Q. I have believed on Jesus the Christ for many, many years. Through out my years of faith, I’ve sat under teaching of our position in Christ and the favor of the Father as He delights in those who believe, and I’ve sat under teaching that the Father does not look favorably upon our personal sins (not Sin) – like spiritual pride, fear of man, independence, etc. That the Father does not wink at my sins. I’ve also read that the closer a Believer draws to the Father, the clearer that Believer sees the sins in their life.
I lean toward living under repentance of sins (probably from all the hell-fire-and-brimstone preaching from my youth), but I also am pulled towards realizing just how much the Father loves and adores me as His child. How should a Believer hold these two practices (living within our victorious position in Christ vs. living in repentance of sins) in tension?
A. Through out the Old Testament we can see how it pained God to have to judge His people for their sins, national and personal. But His righteousness demanded payment for sins and without it His love was restrained.
At the cross, that all changed. Paul wrote,
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him (Jesus), and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (Col. 1:19-20)
Since the cross, the minute we confess we are forgiven and purified from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). We can go boldly and with confidence into His presence (Ephes 3:12) and call Him by His most intimate name, Abba (Rom. 8:15). In God’s eyes we are a new creation, as righteous as He is (2 Cor. 5:17-21).
He doesn’t wink at our sins, but neither does He attribute them to us. To Him they are a manifestation of the sin nature that dwells within us (Rom. 7:18-20) but only until that which is already true in eternity is made manifest in time (Ephes. 2:6-7). Therefore nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:39)
Our behavior should reflect our gratitude for the peace we have with our Creator, and when we sin we should remember that as soon as we confess we’ll be forgiven, the sin forgotten, and the relationship restored.