One of the most comforting promises found in Scripture is the promise that God is faithful not only to forgive the sins of the sinner , but also to cleanse him from the uncleanliness of his sins. This promise of forgiveness, however, comes with a responsibility that many choose to disregard – a call to repentance. For many Christians, the confession of sin is a valid vindication either to happily continue in sin or to continually place themselves in situations where they know they will be tempted by sin. In Matthew 5:29, we are cautioned by Christ in this regard. Christ asserts that “if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown in hell.” But are we taking His words of caution seriously?
God clearly calls His children to repentance. In both the Old and New Testaments, God promises His children that their confession of sin will be followed by forgiveness if they repent of their sins and cast their sins aside, but His promise is twofold, for He assures His children that His wrath will be placed on the unrepentant. We are constantly commanded to repent. In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God admonishes His people to “turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin”. In the New Testament, we are counseled by Peter to “repent therefore, and turn again, that [our] sins may be blotted out” (Acts 3:19). We are not only reminded of our call to repentance, but also of the consequences of an unrepentant heart. In the Old Testament, we are warned that “if a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts” (Psalm 7:12,13). Again, in Hebrews 10:26,27, we are cautioned that “if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume”.
Christians should have a desire to confess their sins before a righteous God whom they have sinned against, but should they also not desire to repent of their sins and cast those sins aside? Should not we, as Christians, loathe the sin that seperates us from our Father and remove that sin from us? Should not the very sins that grieve our Father’s heart grieve ours also? The forgiveness of our sins is one of the many gifts that God has blessed us with, let us make it a gift that we cherish rather than abuse.