By Dave Reese
A short answer on “confession of sins” and “forgiveness of sins”:
Our sins have all been paid for by Christ’s death–past, present, future and we are now seated in heavenly places in Christ (Ephesians 2). That is a POSITIONAL, eternal guarantee of never needing any more of anything to PAY that debt and have this position.
The longer answer…
However, the problem is that we are still down here on earth and drag around an old man who can get us in a lot of trouble (he can’t get us out of Christ down here because we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day God redeems this flesh. ( Romans 8; Ephesians 4:30). Because of this many try to deal with this problem and pull anything they find to answer it. Of course without right division, there is confusion and error.
When we sin NOW, after being saved, we are walking according to the flesh. We are acting just like the old man before we were saved and sealed. The old man (what the Bible also calls “the flesh”) is running the show.
Ephesians 2 gives us our eternal security question answer. Ephesians 4 gives us our what happens when we sin AFTER salvation question, which sin is more often and other than most people think!!
Ephesians 4 says “put off the old man” and “put on the new man”. How do you do that? Reading the chapter makes it clear that we must do this not only daily but continually. IT IS NOT GETTING OR KEEPING SALVATION BECAUSE IF THAT IS SO–ALL THE OTHER SAID IN EPHESIANS 2 IS A LIE AND CHRIST’S WORK WAS IMPERFECT TO SAVE AND THE HOLY SPIRIT’S WORK OF SEALING UNTO THE DAY OF THE BODY REDEMPTION IS WEAK.
Putting off the old man and putting on the new man–the NEED and RESULTS are described in detail in Ephesians 4 but details on HOW are broadly given. Why? I think because men are not the same in many ways although they are in others. For me, I may need to pray for one hour to get done what you only need to pray for 10 minutes. I may need to read many verses and pray, meditate, seek, plead, whatever for some time before I can have confidence my attitude and action is right. Does this involve asking God to forgive you for disobedience? YES. Does it mean that if you do not do it, you are lost? NO.
Scripture forbids us in this age of Grace to think our prayers and works of righteousness save us in addition to Christ’s work and Righteousness. (Titus 3:5). In other ages a man’s faith was his righteousness (Hab 2:4) and required for salvation because he was not sealed by the Spirit and he was only under the blood of bulls and goats. Romans 11:5-6 is clear that salvation is NO MORE of works, which is a good indication it WAS OF WORKS in the past. And, indeed when you read the passages regarding those times, faith with works were required. God tells us in Eph 2:8-9 that salvation in “NOT OF WORKS” in Romans 11:6 “NO MORE OF WORKS” and Titus 3:5 “NOT BY WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS”. Praying, living right, going to church, etc., etc., are WORKS of righteousness.