This principle has the same application when it comes to naming and citing your sins. We are dealing with another non-meritorious verb, “homologeo.” “Homologeo” does not emphasize the subject; “homologeo” is a verb of no merit. When you admit or acknowledge something, there is no merit in what you are doing. However, if you try to add “I feel sorry for it,” or penance, or vows, or any other human function, you are then blaspheming God’s plan! God solved the sin problem once and for all at the Cross, and the problem most Christians have is not sin but the influence of evil. You are not to make vows or promise God you will do better. You are not to let others impose their legalistic standards on you. The beauty of rebound is that when we confess our sins, we can take no credit for admitting them. Unfortunately, for this reason, many believers have great difficulty with 1JO 1:9. They want to feel sorry; they want a little bit of guilt and condemnation. However, your emotional reaction has nothing whatsoever to do with confessing your sins. The way you feel about sin is of no consequence in regaining the filling of the Spirit. The fact that you recognize it is all that’s necessary. Forgiveness is not based on your feelings or your guilt. In fact, if you live in guilt, you are only committing another sin! What is important concerning your sin is that you learn what sin is, and not that you feel bad about it. Guilt will cause you to fall into “chain sinning,” and it will not solve anything. A guilt complex is sin parlayed into evil. Feeling guilty and condemned is not a part of the Christian way of life. The believer who feels guilty and condemned is actually arrogant because he is pre-occupied with self. Many believers are too emotionally involved with their failures and successes. It is important to remember that emotion has no capacity to think, rationalize, or produce spirituality, and that whatever emotionalism is dictating is not the spiritual life.
Legalists want you to feel sorry for sin and change your ways. They always want you to change. They want to superimpose their ideas on you. The responsibility of the pastor is simply to communicate doctrine; once the truth has been taught, what you do with it is between you and the Lord. However, as usual, legalism ignores the fact that, under the principle of grace, God does all the work, and there is no work left to be accomplished by man. God the Father judged our sins at the Cross as Christ suffered for them. Therefore, “feeling sorry” or “developing an attitude toward repentance” is not necessary for forgiveness, since our attitude and emotions are not the issue in confession. It all depends on your volition, choosing to do things God’s way instead of your own way. Again, what matters in confession of sin is following instructions. Remember the principle that following instructions is very difficult for arrogant creatures when a non-meritorious act is required. To have to follow instructions in which your merit and ability are completely ignored can be very difficult! In confession of sin and the resultant filling of the Spirit, the issue is the work of God. As always, man can add nothing to the work of God, whether it be in salvation, rebound, recovery, or advance to spiritual adulthood.
1JO 1:9, therefore, is not a license to sin, but a grace provision for the believer’s recovery of fellowship with God. The only way to salvation is faith plus nothing; the only way to the filling of the Spirit is rebound, which is faith plus nothing. You can not add to the work of God. You can not improve on the work of God. God does not need your help! All God requires is your heart, PRO 23:26, “Give Me your heart, My son, and let your eyes delight in My ways”—not your ways, but God’s ways. God’s way of forgiveness and restoration to fellowship is 1JO 1:9.
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