“Father, I have sinned.” Luke 15:18
It is quite certain that those whom Christ has washed in his precious blood need not make a confession of sin as culprits or criminals before God the Judge for Christ has forever taken away all their sins in a legal sense. They no longer stand where they can be condemned, but are once for all accepted in the Beloved.
But having become children and offending as children, should they not go before their heavenly Father every day and confess their sin and acknowledge their iniquity in that character? Nature teaches that it is the duty of erring children to make a confession to their earthly father. The grace of God in the heart teaches us that we, as Christians, owe the same duty to our heavenly Father.
We daily offend and should not rest without daily pardon. Supposing my trespasses against my Father are not at once taken to him to be washed away by the cleansing power of the Lord Jesus, what will be the consequence? If I have not sought forgiveness and been washed from these offenses against my Father, I shall feel at a distance from him. I shall doubt his love to me. I shall tremble at him. I shall be afraid to pray to him.
I shall grow like the prodigal, who, although still a child, was yet far off from his father. But if with a child’s sorrow at offending so gracious and loving a Parent, I go to him, tell him all, and rest not till I realize that I am forgiven, then I shall feel a holy love to my Father. I shall go through my Christian career, not only as saved, but as one enjoying present peace in God through Jesus Christ my Lord.
There is a wide distinction between confessing sin as a culprit, and confessing sin as a child. The Father’s arms are the place for penitent confessions. We have been cleansed once for all, but our feet still need to be washed from the defilement of our daily walk as children of God.
Adapted from Morning and Evening.