Is it wrong to ask God for forgiveness?
“Beware the grace Pharisees who jump on you if you dare to ask God for forgiveness. They will say you’re operating in unbelief and legalism.”
This claim is sometimes made against those who preach grace. Because we say God has forgiven all your sins, apparently it’s wrong to ask him to forgive you. Apparently asking God to give what he has already provided is an insulting sin.
But I don’t buy it. It’s true that God has forgiven you, but if asking helps you to receive, then by all means ask!
There is nothing wrong in coming to the throne of grace in your hour of need to receive mercy and find grace. If you need forgiveness, God has an ample supply. It’s not wrong to ask. What’s wrong is telling people God won’t forgive them unless they first do things like repent or confess all their sins. What’s wrong is telling the poor and needy they’ve got to pay to dine at the table of the Lord’s abundance. What’s wrong is putting price tags on the gift of grace.
It’s not wrong to ask God for anything you need. He’s your Father and he cares for you. He wants you to present your requests to him (Php. 4:6). If you have made mistakes and are need of forgiveness, have the freedom to ask knowing that he will give you what you ask for.
But here’s something you may not appreciate: God will forgive you even if you don’t ask, even if you forget to ask. How do I know? Because he’s already done it.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. (Eph 1:7)
Perhaps you think you have to ask as in, “If I don’t ask, God won’t forgive me.” That’s like saying, “Christ didn’t carry all my sin,” which he did, or “Jesus needs to come and die again,” which he won’t, or “God needs my permission to forgive me,” which he doesn’t.
By all means have the freedom to repent, confess, ask, say sorry, or turn cartwheels if you wish, but do these things out of a sense of gratitude rather than obligation. Understand that you are not forgiven because you do the right things or ask in the proper manner. You are forgiven because your Father loves you and abounds in grace towards you.
It’s essential that you see this.
From God’s side, forgiveness is a done deal. There remain no more sacrifices for sin. But from our side sin may be a big problem indeed. Many are crippled by guilt and condemnation. Others remain slaves to sin and are incapable of making healthy choices. The solution is not to buy into a message of dead works—“Try harder! Turn from sin! Beg God to forgive you!” The remedy is to receive the grace that has been provided in Jesus Christ.
Why do you need to receive the gift of forgiveness if you are already forgiven? Because grace will change you. It will free you from sin’s brutal and condemning grip.
Unwanted grace is worthless. Leave God’s grace on the shelf and it won’t benefit you. This is why the New Testament writers exhort us to believe the good news. They’re basically saying, “Quit beating yourself up over sin and trying to make yourself clean. Trust Jesus and rest in his finished work.”
Receiving grace is simply a matter of agreeing with God. It’s thanking him that through Jesus “I have been cleansed from all unrighteousness, and all my sins have been taken away.” It’s giving him thanks in all circumstances because his grace abounds in all circumstances.
Adapted from The Hyper-Grace Gospel.
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Thanks again Paul.
It comes down to the correct definition of confession (which along with repentance is often harmfully misunderstood) The correct definition is “say what God says about whatever the situation is.”
Why do it ? Not to get right with God – we already are, know it or not.
No the purpose, I believe, is to express thanks that Jesus has already put it right.
This is just one way we are to behold the Lamb of God- looking at all the aspects of His finished work manifests Him in us.
So confess what God says is true and rejoice that He has redeemed everything that you are, giving you a new spirit.
You are righteous!
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.
Wish this masage can be conceived +vely by my fellow christians as conmen have taken over and have planted fear and disbelief in christian so as to steal from the flock.In my country they have very little confidence in. God. such that. even if u ..Paul visits Kenya and claim ur the messiah and lace ur massage with few tricks here and there in the name of heavenly sent miracles,we will all believe!!The works God started in u can transform christians in Kenya and. save many from traps of gold diggers who preach law to their adventage.I know u need resources to. achieve this and. God will continue providing to u. Paul.God bless u for saving me from dead works I can now believe in grace in Jesus.
Hey Joshua, I’m Kenyan too, but live in the diaspora. We desperately need grace-based churches and preachers in Kenya where too many desperate families are being taken through the wringer of twisted religion (wakenya wame-Kanyari-wa). More than hoping Paul will visit and speak to a finite group, we need to pray a grace revival will be ignited in Kenya. That could happen slowly but it will have a more lasting effect. It will start, with those of us who live and breathe grace, speaking Grace whenever dead works are spoken. And I think you will agree with me that dead works are spoken all day every day in Kenyan Christian circles. Blessings.
