There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus if you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. – C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
So now that I’ve told you confession is not a spiritual discipline in the life of a believer, what are you supposed to do? Ignore your sins?
No, never. But there is a new way.
Let’s take a look at a fictional couple, Jake and his wife Liz. They’ve been living in this old covenant/new covenant model, trying to move up the scale of perfection on their own.
Jake’s been a believer for a year, and he views himself as a +2. He’s been growing in his faith, but he has a problem: he visits websites he shouldn’t and feels like he’s moving backward. He confesses his sin, but he can’t feel God’s forgiveness because the sin cycle won’t stop. Is it time to give up?
Then there’s Liz. She volunteers, has daily quiet times, and gives generously. If you asked her, she’d rank herself a +5. She’s ambitious, and her goal is to be a +10 in just a few more years.
Jake is convinced that God is upset with him, while Liz is convinced God is quite proud of her. This is what life looks like when we believe our holiness comes through obedience.
There’s a better way – new covenant living, as summarized by Hebrews 10:14, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”
Jesus’ righteous sacrifice consumes all our unrighteousness. As a result, we don’t live on a scale, but in a station – a +10 position. We have been made perfect and have uninterrupted access to God. Share with Him how you feel! Invite the Holy Spirit to help you grow away from sin! Allow others to come alongside you as encouragement in your permanent position in Christ.
The same +10 position applies to those of us struggling with self-righteousness. There is no scale. We can surrender our ambition and watch our acts of service develop a new nature – one of love that also draws others toward intimacy with God.
Lord, Your perfect Spirit indwells me, finding me perfect too. What grace! Free me from striving and trying. Free me into this new covenant living so that I only rest in You. Amen.
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