Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Great Grace: Greatly Valued

33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33 NKJV


We've been in a study of God's great Grace over the last few months. We've seen His Grace is greater than all our failures and just how forgiven we are in Him. We have also addressed the issues of confession and repentance.

 When we address our total forgiveness in Him, It opens up more of the deep truths of our redemption in Him. One area I feel impressed to share today is our great value. Did you know just how valued you are to God?

 Look how Jesus described the World.
44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Matthew 13:44 NKJV

 We are that hidden treasure. God made man. Man fell. God so longed for the work of redemption to reconcile back His creation. In our Father's eyes, we were so valuable He paid for us by giving His Son.

 We are precious and adored in His sight. Our Father God rejoices over us with joy. If our Father God had a refrigerator in Heaven, believe it, your picture would be on the front of it. For God so loved the World He gave His only Son.

 Now, in our own eyes, we don't always feel so valuable. We look at our sins and shortcomings. We see our mistakes and misdeeds. We see our flaws. We know the struggles, the addictions, the wrong thinking we deal with. How can we be so valuable in His eyes? 

 Traditional religion is quick to compound these thoughts of inadequacies. They see sin and the mistakes of people. They conclude we are unworthy. We are not fit to stand in the presence of the King. We are unrighteous and unholy. They will continually point this "truth" out to us.

  Think of this. When are we considered holy? When I was in  Grace-free religion, I never saw myself as holy. I knew I was righteous by faith, but holy? Come on, I was struggling with sins. How could I be holy?

 If you visit average church "anywhere USA" or across the globe, you are more than likely to see a banner, hear a song, or a sermon teaching that we must pursue holiness. The implication is we are not currently holy. It's something to attain to, it's not our current state or reality.

 As usual, religious tradition misses a key point of redemption and the very nature of God. God is Holy and Just and Good. This means sinful, unholy, unrighteous spiritually dead ones cannot stand in His presence or abide in His Heaven. So what can we do? We were lost, we had no standing. Under the Old sacrificial system, the people were covered but still unable to stand in the presence of God. What has He done in the New?

 He has remade us new and perfectly righteous and acceptable. 
just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, Ephesians 1:4 NKJV
See this in another translation
Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before him covered with his love. Ephesians 1:4 TLB

 Think of this, before we could ever stand before Him in love, we would have to be already made holy and blameless in His sight. This means the moment we got saved we became perfectly holy and acceptable to God. 

 This isn't a temporal holiness either. This isn't a holiness that once bestowed can be tarnished and made unclean by our actions. If so, then this Jesus blood and Finished Work isn't much better than the blood of bulls and goats.

 In His Finished Work, He made us holy once for all time. Because of this, we can't identify as "saved sinners" or "sinners" saved by Grace. No, we were sinners and by Grace, we received perfect salvation and were remade righteous and holy before Him in love. So reject the notion that after you're saved you're still a sinner.

 When we identify with the risen Christ and who we are in Him we will walk in victory and true freedom. Think of it, Jesus was in all points tempted as we but didn't sin, here. Now Jesus wasn't tempted with sin the verb but sin the noun. Why?

 Jesus was not born spiritually separated. He was tempted or rather proven and tested that He was pure and spotless and perfect. He had to be in order to be our perfect sacrifice for our sins. He had no sin or fallen nature. Therefore, The temptation wasn't an enticement to sin based upon a desire within. Also, Jesus didn't have a desire to commit wrong but through willpower resisted it. That isn't a true victory. True freedom is not having the desire at all. 

 30 I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; John 14:30 NASB

 The enemy had nothing in common with Jesus, He had nothing in Him. No sin nature, no fallen state. Think of this, because of the Finished Work we also are remade new. Perfectly holy, acceptable, righteous and forgiven. Don't listen to the tradition of men that says we still possess a sin nature. We are new creations. 

 Therefore, we too can say the enemy has nothing in us. As Jesus is, so are we in this World. The risen Christ abides within us. In our perfect union with Christ, we partake of His divine nature. All the World, the flesh (old thinking from that old man), and the enemy can do is try to put something on you. Those sins and temptations aren't from the real you. You're holy and righteous. Identify with your new nature, your new right standing, and who Jesus perfectly made you and walk in victory and triumph over sin and addictions. 

