August 1st

Confession, Repentance and Forgiveness

12"When you come to appear before Me, Who has required this from your hand, To trample My courts? 13Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies-- I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting. 14Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them. 15When you spread out your hands, I will hide My eyes from you; Even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood.  Isaiah 1:12-15 NKJV  

This passage gives us a powerful description of God’s attitude toward unconfessed sin.  The context of the passage is about Israel’s corruption.  The people were rendering sacrifices to God, but continued in their sinful ways.  Because of their lack of repentance from the sin, God was repulsed by their empty religious services to him.  He refused to even hear their prayers (15).    

God still hates it when we go through religious motions without turning from our sin.  God has mercifully provided atonement from our sin through Jesus Christ.  Though we are forgiven, we still need to confess our sin and turn away from it (i.e. repentance).  1 John 1:9 NKJV  says “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   

Since through Christ we are each temples of God’s Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), we should not tolerate habitual sin in our bodies.  We should have a recurring attitude of repentance.  In verses 16-17 of Isaiah 1, God tells us how to repent:

16"Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil, 17Learn to do good; Seek justice, Rebuke the oppressor; Defend the fatherless, Plead for the widow.  NKJV   

God completely purifies us from our sins when we approach him in repentance through the blood of Jesus:

18"Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.  Isaiah 1:18 NKJV   

If we will be willing and obedient by practicing repentance, we will walk in God’s blessings.  God told the Israelites, “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, You shall be devoured by the sword”(Isaiah 1:19-20 NKJV ). When God forgives us, he gives us the opportunity to be willing and obedient.  He even promises to help us by giving us the Holy Spirit, who enables us to put our sinful desires to death.  If we continue to rebel, we invite destruction into our lives.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:

“Lord God, Thank you for providing forgiveness for my sin through the blood of Jesus Christ.  I recognize the sin in my life and I confess it now:____________ (specify).  I turn from this sin now, and present myself to you as willing and obedient to live for you.  Please help me put away my evil habits and to remove all stumbling blocks from my home and workplace.  Please fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit and sharpen my convictions toward sin, righteousness and judgment.  Please renew a healthy fear of the Lord in me with an undivided heart.  Thank you, Holy God! I praise you and rejoice in your mercy and love for me!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”