Media thanks to UltraTech International Inc.
Superhydrophobic coating repels almost any liquid. It is truly amazing! Just look at the guys blasted by buckets of mud. The treated man is left completely untouched, while the untreated man is left totally filthy. No matter what material they coat, the liquids just roll right off. Regardless of what sticky substance they use — ketchup, mustard, egg, or paint — there is never even a faint stain.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is like that for us. When a person receives His gift of forgiveness, condemnation for all sin just rolls right off — past, present, and future! It has nothing to do with the material of the person who is coated by Jesus’ forgiveness, but has everything to do with the perfection of what they are coated with — the blood and righteousness of Jesus Christ.
The Bible contrasts the effectiveness of sacrifices made by Jewish priests and the sacrifice made by our great high priest, Jesus:
“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.... For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” Hebrews 10:11-12,14 (emphasis mine).
The perfection that comes from Jesus’ sacrifice has no end even though those who have been made perfect are still in the process of “being made holy.” What makes us perfect is not what we do, but what Jesus did on our behalf. His infinite perfection cannot be stained by our imperfections. If we have put our trust in Jesus’ death to pay the penalty for sin, we can be confident that sins from our past, our present, and our future, are forgiven all because of the perfection of Jesus’ sacrifice.
Then why do so many people feel defeated and discouraged in their relationship with Jesus? Why do they continue to be full of guilt over habitual sins?
The Bible points out that when we rely on our own ability to do the right thing, we just end up falling into more sin. That’s because Jesus is no longer the central focus of our lives. We are. In the same way that we need Jesus to rescue us from the penalty of death that comes from our sin, we need His Holy Spirit to rescue us from the temptations we face every day. We do that by focusing our attention on Him and following His leading in our lives. “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). What a great promise! The more we focus our attention on the Spirit and allow Him to direct our lives, the less we will find ourselves falling into patterns of sin.
If all our sins are already forgiven, then what’s the point of confession?
While sin in our life does not stain the perfect coating of Jesus' forgiveness on our lives, it does get in the way of a healthy relationship with God and our ability to reflect His perfect character. Sin is like a bruise on an apple; if it doesn’t get cut out it will spread and spoil more and more of the fruit. Confession is the process that God uses to cut the sin out of our lives and to refine the character of Jesus in us. King David was a man who was quick to acknowledge his sin before God; he trusted God to deal with his sin and to make his relationship with God healthy again. Psalm 41 shows how God responds to confession: “O LORD, have mercy on me; heal me, for I have sinned against You…. In my integrity You uphold me and set me in Your presence forever” (Psalm 41:4,11). The integrity that David refers to is his honest confession of his sin. David was identified as "a man after the LORD’s heart" (1Samuel 13:14), not because he was sinless, but because he was quick to confess and to repent. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Psalm 52:17).
Confession is also how we acknowledge that we were depending on our own abilities rather than focusing on the Spirit’s leading. We realign our attention on to God and submit to His Spirit’s guidance for our next steps. Dr. Bill Bright referred to confession as Spiritual Breathing: exhaling the guilt of our sin through confession, and then inhaling the power of the Spirit by depending on His leading (see the step-by-step description below if you want to try it!).
Can we just sin all we want then?
Even though our past, present, and future sins are perfectly dealt with by the sacrifice of Jesus, that does not mean that, like the superhydrophobic coating video, we should just throw all manner of sins at our lives to prove that none of them will stick. The author of Hebrews goes on to write, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus… let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings… And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:19, 22, 24). The sacrifice Jesus has made should motivate us to avoid sin and live a life that is pure. Not because we are afraid of losing our forgiveness, but because we want to reflect the character of Jesus more and more. That is true freedom!
Are you feeling defeated or frustrated in your Christian walk? Learn about The Spirit-Filled Life.