Confess Seventy times Seven ( by Carley Evans )

I’ve had interesting, sometimes frustrating discussions with two or three Christians over the past several years about whether or not Christians continue to commit sins after being reborn into the faith. One of these persons I consider a dear friend, although we have alarmingly different views of what God does in our lives. Another I gave up as an acquaintance on Facebook – something I’d never done before or since – because of constant insults – and the last is someone who apparently gave up on me. The only one of the three with whom I made a huge mistake is the second. Never turn away from a fellow believer, says our Lord. Well, that’s not entirely true, is it? Paul and Jesus command us to avoid the person who refuses to repent when confronted first privately and only later, publicly.

So, the question becomes: do we always obey God? Are we perfected immediately upon being sealed with God, the Holy Spirit?

Yes, it is true God gives us a new life, and He provides power. And if we avail ourselves of that power consistently, then it does follow logically that we would stop sinning completely. However, I believe scripture teaches us that we do not always allow God’s power to fully work in our day to day existence. Sometimes, we cater to our own desires. Sometimes we do not flee our adversary who entangles us so easily in sin, if you believe the Word of God anyway.

If this is not true, then why does James tell us to “confess [our] sins to each other and pray for each other so that [we] may be healed?” (James 5:16, NIV)

Why does James tell us not to “grumble against each other, brothers” if we do not at times deliberately step into sin? Why does he speak at length about the fire our tongues unleash if our tongues are not used to sin against each other? Why does he tells us “not to slander one another?” (James 4:11) Why does he warn us not to “speak against [our] brother or judge him?” (James 4:11) Why does he warn us not to boast about our plans to “carry on business and make money?” (James 4:13) Why does Paul rebuke the church at Corinth in regards to sins even pagans do not commit? Why does he rebuke those who call for circumcision? Why does he rebuke those who treat the communion table as a buffet? Remember, Paul is speaking to Christians, not to unbelievers.

“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” (James 4:17)

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

“Everything that does not come from faith is sin.” (Romans 14:23)

Peter asks Jesus how many times must he forgive his brother who sins against him, “Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21) Of course, Jesus responds, “Not seven times, but seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:22)


14 thoughts on “Confess Seventy times Seven ( by Carley Evans )

  1. Debbie says:

    Carley – Here’s my confession. I’ve been ‘saved’ for a long, long time and I’m pretty sure I haven’t even had a sinless day, let alone a sinless life. God, who knows the poor condition of my heart, has in His grace, forgiven all my sins – but that doesn’t mean I’m not a sinner. I’m a sinner saved by grace and only through His grace can He see me as sinless.
    Wow – there was a lot of sin in that paragraph. And that’s not the half of it! You can put me right there with Paul – chief among sinners.
    Thank you for accepting me anyway.

  2. mtsweat says:

    Great words, Carley. I may be able to trump you, Debbie, and Paul… I’m not so sure I can find an hour. I think the greatest problem is an inability to recognize just how sinful we are, how holy our God is, and how desperately needed was Jesus’ sacrifice. To come to grips with the reality that Jesus loved His Father with all His heart, mind, soul, and body, is tough to grasp, because that is the requirement of us. Only He does that, and because He did and does, we can be clothed in His righteousness. May God never see us… only Jesus. God bless.

  3. loopyloo305 says:

    Sin is built in to our physical bodies, Jesus died for our sins, but He took them upon himself. The only way we can be totally without sin is to be reborn when He returns. The old us dies and is reborn with the Holy Spirit, but until this physical body dies, it retains the ability to sin, being forgiven is different than being without. The only one without sin is Jesus Himself!

    • lambskinny says:

      Super well put, Patricia! Amen! Now, this is not to celebrate that we continue to sin! Rather this is to celebrate the great and undeserved gift of salvation from our Lord and King, Jesus Christ. Thanks, Carley

  4. SPTP2011 says:

    Good points to ponder
    Judgement and strife in our lives – well – we know where these thoughts come from –
    Patience, acceptance, forgiveness come from the Jesus example and are those feeling are always Spirit led
    May we all allow God’s power to work in our lives and be led toward the plan He has for our unique journey.
    Prayers for your day

  5. We are definitely sinners saved by grace. I agree with all of the above comments! We need to confess daily and accept our Lord’s forgiveness and ask for His strength to keep from sinning. We are acceptable to God through Jesus because we can never be perfect. The “old” body is alive and well, unfortunately!

  6. lambskinny says:

    Thank you, Drusilla. God is so good! Carley

  7. I feel the same about sin. We do everyday but of course to a lesser degree than b-4 we were saved. The Holy Spirit guides us and intercedes for us. He dwells within us forever. I love the forever part. I have felt recently I have sinned because of my disorders. I just became manic and finally realized it. Then I said this has happened b-4 and I did not see it. So I have to trust the Lord to not let me ever fall that far into my disabilities again. I totally believe he is there for me. I think he gave me a wake up call.

  8. lambskinny says:

    God bless you, Jeff. Carley

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