This is so refreshing to know. Why is the Grace message just now being preached ? Maybe I have missed them but are grace preachers just now arising up? 10 , 15 years ago was this being taught?
1 john 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” These are instructions for those that already have done what Peter told them to do in Acts 2:38 and have subsequently sinned. “By all means have the freedom” to repent ‘from the start’ and confess ‘subsequent to that’. Ask, is not there!
Tom, if your understanding of 1 John 1:9 is true, how do you reconcile it with 1 John 2:2 and 2 Cor. 5:18-19? Has God forgiven all sins of all mankind for all time because of Jesus’ finished work or not? Has he reconciled the whole world to Himself – from His viewpoint – because of Jesus, the Last Adam or not? Once I am reborn and am, thereby, permanently reconciled to God, must I “do” 1 John 1:9 till I die or not? Am I permanently righteous now by believing what Jesus did or must I try to “stay righteous” by “doing” 1 John 1:9 daily till I die?
I was enslaved under a misunderstanding of this verse for most of my life. Paul never speaks of a need to “confess one’s sins” – even to get saved (see Romans 10:9-13). Why the confusion? Galatianism – the mixture of the TERMS of 2 opposing covenants that nullify both – in the mind an daily life of a believer confused.
As many radical grace teachers (like Joseph Prince in “Destined to Reign”) have thankfully pointed out, the confusion is because 1 John 1:9 was NOT written to us REBORN believers but to Gnostic Jews who did not think that they were sinners “in Adam” and, therefore, did not think they needed a Savior. John was challenging their heretical beliefs in the first chapter to get them saved. (Chapter 2 on, was written to believers.)
All those in Christ are now saints (not in Adam sinners), and, therefore, no longer under condemnation from God and under His Higher law of the Spirit (faith, love and liberty) NOT the Law of Moses – that arouses sin and causes death (2 Cor. 3:7-11.)
Why would John be telling folks that they should confess their sins to, as you say, “get them saved”? These ‘sins’ should not, nor could not, be dealt with through confession, as they were already dealt with. Peter said in 2 Peter 1:9, “…that he was purged from his old sins.” and “…as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you…” Ephesians 4:32. The apostles never told anyone to clean up their act – they only invited them to Jesus.
another good one Paul,again to some its to simple. to many SO under estimate the power of grace
amen! this is essential indeed! 🙂
Yes yes and yes! If I don’t believe God has forgiven me of ALL of my sins then I invariably hide myself from God in guilt, shame or fear whenever I do sin (which is daily). If I avoid God then the primary objective of Christ death is for nothing in my life: namely to bring me face to face with God without any guilt, fear or shame and KEEP ME THERE!
For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18 NASB)
i thank God for His message of Grace thru u Mr Paul… finally i can say m growin in the knowledge & the truth of this message, i cant wait to see myslf completely transformed by these truths…. u nd Mr prince inspire me. much blessings!
Shall will continue in sin that the grace may abound?
This aspect of grace will become another debating point like 1 Jn 1:9. I take the opposite view to you Paul, but that’s ok.
Funnily enough, it was reading one of your posts that God quickened this truth to me. It took a step of faith on my part to discontinue confessing my sins and asking for forgiveness. But once i got into it, it was like a breath of fresh air! So thank you Paul!
Points like this are in my view secondary not primary points of doctrine! 😊
Indeed, I have preached the opposite view. My current understanding is that whatever our view, we must not enforce it as a law. “All things are lawful, not all things are expedient.” Expedient means profitable or helpful. If asking puts you in a works-mindset that causes you to set aside grace, that’s not helpful. But if asking helps you to receive what grace has already provided, that is.
After doing stupid things, I often catch myself saying “God forgive me.” I’m asking even though I know I am 100% forgiven. I have not forgotten. But that prayer helps me receive grace. Sometimes I pray “God, help me,” even though I know that all help has been made available to us in Christ. But again, that simple prayer helps me to receive what God has provided.
Ironically, it is even possible to pervert the grace of God into a form of legalism?
WOW Saint Paul…..excellent reply.
“…whatever our view, we must not enforce it as law.”
Also you comment about doing stupid things and catching yourself….makes me feel better about it when I catch myself also.
