7.Iím Sorry

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Confessing Our Sins

When the Holy Spirit gives us a spirit of repentance, we will become aware of specific sins in our lives. God has promised to take our sins away. But it is very important that we acknowledge our sins.

How wonderful it is to know that God does not require us to perform acts of penance to pay for our sins. The price has been paid at Calvary. Jesus bore our sins on the cross. God's mercy is freely given to those who acknowledge their guilt.

We are to confess our sins to God, as He is the only one who has the power to forgive sins. Owning up to our personal responsibility for the sin frees us to accept the gift of pardon.

If we don't admit that we were wrong, then we're not really sorry for our sin. And if we're not sorry, we don't feel the need to be forgiven. We are actually blocking God from forgiving us because we are refusing to own up to our guilt.

God won't take our sins away from us against our will. He'll just take them when we give them to Him. That is the only way we will find true peace. The sole reason that our sins are not forgiven is that we are not willing to follow what the Bible tells us about confessing our sins.

God Knows Our Hearts

In our human opinion we may think that our sins are not so bad, but that the sins others do are terrible. But in God's eyes no sin is small. We may be disgusted with the drunk and prostitute but perhaps not even be aware of our pride, selfishness, or greed. But God reads the motives. God doesn't see things as we do. He knows everything.

Sometimes those who are the most debased feel their need and repent while the self-righteous and proud don't feel a need to repent. Pride is the most dangerous sin there is because when we are proud, we don't feel that we need a Savior. And then the heart is closed to hear God's voice. We can't afford to let that happen. We must let God speak to us so that He can show us our need of repentance.

Satan's Traps

There are two extremes of which you should beware. One is to think that your sins are so bad that God cannot forgive them. God has promised to forgive our sins. It might not make sense to us because we don't understand how He could forgive us when we've been so bad. But if He says He will do it, we must take Him at His Word. If we don't believe what He says, we're calling God a liar. The Bible is full of promises that tell us of God's willingness to forgive all of our sins.

On the other hand we need to be careful not to presume upon God's mercy. We should not think that because God is so loving and merciful that He will save us if we continue to reject His grace.

When men say that God is too good to cast off the sinner, let them look to Calvary. It was because there was no other way that Christ took the guilt of the disobedient and suffered in our place. The love, suffering, and death all prove how terrible sin is and that there is no other way to escape from its power but through submission to Christ.

Beware of comparing yourself to others, even those who may call themselves Christians. The faults of others are no excuse for your own faults. God has not given us a human pattern; Jesus is our Example.

Confessing Our Faults to Others

When we do something wrong to someone, we need to go to that person and admit that we were wrong. And then we should ask God to forgive us as well. When we hurt someone, we are hurting a child of God whom God loves very much. If we truly love God, we will love His children also. That's why it's so important to make things right with our fellow human beings.

A Meaningful Confession

When we confess our sins, whether it's a public or private confession, we should always be sincere. The admission of guilt should always be made freely without having to be urged. It should come from our hearts, motivated by a genuine sorrow for our sin. It shouldn't be made in a flippant or careless way. One shouldn't need to be forced to confess if he doesn't realize how horrible the sin is. It is only the confession that pours out of a repentant heart that reaches God's merciful heart. A broken and repentant heart is prepared to receive pardon.

True confession is always specific, acknowledging specific sins. If you wronged someone, go to him and confess the specific sin. Private sins should be confessed only before God. But acknowledge the sin of which you are guilty. Confession won't be acceptable to God without sincere repentance and reformation. Changes must be made in the life. Everything offensive to God must be put away. This will be the result of genuine sorrow for sin.

Excuses and Blaming Won't Do

Sin is very deceptive and it blinds our perceptions, so we don't realize how terrible it is. Only the Holy Spirit can help us see our true condition. Without the influence of the Holy Spirit, we tend to excuse our sins, blaming circumstances or the behavior of others as the cause. The spirit of self-justification originated in the father of lies and has been exhibited by all the sons and daughters of Adam. It's a natural inclination to want to blame someone or something else and not take full responsibility for the wrong we have done.

Confessions that include excuses and blame are not acceptable to God. True repentance leads a man to bear his guilt and acknowledge it without deception. Those who do acknowledge their guilt will be justified.

It is pride and feelings of self-righteousness that motivate us to excuse our sins. How foolish it is of us to try to cover our sins. We can never hide our sins from God. He sees and knows everything. By trying to justify ourselves, we make it impossible for God to justify us. We may think that it is humiliating to admit that we were wrong, but the stress of trying to prove that we are right will wear us down. How much better it is to confess our sins and let Jesus take them. What a relief we will experience when our guilt is completely gone.

Christ's Sacrifice Provides Pardon

The Bible gives us many examples of true repentance. A confession that includes an attempt at self-justification is not a true confession. When we experience a true spirit of repentance, we will have a heartfelt appreciation for the provision of pardon. The sacrifice of Christ on Calvary will become extremely meaningful to us because we understand the tremendous cost of forgiveness.

Let us thank God for the wonderful promise, "If we confess our sins. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9.