Some of you will think, why a question like this when the Bible says we must confess our sins. Some of you will think, I’m going to shoot some Preacher with a double barrel shot gun for teaching something wrong. I’m just going to handle this topic in the right way, as there are different views in the Church on this topic than it was before.
Traditional Teaching on Forgiveness: Confess your sins and Receive Forgiveness.
Modern Teaching on Forgiveness: You are already forgiven so you don’t have to confess your sins. You are under a waterfall of forgiveness, so you are automatically or continuously forgiven and cleansed.
Where Do I stand?? I don’t stand for both, you will know where I stand. The Traditional Forgiveness fellas believe that our future sins are not forgiven because there is no verse in the Bible on it and therefore We must receive present forgiveness for present sins. The Modern Forgiveness Fellas believe that Jesus has already forgiven our Past,Present and Future sins so no need of receiving forgiveness again and again.
Let me state what I believe and then we will dig into the Bible: I believe that Jesus has already forgiven all ours sins. He died once for all of Humanity and for all sins. Jesus died more than 2000 years back and His Work is finished, sealed. When someone receives Jesus now, Jesus doesn’t die again but the person receives what Jesus has already done. We don’t have to do something to receive what Jesus has done for us, we have to Just Believe and receive. Next, we should confess our sin and receive forgiveness when we sin as stated in 1 john 1:9. Jesus doesn’t forgive us only when we confess, He has already forgiven us but we have to receive it in the Now. We receive His forgiveness, when we are open and honest about our sin.(Don’t run away, Time to Dig!!!)
The Controversial 1 John 1:9:
The Traditional guys use this verse as their weapon and the Modern guys reject this saying this is not for Christians(but for Gnostics). Some claim that John wrote the First Chapter to Gnostics and the other chapters to Christians. I believe that is very weak claim:
Truth 1: John wrote the Book of First John as a Single letter and it didn’t have chapters. Saying that First chapter is for Gnostics and the others is for Christians doesn’t make any sense as there are no Chapters and John wrote them in a flow.
Truth 2: Like Paul, John wrote His letters to Christians not to the public or Gnostics. As there was tremendous opposition and persecution for the Early Church, the New testament writers sent letters only to the believers.
First Chapter is not for Christians but for Gnostics is just a weak theory.
Truth 3: “It is for the Gnostics theory” is rooted on the argument that John addresses as “Children” only in the second chapter so First Chapter is for the Gnostics. That is a weak argument because John says in 1 John 2:1: “Dear Children, I write this to you so that you will not sin”. I write which to you?? : “The first chapter or the previous passages” not the second chapter as many say. Proper Language interpretation will show you that 1 John 2:1 is not the start of something but the continuation of something.
Truth 4: In the First Chapter, John says “We” including him with the readers. If he was addressing to the Gnostics He should have said:”You”. He said “We must confess our sins” which means it applies to John and his christian readers, He didn’t say:”You must confess your sins” so it is not addressed to Gnostics.
John is bringing a contrast between Claiming that you didn’t sin, when you did(Self righteous) and Confessing your Sin in complete honesty(Humility). It has nothing to do with “being hit by guilt and shame” or “Confessing that you are sinner”. Now we have clearly seen that 1 John 1:9 is a valid verse. Let’s move on to the Finished work of Christ.
The Finished Work of Jesus Christ:
Jesus’s “sufferings, death, burial, resurrection and ascension” is the finished work of Jesus not just His death. Jesus Work for Humanity to save them from sin and bring them back to God was a One time event that took place more than 2000 yrs back. Jesus is not going to suffer or die for anyone anymore, He is at the right hand of the Father in His ascended position.
Now, that I have defined Jesus’s finished work let’s deal with the argument “If Am already forgiven, why should I receive forgiveness again and again”. For this, you must understand that Bible talks about the same concept with different time periods: For ex, We are saved and We are Being Saved and We Will be saved. Which is True, all three are. If you mix them up, you will end up with a wrong belief. And there is also another principle everyone must understand: Positional and Experiential…Positionally, you have a lot of things in Christ. Experientially, you may not have all the things that are available to you in Christ because it is depended on revelation and faith. It is not “I’m righteous now, so nothing matters. Whatever I do doesn’t matter”, It is “I’m Righteous now and I’m going to live a Righteous life because I’m Righteous”. Jesus didn’t make us Righteous to go around quoting that truth, He made us Righteous so that we will live righteous because we were not able to live righteous on our own. Get me??…
Forgiveness when compared with Healing will bring Light to this Truth. Healing is not some side issue, it is part and parcel of the Finished work of Christ. Jesus’ Blood is for our sins and Jesus’s wounds is for our sickness. 1 Peter 2:24: says “By His wounds we have been healed”. It is in past tense, it is one of the Finished work of Jesus. You are already healed according to this verse, then why pray for healing??. When seen from the Modern view of Forgiveness, then we must be walking under a waterfall of healing and we must be automatically healed of our sicknesses. Headache shows up at 8.00 am and leaves at 8.00am, Cancer appears at 9.45pm and disappears immediately at 9.45pm….Hello???…Thats not happening right??. If it doesn’t work for healing, it will also not work for forgiveness because it is the Same Jesus and His Same One time Finished Work. We get sick and we have to receive healing, even though we are positionally healed. Similarly, if we sin we must receive forgiveness even though we are positionally forgiven. If there is no waterfall of healing above our heads continually healing our sicknesses, then there is no waterfall of forgiveness above our heads continually forgiving our sins. Healing or Forgiveness or Whatever Jesus has done is a Done deal, Finished work but we have to receive them by Faith in the Now.
