than a devouring perpetual sin factory. Evil will always find a way to exploit our corruptibility. Jesus has brought his INCORRUPTIBLE holy union with his Father into our world and is building his kingdom. The currency of God’s kingdom is other-centeredness (righteousness, right relationship). The economy of his kingdom runs on love. We get glimpses of this kingdom expressed in marriages and families where selfless togetherness and union flow. And yes, the Church is to be the communal expression of His kingdom, bearing witness to the light… so that others might see the light for themselves, and believe and be saved. The light being: not just Jesus, but the eternal relationship he has in the Spirit with the Father that is being shared with us and all of creation, teaching us the way of other-centered, self-sacrificing union.

      • Steve Meek // December 2, 2021 at 7:42 am //

        LJP – I will hope that the others too, interested in this part if the thread will hop on in,

        Near the start of comments – one aspect is being established that God’s goodness and not human-reason or our own righteousness is a key understanding with Believers. It may have gotten misconstrued in my comments – I was attempting to show that God having positioned us Righteous – in that we’re adopted, born-again sons of God does not mean that God’s goodness excuses [a Believer’s] sins committed by one whose positioned Righteous by the blood of Messias (Jesus).

        Ergo: my referencing the connection between Gal 5:16-18 and 1Jn 1:9. We’re [Believers] continually humbling ourselves to God’s Position. In the case of our confessing [name it] our known sins – that is the act of a God positioned Righteous-man before God, with God’s goodness or faithfulness cleansing the positioned Righteous from an unrighteous act – that type of love is God’s Agape love_ actionable love is what God’s love is. The same is seen in the account in Jn 3 – where he shows his Agape love in the verses just before and ending with Jn 3:16. God’s goodness is not hampered by the fact that he acts on our responses to him.

  24. Greetings LJP. I imagine you and others have an answer for your question, and if so, I’d love to hear it. In a way it is the greatest of all questions, is it not? What’s the point of all this, right? For me, the answer is simple: You and I are God’s love dream come true. The goal of the Father, Son and Spirit is to share the love and life they have always known together with us in a way that it becomes as much ours as it is theirs – to become participants in their overflowing fellowship, NOT being absorbed into their life as if to no longer be ourselves but rather contributing our individuality to this divine circle that has opened itself up to create and embrace us. They have eternally dwelled in one another in abundant union without losing their individuality and their goal is to bring us into the family. Our adoption through Jesus was predestined BEFORE Adam was created. Jesus’ coming as one of us to accomplish our adoption was not in response to Adam’s fall, but the original plan all along (the fall just meant that Jesus was going to have to go into our sin ridden hell to reach us). God created the cosmos and us in service to the greater purpose of Jesus’ adoption mission. We were literally found in Jesus BEFORE we were lost in Adam. Once this mystery is unveiled, you’ll see it lavished all over the pages of the New Testament. God’s goal for us: participation in their life. Our goal for this life as a Christian: also participation in their life. What does that look like? Loving your neighbor, playing with your dog, helping a buddy through a tough time, cooking a meal for your family, holding hands, weeping with those that weep, coaching little league, building a house, watching the sun set, and a million other things, and sometimes… reading the bible and praying and stuff like that. Thanks, LJP. I enjoyed pondering that question.

    • Thanks, Jason, Brandon, and Steve, I love your responses and I agree. The reason I asked the question is I think sometimes as we get into a discussion about sin we can leave the impression that the main goal is for us to be a perfect, squeaky clean specimen in regards to our behavior. That’s not a bad goal, but God is more concerned with our beliefs than our behavior. Our beliefs also happen to be what determines our behavior, but behavior is the fruit. So often, we hear teachers getting the cart before the horse by constantly focusing on sin and behavior when that approach actually adds fuel to the fire. How often did Jesus correct someone’s behavior vs talking to them about believing? I know you realize this and I know you love the Gospel, so I wanted to give you a chance to say it. The simplest answer I could give to the question is God’s goal is to serve us with His life and our goal as a Christian is to allow Him to serve us with His life (again our beliefs allow this) in every area and every circumstance. Or as Jesus would say, “abide in the Vine”.

      • I love it! Yes. The ‘I am’ of the universe, the creator and sustainer of all, has placed himself in service to humanity. Not in service to our whims, but to our growth and maturity in Him. How long will it take us to come to our senses and get it? I don’t know, evidently a very long time, but I think God’s got time on his side, and he can wait us out. It may take another 2,000 years, but eventually we’ll get our fill of living in the hog pin and start longing for home where we belong.

      • Brandon Petrowski // December 3, 2021 at 3:00 am //

        Well said, totally agree.

  25. LJP, Brandon, jason b – If God’s service to man is out of a type love; jason b used, we’re the love dream of the god of gods_ Does that mean all people are the object of this love or those he actively adopts into His Kingdom? And if man’s response to that love means going along with, allowing, God’s got it, He’s always with us. No more striving. Then would that type of love then not be that God’s love is affection to man and attraction for man, Am I tracking with y’all there?

    I know of 3 types of love and the god of gods is love. But I am not hearing or seeing God’s love that is written in a plethora of biblical accounts – to be from the point of brotherly [Gk. Phileo] love, either. And He’s not loving man by that of a man loving a woman [Gk. Eros]. So what love is God loving us by?

    Ii seems that y’all are saying , God’s love with respect man, is as though God is somehow attracted to and or has affection for man. In that case, my belief and behaviour – when living in and by or out of that Spirit Jesus sent, to be with me through this life when he when back to the Glory seat with the Father_ that God’s love to me and for me, when I was in and of this World [Darkness] and then as His adopted son; still in this World but not of it__ that love, God is portraying is actionable [Agape] love.

