“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”, 1John 1:9.

There is more to a clean heart than the imputed righteousness of God – it is an abode to that righteousness which may not be imputed, but living from there Itself. A clean heart is a place where God can be at ease as He is, no matter how bad one may have been before. It is not so much what people may have done, but what they are that matters. Whatever people may have done, may be ascribed to what they have been in essence and being from inside. People are ready for forgiveness whenever they have and live at peace with a new heart and God in there, as long as it is a real heart and not a supposed new one so it may find reason not to change by imitating a newness it has not.

People easily state things concerning their faith in a living God so they may carry on in the pleasure of sinning while believing. From there to say they have not to be holy but hope upon holiness which is Christ’s alone in such a way as to avoid being holy themselves, is but a small step of so-called "faith" in the work Christ may have done for them. They find that Christ is the minister of unrighteousness, rather than of light – somehow they do that! Some even have it as an offence to be holy as God is holy, and especially because He is holy. But because He is holy, the place He manages to touch will be turned holy before He comes to abide in there and not to come in and out at the command of the vessel, in times such wishes to have God (in trouble, for example) and at times he does not really feel the need to have him around seeing all of his selfish desires are being met for the time being.

The confession of all sin grants forgiveness, yes, but there is something in the rules of forgiveness we should be fully aware of. The confession of sin does not expose what we have done alone, but who has done it and what caused sin to be there, however unconscious and involuntarily it is done. There is a root for all sinning in man, and God demands confession not because He wants to know what we may have done, but that we acknowledge and bring out TO OURSELVES MERELY why, how and who has done it. Confession of sin is able to lead to the root of sin, to "this body of death" (as Paul put it in Rom.7) to expose it to death by exposing it to the light of God. It is like a vampire responsible for certain deeds and who dies by exposure to light. His deeds are his hideouts, and once exposing deeds, the bad man is unconditionally exposed to a certain death it cannot avoid any longer. And because each sin serves an individual hideout for the inner sinner, all sins must be brought to the light by name, one by one and individually and as detailed as one possibly can do, focussing on the love and light of God all the time, having Jesus as the only one while exposing sins which may come to blind us by selfish guilt. But, the guilt it may blind through may not serve as a reason not to confess, since there is a right way to do it right at hand. Looking into sin and not exposing it, rather, may create another subtle hideout for the greedy sinner inside. That sinner will do anything never to die: even confess some sins or confess in some degree or way it feels safe by and makes a surviving unconscious deal with.

If we are able to follow the life of an ant, we will find it follows a trail it alone may follow back to its nest again, which it has left behind once it walked before and away from there. It is a way it alone is fully enabled to see and trace backwards again. That ant follows its way back right through, being aware of whatever it has left behind. The sinner, too, finds his way into his own heart and soul after the same pattern, for that’s just how he is able to reach the nest of sin where the sinner is found and hidden, where he finds there is still unrighteousness breeding sins which will migrate to the outside, yet leaving a trail to follow back to the heart again. That factory of all sin, selfishness and pride, is to be exposed to death if all sinning is to find an end soon. The sinner needs exposure so sin may be able to cease forever. It breeds all kinds of sin and we should not so much take notice of the crime to be blinded by the enormous guilt of it, but of the criminal inside - the crime should lead to trace the criminal and what makes him stay alive and hidden, however hungrily he survives. If we hear about the doings of a criminal while a policeman is investigating, indulging and inquiring about him, then it is because it is after the criminal itself. Once he is caught, the crime ceases too. The sinner dies by exposure to the Light of Christ, remaining there forever. "But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light, for whatever is manifest is light", Eph.5:13. Whatever is fully exposed to the right Light, may never be considered as darkness anymore and even the guilt of it will vanish causing an inner peace to emerge and astound the person who is exposed to God. "My peace I give to you, not as the world gives it".

On the other hand, if you could hold a piece of darkness in your hand, the way to annihilate it would be to expose it to light and never to rub it to death with the help of the other hand. To do so, will only contribute to exalt and extol its smell which will, in its turn, activate all senses towards sinning all over again. These people, who rub sin to a death it does not reach that way, if they really aim to mean business with God, they usually come out crying in all despair: “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Rom 7:24. Since exposure to the Law has a sinning effect upon the sinner, it does not make exposure sinful or bad, or something to be avoided, since exposure to Christ and His light is still to be tried out and at hand to work out.

Now, it is this “body of sin” Christ intends to reach through confessions, this criminal, this breeder of all sinning, for this body breeds sin and sin leads to death – hence the words “body of this death”, which is a specific death towards inner Life. There is a body inside which has to die by exposure, if sinning is ever to cease, if people are to be alive unto God for a change. By exposing its deeds one by one, one may be led to the root of sin, to the transgressor inside. We know that Christ said we should be enabled to leave and give up all of sinning. the Word of God even says that “the Redeemer shall come unto them that turn from transgression, saith the LORD”, Is.59:20.  We may not leave sinning nominally, but rather genuinely, by gaining a new heart and soul from the root on, to the outskirts of living, or the Redeemer will never come unto to us to stay. And, above all else, once confessing sins, one may not think it is the deed and the guilt of it Christ is hunting out, but rather the criminal responsible for it having been committed.

There is a story I recall from the time I have fancied worldly matters and things – it is obviously an imaginary story born in Ancient England from the castles of vampires. The vampires would go out at night alone, biting people and these bitten ones soon would turn themselves into biting ones as well, who would, under the influences, feel safe hid in the shadows of darkness alone from then on. I recall how, as a child, I saw one of those movies where the main Vampire at last was thrown into the open sun-light and withered away into an awful death. It began to crumble and rotten away speedily, its body becoming as rotten as a body would have become after many days of decomposing exposure to the elements of nature. They followed all the bitten ones up to find the one who made them bite as well. They found him and threw him into open sunlight. The body of sin would, in that way and in no time, find the decomposition it should have gone through, as the tale goes, during hundreds of years. It finds its total decomposition in a few minutes. All bitten ones would turn to normal once the biting, influencing one died.

Although this is a devilish fairytale, yet there is something we may take from it for the purpose of dealing with this “body of sin” we are seriously talking about. We read from Paul that “for whatsoever doth become manifest, is light”. It means that darkness, once exposed, may not be regarded as darkness but as something lit and revealed from then on - it is become light.

We know Christ forgives once a person is able never again to be or to do what it confessed, from then on. Conversion is the condition to forgiveness. It is not a liar any more who confesses to have lied, if he is truthful at heart. Confessing the lie exposes the liar to death. If a liar says “I have lied”, mind, he is telling the truth! A liar does not tell the truth concerning his lying, as he is found doing during confession. Mark that he is become a truthful man concerning his lying. Darkness has been turned into light, a liar into a truthful man, by holding his old lies out - a vampire is caught up and delivered to the sun-light and sin died and withered away instantly that way. Actions have become normal from then on. A killer is to be forgiven once he stops killing and starts sharing life for a change and never when he confesses he has killed! The killer Saul started distributing life after his conversion, doing the opposite of what he did before and professing it. Let robbers start giving by exposing themselves along with it and not stop stealing alone; let homosexuals become normal married people and not stop being as they were alone; let liars become truthful and sin is dead. The confessions helps a killer out of being a killer - it exposes to death. “He who covers his sins shall not be blessed (with a new nature, a new body of righteousness); but whoever confesses and leaves them shall have mercy”, Prov.28:13. "Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance", Mat.3:8. There is a main secret in confessing, and that is to be able to be cleansed from all unrighteousness, since the unrighteous one dies and withers away that way.

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José Mateus