Part 10 of
A Place for Our Confession of Acts We May Hold as Being Sinful
A Continuation from Part 8… Is Confession of Sins Necessary in the Ongoing Life of the Christian?
3) There is also a place in the ongoing daily life of the Christian to acknowledge or tell the Lord he is sorry for some act of sinning that he has become conscious of – but, it is not necessary that we confess our sins in order to gain forgiveness of sins. This confession is to simply restore us to fellowship with the Lord.
The Lord still sometimes convicts us of our sins by a distressed sense we may have of Him within our spirit. This sense within is intended to turn our heart to Him that we may be restored to union with Him, to be our inner guide and Lord of our lives; then to follow the sense of His yes or no that we have by His indwelling life. The Lord convicts our heart to prompt us to turn to Him within as our indwelling life. By that restored union, we are guided and empowered to overcome the sin nature that tempts us from within our flesh.
That turning to the Lord is actually a sort repenting – “to repent” simply means to rethink or make a turn in direction. We were going our own way, ignoring the inner sense of restraint we may have from Him within us, now we return to follow the indwelling sense of His leading. Paul writes to the Galatians on this matter. Gal 5:25 Since we live (have His life) by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Gal 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Sometimes a believer’s consciousness is bothered, but not by the Lord or due to some sinful act, as such. Sometimes a believer is bothered by they’re own level of sensibilities or values gained by an experience or by religion’s erroneous influence, or by they’re parents training. It is by these that we acquire our sensibilities until the Lord shows us Himself alive within us as our living standard. By these beliefs that one may hold dear, they may become self-critical of they’re walk, or even self-condemned, so they might carry a burden that could hinder their fellowship with the Lord. Yet, that hindrance is from them, not from the Lord.
With this line of understanding we need to be considerate of such believers. We should not try to convince them to go against their own sensibilities, their held faith. We would do our best to all heed Paul’s words wherein he gives us an example of such a believer and how we are to respond to them. In Rom 14, Paul gives us an example of two kinds of believers.
- He that is “weak in the faith”(Rom 14:1) thinks he can not eat certain kinds of foods, and must observe holy days, and Sabbaths. He does not yet see that he is no longer under “the Law” (Rom 6:14)
- Romans 15:1 (KJV) We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. The stronger believer knows he can eat any food, per Paul in 1Tim 4:5, not needing to observe food the Mosaic restrictions, holy days, or to keep the 10th Commandment, the Sabbath, etc. Col 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. Gal 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free…
With this, Paul says he that is in liberty is the strong believer, but he should not lay his belief upon the weaker believer – lest he cause the weaker to violate his held faith, since that would be sin “to him” if he did go against his held faith. Paul tells us “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom 14:23).
Romans 14:14-16 (AMP) I know and am convinced (persuaded) as one in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is [forbidden as] essentially unclean (defiled and unholy in itself). But [none the less] it is unclean (defiled and unholy) to anyone who thinks it is unclean. 15 But if your brother is being pained or his feelings hurt or if he is being injured by what you eat, [then] you are no longer walking in love. [You have ceased to be living and conducting yourself by the standard of love toward him.] Do not let what you eat hurt or cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died! 16 Do not therefore let what seems good to you be considered an evil thing [by someone else]. [In other words, do not give occasion for others to criticize that which is justifiable for you.]So, a believer may have a sense of guilt for violating what he thinks is wrongful, to the point of troubling his fellowship with the Lord, though in fact it is not wrong doing. Paul says if we cause that one that is limited in his held faith to stumble by due to us exhibiting and tempting him with our liberty – we then are causing him to sin, which breaks his fellowship with the Lord. You see, if one violates his held faith, then it is sin to him. James 4:17 … to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. The words “to him” mean - not to everybody – just “him” who has a sensibility that this would be wrong. In this case it is not really sin according to the Lord, but one may sense this inner guilt for violating his own conscious sensibilities, violating what he holds as true for himself. We need to leave him alone. We can share as we are led of the Lord concerning the grace of the Lord, but we are not to try to push that one to see what we see of the liberty of the Lord; lest we cause him to stumble.