Many Christians wrestle with the question of what happens if they die after having committed an unconfessed or unintentional sin. It is not uncommon for Christians to ritualistically include a request for forgiveness each time they pray in an effort to ask God for forgiveness as often as possible. While it is important to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness from our transgressions, our salvation is not based on constant confession or repeated requests for forgiveness. The salvation provided by faith in Jesus Christ's sacrifice is unconditional, and a Christian's unconfessed and unknown sins will not be held against them after they have passed away.
How Our Salvation Cleanses Us From Our Sin
Jesus Christ died to pay the price for the sins of those who choose to believe in Him and confess that He is Lord. His sacrifice covers every Christian's past, present and future transgressions. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ paid the price we should have paid for our sins. The following scriptures outline that it is by faith in Him that we have gained forgiveness.
- Colossians 1:14 says: "... in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
- Acts 10:43 says: "All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
How Are We to Confess Our Sins?
I John 1:9 states "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." This verse does say that we must "confess" our sins. Does this indicate that there is indeed a daily need to ask for forgiveness and "confess" our sins to God in order to maintain our salvation?
Quite simply, the answer is no.
Daily confession of our sins to God is not a condition of our salvation. The word "confess" used in this context translates as "agree with." When we initially place our faith in Jesus Christ and the redemption He has provided through his sacrifice, the "confession" of our sin is us agreeing with God that we are wrong and that we have sinned. God is "faithful and just" by faithfully providing his forgiveness as He has promised, and He is just in His recognition that His Son's sacrifice and our faith has purified us from our former unrighteousness. God's faithfulness and just nature has no time limit, and just as God is eternal so is His faithfulness to purify our sinful nature.
What Is the Importance of Confessing Our Daily Sins and Asking for God's Forgiveness After We Have Been Saved?
After studying these scriptures, we see that our salvation is not based on our continual asking for forgiveness. Does this mean that there is no use in daily confession of our sins to God?
In Ephesians 4:30, Paul issues a warning to the church. He warns, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Even though we have been "sealed" into our salvation, it is still possible to cause God to grieve. Our sin can cause a interruption or obstruction in our relationship with our Father in Heaven. Our asking God for forgiveness, and being truly repentant, is our way to repair a strained relationship with the author of our salvation.