 In summation, we are highly valued. He made us new and perfectly holy. See yourself as God sees you. The old has gone and the new has come. We are forever in Him, righteous and accepted and totally forgiven. God isn't mad at you or disappointed in you. You are loved and highly favored and of extreme worth and value do not let anyone take away this truth from you. 
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Great Grace: True Repentance

33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33 NKJV

We've been in an extended study of God's great Grace. As of late, we've been examining the implications of the complete and total forgiveness His great Grace procured for us in the Finished Work. We've seen how forgiven we are in Christ. We've addressed the issue of broken fellowship if we sin and the confession of sins for the believer.

 As we began digging deep into the truth of total forgiveness in Christ, past present and future, we also had to tackle this issue of what exactly happens when we sin. The New Covenant has an answer for this but so does religious tradition. We've been dealing with this traditional checklist and revealing the light of New Covenant truth over the concepts of men, here to review the checklist).

 Over the recent weeks, we've answered these concepts in light of Grace. Today, I want to deal with this issue of repentance. I then want to reveal the New Covenant "checklist" for when a believer sins.

 Now if you're a regular reader, you know I've addressed this topic of repentance before, here and here. Yet, it still bears going over this topic again. If you turn on Christian Television or radio you will constantly have this religious checklist about your sin taught in some fashion.   

Repentance: Cease and desist?

 This is one of the major definitions that is subtly added to this word repentance. Should we cease and desist from sin and wrong choices and destructive behavior? This is an obvious truth. Why would we want to pursue self-destructive behavior and choices which we know are unprofitable?

 That being said and understood, it doesn't justify altering the definition of repentance. You see, ministers and believers observe the poor choices of others. They want them to cease because of the end results are so unprofitable. In their zeal, some have created a definition of repentance to mean cease and desist from all negative activity. What is the problem with this?

 The problem is one, that is not the Biblical definition of repentance. Two, it often times strips away the security and assurance of the believer. How so?

 I've sat through many holiness styles of preaching years ago. In their zeal to curb sin, they would seem to suggest if you didn't repent you weren't really forgiven. Even if you went down to the altar and "confessed and repented" with tears streaming down your face and fists striking your chest and head hung low in shame you weren't really promised forgiveness for your sin. Have you actually ceased from this sin? If you have "purposefully" sinned or have repeated this action, then the teaching was you hadn't actually repented. 

 With this mindset, where is the assurance that God had forgiven you and isn't holding your sins against you? As a young believer, in my struggles with temptation, I often sensed that because I had repeatedly committed the same sin God was so sorely displeased and disappointed in me. I had let God down. Would He forgive me? The sense of forgiveness and total acceptance was never a sure thing especially since the holiness style preachers would send the subtle message that it was kinda iffy and folk was on an unsteady ground if they kept sinning the same sin. I've actually heard a holiness preacher declare if we persist in the same sin God has no obligation to forgive us.

 Repentance, does it mean to cease and desist? No, this hijacked definition by tradition is a weaponization of this word that creates a barrier between God and His people. It stirs within the minds of believers that they are unacceptable and unwelcome in God's sight. The truth is all sin is willful and purposeful. Sadly, we do at times get caught in a cycle, where we repeat the same sin. What we must understand is His Grace is greater than all our sins and failures. He has already forgiven us all our transgressions and failures. He knew we would commit the same sins repeatedly, and yet He still called us, chose us, redeemed us, cleansed us, made us righteous and acceptable without blame before His Father. 

Repentance: To Turn Around?

 This seems to be one of the most predominate definitions of repentance. When you're involved in sin, you need to cease and desist and turn and go the opposite way. Again, if you haven't turned in the other direction figuratively speaking then you haven't sincerely repented. If you haven't sincerely repented, then it's uncertain if God has forgiven you or not. 

 This "cease and desist" and turn the other way concept has similar consequences. It robs the believer of their full assurance of forgiveness and right standing. Now the scripture that tradition uses to establish these ideas of repentance is found in Acts.
 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance Acts 26:20 NKJV
 This passage is actually full of good news. Leave it to tradition to misunderstand this beautiful passage. This passage gives us the true definition of repentance. It clearly distinguishes between repentance and the act of turning towards something better. See this passage more clearly in another translation.
20 I began telling people that they should change their hearts and lives and turn to God and do things to show they really had changed. I told this first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem, and in every part of Judea, and also to the other people. Acts 26:20 NCV

 Here we better see the definition of repentance. He is talking about the lost changing their minds and turning to God instead of their own works, efforts, and false religions to bring about salvation. So is repentance a total ceasing of wrong behavior? Is it to turn and go the opposite way? Is it even feeling sorrowful for our actions? 

