Forgiven Sins: The Need for Continued Confession

Leave a comment / / Updated on: 17th January 2024

My sins were forgiven - do I continue to confess?
My sins were forgiven – do I continue to confess? / gorodenkoff via iStock

When one steps into the path of faith and embraces Christianity, they are often imbued with the relief and extraordinary joy of divine forgiveness.

The profound knowledge that God’s boundless mercy can wash away our misdeeds – past, present, and even future – provides a deep sense of comfort and reassurance.

Yet, as humans, we carry within us an inherent propensity to err.

This concept of continuous sinning, even after accepting Christianity, often raises the question: if we have already been forgiven, do we continue to confess?

In exploring this inquiry, this analysis delves into the theological understanding of forgiveness, examines the concept of ongoing sin in the Christian life, and underscores the role and importance of ongoing confession in the faith journey.

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The Theological Understanding of Forgiveness

My sins were forgiven - do I continue to confess?
A young man delving into the Bible, discovering God’s endless mercy and love / ridvan_celik via iStock

Any attentive reader of the Holy Bible certainly recognizes God’s abundant mercy and unconditional love demonstrated throughout its sacred pages.

Unquestionably, one of the stalwart pillars supporting the Christian faith is the belief in God’s forgiveness.

But what does the Bible truly say about this divine act of mercy?

The essence of the biblical perspective on God’s forgiveness is rooted in His enduring love for all humankind.

In the Old Testament book of Jeremiah (31:34), the Lord declares, “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

This assurance of divine forgiveness is repeated in Psalm 103:12, where it is said, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

The Constant Nature of Divine Forgiveness

My sins were forgiven - do I continue to confess?
Have you felt His forgiving touch? / artplus via iStock

These scriptures articulate that God’s forgiveness isn’t merely an occasional act, but it’s an integral part of His compassionate nature.

Interestingly, the biblical narrative also confirms that God’s forgiveness is not limited by the gravity or nature of our sins.

As written in the Book of Isaiah 1:18, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

The forgiveness bestowed by God is all-encompassing, extending even to those sins that may seem too enormous or hideous to be forgiven in human perspectives.

Further, in the New Testament, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, embodies God’s forgiveness.

Jesus Christ as the Embodiment of Forgiveness

My sins were forgiven - do I continue to confess?
A heart and cross capturing Jesus’ gift of forgiveness / omersukrugoksu via iStock

Through His life, death, and Resurrection, He offers a direct path to divine forgiveness.

In the Gospel of John 3:16, it’s declared, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

In Jesus’ sacrifice, we discover a fresh understanding of God’s unconditional forgiveness – one that ultimately leads to eternal life.

Moreover, the biblical perspective on God’s forgiveness calls us – believers in Christ – to mirror this divine mercy in our lives.

There is a strong correlation between divine forgiveness and the forgiveness we extend to others, as indicated by Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Matthew (6:14-15): “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

The Central Theme of God’s Love and Mercy in Forgiveness

Soaring dove, a serene emblem of divine love and mercy
Soaring dove, a serene emblem of divine love and mercy / Spiritartist via iStock

Ultimately, the biblical perspective on God’s forgiveness centers on His immeasurable love and mercy.

It further shines a spotlight on His willingness to eradicate our sins, no matter how grave or numerous they may seem.

Yet, it also establishes an unequivocal link to our earthly obligation – that we must unreservedly forgive others, as we have been forgiven by our Heavenly Father.

Embracing this understanding of divine forgiveness helps believers foster humility, cherishing the gift of God’s mercy, and promotes a more compassionate, forgiving world.

Remember, forgiveness is more than an act; it’s a reflection of God’s boundless love.

And in the relay race of forgiveness, we receive the call to extend that mercy without hesitation or boundaries, just as our Father continuously extends it to us.

The Concept of Ongoing Sin in Christian Life

Satan's temptation of Jesus, an enduring struggle with sin even after salvation
Satan’s temptation of Jesus, an enduring struggle with sin even after salvation / traveler1116 via iStock

Indeed, the promise of salvation holds a profound beauty for every follower of Christ.

It’s the hope that anchors the stormy seas of life, the light that pierces any veil of darkness.

Yet, it poses a profound question to the saved: even after attaining salvation, do Christians continue to sin?

The unequivocal answer is yes; Christians continue to sin, even after salvation.

This hard truth might seem shocking, but it should not.

The apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Romans, confesses, “For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15

This assertion rings true even in today’s world.

Human Nature and the Inevitability of Sin

Silhouetted hands grasping for hope and reliance on God's grace
Silhouetted hands grasping for hope and reliance on God’s grace / shuang paul wang via iStock

It’s inevitable for Christians to sin, not because of a deficit in the grace of God, but because of our human nature.

Our sanctification process does not instantaneously eradicate our sinful nature upon salvation.

Rather, it’s a lifelong transformation through an unwavering commitment to the teachings of Christ, a living testament of His love and mercy.

