Sunday, September 18, 2011

Faith and Sin

Faith and Sin
September 19, 2011
Romans 10:10 "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."

Does having "unconfessed" sin mean that the sin has not been forgiven? This is a question we have all asked at one point. The act of confessing sin is for repentance and change; it is admitting and acknowledging your sin in an effort to take responsibility, to start over with a clean slate. But what about the sin you just committed five minutes ago and haven't had the chance to confess? What if you died without having the opportunity to confess this sin? Does that mean the Lord has not forgiven you for it? Would this also mean you could be denied entrance into Heaven? You might say it could possibly be OK if the sin was a little white lie that didn't hurt anyone, but what about right after having an abortion? I would submit that it is not the act of confession alone that allows your sins to be forgiven; it is your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

There were four men who brought a paralytic to Jesus for healing. They lowered the man through the roof to present him for the opportunity. The words in the Bible right after that did not reveal a healing miracle at first. In fact, Jesus saw the faith of all five men and was astonished. Jesus immediately said, "Your sins are forgiven." The paralyzed man never confessed his sin to Jesus though he received forgiveness for everything he had done. He didn't confess his sins but he DID have tremendous faith in who Jesus was and what Jesus could do.

On another occasion, when Jesus was hanging on the cross, there was a man next to Him being crucified for his own sin of thievery. The man looked at Jesus and recognized He was the Son of the Living God. The man asked Jesus to remember him when Jesus made it to Heaven. Jesus, upon seeing the man's faith in Him was willing to honor the request. The man never confessed his sin directly, but died receiving eternal salvation.

The paralyzed man never confessed his sin but was forgiven. The dying thief never confessed his sin but made it to Heaven. Neither man made a physical act of confession for his sin. Jesus honored them both, though, not because they had an opportunity to confess but because they both demonstrated tremendous faith in who Jesus was and is, recognizing Him as the Savior, as the Son of God.

Interestingly, these two men are not known in the Bible by their names, which are never mentioned. They are known and will always be known by their faith. It takes faith in who Jesus is and what He can do in order to accomplish the forgiveness of sin and gain entrance into Heaven. No amount of heartless confession, nice deeds, or clean living will warrant forgiveness from the Lord. It takes faith in the person of Jesus as the Christ to lose the chains of sin and gain the freedom of eternity. It is the confession of faith that is critical then, the true heart facing Jesus that will be forgiven and saved.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26, Luke 23:32-43, Rom 5:1, Tim 6:12, James 5:15

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