 Repentance in the Scripture is from the Greek word Metanoia. Thayer's Greek dictionary defines it this way:
1) a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done

 Repent simply means to change one's mind. In the Old Covenant, we find places where God changed His mind. Was He turning around? Was He ceasing from sin? Was He being sorrowful of wickedness He had committed? No, He simply changed His mind.

 So in light of all these New Covenant truths what is the Grace checklist when we sin?
1. We sin a sin
2. We experience a sense of regret or guilt.
3. God already knows when we miss it, He isn't taken by surprise, He is not outraged, angry, or falling off His throne in disbelief. He isn't charging this sin against us because Jesus already paid the price in full. 
4. We, therefore, run to God, not from Him.
5. God with arms open wide is always there with love and forgiveness and total restoration.
6. We repent of our sin or wrong choice, meaning we change our minds about that behavior and simply agree with God, that this behavior is sinful, it isn't profitable. We acknowledge our sin, and then acknowledge it has been already forgiven in Christ.
7. The Spirit convicts us of our righteousness. He reminds of who we are and whose we are. He reminds us of our righteousness in Him and the fact we are new creations. This action or behavior isn't becoming of who we really are. 
8. The realization of our true identity and our right standing and total forgiveness propels us to continue unabated in our pursuit of His will, plan, and purpose for our lives and our loving relationship with our good Father.
9. If we, by our choices, somehow caused another to be missing or broken in some area, in love and humility and free from guilt and shame we do our best to make amends. 

 Now nowhere in the New Covenant is there a place for burdensome guilt, for shame, for condemnation to eat away at you because of your failures and addictions and sins. This is great Grace. It is undeserving, unmerited, impossible to earn or achieve, favor goodness and love. 

 To summarize, there never should be any burdensome guilt, shame or condemnation tolerated for the child of God, even when we sin or fall short. There is no extra punishment or payment rendered on our part when we falter. There is no broken fellowship with our Father. There is no confession to obtain a forgiveness the blood already purchased. There is no turnaround or else order given. Jesus paid it all in the Finished Work.

 As our good Father, when we fall short He is there for us. He teaches us, He instructs us, He corrects us because He loves us. Yes, His great Grace will even "step on our toes" when we fall. He reminds us, hey you're better than this. You were made for so much more. Jesus has so much better for you. His correction directs our steps. When He is correcting us, it is done in Fatherly love and compassion that is completely free from shame and condemnation. God is never rubbing our nose in our mess. 

He loves us even in the midst of our worst state. Though we may feel isolated and forsaken because of our sins, our Father has never left us, He is always there bringing truth, love, mercy, and restoration. God isn't looking upon us with crossed arms in disappointment, the truth is our sins aren't letting God down. God upholds us with His mighty right hand of righteousness. We are forever forgiven, saved and secure in our Father's hands, this is what produces triumphant, victorious, fruitful living in Christ. 
Image courtesy of manostphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Great Grace: Broken Fellowship?

33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33 NKJV

We have been in an extended study of the great Grace of God. We have seen His Grace is greater than failure, and that because of Christ's Finished Work we are forever forgiven. In our last post, we addressed the controversial issue of confession of sins.

 Today we are going to continue looking at this what happens when we sin checklist tradition has created. In review, it was simply saying when we sin we must pay for our sins or there is some type of punishment for our sins. We are also not in right standing and need to get "right" with God. We then are out of fellowship with God, until we confess our sins and repent of them. This checklist is man's idea of what happens when we sin. 

"Get right with God"?

 This phrase reveals one is failing to grasp the New Covenant. When we are born again we are in perpetual right standing with Almighty God. In the Finished Work, we exchanged our unrighteousness with Christ and received His perfect righteousness. When we blow it we don't need to get right with God. We are already right with Him.  For further study on this point see here

Broken Fellowship?

  Today, I want to address this traditional stronghold of broken fellowship when we sin. This concept suggests that when we sin, God cannot have any fellowship with us. Many will say we are still saved but our fellowship with God is disrupted or broken until we repent and confess our sins. 

