Sometimes we confess our sins, but we don’t always repent.
Confession is when we admit sin to ourselves, another person, or even God. We acknowledge that we have committed the sin, but if we don’t take an active part in removing ourselves from the atmosphere that caused the temptation in the first place, confession then simply becomes an act of vanity or false humility. When this happens, we are almost surely tempted again regarding the same issue and open ourselves up to repeat the mistake.
Repentance is deep sorrow for the sin we have committed, and a desire to never do it again because we know it is displeasing to God.
Confession without true repentance will also cause us to feel as if the sin still counts against us. This is because it is an incomplete admittance. It’s a “wink and a nod” acceptance of God’s grace in the event that we decide to commit the sin again during a moment of great temptation.
I am convinced that the enemy does not want us to understand the consequences of repentance; because once we grasp the meaning we begin to grasp God’s eternal love for us and understand the true meaning of redemption. Once we understand redemption, the devil will no longer be able to remind us of our past. We won’t be hindered and burdened in our faith walk.
When we repent, we turn away from the sin and toward Christ. The act of turning away is a conscious effort of obedience in not only admitting the sin but purposing in our hearts not to commit it again, or place ourselves in the same circumstance that caused us to be tempted in the first place. Repentance allows us to accept the love and forgiveness of Christ so that our relationship with the Father is unhindered. Once this happens, not only is the sin forgiven, but we never want to return to it (or what caused us to do it) because that place of unhindered relationship is so fulfilling and precious! We have replaced the temporary pleasure of the sin with the eternal fulfillment of communion with the Father!
We can’t see the sin behind us because we are focusing on the Christ before us!
A Christian never reaches a place where they are not affected by sin. (Read Romans 7:14-25). We have a sinful nature. But in Christ there is forgiveness and redemption. The only requirement is a heart that is willing to repent.
Job 11:14-15 (NIV)
14 if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
15 then, free of fault, you will lift up your face;
you will stand firm and without fear.