Reformed theologian John Piper has recently explained about the contradict reality of believers that they have to continue to confess their sins despite the perfect payment of Jesus for their sins by answering to one listeners question on his podcast.
In an episode of the podcast "Ask Pastor John" Monday, a listener named Andy asked if we were still called to continually confess our sins when the work of Jesus paid all the price of our sins - past, present, and future.
"I'm thinking specifically of the 'It is finished' statement in John 19:30, and the amazing reality that Christ 'forgave all our trespasses' and 'canceled our record of debt that stood against us' in Colossians 2:13-14. But then we're called to constant confession too in 1 John 1:9. How do you make sense of these truths?"" inquired Andy.
Pastor John firstly shared the beauty and preciousness of what Jesus did on the cross with several scriptures. "In Jesus death, God has a very special, peculiar design or intention or purpose to purchase and create a flock for himself, including the purchase of our faith, our union with Christ, our forgiveness of every sin (past, present, future), our eternal right standing with God as adopted children and as new creatures in Christ - all that purchased once for all by Jesus." The pastor said.
"Now, Andy sees this glory," He added. "He sees in John 19:30: "It is finished." And he sees in Colossians 2:13-14: "God made [us] alive together with [Christ], having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross," "Those verses describe what became of our debt that we could never pay: canceled, nailed to the cross," He explained.
He added three verses from Hebrews to deepen the understanding of Jesus' redemptive works for our sins: Hebrews 7:27; 9:26; 10:14
"Once for all: done, finished, complete, debt paid in full, can't be added to, can't be improved upon. That's the foundational glory of the achievement of Christ when he died for us on the cross," Pastor John emphasized again.
Then, the pastor offered an answer to Andy's question, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness?" by distinguishing between purchase and permanent securing of our forgiveness.
"The purchase and securing of forgiveness comes to God's people only through faith in Christ - union with Christ by faith." "All those for whom he fully paid do in fact come to faith That's the first step in resolving the tension between Colossians 2:13 and 1 John 1:9." He said.
And he added one more explanation through the traits that those who are truly born again and justified fully by the death of Jesus have in their lives: "making wars on their sinning" and "confession"
"One trait of those whose sins are fully paid for is that we make war on our sinning. That's the mark of those whose sins are fully canceled," he continued. "you can't put them to death if you don't admit - that is, confess"
"Confessing our sin is the agreement with God that we have sin and it must be fought and killed," he made a clear conclusion.
"Confession of sin is not the basis of our forgiveness; it is one of the traits that shows we are truly in Christ, where all our sins are covered by his blood."