 In the Scriptures, we can find this word fellowship used fourteen times. Not in one single passage is this concept taught. Not a solitary verse suggests that if a believer sins God walks away from Him. No verse suggests that if we blow it God steps back until we fess up our wrong. So where did this stronghold begin? 

 Again, we go back to the first chapter of the first epistle of John. We can see clearly how this misunderstood passage creates many concepts that undermine the truths of the New Covenant. What do I mean?
            16 “This is the new covenant I will make
    with my people on that day, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
    and I will write them on their minds.”
17 Then he says,
“I will never again remember
    their sins and lawless deeds.”

18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices. Hebrews 10:16-18 NLT 
 This is the New Covenant. If He isn't remembering our sins anymore why is He breaking away from us when we blow it? Look at the passage in 1 John 1 here
 If we look at these verses we can readily see the disconnect. 
...that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3b NKJV
What is John saying and who is he addressing? He is acknowledging the good we have in Christ. We who are saved have fellowship with the Father. He is giving an invitation for those outside of this fellowship to come and partake of it.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 1 John 1:6 NKJV
This passage is the source religious tradition misapply to create this erroneous concept of broken fellowship when we sin. The misunderstanding comes from attributing this passage to Christians. Look at the context. John is giving an invite to partake of this beautiful fellowship we have with Father God. Who is he talking to? He is talking to these Gnostic unbelievers. Understand, they didn't believe sin existed. If there is no sin, there is no need for a Savior. So this passage makes more sense when we understand the context and audience. The Gnostics believed in higher knowledge. Though they were lost they believed because they had achieved higher knowledge they were in fact in fellowship with God. 

 John revealed to them if we say we have this fellowship yet aren't saved we are in reality walking in darkness, we lie and don't have the truth. This walking in darkness is a reference even Paul used to describe and contrast the saved and the lost. So John is saying if we walk in the light (be born again) we have fellowship with the family of God and with God Himself and the blood perpetually cleansing us. 

 The disconnect is when we attribute this passage to believers. The concept begins by saying when we sin we are then walking in darkness. Then we are in deception thinking we have fellowship. But that is not what is being taught here. It is referencing a lost person. When we sin we are still in right standing. We as believers are always in the light because of the gift of His righteousness.

 Hebrews 13 also shuts this concept down. He said He will never leave or forsake or abandon us, here.  Never would include even when we sin. So when we sin will we lose fellowship? The answer is a clear no. This is a made up concept of tradition. Having God beside us even in our worst state is what will shake us from the bondage of sin.

Turning one over to satan?

 I felt it good and well to address this passage in this post. It goes well with the theme. If our sins don't separate us or bring about the loss of fellowship, why then did Paul turn a person over to satan? 
deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:5 NKJV
It would seem this passage pokes a hole in the no loss of fellowship when we sin view. Actually, it doesn't. What does this difficult passage actually suggest? Is it teaching the loss of salvation? Is it teaching broken fellowship?

 If we can see it in simplicity it actually makes sense. What Paul is dealing with was a man engaged a seriously disturbing sexual sin that even the lost disapproved of. This was tarnishing the witness of the Corinthian church. This issue was being addressed but the person insisted on pursuing this sin. What to do?

 A believer won't lose their salvation when they keep sinning the same sin. But if they persist in pursuing a destructive path, sometimes we just have to let them. In other words, if we find someone extremely persistent in sin and going down a path and no matter the love, the compassion and goodness showed, they still wish to pursue this sin, eventually we just have to turn them over to experience their own destruction. For example, the spouse who persists in adultery. Eventually, divorce, marred reputation, and broken trust of their children is the result. Though the person is saved the destruction experienced could have been avoided. Now God was always there with them. They could have turned from this path at any time and God was right there with arms open wide. 

 In a simpler explanation, Paul is saying the man was going down a path and we have tried to rescue him from this path but he refused, so go ahead and follow this path to its bitter end. The turning over to satan, is simply saying allow the person to experience all the consequences of sin because in the end the spirit is still saved. 

