Listen:  97 Question 5

We often find ourselves committing the same sins over and over.  Some people try to stop smoking, but keep giving in to the temptation to smoke.  Some people swear, even after they have confessed this sin to the Lord.  Some struggle with keeping their temper.  They may confess this to the Lord, but find it very difficult to stop.  Some people continue to watch pornography, although they know it is wrong and have confessed their sin to the Lord.

Will the Lord still bless us while we are struggling with sin in our lives?  Quite honestly, as long as we are in the flesh, we will always struggle with the temptation to sin.  Let’s read Matthew 18:21-22, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”  Here the Apostle Peter asks the Lord about forgiveness.  How many times should we forgive someone that sins against us?  The Lord’s reply was that our willingness to forgive others should not run out.  Certainly the Lord will forgive us, even as He instructs us to forgive others.

Confession of our sins is so important to the Christian.  1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  True confession of our sins will come from a contrite heart.  The word ‘contrite’ literally means to be crushed.  When our conscience has dealt with us because of our sins, and we are brought to the place where we are ashamed and humbled, then we can properly confess our sins to the Lord.  Psalms 34:18 says, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”  When we confess our sins, the Lord is true to His word and He is righteous.  He will forgive us of our sins and cleanse us from the stain of sin.

You may wonder why we need to confess our sins if Christ has already paid for our sins.  1 Peter 1:18-19 says, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”  If we have been completely redeemed, or purchased by the precious blood of Christ, then why do we need to continue to confess our sins to God?  As Christians, the confession of our sins has nothing to do with keeping our salvation.  It has to do with maintaining a proper standing before the Lord.

In Acts 13:22, we read how the Lord called King David, “…a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.”  David was notorious for his sins, yet the Lord says that he is a man after His own heart.  The Lord knows the heart and He knew that David had a great desire to do the Lord’s will.  Do you really long to do the Lord’s will?  Confess your sins; ask the Lord for His strength to overcome the sins in your life.  Ask the Lord for His guidance and strength so that you might serve Him faithfully and effectively.  (97.5)