by Kevin Rutherford


Christians should not seek to excuse their sin.  We are required to obey God and sin will cause us to be lost (Hebrews 5:8, 9; 2 Peter 2:20-22). Christians should be those whose lives are characterized by the habit of righteousness rather than the habit of sin (1 John 3:4-9).  Though Christians are in the habit of doing the right thing, the Devil is constantly trying to get us to sin (1 Peter 5:8).  When we let our guard down he will be successful in using our lusts against us (James 1:13-15).  Christians do sin.  John wrote to Christians and told them any Christian who says he does not sin is a liar (1 John 1:8).

While Christians should not seek to excuse their sin, Christians should not be harder on themselves than God is.  God is willing to forgive Christians who sin.  How can Christians receive forgiveness of sins?  It is not by paying money to the church to buy forgiveness, nor is it by confessing one’s sin to a priest in a box.  On the other hand we will not receive forgiveness of sins by ignoring what we did and hoping it will just go away.

Simon was a Christian (Acts 8:13).  Simon sinned as a Christian (Acts 8:19, 20).  Simon was told, “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God If perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you (Acts 8:22).” Clearly repentance (turning away from the sin) and prayer (confession of the sin to God) are required for forgiveness.  John said, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).”

Christians need to have confidence in their confessions to God.  John said God is “faithful and just to forgive us our sins (1 John 1:9).”  Do we trust the promise of God with regard to our forgiveness?  We must!  Because of this trust in God we can “. . .come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).”  We can have the confidence that our merciful God will forgive those sins we have repented of and which we have confessed to Him.  And when God forgives us of those sins He makes it as if they never happened (Hebrews 10:17).