 To sum it all up, when we sin we don't experience some form of broken fellowship. What can occur is condemnation attacking our minds. Though we aren't actually separated or experiencing a literal breaking of fellowship, our mind and emotions may feel like it is occurring. Sin sometimes shakes our confidence. It is never God bringing these feelings. This is why it is essential always to run to God not hide from Him when we miss it. Think of this. Before you were saved, He knew each and every sin you'd ever commit and He still called you and received you unto Himself. When you accepted the free gift of Grace, He gave you His righteousness, forgiveness, eternal security and the gift of no condemnation. Nothing we do will surprise or catch Him off guard. He will never leave, abandon or forsake you.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Great Grace: What About the Confession of Sin?

33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Acts 4:33 NKJV

We've been in an ongoing study detailing the great Grace of Almighty God. We have seen His Grace is greater than our failures. His great Grace has freed us from the observance of Old Covenant rituals and brings us out of performance rooted religion and has forever forgiven us of our sin. Today, I want to continue looking at our forever forgiveness in Christ.

 Now you may be saying, brother, we have heard all this from you before. We read about His Grace, our forgiveness in Christ, our righteousness, and our eternally secure salvation constantly on your posts. Got anything new? Let God's Word respond to this objection.
 Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it Hebrews 2:1 NRSV
We must consistently feed on the truth of God's Grace and His work in our lives less at anytime we lose sight of Grace and revert back to self-efforts and performance. That is why we share these marvelous truths of our perfect redemption Grace purchased for us.

 In our last study, we began detailing our forgiveness in Him. We also looked at the religious checklist that men created to deal with personal sin. To sum it up, it is basically when we sin, there is a penalty or punishment coming to us. God can't fellowship with us until we repent, (defined as to turn around, to cease the action), and confess the sin. 

 Now, this "punishment" differs depending upon what denominational background you have. Usually, it centers around God not answering your prayers. Or that you're temporarily unable to access a portion of His favor or receive any blessing in your life. In Charismatic/Faith circles it could mean God won't bring you financial prosperity or you won't receive your healing. 

 What they can't grasp is the two-fold issue this view creates. First, it discounts the perfect price Jesus paid for our sins, see here. This means Jesus already paid for all sins. He already bore the punishment for sins in His body on the tree. He paid the price once for all time;
12 but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, Hebrews 10:12 NASB
We shouldn't let religion dishonor and discount the once-for-all all perfect sacrifice Christ paid for our sins by accepting some man-made guilt concept where we also must pay for our sins. Holding to a concept where we must also receive some form of punishment for our sins is, in reality, saying God isn't satisfied with Christ's once for all sacrifice for sins.

Second, it places the burden of receiving answers to prayer, favor, any blessing or healing upon our perfect performance, conduct, and actions. In essence, we orchestrate our own healing or redemption. If we could actually do this, why do we even need Jesus or His Finished Work? (For the religious and foolish-minded, certainly, sin carries natural consequences and makes for a miserable and fruitless way to live.)

Confession of sin, is it for the Believer?

Now that we addressed the "punishment" aspect of sin, let's address the confession of sin. What about the confession of sins in order to be forgiven of sin? Is it His blood or our apologies that bring forgiveness?

 Imagine if you will, a newly converted believer living in an oppressive nation where Christianity is outlawed. Imagine a nation known for persecuting Christians. Now, what if this new believer were only given sections, one at a time of the New Testament? Over the period of let's say a year, he received the four gospels, Acts, all of Paul's Epistles to include the Book of Hebrews, Peter's two Epistles, and James and Jude. He had not yet received John's Epistle or the Book of Revelation. Would this new believer then find a passage instructing him to confess his sins in order to receive forgiveness?

 The answer is a resounding no! This makes the hairs on the back of our necks stand up. We get a sense of astonishment and then a strong sense of concern. This is borderline heresy in most circles. This is downright blasphemy to some. 

 Confession of sins is a practice we see in the Old Covenant. See here and here and here. Yet these confessions weren't what brought forgiveness, it was the sacrifices they had offered to the Priests. In essence, what we see occurring in these instances were people simply acknowledging their misdeeds, and failures, and sins. 

 It is the same in this New Covenant. It isn't our apologies that bring forgiveness it is only perfect shed blood that purchases forgiveness of sins. 
22 In fact we can say that under the old agreement almost everything was cleansed by sprinkling it with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22 TLB
So confession of sins, is it for the Believer? That depends on your understanding of confession of sin. Do we confess our sins in order to receive forgiveness? No, this confession is not for the Believer. However, if you define confession of sins in the sense of acknowledging our failure or misdeeds, and simply agreeing with what God said about them then that is acceptable for the Believer.

