One of the great sins of man is our tendency to think that sin is not as bad as it seems. Another one of our great sins is refusing to believe God when He declares our sins forgiven. And often these two sins work a sort of good cop – bad cop routine on peoples’ hearts.
It often happens like this. You sinned and you confessed it but you still feel bad. And so you keep turning the sin over in your mind. You keep going back to it. In fact, as you marinate in it you come to think that feeling bad about your sin is actually good for you. And in the process, you get grumpy, fearful, anxious, maybe even angry with your wife or husband or kids or roommate. And if they ask you about it, you’re offended because how could they suggest that you’re in sin when you’re wallowing in your confession of sin? I’m over here feeling bad about my sin – can you get much holier than that? And so in the name of confession of sin, you justify more sin.
But notice what’s going on: in the first instance, you didn’t really confess your sin because you didn’t receive God’s forgiveness. You didn’t believe that God washed you clean and removed your sin as far as the east is from the west. The whole point of confession of sin is to get rid of it. And if you’re still carrying it around like some kind of pet skunk, you’re doing it all wrong and you’re tracking that stench with you wherever you go. But ultimately, you didn’t confess your sin and receive God’s forgiveness because you didn’t really think your sin was that bad. Of course this is deeply offensive to our pride because after wallowing around in feeling bad about your sin for a week, the last thing you want to hear is that you didn’t feel bad enough. But it’s true. The only Christian way to deal with sin is to actually kill it. And it dies when you agree with God that it was so bad Jesus had to die for it. And He did.
So this is the point: when you confess your sins, do not commit the additional sin of arrogantly refusing God’s forgiveness. If Jesus died for it, then it’s dead and gone. You don’t help God to forgive you by wallowing around in it. Your job is to just stand there and praise His glorious grace.