Warren (South Carolina, USA)
This was well needed, especially after a year of worrying about every little sin I have committed. I would pay attention to everything I did examining it for sin and I find myself repenting of almost everything (even if it wasn’t sinful). Thank you for explaining this fundamental issue. It’s mind blowing that this hasn’t been preached as widely as it should. If you could please summarize what us believers should do after we sin. Thank you so much.
The word, speaking to us that already believe, say’s, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Actually Tom it is critical to interpret accurately first before you correctly apply this verse. John wasn’t giving instruction to US ( your average Joe Christian) on the role of confession and forgiveness in our everyday walk with God. This MIS application comes from a misinterpretation . Namely ; John was writing to a particular flock who was being inundated with a virulent form of Gnosticism which taught the body (all material things) were less than real, ( why they insisted messiah didn’t incarnate with water and blood because that would make him evil since all materiality was evil – hence irrelevant , hence what you do with your body is irrelevant – hence there is no such thing as sin or if there is it is irrelevant since sin is what you do with your body .
It is this heresy John is addressing in I John and specifically his promise to these Gnostics “If we confess out sins..” meaning “if you Gnostics confess your sins God will forgive you too- as we have confessed our sins and have been forgiven.”
Historical , cultural and circumstantial CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING! Get that wrong and you misinterpret and misapply . In out narcissistic culture we assume every scripture is written directly and first to us. Not so!
Just thank God that Jesus is your righteousness, and you are forever the righteousness of God in Christ and God still loves you.
Part of the problem is that many people see confession as asking for forgiveness. Confession is agreeing with God and thanking him for his forgiveness. The issue for some is they use this “asking” as a crutch, because they have never rested in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. It becomes difficult to tell even for the person themselves, to know if they are truly saved or not. People get angry with being told they are totally forgiven when they think it is their confessionalism that gets God to forgive them.
I prefer to ask for forgiveness because Jesus teaches me to: ‘forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us’.
U have quoted it right but what about 1john2:12?
Odran- yes and what about “He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:5-7 NASB)
Clearly only “the little children” and those who are “in Him ” PARTICULARLY have the forgiveness of sins and redemption not everyone is “in him” but only those who have been adopted and predestined for adoption
Thank you for the waterfall of Grace! That’s why I keep reading your books and your posts. Undeserved unmerited favor just keeps flowing from the father. Thank you for proclaiming it.
I have noticed that 1 JN 1v9 is the major verse upon which the traditional view of confession,repentance and forgiveness is based ie you download forgiveness in instalments as you go along.If the H.Spirit guides us into all truth and the traditional view has wrongfully been the prevailing view for the last 2000 years then why hasn’t the Church picked up on it and been led by the Spirit into the liberating truth of hyper grace?
Because most people haven’t a clue how to listen to the Holy Spirit so they just get busy doing stuff.
Agree! Most Christians think listening to the pastor/teacher is listening to the holy spirit! No always.
@ Brian…. dat was b4 His death on the cross. After His death and ressurrection that became no longer a problem cause IT IS FINISHED. Receive it!
Jesus knew he was about to die so why did he teach his disciples to ask for forgiveness? If you are right this teaching would have had relevance for only a few years so why is it recorded in Scripture? At the Messiah’s ascension Jesus commands his disciples to teach ‘them to observe all things that I have commanded’. This includes ‘The Lord’s prayer’ which rightly has been central to Christian worship for 2000 years.
Gideon (great name), Jesus was pretty much under the radar, as even when he asked the 12 who do you say Iam, and Peter got it right, he told them to tell “no man” Matthew 16:20. That is why he taught them to pray as such, for the Gospel of the forgiveness of sin’s (of the whole world, 1 John 2:2) had not yet been accomplished. The best way to look at it is that Jesus was basically asking them to pray that it (the forgive us of our sin) would be accomplished. He struggled with this in the garden where he sweated, as it were, great drops of blood from his forehead, asking that this sacrifice for the sins of the world (himself) be taken away! Yet, thankfully, he did finish his work! So, this, ask for forgiveness prayer, worked, would you not agree? “…God for Christ’s sake hath (past tense) forgiven you” Ephesians 4:32. You will never hear Paul, James, Peter nor John mention this “asking for forgiveness”, only confessing Jesus, as he “has forgiven us”, not only us that have believed (received , procured such by confession, Romans 10:9) but also the whole world, 1 John 2:2. Only the whole world has “not yet” believed it, thus the command, “go you therefore” and tell this Gospel, of the good news, that they have been (past tense) forgiven, so as to then, just believe. Now that’s a command we should, as you said, “observe”, the other 2 are Matthew 22:36-40.
