In those days John the Baptist came into the wilderness of Judea proclaiming,“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” For he is the one about whom Isaiah the prophet had spoken:
“The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.’”
Now John wore clothing made from camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his diet consisted of locusts and wild honey. Then people from Jerusalem, as well as all Judea and all the region around the Jordan, were going out to him, and he was baptizing them in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins –Matthew 3:1-6
If you use your imagination, you can almost see John wading waste-deep in the water, with people streaming out to be baptized, confessing their sins and repenting and seeking forgiveness.
I’m positive they were quite specific as they confessed their sins, crying out their confessions, weeping over their sins. Then came Christ. You and I know He wasn’t coming to be baptized “unto repentance.” He was the spotless Lamb of God! He was the only one who didn’t have to confess anything. He simply came for John to baptize Him.
Now still using your imagination, you can almost see a new scene here. All the people came and confessed their sins and entered into baptism—representative of their death, burial and resurrection. Then Christ comes after they made their confessions and stands in the same water and is drenched in the same water. It was almost as if He was wearing the sins they had confessed in those waters. I know, I know, I’m just giving something to stimulate your imagination.
But daily I try to confess my sins to Christ—naming them one-by-one. I don’t believe we can use the “Lord, forgive me for all of my sins.” That isn’t true Biblical repentance. Repentance assumes we are naming the sin to acknowledge it. Then I admit why it doesn’t agree with God’s Word, why the sin isn’t what He wants for me. That kind of repentance allows for His precepts to get down into our spirit.
Now here’s something you need to realize: confession doesn’t make you more forgiven, since Christ has already forgiven us once and for all. No, confession is an experience of faith and an act of obedience, which results in God making real in our experience what He has already done for us through the death of His son.
Acts 3:19 says, “Repent and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” If you have already received Christ as your Savior and Lord, you have been baptized into Him. Daily confession is like refreshment to our souls. We come away from repentance cleansed. Ready to be filled. Ready to walk in the Spirit.
Isaiah 43:25 says, “it is I who sweep away your transgressions for My own sake and remember your sins no more.” Then God said again through Isaiah, “I have swept away your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like a mist” (Isaiah 44:22). He has redeemed us and we can be as eager to wear His righteousness and holiness as he was to wear our sins.
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