Whenever I read Leviticus and Deuteronomy, I am so thankful that I didn’t live in those times. First, because I am a Gentile and wouldn’t be among God’s chosen people, but also because even if I were one of the Israelites, I would have to obey so many rules that I’m sure I’d be sacrificing animals on a daily basis for forgiveness. Since Jesus’ sacrifice, we no longer have to kill an animal for the forgiveness of our sins. We only have to confess our sins and repent from them. Proverbs 28:13 reminds us:
"He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy."
The principle of confessing our sins is the first step. But I think that we as believers shouldn’t forget the second part of the process. We not only confess, but we are to also repent – or as Proverbs puts it, renounce our sin. I believe what this means, is that at the moment of confession, we have to purpose in our hearts that we are turning away from our sin. If we don’t, I don’t think we’ve really completed the process – we haven’t renounced it. If we confess our sins, yet in our hearts have not determined that we will turn away from said sin, have we really repented? I’m not saying that at some point won’t fall to the same temptation, but at the moment of confession, we really need to fully repent – or renounce our sin.
When we sin, and ask God to forgive us, Proverbs tells us that it is a two-part process. We have to confess by telling God how we’ve sinned thereby agreeing that our sin is wrong. And secondly, we have to repent, or as Proverbs says, renounce our sin. Effectively, we have to have a genuine change of heart, purposing in our minds that we will not revisit our sin. Sure, there is always a chance that we’ll fall again, but at the point of repentance, we should have every intention that we will stand strong next time we’re tempted.