“Paul, called as an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Sosthenes our brother: To God’s church at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord — both their Lord and ours. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 1:1-3 HCSB
A few days ago I was engaged in a WhatsApp debate over the place of repentance and confession in the believers life. Confession of sin as is practiced in Christendom, is the first question that I am always asked in light of the truth of the gospel. “If all our sins are forgiven, are you saying that I don’t need to ask for forgiveness each time I commit sin?” ” What about 1 John 1:8-9?” And because of this single passage in Scripture, the message of grace is discredited and the idea of confession of sins exaggerated!
Now to be clear, I believe there’s a call to repent and confess in the life of a believer. But the way it is taught today is way outside the biblical narrative. Because of our false view of sin and the human heart, we think that sin can be defeated in our lives simply by being determined! You can’t wash your sins by trying harder! You can’t get over the problem of sin in your life by crying and weeping. I intend to speak more on this and other subjects throughout my commenting on some of the books of the New Testament, this being my first post on the series! ( God Permitting)
Going back to the debate, I was told with my colleague that our teaching on the righteousness of God was heretical. We proposed that according to the Scripture, we are righteous because of our union with Christ. This claim we were told, is from the New Age doctrine. Now I don’t care whether this is New Age teaching or what, in the passage of Scripture above, Paul calls the believers in CORINTH as sanctified in Christ Jesus! Now we don’t need a Greek dictionary to understand the meaning of the term sanctified. That’s very simple, the term sanctified simply means sanctified! And that’s not from the New Age bible, that’s from the letter of 1 Corinthians. The way repentance and confession is taught in churches,is as if folks are saints in the morning,sinners in the afternoon all depending on whether they have confessed that sin and that sin.
As we continue our way into the letter in future, we will come across issues and arguments among the Corinthians, and still Paul addressed them as “SAINTS!“. We can boldly say that we are righteous, not because we don’t commit sin, but because Jesus Christ died for our sins! When a believer stands before God in prayer or worship, he/she stands with Christ. Faith is to come before God on the merits of somebody (JESUS). Without faith you cannot call yourself as a saint, faith looks at Christ not itself or anything. IF JESUS ONLY PAID FOR THE SINS OF YOUR PAST AND LEFT THE PRESENT AND FUTURE SINS UNDER YOUR CARE, YOU ARE DOOMED!
THINK ABOUT THAT!