Note: I would advise you to read this passage again before moving on.
Some more questions to consider on this concept of Forgiveness:
- If Forgiveness is automatic and continuous, Why did Ananias and Sapphira drop down dead for Lying??? Acts 5.
- If Forgiveness is automatic and continuous, Why did Paul hand the Guy to satan, who was committing incest(sleeping around with his Dad’s wife)?? If Forgiveness is automatic and doesn’t require any change in the life of a person, why sent him to the devil?? He should have been allowed to be in the Church under the waterfall of forgiveness till the end because “God’s Grace abounds and abounds”?? 1 Corinthians 5.
- If Forgiveness is automatic and continuous, Why did Peter rebuke Simon the sorcerer for his sin and instructed him to ask for forgiveness?? Acts 8.
Note: I have this theory. It is just my theory I’m not claiming that it is the Truth and you must receive it. According to my theory, Jesus didn’t die for your “13043 sins”, He died for sins in its “entirety”. We have this problem of differing views because One says Jesus has already forgiven my sins 13043, and another says He is just forgiven your past 10043 sins so you have to receive forgiveness for the remaining 3000 sins when you do it. I don’t think it works that way, if it does then “Living like Jesus” (as I will explain a little at the end and more in the next post) will be impossible on earth.
From One ditch to Another Ditch:
Just because many in the Church preach Law, you don’t have to go to the other end and fall into a ditch. Holy Spirit doesn’t condemn us saying:”You Good for Nothing,Evil, Garbage can. You are a Sinner and if you don’t repent, you are dead meat”. Holy Spirit convicts us saying:”You are God’ s Son or Daughter and Sons don’t do these stuffs.Get out of that sin and come back to Daddy”. Asking for forgiveness makes only those who live in sin or love to sin, sin conscious. If you know the truth that “He loves you and you will receive His already provided forgiveness when you come to Him”, you will be Jesus conscious and not sin conscious. And if you understand another truth, you will become more Jesus conscious and will have nothing to do with sin.
Sin Hurts God:
Sin hurts God, no matter what argument you bring against. God knew that the Israelites will fail Him in the wilderness, yet He was grieved when it happened. God lives in Eternity but relates with Man in the Now. It doesn’t matter what you believe about forgiveness: Ask forgiveness or Don’t have to ask, Sin hurts God. It is time to stop digging stuffs that will make us “feel free” and start to dig stuffs that will really make us Free.
Don’t Grieve(Hurt or make sad) the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30(This verse is sand witched between a list of sins, meaning Sin hurts God. God is not mad at you is True, God is not sad about you is a lie. He is sad when you play with sin.)
Find out what Pleases God. Ephesians 5:10(God loves you no matter what is True but God is pleased with you no matter what is a lie. You have to find out what Pleases Him and Please Him, and this is possible because of Who we are in Christ)
Moving from Forgiveness to Freedom:
I believe all these disagreements over Sin, which was Jesus defeated on the cross, arose because we have focused and preached and stressed a Forgiveness Gospel not a Freedom Gospel. The True Gospel is the Gospel that provides complete Freedom from sin. Jesus died for our Freedom not just our Forgiveness. We have been called to live like Jesus, who walked in total freedom and not to fight over forgiveness. See the popular quote “I’m not perfect, just forgiven” is not true. We are not just forgiven, we have been Made Free and Made New and thereby we can be Perfect(Remember, Jesus saying “Be perfect because your Father in Heaven is perfect”. Remember, John saying “Everyone who claims to be a Christians MUST live like Jesus”). New Creation means NEW creation and New Creations Live like Jesus in every way. That’s the result of Proper Faith and Grace. See, how far we have fallen from the real truth!!!
Freedom is the Main element and it is not accessed because of lack of revelation of the Truth and a zero or incomplete understanding of Grace. Forgiveness is available, but let’s not settle for it and move forward to Freedom. Grace doesn’t cover our sins and makes us move on as if nothing happened, Grace empowers us to live in Total Freedom like Jesus.
I’m not saying God is sitting on the throne with a Fly swatter to thrash you when you sin, I’m also not saying as God has already forgiven don’t worry about your sins just move on. I’m saying when you sin He is waiting for you with Open arms to receive you and teach you how to Live above Sin. Forgiveness is available and it has to be received in the Now just as Healing, but my point is why settle for forgiveness when we can be free. There is total Forgiveness.Agreed. There is also Total Freedom available for us.March On…Next Post will be on Freedom from Sin…Stay tuned….