“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1:8)
When you acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord, all your sins, past, present and future were forgiven you, there is no need, nor would any be accepted, of any works towards your salvation, it was completed at the cross. If you have been saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then your eternal salvation is assured. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
So I ask you this, if indeed we have been justified, if indeed all our sins have been forgiven, than what sin is John speaking about in our opening verse, what sins are we to repent of as said in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Even when we walk into sin of our own free will, when we willingly go against by our own design and choice the will of God for our lives, when we sin on purpose, that sin has already been forgiven. Before we walked into it, Christ knew about it, took it to the cross, and paid the penalty for it.
The Roman Catholic cult states that those sins must be brought to a priest, confessed to him, and then he will lay a charge upon that individual, deeds that must be accomplished before those sins can be forgiven. The Word of God says, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim. 2:5)
We sin, we will continue to sin until we are glorified, there is no stopping this fact, good deeds do not wipe away sins, repentance of the heart does. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17) It is our recognition of our sins that call us to repent of them, it is by our love for the Lord that we come before Him to confess them, and it is His love that frees us from them to continue upon the path that He has laid before us for His glory.
It is called being sanctified, set apart for the glory of the Lord.
“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16) This requires personal effort, which we will fail each time unless done through us by the Holy Spirit, we must willingly submit to being crucified with Christ. Our desires must be modified, we must look at that which we still desire as abhorrent in our eyes, no easy task. But it should not be.
There are some, myself included, that lived in a habit of sin in many different ways, in some the desire for those things has completely dissolved, it has been removed totally. The memories of course in part are still there, but the want of them is gone. Others I battle with, sometimes daily, and perhaps I always will, but they are not sins if I do not acquiesce to them. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)
We have, as born-again believers, been forgiven of sins we have yet to perform, but when they do arrive, we are to recognize them as such, repent of them, asking for forgiveness and strength to battle against them, so that when they arrive the next time, we are stronger because of Him, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (Phil 2:13)
Satan is not going to leave you alone, this world is not going to forget you, you cannot escape from yourself, you will sin, it will happen, and it will continue to happen until the moment of your death. Counting beads and saying the rosary is not going to remove them, attempting to do good works to offset those sins does not work, it never has, nor is just being sorry for them. We must go directly to God by Jesus Christ through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit and confess them, repent of them, and ask for greater strength and mercy for the next time sin rears its ugly head in our life.
And it will happen.
We are busy people, us Christians, we fight against ourselves, we fight against Spiritual darkness, we reach out to the lost, sifting through the wicked as we do so. If you are walking around with a smile on your face continually, you may want to do some soul searching, if there is joy in your heart continuously, there is probably little need to.