 Heresy, false teaching! Some may be crying out. Hold it now. What did Paul say that confirmed Jesus' own words? He said in the mouth of two or three witnesses will something be established, here. Now in this New Covenant can you find two or three places where the Word instructs us to confess our sins, in order to receive forgiveness of our sins? The answer is a resounding no. 

 The problem is we have this stronghold in our minds involving 1 John 1:9. It is not that the Word is wrong and is a stronghold but the religious misapplication of this passage is. John was teaching the Church about the Gnostics that had infiltrated the Church and denied that sin existed. If sin doesn't exist then what need is there for a Savior? John is evangelically speaking here and telling them to acknowledge their sin and agree with what God says about their deeds (they were indeed sinful) and that He offers once for all forgiveness through Jesus shed blood. 

 Yet religious tradition resists this interpretation. They insist this passage is for the Christian just in case they sin after conversion. You see what the results of denying and discounting future sins being forgiven are? Before salvation, all your sins were dealt with by the Blood of Jesus at Calvary. After conversion, the forgiveness of your sins are left up to you to ensure you confess each and every one of them or you will find yourself having unforgiven sin on your "spiritual account". 

 There is a major concern this type of teaching seemingly ignores. It goes back to their man-made checklist. They redefined the punishment for sin. Recall, it was unanswered prayer, and God breaking fellowship with you. Problem is that is man's definition of the punishment of sin. It isn't God's. The wages of sin is one thing and one thing only. Spiritual death. 

This means if our future sins aren't already forgiven by the shed blood, then when we sin we must then be partaking of spiritual death over and over again until we confess our sins. What if we forget to confess? Well, don't fret religion created a loophole. They say well the Blood covers you until you confess it. So wait, is the sin forgiven or not? Oh, it is just covered? Wait, isn't that how God dealt with sin in the Old? What this proves is tradition lacks serious understanding of the New Covenant. 

 They go through these mental gymnastics and blending portions of the Old and New together in order to combat what they see as a concept that gives people a "license to sin". If future sins are already forgiven and there is no need to confess in order to receive forgiveness then what is stopping us from pursuing lust? 

 So they created this concoction of Old and New Covenant style redemption. Where we are forgiven in installments. Where after conversion, God's method of forgiveness shifts away from the once for all sacrifice of Jesus perfect shed blood to our up to date apologies. 

 What some religious folk fails to grasp is that the use of 1 John 1:9 has become a ritualistic "bar of soap", for some cleaning them up when we fail. This can become a "license" for some. Some in religious circles realize this. This is when it gets real harsh. They begin espousing teachings that even if you confess your sins it is potentially possible that forgiveness will allude you because you may not be sincerely remorseful. Or they say you may be sinning the same sin once too often. Confessing that sin you habitually engage in, runs the risk of you breaking the "Grace limit" and thus God choosing not to forgive you. 

 Some religious leaders set themselves up as God's spiritual accountants doling out His forgiveness as they seem fit. Often times this forgiveness is withheld because the sincerity of your sorrow, regret, and penitent attitude for your sin comes into question. They will finally bestow this forgiveness upon a believer when in their eyes they have satisfactorily shown sincere regret and remorsefulness for their sins and transgression. 

These concepts are pure rubbish and need to be tossed aside in the waste bin! These ideas are a disregard of the Finished Work and New Covenant. Confession of sins? If we understand we don't confess sins in order to be forgiven, but simply as an acknowledgment of our misdeeds, there isn't an issue. In fact, it is good and healthy to come to God when we miss it. Concealment only feeds the problem. Exposing our whole life to Christ is what brings freedom. The truth is it also reveals to us just how much He loves us. He sees and knows of all our flaws and faults and habits and addictions and still sees as holy, righteous and eternally saved and secure. Remember His word;

18 And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices. Hebrews 10:18 NLT
When we realize we are forever forgiven we can walk with God our Father, honoring the great and wonderful sacrifice of Jesus. We honor and revere that precious shed blood. It isn't our apologies, our commitments to fulfill spiritual disciplines or our promises to do better in the future that bring us righteousness, forgiveness and eternal redemption. It is only His precious shed blood.