This is a timely post – as we were just discussing the topic of forgiveness this week in our Purely Jesus Fellowship! In our next meeting we will discuss the two chapters Forgiveness and Saved from The Gospel in Ten Words. We are trying to wrap our heads around the Good News truth as we shed off the not-so-good news we have learned in Christianity!! Thanks Paul for your writings – life changing!
Gideon,im pretty sure Brian has received it and is just concerned that fellow believers are treating our forgiveness flippantly.I think that it is a matter of “union” or “communion”.After the cross and ressurrection Paul wrote “forgiving each other,just as in Christ God forgave you”. I believe this is what Brian is looking at…and this is a matter of “communion”,not “union”.If we have received Christ, our union is permanent. Our communion or fellowship with God can fluctuate,especially if we are harboring unforgiveness and living carnally.It is right to want to maintain a state of communion with our Lord and others,and i think thats what Brian is speaking of. Having said that,there are those who basically are tormented every time they sin,and live in this constant state of asking God to forgive them over and over again.This is not communion at all…rather bondage of the worst kind and it is because they are not resting in Christs finished work.You are right Gideon,IT IS FINISHED!
In the Lord’s prayer we come to God first as our father and in the context of that loving relationship we worship him and seek his kingdom in our lives and on earth. As part of Jesus becoming king in our lives we also ask for forgiveness for the stuff where Jesus is not king. We don’t relate to our Father in heaven as though he were an angry God who must be appeased by our prayers. The danger is of throwing out the Lord’s Prayer with the bath water of condemnation.
I John does seem to be a conversation with two audiences: Gnostic Jews (1:9 Etc.) Christians (chap 2 Etc.), as Leonard has noted. Also, as Lewis noted, “confess” is not “ask”. This is a discussion of one’s posture. So all that is left is Brian’s discussion of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6. Here we have to mean what we say. And own it. In Matthew 6 Jesus tells us: “….If you do not forgive others their trespasses, your Father will not forgive your trespasses.” If we mean to carry Christ’s Ministry to Israel as Prophet/Messiah prior to His Ransom on His Cross forever forward in time into His (simultaneous) Ministry to the World post-resurrection as Savior then we must take this appeal to the Law and the whole Law with us as we travel. We cannot just wish Covenant Theology away. Eye-For-Eye, Tooth-For-Tooth, quid pro quo, there in His Covenant with Israel employs the Law’s means and ends to “get” God’s forgiveness. Jesus (actually) speaks as their (actual) Prophet Messiah in (actual) Israel as an (actual) Jewish Prophet under the Law. It does not need to be pointed out that such means and ends are, now, non-entity. We cannot read the four Gospels in some sort of historical vacuum oblivious to reality as it really is in Covenant Theology. Actually, that part of Matthew 6 is a light which illuminates the radical differences inside of Israel with what Christ subsequently accomplishes and delivers to the whole world.
The Lord’s prayer (or at least the bit about forgiveness) is ‘Law’ in your view and should not be prayed by Christians. My position is that we ask for forgiveness within the security of God’s everlasting covenant and not to re-establish it. By asking for forgiveness and forgiving we are faithful to this covenant. If we are not faithful ‘stuff happens’ as Matt 18 21-35 shows. Call this legalistic if you like but I believe it is what Jesus taught and as such should be part of Christian doctrine. Matt 28.20. I can see that this must seem VERY ‘legalistic’ and I can understand why many have adopted a hypergrace position which effectively rejects the Lord’s prayer. Hypergracers need to come out and say that the Lord’s prayer is Law and should not be prayed if that’s what they believe.
Right, it goes along with Colossians 3:5 and 8. We are to own up to the task as, “put to death your members…” and “you yourselves are to put off….”Though these things must be done by the strength and under the direction of Holy Spirit, it is never the less a work which we must do. Other wise we are grieving the Spirit, Ephesians 4:30.. If we do not act on Matt. 18, we stand being called ‘liar’ 1 John 2:4.as, these are commands, not suggestions. Fits perfectly with John 14:21, and why not?
Puts a whole new light on, “…’let us’ throw off everything that hinders…”Hebrews 12:1.
