“He that covers his sins shall not prosper: but who confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy”, Pro 28:13

I live in a country where many people migrate to, some of them illegally. The government is now trying to have them legally structured into society. But, because they have been illegal for so long and law may not be overlooked and skipped, they need to have an update in their tourism visa so it can be turned into a working one eventually. It means they will be granted three months periods visas for the amount of time they have been illegal, till they be made legal within the law of the land (for example, a man or woman who has been illegal for a year will be granted  four visas of three months each and only then may they apply for a working permit in the country - they need become legal to be turned legal). This is kind of forgiving illegality so people may be turned upright and contributing into the society they live in.

Forgiveness of our sins has the same approach in nature. We know that the Bibles lines out expressly that a murderer is to be forgiven once his heart is changed and a thief, when he gives away as a counterpart of his previous sins of taking for himself instead. To stop sinning is not giving as yet, and to stop murdering is not giving life as yet either. Paul killed and he went out bringing life to thousands as soon as he stood on his feet again; Zaccheus stole and he decided in his own heart he would give four times more what he previously stole from people; to apologize would bring immediate relief upon the sting brought by sin to his conscience, a sure credit of trust; but the future of opposite doings is what the crediting of forgiveness is expecting from all of us to do and carry out willingly and voluntarily. The word of God expressly states that the “The Redeemer shall come … unto them that turn from transgression”, Is.59:20. Therefore, John preached and brought more then the forgiveness of sins. It is said: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the … LORD:  (6) and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse”, Mal 4:5-6.

This may never be mistaken for working for salvation as Catholics do, for the righteousness of any genuine child of God, of the smallest one of them even, will have to exceed whatever they do, both in motive at heart as well as in the amount of it and its blessing.

It is strange, however, that people assume instinctively and due to a previous nature, that once forgiven one may easily slip back into worldliness and come back again for the same kind of forgiveness. In all truth, if the Redeemer comes to such as turn from transgression, we may assume that confession is but a first step of a ladder of all the trust God has put in our hands, to use to climb to the end of it as fast as we can, and that expressing our sins by name as we are kindly reminded of them is a mere aid to the outrooting of them by exposure of its dark roots to the genuine Light of God. The very seed to sin is what the Lord is after to exchange it fully for another. Therefore, we come across the word “seed” in the letter of John when he says that a child of God cannot sin because the seed in such keeps him. Confession will lead to the extermination of any sin if carried out in proper terms of light. It will lead, it has to lead, to a planting of a seed of a new nature which will be mainly responsible for all we do for, to and with God.

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José Mateus