“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Psalm 32:1-5.
“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:8-9.
“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:13-14.
The power of confession is amazing. When we, as Christians, sin God offers us a way cleanse us from all the unrighteousness through confession. Through the blood of Jesus shed on the cross and our faith in Him, we have forever been removed from the penalty of sin but we also can confess our sins that we commit after salvation and obtain cleansing and restoration of our fellowship with God. Confession is defined as an admission, declaration, or acknowledgment. We acknowledge our wrong-doing and turn from it in repentance. To fail to confess after sinning leads to David’s description of himself in Psalm 32 with God’s hand “heavy” upon us in conviction about our sins and eventual discipline (Hebrews 12:6).
Often we do not take the power and truth of confession and forgiveness to heart. Although we acknowledge God forgives sins, we feel like He must be disappointed with us, as we all too often fail, but this is not true at all. I am currently reading a book on prayer, “A Praying Life”, by Paul Miller and he makes the point that God looks on us as we would our children when it comes to our our prayer life and Christian walk in general. We are wobbling and unsteady at times but He is excited when we show progress, however small, just as we are with our children’s first steps. Mr. Miller makes the point that God calls all those who are weary and heavy-laden to rest (Matthew 11:28) not those who have it all together. He well-knows our fleshly frame that we are burdened with so He does not have unreasonable expectations and He is rooting us on to become the persons he beforehand determined us to be (Ephesians 2:10).
The “Believer’s Bible Commentary” puts it this way when discussing John 1:9, “The forgiveness John speaks about here is parental, not judicial. Judicial forgiveness means forgiveness from the penalty of sins, which the sinner receives when he believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. It is called judicial because it is granted by God acting as Judge. But what about sins which a person commits after conversion? As far as the penalty is concerned, the price has already been paid by the Lord Jesus on the cross of Calvary. But as far as fellowship in the family of God is concerned, the sinning saint needs parental forgiveness, that is, the forgiveness of His Father. He obtains it by confessing his sin. We need judicial forgiveness only once; that takes care of the penalty of all our sins—past, present, and future. But we need parental forgiveness throughout our Christian life.”
As with our own children, when we come to God sincerely confessing our sins, He will lovingly forgive us and happily restore us to fellowship with Him. What a comfort to a poor sinner like me. We are called to a live a holy life as Christ lived (I Peter 1:16), the expectations are high, but God understands the fallen nature that we struggle with and, although He never excuses sin, looks on with pride as we take baby steps forward, falling down and getting up, falling down and getting up. Our Father in Heaven loves us and as a parent is watching us each day with excited expectation.