I don’t want to put words into Paul Ellis’ mouth but I think what he meant when he referred to John addressing two audiences within the one verse alone: 1. “Us and our” – referring to those currently inside the believing community “he is the propitiation for our sin ” and 2. Those still outside of the believing community “not only ours but also for the whole world” . The point I personally disagree with Paul on isn’t that the verse addresses two groups of people but WHO the second group “the whole world” John had in mind when he spoke of “the whole world” . Paul argues Gods wrath is propitiated by Jesus for every human in the world who is outside of the believing community and I argue the second group who John says Jesus is the propitiation for “in the whole world” refers to Jesus elect sheep who are “in the whole world” ( Gods elect people) who are not yet a part if the believing community but who are have yet to hear the gospel of THEIR salvation.
“even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. ” (John 10:15-16 NASB)
John is the consummate believer in particular propitiation and particular redemption.
But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (John 10:26-29 NASB)
Believers stand before God in the righteousness of His Son Jesus. The word stand can be found in 1Co 15:1, Rom 5:2, and Ep 6:11, 13. Your next sin, the ones after that, and your sins for the rest of our life were on the cross nearly 2,000 years ago. We sin because we give in to the influence of our flesh rather than to trust God to solve our problems and meet our needs. Sin is gone by justification (Rom 3:21-26) and sinner man is dead by crucifixion (Rom 6). If you seek forgiveness beyond justification you do so to satisfy a human / personal need. I’ll say this; seeking forgiveness makes sense and is required between humans. IF you wrong somebody, THEN you should seek forgiveness. The wrong doing passed from father Adam to us was satisfied at the cross (Col 2:14). Seeking forgiveness to help you to receive God’s grace is counterproductive to UNDERSTANDING God’s Grace….
…..so we should pray the Lord’s prayer.
The Gospels house both Old/New vectors. The Lord’s Prayer too. We are afraid that if we read Scripture inside of Covenant Theology (and thus Prophetic accuracy) we will lose something. Yet even law is given as a means to teach God’s Nature. In the Old – before the Cross – we find Christ’s specific ministry as the long promised Jewish Prophet to Israel there in His Inter-Testament ministry. Christ never breaks the Law and never teaches His disciples to break the Law. We gain far more insights by being aware of these lines than we do when we try to wish away Prophecy and Covenant Theology. Our fears are misplaced: if anyone tries to make the case that via the Cross we can be unforgiving and yet never harvest a painful crop in our souls then they are not reading. We must view all contours through the singular lens of Scripture’s meta-narrative, or “whole-show”. In the Lord’s Prayer Christ is informing Israel – and His disciples – as their Prophet Messiah – and the world as Savior – of His New Law of Love which they (we) are utterly unable to achieve perfectly. Forgive perfectly (as God does) or no forgiveness for you. Forgive as we forgive. So they (we) have no perfect forgiveness ultimately. Thus: Ransom. Christ fills – not many shoes – but ALL shoes. Old, Inter, and New. Reading while being aware of Prophecy and Covenant Theology gains us insight whereas trying to wish them away actually lowers a veil over our eyes.
Matt 18.23 says…’the kingdom of God is like…’ and then follows the parable of the unforgiving servant. Here we see an example of quid pro quo if you want to call it that. But this is ‘the kingdom of God’. It seems impossible to me to say that this pericope is describing a situation before the cross since within it there is a description of totally generous forgiveness. As for Jesus informing Israel in the Lord’s prayer, it must be noted that ‘The Sermon on the mount’ was not a public lecture but was given privately to his disciples alone as is shown Matt 5.1. As for interpretting everything through a ‘whole -show’ lens this will of course depend on what you think the whole show is. My point is that the idea that the old covenant was quid pro quo and the new is just quid is challenged if not refuted by Matt 18.23-31 and parts of the Lords Prayer. God’s grace is contingent on our response (to God’s grace). God is oppose to the proud (unrepentant) but gives grace to the humble.
I agree with that.
