001 – If We Confess Our Sin

Welcome to the 1st episode of the Grace Cafe Podcast with Mike & Susan Adams. We’ve been podcasting for almost two years on the Chief Sinner Podcast and the Known & Loved Podcast. We recently decided to make a fresh podcasting start and launch something new. The Grace Cafe Podcast is the result of that decision. The Chief Sinner/Known & Loved podcast will still be available in your podcast app, but no new episodes will be added beyond episode 82. In addition to our regular episodes in the Grace Cafe, we have identified 30+ episodes from the Chief Sinner/Known & Loved podcast that we will be bringing over slowly as bonus episodes, marked as Chief Sinner/Known & Loved favorites.

In this inaugural episode, we talk about a subject that’s foundational to Christianity – the confession and forgiveness of sin. It’s a topic that gets muddled and confused sometimes. We read Bible passages like 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins” and come away with the mistaken belief that unless we keep accurate records of our sins and keep confessing them as they occur, we’ve fallen out of God’s good favor. In other words, we live in fear that in this type of ongoing sin confession, we might miss one and lose any hope of true forgiveness and eternal life.

But is that what this passage is saying? Is that the interpretation the Apostle John would want us to come away with? We don’t think so. Such an interpretation leads to false feelings of guilt, condemnation, and failure. Does our forgiveness of sin depend upon our ability to accurately and completely recollect them all and confess them all, leading to our forgiveness at that moment in time, only to be repeated at some future moment to experience forgiveness all over again up to that moment in time?

We can easily become neurotic about sin when we think forgiveness from God is based on our performance in this way. We start to think we have to clean ourselves up to a certain level of righteousness before God will accept us. But that’s a futile attempt to secure forgiveness and righteousness by works. Let’s talk about it.

Welcome to The Grace Cafe!

2 thoughts on “001 – If We Confess Our Sin

  1. John 20: 19-23 … Can you help me understand the context of this scripture … Jesus gave his disciples the authority to forgive anyone’s sins or to not forgive … I have looked at commentaries and would like your input on this. Was this for then and not now? I have much to share about my walk from religion to grace and will share in time.

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    • Hi Susan. That’s a confusing passage because (in my opinion) it’s been translated incorrectly since the 4th century or so. It sounds like the disciples were given the ability to forgive sins. But the passage should read as though the disciples are merely affirming what had previously taken place – the forgiveness of sins. I think we see this played out in Acts 11 when the gospel went to the Gentiles and Peter’s statement was “who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” (11:17). Peter merely affirmed what God had already done in granting the Gentiles forgiveness, not himself forgiving sins. The forgiveness of sins requires the shedding of blood and Jesus only did that once. Church tradition translated John 20:23 in such a way as to give the priest the power to forgive and absolve sins. There’s no instance of the Apostles forgiving anyone their sins. They can’t. Only God can. That’s my take anyway. I hope that helps… Mike

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