    • I don’t exactly see it as God’s service to man is out of a type of love. Rather, it is God simply being God that gives definition to the word “love”. In other words, it is God that describes love, not love that describes God. Even using “Agape” falls short in trying to communicate the beauty and scope of the abundant passion that flows between the Father and Son in the Spirit – the very source of our true origins and identity.

      “Does that mean that all people are the object of this love?” Absolutely! There is no human race other than the human race bound up in the creating and sustaining work of Christ, which are both, in themselves, expressions of grace and love. We cannot escape the Grace that encompasses us. Does that equal salvation for all? Absolutely not! Our salvation is a RELATIONAL matter, not a legal or positional matter. People can stubbornly refuse Grace and demand that Jesus repent (change his mind and admit he is wrong) and comply with their self-referential reality forever if they want to. And God will not force anyone to relate to him in any way other than the way that they want to relate to him. The New Testament seems to offer hope that ALL could somehow come around (the gates of the New City of Jerusalem are never shut) but it certainly does not give that as a definite conclusion. It’s kind of open ended, as far as I can tell. We can only speculate about the afterlife, really. But there is no question that God’s love is not a love that skips over anyone for any reason – it’s unconditional.

      • Brandon Petrowski // December 5, 2021 at 3:17 am //

        I basically agree with Jason. I don’t think we can dissect God’s love into certain categories and pick apart what it is or isn’t. I agree this does not mean all will be saved. Salvation is based on faith and relationship, God is perfectly capable of loving people and respecting their choice to reject Him.

      • Amen, Brandon. “God is perfectly capable of loving people and respecting their choice to reject Him.” Well put. Until we come to see that God is absolutely unflinching in his love towards us, religion will always have a crack to weasel its way into our minds and convince us that it is up to us to trip God’s love wire and keep it tripped.

    • Hello Steve, you have mentioned God’s type of love a few times, but I don’t think you have fully explained it or I haven’t understood what you mean and how you feel it relates to the discussion. But I believe to describe God’s type of love is to describe the nature of our relationship with God. His type of love is partially described in 1 Cor 13:4-7. His type of love is demonstrated at the cross where He died for us when we were at our worst and never knew Him. The cross also shows His type of love doesn’t waiver as a result of our behavior. While I have often used the term unconditional to describe this aspect of God’s love, there is in a sense a condition. God did not demonstrate this type of love for the animals, since He became a man and died for human beings. So you could say there is a condition which is the extreme value and beauty that He sees in us. In Genesis 1:22 where it says, “and God blessed them”, that word blessed means to kneel, to adore, to praise. I see a picture of a man, overwhelmed with love, proposing to dedicate his life to the one he can’t live without. Seeing this type of love that God has for us causes our heart to trust Him, it moves us to love Him, and it opens the door for us to receive His life.

  26. Much thanks to brother Ellis for allowing us to venture off into this discussion. I’ve so enjoyed it.

    Brilliant, LJP! “Seeing this type of love that God has for us… opens the door for us to receive His life.” Is that not the whole motivation behind the cross of Christ? That our dark illusion might be shattered, and we might be awakened from our deadening trance and discover the love that birthed and holds in its hands all of creation and us in it? His cross is the ultimate “demonstration” of this love that has always been towards us, even though we’ve struggled and fumbled for over 2000 years now to find the words to describe the magnitude and magnificence of what we have beheld at the cross.

    There was never any reason for Adam (and humanity) to run and hide in the bushes, other than the lies in his head. The monster god in Adam’s mind (and ours) never truly existed. How was God to rescue his beloved creatures from being consumed and utterly destroyed by the lies they now believed of him and themselves. He would have to ‘cross’ the divide and get on their side of the relationship and show them ‘The Truth’ from their fallen point of view. That’s the purpose and point of the incarnation. God is like Jesus. He has always been like Jesus. And what Jesus is like (his glory, or true essence) has been forever defined and imprinted on cosmic history at the cross for all realms and ages to behold in wonder throughout eternity. Would God go as far as to sacrifice himself into our hands at our alter of religion to the point of his own public ridicule, torture, and death at our hands in hopes of reaching us in our lost and delusional reality? He did.

    • Wow…yes he did and it completely annihilates our religious notions that He is a punitive Father.

      • Indeed, LJP. Amen!

      • LJP, if we may tease this out further…

        If God is not the punitive father we thought him to be (a monumental revelation in and of itself to fallen man), I believe this forces us to reexamine our understanding of sin and the cross of Christ in the light of such revelation. In what sense has Jesus taken away our sin? Should we see this ‘taking away’ as his suffering God’s punishment meant for us in order to remove the legal penalty for our sins by satisfying an external justice? As much as that makes sense to our minds, such thinking leads us right back to our “religious notions”, as you accurately stated. Perhaps this ‘taking away’ is exceedingly more relational and personal than we’ve surmised. Could it be that he ‘takes away’ our sin by overcoming the issue, by meeting us down deep in our wickedness, by leaving his heavenly estate and entering into our dark, alienated, and depraved hellish existence to establish union with us THERE? Thus, relationally, taking our dastardly and shameful deeds off the table and out of play? Could it be that Jesus has so penetrated the corridors of our wrongheadedness, and so submitted himself to OUR wrath that he has established real relationship with us of the most profoundly person order – adoption, true sonship? In all our talk over the centuries about “you must accept Jesus”, we fail to capitalize on the revelation that it is he that has chosen to accept us.

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