Phillips: “John sets forth…. two aspects of this truth – the efficiency of Christ’s work: “And he is the propitiation for our sins”… and the sufficiency of Christ’s work: “and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world”. This statement agrees with John’s [own], “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever trusts in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”….. Paul [Hebrews, Romans] speaks of both propitiation….. and reconciliation…. Such is the efficiency of Christ’s finished work…… John adds a further note about the sufficiency of Christ’s finished work. The propitiation that is efficient to wipe out all the believer’s sins is sufficient to do the same for all: Calvary took care of “the sins of the whole world.” Paul affirms that Christ “died for all” (2 Cor. 5:14- 15), that He died for all men without distinction and for all men without exception. Adequate provision has been made at Calvary to cancel all the sins of all the people in all the ages of time. But while the sacrifice of Christ is commensurate with the need of all mankind, it is only effective for the individual when it is accepted by faith.”
Inclusivism isn’t here. The sins of the whole world were taken care of. That is an entirely separate issue from whether or not the individual (freely) embraces or (freely) refuses those precious Means through which he may free-fall into God Himself.
I didn’t say that the redemption that came by Christ Jesus death was limited or somehow lacked all sufficiency – I said it was particular .
Well said Paul! By the way, guilt and condemnation leads to shame. Shame is a sense of disgrace, dishonor and remorse. It’s a feeling that goes cross grain to the finished work of Christ and who we are in Him. Those who continue in mainstream religion going to church every Sunday to be humiliated for their inability to keep the Laws and regulations organized religion continues to impose of people, are so deeply buried in shame, that it may be nearly impossible to reach. This sense of shame consumes them and they have no were to turn, but their false god and their false sense of security in their dead works religion, or else they give up on God. You have the Pharisees and doctors of the Law in Jesus’ times to testify of that.
I’ve been trying to preach and convince people of the true Good News, but they won’t hear. They just turn a deaf ear to the message. It just dawned on me while reading your message today, that there is actually so little else that could be said. Nevertheless, God wants us to continue forward with the message of reconciliation. May be a few more will awake to righteousness….and receive what’s already given.
Thanks again for your message! Blessings!!!
Bta, Puerto Rico
We should continuosly ask God to forgive us for committing suicide, we should do this every time we remind him of what we had done by our actions, it is good that we now have life.
I think we mostly agree. Yes, the unforgiving cannot expect to NOT suffer the fruit of that in their souls. Sin has consequences, and that comes under the umbrella of reading all verses among other verses. It is error to say, “Well because of the Cross I can sin and suffer no consequences”.
The question is what are those consequences going to – at the end of the day – actually be?
On “Forgiven because I did X” we come to an entirely different paradigm than that of the paradigm of consequences.
Cross = Sin without consequences (Error 1)
Forgiveness = Merritt (Error 2)
The consequences are both real and are not related to our righteousness “in and by” Christ – we are as white as snow – else error 2.
If getting forgiven for my sins (Matthew 18, Lords Prayer) becomes non-entity if I harbor un-forgiveness then suddenly forgiveness is earned by my own acts/nature and we are back under MERITT.
The danger we are all worried about is error 1, though as we continue to do the hard work of edification we can keep one another from that error. The other error, error 2, the one I suffer from, is (in my experience) equally damaging though for very different reasons. And I think it is an error – without question.
In the story of the unforgiving Servant the Servant does not earn or merit his forgiveness but it is given to him gratuitously. Thus the story is not about the Servant meritting his forgiveness but rather losing it through his unforgiveness. It is clear we dont in any way merit our forgiveness but as the parable teaches us it is only just that we lose it if we act hypocritically. What you are saying is that ‘do the right thing’ eqautes with meritting or earning something. No we are God’s unprofitable servants if we do what is right and merit no praise.
Is it possible that forgiveness and unforgiveness (bitterness really) in this parable (as in many other of Jesus parables ) are fruits or symptoms rather than cause, effect or means of? In other words Jesus is really just telling a story of what a true believer ACTS LIKE (he forgives as he is forgiven) in contrast with what a mere professing insincere “believer” ACTS like (he reveals his unregenerate and unloving heart by his demonstration of unforgiveness).
Every true believer WILL forgive because forgiveness is not the first promise given to those blessed enough to participate in the New Covenant but the LAST.
(See Jer 31 and Hebrews 8) . The first promises is this “I will write my laws in their hearts and minds” – in other words , “I will give them (all those who are participants I the New Covenant GRACE TO FORGIVE AS THEY ARE TRULY FORGIVENESS”
This is why forgivenesses is particular not universal! Because the New Covenant promise o forgiveness is NOT AN ISOLATED PROMISE within the Covenent!
