Jesus died for the sins of the whole world. But the benefits are conditional upon believing that he died for you, so the benefit of relief from sin’s punishment is not automatic. When we believe that God sent his Son to die for us personally, that we are worthy of punishment for our sins and Jesus took that punishment onto himself, then God applies forgiveness.
Thus at the cross we see God’s justice (Jesus was punished for all our sins) and God’s mercy (he will forgive our sins freely).
When you do wrong to someone, it is appropriate to tell that person you are sorry. This tells the person wronged that you are seeking reconciliation; you want the relationship mended. The same dynamics apply between a Christian and God. When you confess your sin, you are acknowledging with God that he was right about your sin, and you recognize that it is personal. Your confession acknowledges that you did not merely break a rule, but disobeyed God himself. That confession is your earnest declaration that you want your relationship with God to continue.
We help heal a relationship when we acknowledge our wrongdoing, whether with another person or with God.
What Do You Think?
a. When you do wrong, do you usually try to cover it up or pretend it never happened? Why or why not?
b. Are you uncomfortable when people try to tell you they are sorry? Why or why not?