Q & A
I don’t understand why some people make such a big deal about past sins. It seems like they’re the ones who just can’t forgive. Since all our sins are forgiven by the blood of Christ, why can’t they just forgive and forget?
The Bible is clear that the blood is available to all Christians, but it only becomes our cleansing when we confess and repent of our sins. 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Confession is made not only to God but to each other, and that confession of sins is healing not only to the innocent victim, but also to the perpetrator: "Confess your sins to one another that you might be healed" (James 5:16). In "Continuous Revival" Norman Grubb defines repentance as hatred toward our sin and a turning from it (p. 31). He goes on to say, "Where sin is seen as sin and confessed as such, the blood is also seen to be the blood…but the blood never cleanses excuses–sin called by some more polite name!" The Holy Spirit reveals unconfessed sin to us. The guilt from this sin will not be relieved unless the sin is dealt with as instructed by God. Furthermore, sin cost Jesus His life and it kills us. God has a remedy for it and won’t accept any way to freedom other than the one he has made clear in the Bible.
When I kept trying and failing to live a right life, I experienced all kinds of condemnation for not living up to the standards in the Bible. The Bible says in 2 Cor. 3:6 that "The letter kills" (referring to the Law), and in Galatians 3:24, that "the Law was our school-master to bring us to Christ." I am fearful of getting under the bondage of self-effort again. If Jesus fulfilled the Law, what is my part in living a life that is pleasing to God?
Put simply, "law" is defined as "the way a thing works." It is not the law that kills but Satan’s misuse of us in relation to the law–him telling us we can and must keep it (Rom. 7:11). When I trust that it is Christ living and that I’m not just an "alone I" but I am Christ/I, then it is Christ in and through me that keeps His law and fulfills His doctrine perfectly.
You are right about the failure to keep the law turning us to God. It was my trying to keep God’s law and failing over and over that brought me to the end of the trying. I gave up because I learned through years and years of defeat that I could not be what God wanted me to be. I had run to God for years begging for His help to change me but He was silent. I got more and more desperate and life seemed totally hopeless. Then the time came when out of His total love, grace, and mercy He chose to reveal His hidden mystery to me–"Christ in me, the hope of glory" (Galatians 2:20). As I learned that I was not alone, that Christ was joined to me, and that He was there to live His life as me, His peace, light, hope, and victory became my experience. The truth became mine by faith. I simply began to believe what God said in Gal. 2:20, Col. 1:27-29, and 1 Cor. 6:17. The Bible says in John 15:5 that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. In other words, I took God at His word and trusted Him to do for me what I was 100% unable to do–live a right life.