Now that we understand the importance of confession and repentance in the process of healing, the next step in the process of closing our spiritual gates and reconciling our relationship with God is to identify the sin(s) in our lives –the open gates through which Satan influences us. Permission is granted by disobedience to the Lord. Consent is given by making wrong choices and believing the demon’s lies. When we accept the lie rather than believing the truth of God’s Word we have granted permission to demons. The same is true when we choose the curse instead of the promised blessings
When we sin, we set in motion irrevocable forces of spiritual laws. One of these is the spiritual law of sowing and reaping, of consequence and retribution. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). If you sow sin, you reap darkness, torment, fear, guilt, shame, pain, illness, depression, irrational behavior, and feelings of worthlessness. With this law comes the certainty of blessings for the obedient, and, likewise, curses or punishment for the disobedient.
Seeking repentance and forgiveness for sin is a lifelong process: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). However, we are only accountable to God for the sins we know about; in His merciful nature, during our lifelong walk with Him, He only convicts us of our sins a few at a time. If He revealed all of our sins at once, we would be overwhelmed and, feeling defeated, we would not even begin to reconcile. Thus, He reveals our sins to us in layers—as in our attempt to peel individual layers from an onion. The closer we grow to God, the more we see the sin of our lives.
To make things even more difficult, the father of sin—Satan—blinds us, preventing us from seeing our impurities, so we either don’t see them or we rationalize them as not being a true problem. While the sins of our actions (such as lying, fornicating, stealing, cursing, hating, drunkenness, not tithing, or involvement with pornography) should be so obvious to us that we should not need the conviction of the Holy Spirit to realize we are in disobedience, the sins of attitude (such as pride, rebellion, unbelief, envy, selfishness, ambition, control, self independence, self sufficiency etc.) are much more subtle and more difficult for us to see. These sins are a part of who we are; they are a part of our spiritual inheritance, our personal “culture.” We are in need of God’s help (through His grace) to see and heal them. God can seldom deal with “the sins of attitude” until we have dealt with “the sins of behavior” (listed hereinafter).
Exactly when we are forgiven of our sins is sometimes not clear. There is absolutely no question that our Lord Jesus Christ’s death upon the cross provided the ultimate sacrifice for the forgiveness of all sin. But when does that forgiveness actually occur in our life? Is it at the moment of baptism or at the receiving of the Holy Spirit (being “born again,” John 3:3-6), or is it readily available, as is His grace which is always available to us but for which we must ask, and meet the conditions of confession and repentance in order to receive?
Many individuals die without having first asked Jesus into their heart; the same may be true of their neglect in asking for forgiveness of sin. Many do not ask for forgiveness, therefore, they have not received it (Jas. 4:2, “… ye have not, because ye ask not”). When we confess, repent and ask for forgiveness, God immediately forgives us. (I John 1:9)
If we are unrepentant when we are baptized, will our sins be forgiven just because we “got wet?” I think not. Likewise, are we forgiven at baptism of the sins we don’t know about and for which we have not asked for forgiveness? I think not. But for these sins, neither are we held accountable until the Lord makes them known to us.
Christ died to cover the sins of the believer, as well as the sins of the heathen—who knows nothing of Jesus or His grace.
The sinner’s prayer (“Lord, forgive me of all my sins”), as you will soon see from this booklet does NOT suffice? We must be very specific about which sins. Such “general-all encompassing” prayers may provide temporary relief from darkness and bondage, but soon the seeker returns for more prayer for the same things.
As we have mentioned elsewhere within these sections, we must remember that forgiveness of sin and the consequences of past sins are two different things, and will need to be addressed through two different processes. Some may know and trust that they have been forgiven, yet feelings of condemnation, shame, and guilt continue to afflict them. On the other hand, experience suggests that sins which have previously been repented of (such as those repented of in preparation for or at baptism) usually are not likewise recalled by the believer (through a continued sense of guilt, shame, condemnation). These repented sins have been covered by the blood of Jesus and remembered by Him, as is stated, “no more.” We therefore must depend upon the Holy Spirit to help us identify those sins that are currently (for whatever reason) uncovered and of which we are blinded.
As you read through the following lists, be open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit with regard to those sins in your spirit which may be “uncovered,” those of which you may yet be blind. Other sins not listed herein may come to mind, as well. Those sins which are identified “today” are those the Lord wishes for you to deal with “today.” As you re-read the list in the future, other sins may additionally be identified for which you do not feel conviction today. “Line upon line” and “precept upon precept” is the way of the Lord.