While this reality reminds us of our vulnerable human nature, it should not stir panic or despair; instead, it serves as a humble reminder of our utter dependence on God’s grace.

We, as Christians, reside in the tension between divine mercy and human flawedness.

Through faith, we equip ourselves to better tackle even the most tempting sins.

Just as faith saved us, so too shall it deliver us from the power of sin that clings so closely, as put aptly by the writer of Hebrews, “let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles… let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

Confession and Forgiveness in Christian Life

Are you ready to embrace His call for transformation and forgiveness?
Are you ready to embrace His call for transformation and forgiveness? / Motortion via iStock

We must always return to the reassuring words of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

It beckons us to embrace a deeper level of grace, actively shaping our lives not only by avoiding sin but by relentlessly pursuing righteousness.

God, in His abundant love, does not desire perfection but a heart desiring constant transformation.

The cross signifies more than the promise of salvation; it is also the calling to emulate Christ, to strive toward a life free from the grip of sin while grounded in the humility of our human frailty.

Sin’s presence post-salvation doesn’t undermine God’s saving grace; instead, it highlights the continual dependence and need for His abundant mercy and transformative power.

It bolsters the conviction that, though we may falter, our Saviour never will.

As Christians journeying towards sanctification, let us always remember: we walk not by our strength but by the grace of God, in all its enduring power and boundless mercy.

A race marked not by perfection, but by the grace-filled dance between sin, repentance, and forgiveness.

The Role and Importance of Ongoing Confession

Runner on a journey, capturing our endless pursuit of righteousness
Runner on a journey, capturing our endless pursuit of righteousness

Through the journey as a Christian, one of the certainties that cling to our humanness is the inevitability of sinning again and again after salvation.

Sinning does not make Christians any less saved or loved by God.

However, it reveals our human nature that is prone to falter and fall.

As it is etched in the books of Romans, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This scriptural truth underscores that nobody is immune from sinning despite having received the gift of salvation.

This constant failing is not a license to live recklessly, but an indication of the ongoing sanctification process.

It calls us to a deeper level of grace, actively shaping our lives not just by avoiding sin, but through a relentless pursuit of righteousness.

This process inherently grapples with the tension between divine mercy and our human flawedness.

Living Righteously Through Faith

The shield of faith is a symbol of our defense against sin

Living righteously is, after all, a matter of faith.

Faith is a weapon that shields us from falling prey to our sinful nature and breeds strength to strive towards a godly life.

It is in Hebrews 11:1 that faith is described as “the assurance of things we hope for and the certainty of things not seen.” This forms the crux of living a righteous life grounded in faith.

Therefore, it is crucial to know the gravity of confession and forgiveness in the Christian journey.

The act of confession is more than acknowledging our sins before God; it is about drawing upon our humility to accept our shortcomings and errors.

Meanwhile, forgiveness serves to bolster our spiritual strength by emancipating ourselves from the guilt and burden of our sins.

But how do we navigate this journey?

Embracing Christ’s Example in Our Lives

Christ's footprints inspire us to walk in His example
Christ’s footprints inspire us to walk in His example / Liudmila Chernetska via iStock

In answer to this, Christians should remember their call to emulate Christ; to strive for a life that echoes His love and forgiveness, while acknowledging our human frailty.

This is not a call for perfection, but rather a call for progress. Each day is a new opportunity to mold our hearts and actions closer to His image.

Therefore, it is of paramount importance to grasp that the presence of sin in our lives does not undermine God’s saving grace.

Instead, it illuminates the reality of the continual need for His mercy and the necessity of personal transformation.

It is a call to see our sinfulness not as a dead-end, but as a launchpad towards experiencing more fully, the transformative power of God’s grace.

This journey towards sanctification isn’t one we traverse alone.

It is through God’s unyielding grace and power that we can aspire to be more and more like Christ each day.

Drawing from 2 Corinthians 12:9, let us remember that “His grace is sufficient for us, for His power is made perfect in weakness.”

This divine truth bolsters our faith that despite our frailties and our propensity to sin, God remains steadfast in His grace and invites us into a journey of continual confession, forgiveness, and transformation.

Confession as an Act of Faith

Walking towards God's merciful embrace amid our human imperfections
Walking towards God’s merciful embrace amid our human imperfections / CreativaImages via iStock

Therefore, confessing our sins becomes not just an act of contrition but rather an act of faith, relying on the assurance that God’s merciful love is greater than any of our sins.

Divine forgiveness and redemption grace the journey of Christian living, which continuously weaves through human frailties and imperfections.

Yet, these very imperfections, according to Christian theology, align believers more closely with the divine through the act of confession.

It helps to foster personal growth, and humility, and fortify their fellowship with God.

While God bestows forgiveness as a divine gift upon believers, confession powerfully testifies to His endless mercy, highlighting the inseparable bond between forgiveness and confession in the narrative of the Christian faith.

Thus, reiterating the Christian belief in ongoing confession reminds us that our journey toward sanctification and personal growth in God is a lifelong endeavor, even as we embrace forgiveness.

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