HomeReligion ZoneSunday word: Confession, repentance and forgiveness

Sunday word: Confession, repentance and forgiveness

BY PROSPER TINGINI

Mankind has a propensity to sin against the directives of the Lord our God, or in disobedience to the laid down laws of society. There seems to be within humanity some elements of in-built mischief. Even our Creator remarked as such. Genesis 6:5-6 reads: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the Earth, and that every imagination of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the earth and it grieved him to his heart.”

It is no wonder that the first two human creations went on to disobey just one directive from the Lord our God, thus giving birth to sin. Adam and Eve ate the fruit that was commanded not to be eaten. I can conclude, therefore, that humans have a propensity to commit acts of sin or disobedience of one kind or other. Unfortunately we are sometimes made to be answerable for our transgressions. While some of our acts of iniquities might go unnoticed in society, the Lord our God takes stock of every misdeed.

When caught on the wrong side of the law, our judicial officers would always want to ask the perpetrators of the motivation behind their acts. By so doing, they would be trying to establish not only the reasons for the breach of a civil or criminal statute, but also extracting a confession or history to the crime. This would then bring out all the facts of the matters at hand. There is more often an absence of repentance to a confession. Documented evidence shows that a number of offenders go on to commit the same offence again even after being punished before. However, a confession still remains a prerequisite in our endeavours to seek for the forgiveness for our wrongs.

The Lord gave us the freedom to choose our own different paths in life, whether of good or of evil. St. Paul wrote in Romans 1:19-23, “For what can be known about God is plain to man, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, (divine being), has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they were without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles.”

When we finally see the light, come to our good senses and take note of our sins, the first port of call is the confession. In his letter to the 12 tribes in the Dispersion St James wrote (James 5:16), “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed of sin.” St John also adds (1 John 1:8-9); “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Having confessed our sins, the next step would be to give ourselves a commitment not to repeat of the same offence again. We should feel to be truly sorry for the wrongs we have done, and vow never to do them again. This is repentance; the level that truly qualifies for the forgiveness of sins. Repentance is the ‘cleansing detergent’ that washes away our sins. Peter addressed a multitude in Acts 3:19, “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”

There is a clique among our Christianity that steadfastly implies that we are free to sin on the assurance that all our sins of the past, present and the future have all been erased through the death of Christ. They have no fear for sin and are reckless in their behaviours, committing transgressions at will without any confession or repentance. This is a misuse of the purpose of the Lord our God sending His begotten Son to our planet. Of such sects in our Christianity,  Paul wrote (Romans 1:24-25); “Therefore, God gave them up in their lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonouring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creative (Satan) rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.”

Forgiveness is a two-way process. While we can clamour for the forgiveness of our sins, we tend to discount the fact that we should equally be prepared to forgive others for their wrongs against us. Jesus Christ taught us about the importance of the virtue of forgiveness. In Matthew 7:14-15, he spoke, “For if you forgive men of their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive men of their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

While confession and repentance are essential in the forgiveness of sins, what then becomes a person who does not see any wrong in any transgression which he/she has consciously committed. Such people may actually take pride in the acts of their misdeed. I have personally come across people shamelessly giving praise to the Lord our God, or in honour to their dead ancestors, such as enriching themselves through fraudulent means or corruption. Even robbers would also proudly give thanks to their “lucky stars” for successful “raids” even when there is a loss of life to the victims. For them, I would want to say, “Your day of judgement is coming.” Amen.

  • Prosper Tingini is the Scribe of the Children of God Missionary Assembly – God’s messengers. Contact details: Mobile & Whatsapp:0771 260 195. Email address: ptingini@gmail.com 

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