Renounce Your Sins
July 22, 2021
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. Proverbs 28:13 NLT
One of the hard truths of Christianity is that Christians can sin. More hard truth—Christians DO sin. But here’s a great truth: We can immediately confess, repent, and be right with God again. John writes, “If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth” (1 John 1:8). He also gives us the remedy: “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9). Forgiveness and restoration are based on the fact that “the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
However, we do not have to sin. John assures that we have an Advocate with the Father if we DO sin, but he is writing specifically so we DON’T sin. Most all the time when we sin, we sin because we knowingly chose to do so. We say stupid and untrue things like “I couldn’t help myself” or “the devil made me do it.” We are lying to ourselves. We arranged our schedule to sin. We bought a ticket to go sin. We went on that trip with the tantalizing idea that sin might be possible. We chose to participate in the sinful conversation. We kept that toxic friendship that we knew was leading us astray. Why is that?
We get three things confused: REMORSE—that is when I feel terribly sorry and ashamed that I did something, I have deep regret, but sometimes the regret is mostly that I got caught. All of us have a lifelong struggle with pride. It was Lucifer’s downfall and dogs our heels as well. The reason we conceal our sins and make excuses is because we want to look better than we actually are. Remorse never gives freedom. REPENT—this is when I change my mind about my action. It is more than just feeling; it is changing my mind and committing to new and better behavior. This is good and is a step in the right direction. God is so good and loves us so much that He will take a minimal amount of repentance and have mercy on us. This is why we repent over and over without lasting change. We will never experience freedom and abundant life that way. We must go all the way. RENOUNCE—this is the power step. This is when I actively hate my sin. I have remorse and actively repent. I own it. But I am more than sorry. I want more than mercy and forgiveness. I want victory over the same old thing. I cannot bear the thought of living this way anymore. So I renounce the root of my sins, the heart of my actions. I name it and hate it. I take all the steps with God to keep the opportunities to sin in this way out of my life. This will make all the difference in the world in your life with Christ. You have been showing up and asking for mercy. But you have not renounced the lies you’ve become comfortable with. You have not renounced the attraction or dependence you have toward the sins you commit. You have not quit blaming and excusing. You have not specifically named and renounced the root sins you’ve asked Him to forgive.
- Once you get into the practice of renouncing the lies, wounds, and sins, you will experience a freedom in your spiritual life available no other way.