One of the more concerning things I’ve heard Donald Trump say is that he has never sought forgiveness from God because he’s never seen a need to. This is not exclusive to Mr. Trump; I myself once believed this. So did most Christians before they saw their need for Christ. As much as I needed Jesus Christ to save me, so does The Donald and all who believe as him. This is not my political opinion; this is what the Bible teaches:

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10)

I want you to concentrate on the last twelve words in that passage. If we say we do not need forgiveness because we have not sinned, we are not calling God a liar; we are making Him a liar. What’s the difference?

Our words are how we speak on something. I can call you a liar, whether it is true or not. My actions are reflective of who we are and the effect others have had on our lives. If my son had rejected my teachings, then in the eyes of the world it would seem I had failed; that my life was a lie.

So how do we get to the point in life where we believe that we have no need for forgiveness? The Apostle John says in verse 8 that “we deceive ourselves.” That is Satan’s formidable tool he uses against us: self-deception. Wealthy people are vulnerable to self-deception. Same for successful people. When we are “on top of the world,” we rarely see our need for a savior. So it was with the church in Laodicea:

“Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” (Revelation 3:17)

How is it that we are susceptible to self-deception? John says it is because “the truth is not in us.” Romans 3:23 says that sin is universal; there is no difference in any person. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Sin is nothing more than disobedience to God’s commands. If we say we have never sinned, then we lie and we break God’s laws.

However, Satan doesn’t want us to see our self-righteousness as deception. We use clever words like self-confidence and knowing myself as a person. Cleverness never atoned for one sin, and that is by satanic design:

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” (1 John 5:19)

John has clearly stated that if we do not belong to God, then we are under the influence of Satan. Just as being under the influence of alcohol while driving is a worldly crime, so is being under satanic influence a heavenly crime.

The simple explanation for believing you do not need God’s forgiveness is spiritual pride. We can surround ourselves with sycophants who tell us how great we are and how we’re going to do great things. However, eventually we will come to the end of ourselves and have to face the truth. I pray that every person experiences that before they die because then it is too late. This is the spiritual warfare that Paul wrote of to the Corinthian church:

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” (2 Corinthians 10:4-6)

The remedy for self-deception is true confession. Too many people think that confession is admitting you did wrong when you get caught. That might be true in criminal law, but spiritually you are still deceiving yourself. Warren Wiersbe explains:

“Confession is not praying a lovely prayer, or making pious excuses, or trying to impress God and other Christians. True confession is naming sin—calling it by name what God calls it: envy, hatred, lust, deceit, or whatever it may be. Confession simply means being honest with ourselves and with God, and if others are involved, being honest with them too. It is more than admitting sin. It means judging sin and facing it squarely.”

Confession means agreeing with God: God is right and I am wrong when it comes to my sins. Each of us must confess and repent of our sins. That means owning them and turning from them and to Jesus. Why Jesus and not someone else? It is because Jesus paid the price for our sins and that is the only payment receivable in heaven. All other forms of payment will be rejected like an overdrawn bank account.

So which form of remittance will you use to pay for your sins?

In Christ
Ps. 37:4

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    Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers


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