One of the most important features of the new birth is described to us by the Apostle John when he says “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God (1 Jn. 3:9).” This doesn’t mean that after your conversion you no longer sin, but it does mean that you have a new covenantal status and a new nature.
First, God looks with lavish love upon those who are baptized into Christ by faith, just as He looks upon His beloved Son. God looks at you and sees Jesus. Your new covenantal status changes who you are: a son and daughter of God. However, by His Spirit, He also has begotten Christ within you and is continually working to purge out the filth and taint of the old nature. This new nature changes what you do: you do righteousness, flee sin, and confess sin when you see it rear its ugly head within you.
But looking at our heart is exactly the opposite of where God would have us look.Sometimes we might think that God isn’t very good at sanctifying us because we look at our heart and see only pride, envy, lust, anger, and despair. But looking at our heart is exactly the opposite of where God would have us look. We are not to sit as judges in our own case. We ought not look within to see if our good works outweigh our sins. Rather, we must look to Christ and trust that by faith in Him God looks with joy upon us and doesn’t see sinners but sees saints. God does a better job of saving sinners than leaving us under the thumb of our sins; He plants His seed within us, like a master gardener nurtures the fruit of righteousness in us.
When done in faith, confessing our sins is an act of Spirit-born righteousness, and is gladly received by the Father because He looks upon You and sees Jesus. When done in unbelief, confession of sins is just one more act of sinful self-righteousness. So in Christ, by His Spirit, see your sin for what it is, repent of it, forsake it, and rejoice that through Christ our Mediator, you are reconciled unto God.