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Why does the enemy have legal rights against me if I have put my faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior?

God has asked you to confess your sins and to repent of them on a regular basis. 1 John 1: 9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” When you don’t do that, then the enemy has legal rights to come and attack you.

You see Satan in the book of Revelation accusing God’s people in the courts of heaven. Revelation 12:10 says, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”

The enemy is accusing you day and night before God trying to get the legal rights to attack you. You also see this happen to Joshua the priest in Zechariah 3:17. Here is what that passage says:

“Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?”

Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and standing before the angel. He spoke and said to those who were standing before him, saying, “Remove the filthy garments from him.”

Again he said to him, “See, I have taken your iniquity away from you and will clothe you with festal robes.” Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments, while the angel of the LORD was standing by.

And the angel of the LORD admonished Joshua, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here.”

This is a picture of what happens in the spirit realm when you sin. When you sin, you put on dirty clothes and Satan goes into God’s throne and begins to accuse you. If you don’t do your part to put on clean clothes by confessing your sin and repenting, then you will get attacked by the enemy.

The good news is that these types of attacks from the enemy can be stopped by living a life of confession and repentance.

When you sin, there’s a hole that’s created in your hedge of protection from the Lord through which the enemy can attack you. Therefore, legal rights are not a salvation issue but a spiritual warfare issue.

Are the enemy's legal rights over me renewed every time you sin?

Yes! Every time you sin, the enemy can get new legal rights to be able to attack you. That is until you confess and repent of your sin.

The best way to minimize the enemy’s attacks is by practicing instant confession and repentance. That means that as soon as you sin, you should go to God and ask for forgiveness and mean it from a sincere heart.

Why do I need to confess my sins if Jesus died for all of my past, present, and future sins?

The issue at hand is not a salvation issue but a spiritual warfare issue. Yes, Jesus died for all of your sins, past, present, and future. That means that you are going to heaven.

However, 1 John 1:7-8 says, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The word for the enemy in this verse is antidikos which means an opponent at law. That’s why Satan is looking to take you to the court of heaven to accuse you of sins that you have not confessed and repented of because it will grant him the legal power to be able to attack you and oppress you.

What does it mean to repent?

The word repent comes from the Greek word metanoia. It’s the call for a personal, absolute and ultimate unconditional surrender to God as Sovereign. Though it includes sorrow and regret, it is more than that. In repenting, one makes a complete change of direction (180° turn) toward God.

What if there is a sin in my life that I keep on struggling with?

I understand if there’s a sin in your life that you’re struggling with repetitively. I struggled with the sin of smoking cigarettes for many years. I did not take care of my body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit that God gave me.

When it came time for me to quit, I was heavily addicted. I would throw away my pack of cigarettes but when I felt an urge to smoke, then I would buy another pack and smoke a cigarette. Then the enemy would condemn me because of my sin. It took me several months to quit smoking cigarettes after going back-and-forth. But by God’s grace, this bad habit was broken.

In this same way, I also struggled with pornography until God helped me get freedom.

Yes, there will be sin in your life that you’re struggling with that will take you multiple times for you to get the victory. But every time that you sin, you should confess and turn your heart towards Jesus. Ask Him to help you with overcoming the sin you’re struggling with.

Just don’t shift the entire responsibility on God, there’s also your part that you have to play. God is faithful to do His part, and so should you.