Spiritual Sin Checklist
As you review the list of behavioral sins noted below, pray that the Lord will convict you of any sins of which you yet need to confess and repent. Use this opportunity to identify and mark (perhaps with the date) those unrepentant sins as the Lord reveals them to you. Should you be uncertain of the accuracy of the meaning of any of the following words, look them up in the dictionary. (These behavioral sins are identified in the following scriptural ref-erences: Ex. 20:1-17, Lev 19:11-18, Matt 15:19, Matt 19:18-19, Mark 7:21-22, Mark 10:19, Luke 12:15, Luke 18:20, Rom. 1:29-31, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, Gal. 5:19-21, Eph. 4:25-31, Eph. 5:3-5, I Tim 1:9-10, II Tim 3:2-5, Heb 13:4-5, James 1:19,26-27, James 3:14-16, James 4:11, 1 Pe-ter 2:1-3, I Peter 3:10, I Peter 4:3,15, 2 Pet 2:10, 2 Peter 2:14, I John 2:16, Jude 16.) (26)
Sins of Behavior (what we do) (123)
- abusers of mankind
- abusers of themselves
- admiration of men
- an evil eye
- bearing false witness
- bearing grudges
- beguiling unstable souls
- bowing down to other gods
- bridle his tongue
- busybody in other men’s matters
- corrupt communication
- creep into houses
- curses children
- deal falsely
- despise government
- despisers of those that are good
- discontent with things as ye have
- disobedient to parents
- not eschew evil
- evil speaking
- evil thoughts
- excess of wine
- eyes full of adultery
- false accusers
- false witness
- fast to speak
- foolish talking
- form of godliness, but denying the power
- give place to the devil
- graven images
- grieve the holy spirit
- haters of god
- heart deception
- honor thy father and thy mother
- inventors of evil things
- not keep the sabbath day holy
- lead captive silly women
- lovers of themselves
- lust of the eyes
- lust of the flesh
- mouths speaking great swelling words
- unrighteousness judgment
- not honor the person of the mighty
- not keeping god’s statutes
- not respecting the poor
- other gods before me
- probate mind
- profane the name of god
- speaking evil of anyone
- speaking evil of dignities
- stand against the blood of thy neighbor
- swear by god’s name falsely
- taking the lords name in vain
- tongue speaks evil
- walkers after their own lusts
- without natural affection
- without natural affection
- without understanding
Sins of Attitude (who we are)
- seek to excel
Ask God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to reveal to you if there are other sins not on this list that you may have forgotten yet need to address. These sins remain in your subconscious for your entire life until you deal with them. As long as they are there, your spiritual gates are still open and Satan can continue to use them against you.
Be open to the ways in which God chooses to reveal things to you. He may reveal a picture of something that happened in the past that draws up feelings and/or thoughts that need to be addressed or the name of someone may come to you to spark another memory. If anything is unclear, just ask the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to enlighten your mind’s
Use the space below to identify additional sins:
Generally, the above steps will identify the sins in your life. On some occasions, how-ever, there may be sins buried so deeply that you may need the assistance of an experienced intercessor to help in this process, in asking the Holy Spirit to identify them for you. Typically we are blind to our own baggage or “stuff;” without the Lord’s help and the help of another of His servants, we do not receive the healing we desperately need.
The process of confessing and repenting of the sins we’ve committed is the easiest step in the practice of closing open gates. Closing other gates may be more difficult. Although Je-sus bore our sins, in some areas we have to appropriate the power of the cross in order to re-ceive the desired freedom from sin (Acts 8:23 and 19:18, Eph. 4:28). These processes will be described in more detail in subsequent sections.
After making your list, find a trustworthy friend, or a pastor, and share your list—for the purpose of confession. You need not go into specific details but you do need to verbally confess these sins. Ask your friend or pastor to pray for you, that the Lord might forgive and heal you of all your sins; pray that your spiritual gates in each of these areas may be closed and healed. Then give praise to Jesus.
Prayer for Healing of Sinfulness
For each sin or group of sins identified, pray something similar to the following:
Lord God, I confess and acknowledge ______________ as a sin in my life. I am sorry for my sin and I repent of it. I renounce this sin and give back the spiritual ground to my Lord Jesus. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Prayer for Healing from the Sin of Lying (see also chapter on Healing Your Tongue.)
Lord God, I come now to confess and acknowledge the sin of lying. Father, only you know the many times I have lied. I know that lying is the language of hell. I am sorry for my sin and I repent of it. I renounce all the lies I have spoken. Release all those to whom I have lied from believing the lies I have spoken. I revoke all assignments of the lies I have spoken. I take back the spiritual authority I gave the darkness when I lied, and I give it to Jesus. I commit to you that I will not lie again. In Jesus name AMEN.