So I recently replied to someone who wrote “God isn’t demanding you repent”, and it seemed they were implying repentance isn’t needed and really not even appropriate after you begin to follow Christ.
I didn’t agree and wrote the following below. What are your thoughts?
I think you have victory over sin in mind. That is certain, but let us not become disillusioned and lose perspective of our mortality (1 Corinthians 13:12). By forgetting sin altogether, we lose accountability, forsake vulnerability as we become hardened in our heart to defend His love for us.
It is cleansing to your heart and soul to say aloud you are sorry. Saying sorry to the person offended is cleansing and humbling too. Confession is a release. If I don’t confess something that is weighing on my heart, I know that “sin” can eat me up and hold me captive. I think there is power in confessing something to someone you trust. Jesus paid for all of our sins: past, present and future, but even after we are saved we still do sin but we are not a slave to it anymore. For me confession is more like “hey God, I screwed up and I’m sorry” it also means apologizing to those I hurt. I think it is mostly a growth thing as in you start to realize sooner and sooner when you have or are fixing to screw up.
Now you imagine if you did not confess your sins to your wife, she would not be ok with it, though she loves you. Accountability is important, and repentance is that, it is not fear-submission but acceptance of our humanity. Your wife needs to hear you say you’re sorry if you mess up, but imagine if you did not do that, your wife may develop holes in the relationship from a lack of accountability.
The problem that develops over time with a lack of repentance is the tendency to repeat our sinful life and over time harder to justify self-control, because if He loves us unconditionally, what is stopping us from pursuing every pleasure? Now you might say because if you seek God then its ok, but if we seek God and we know his heart, we know he abhors sin, so how can we sin and not say anything to him?
Now you are a Pastor, and it seems evident you seek God, but not all have the same degree of fire that is refining them, and Grace given you may not be the same given to another as each have varying levels of belief and maturity that allow them to work in greater freedom but for the flock who hear such things, they are lead to believe a very different picture about sin and value of Christ’s death. A life in Christ becomes harder when one is lead to believe there are no consequences in the relationship with Christ for sinning.
We do not know where we come from, where we are going, our lives lose structure, and our lives stop being a story but a false sense of God loving us more to cover more of our intentional sins. We lose control of our own selves (Proverbs 25:28), even if our intention is to follow God, by mixing it with sin and lack of repentance we can lose our salvation. (Matthew 7:22) Additionally we undo the self-control we develop as early christians (Luke 9:23).
If somebody isn’t confessing their sins to one another, they’re acting, they become more fake to the world. Over time we become less accepting of the outside world because they do not accept us and they became more aggressive in their effort to receive acceptance. But Christ said the answer is Love one another, not Lord over one another (1 Peter 5:3) (Matthew 5:9), which is what happens when we use God’s righteousness to neglect all our wrongdoing against one another and toward Him. But Love means having accountability before God and before men. And Accountability comes through being vulnerable, “I’m sorry”.