By Pastor Fred Gillett
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
-1 John 1:9
Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book The Cost of Discipleship, said, "Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."
When I posted this quote on Facebook, I received this question in response: "Fred, do you think that once you've confessed your sin to God, you should stop confessing and asking for forgiveness for the same sin over and over again because you know you have been forgiven after the first time you confessed it?"
The whole basis of being a believer in Jesus Christ is that we understand that God has forgiven our past sins at the moment we accepted the fact that Jesus died for our sins (anything that keeps us from thanking God for it). After conversion, the Holy Spirit continues to reveal sins in our lives and then, if we continue to confess our sins as they arise, that is the true test of our relationships with God and our abilities to put the past behind and better communicate with him.
I believe that, as we grow in Christ, we will realize and remove more and more of the things in this world that separate us from communing and connecting with our loving, forgiving Father.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that I need only to confess with a contrite heart and you are ready to forgive. Prompt me every time I sin and do the wrong thing. I want always to identify my wayward ways so that I may ask forgiveness and, once again, feel close to you. Amen.