About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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Repenting Of Unknown Sin


I write the following to answer this question that was recently asked of me.  How can I repent of a sin that I do not know I commit?  Answering this question requires a Biblical understanding of sin, repentance, our sinful nature, and our God-declared status as being in right standing with God as believers. 


The primary definition of sin is "missing the mark of God's righteous standard for our lives."  In part, this is because the Greek word "hamartia" that is translated as sin in the New Testament means "to miss the mark," which is reflected in what Paul said in Romans 3:23.


"... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"


Now read how Paul defined sin in Romans 14:23. 


"But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin."


Viewing sin as everything done apart from faith, or trusting Jesus, is a broad definition of sin.  It includes sins we don't realize we commit, and thus my next point. 


Acts of sin are not our real problem.  We sin because we are sinners by nature, as seen in Romans 7.  More impactful on our lives than acts of sin is our sinful nature that causes us to sin.  Repenting, thus, requires us to not only stop sinning, but to decide to turn away from our sinful self so we can be transformed into the image of Christ, seen in Romans 12:1.


"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind ..."


Our sinful nature consistently causes us to commit both known and unknown sin, and it will do so until the day we die, thus, my next point. 


During our earthly transformation we must understand that God has declared us who believe to be in right standing with Himself.  He views us as being just as righteous as He Himself is righteous, even though we are far from righteous.  For this reason, our names have been written in the Lamb's Book of Life where there is no sin, including unknown sins, associated with our names.


I conclude with the following Biblical facts.

We sin because we are sinful by nature (Romans 7).

All of our past, present, and future sins have been forgiven, deleted from God's mind (Colossians 2:13).

God has declared us to be righteous, even as He is righteous (Romans 3:21 - 26).

Our names have been written in the Lamb's Book of Life where there is no sin associated with our names (Revelation 20:12).

We are presently being transformed into the likeness of Jesus (Romans 12:1 - 2).


If the above Biblical truths are your present reality, you have no need to worry about sins you do not know you are committing.  Your concern should be to allow the Holy Spirit, in conjunction with Biblical truth, to transform your sinful nature into the nature of Jesus.  During this process, we thank God that He sees us as being totally righteous, even as He is righteous.  Without that declaration, we are eternally lost.      



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