Q. You have written: “Our unconfessed sins can’t make God change His mind about saving us, but it can and does hinder our current relationship with Him. And because God is faithful to the promise He made to His Son, forgiveness is ours just for the asking. Once we ask, we’re immediately purified from all unrighteousness; we again become as holy as God is, our relationship is restored to its former intimacy and we are blessed.” But if we’re already forgiven why do we have to ask again?
A. If we do something that disappoints, embarrasses or offends someone we love, we want to apologize because we don’t want anything to come between us. Asking God’s forgiveness when we’re already saved is an application of the same principle.
1 John 1:8 says that if we claim to be without sin, we’re deceiving ourselves. But 1 John 1:9 tells us to confess our sins so we can be purified from all unrighteousness. These verses were written to the Church, so they’re not about salvation, they’re about maintaining an intimate relationship with the Lord.
Thinking it’s not necessary to confess because we’re already forgiven is like thinking it’s not necessary to apologize to a loved because the person already knows we’re sorry. We apologize to our loved one because it’s the right thing to do in the interest of preserving the quality of the relationship. We confess our sins to the Lord for the same reason.
James 4:10 tells us, “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.”