We can only forgive as we are forgiven, so how much do you really believe you are forgiven, and how, only if you do not sin again ? We are told to forgive as we are forgiven !! Truth empowers this it does not come by our effort. Those that are given much much will be required , but as always it is God who supplies.
Indeed we forgive because we are forgiven. We are loved by God first then we love. Jesus in the parable in Matt 18 reminds us that this is not absolutely automatic but that there is still a possibility that Christians will not forgive. If this happens they will not be forgiven but rather handed over to the torturers until they do when they will be released.
Let me try to converse in your world of interpretation (If I read you correctly, then I lived in that world for decades, not a pleasant memory).
Your math is a little shaky, unless you change the definitions below.
Christian = forgiven.
Non-christian = unforgiven
“There is still a possibility that Christians will not forgive. If this happens they will not be forgiven….”
How can forgiven = unforgiven?
Even if you believe in conditional Christianity; you have to change your statement, for at the moment a person is forgiven, they could no longer be a Christian. Even if they asked for forgiveness within 5 minutes. For 5 minutes, they were unforgiven, thus by definition > not a Christian.
Thus are you are saying that people flip between Christian and non-Christian whenever they follow their flesh?
Jimmi – if you read Hebrews 8 and Jer 31 you will see that forgiveness is the last promise of the new covenant. As with every covenant (will) the heirs (participants) in the New and everlasting covenant are so specifically named within that covenant . And the New Testament (New Covenenat) specifically spells out who is PARTICULARLY included as well as who is NOT included:
remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:12-13 NASB)
Clearly those Gentiles outside of Christ are excluded from the covenant and it’s promise of forgiveness and those IN CHRIST are fully included and enjoy the covenant promises.
For finding fault with them, He says, “B EHOLD, DAYS ARE COMING, SAYS THE LORD, W HEN I WILL EFFECT A NEW COVENANT W ITH THE HOUSE OF I SRAEL AND WITH THE HOUSE OF J UDAH;
“F OR THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF I SRAEL A FTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT M Y LAWS INTO THEIR MINDS, A ND I WILL WRITE THEM ON THEIR HEARTS. A ND I WILL BE THEIR G OD, A ND THEY SHALL BE M Y PEOPLE. (Hebrews 8:8, 10 NASB)
Here we are clearly told the New C is not universal but particular “with the house of Israel” (which we know from Romans 10 and Eph 2 the “house of Israel” is all believers in Christ from among both Jews and Gentiles
Forgiveness being enshrined ONLY within the New Covenat therefore is not universal as you imagine but is particular to those IN CHRIST!
Jesus said “For God so loved the world…” If God’s love is universal and indiscriminate, then so is his forgiveness, for love and forgiveness go hand in hand. To forgive literally means to carry away and this is what the Lamb of God did on the cross – he carried away the sins of the world (John 1:29). As John emphasized, “he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world” (1 John 2:2).
Forgiveness is received in Jesus Christ (Col 1:13-14). Those who reject Christ, reject the free gift of forgiveness. But we must not preach conditional grace. We must not say that only some are forgiven as though God were still counting the sins of others against them, for this is to limit the work of the cross. Instead, we must agree with Jesus who said the forgiveness of sins – the done deal of forgiveness – should be preached to all nations.
For my take on the parable of the unforgiving servant, see this post.
Forgiveness which is offered only to those who receive Christ is not conditional grace as you imagine. If it is then Jesus, Peter and Paul were putting conditions on grace when they spoke these emphatic statements .
“No one can come to the Father except by Me” Jn 14 and
“There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 3
“In HIM we have redemption- the forgiveness of sins ” Eph 1
Yes there is a possibility that Christians believe lies about Gods forgiveness, and will not forgive, but they can only give as much as they have received, and our loving father knows this.You may want to start plucking out your eyes as well.There is only one source of good and it is not from man, only God is good.
Yes and Amen Chris- see my comment on the promises of the New Covenant – the New Covenant is given as a whole indivisible covenant which cannot be dissected divided or REARRANGED . It’s ALL OR NOTHING!
Grace to live right is part A of the New Covenant and the promise I forgiveness is part B. A must come before B or you have no B! Why the New Covenant isn’t universal but particular .
This is why only those who have grace to forgive are forgiven.
Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:19 NASB)
Sorry for the confusion Brian: “for at the moment a person is forgiven” should read “for at the moment a person is no longer forgiven”
Jesus died for the sin of the world, all sin, he became sin for all . died and rose again, if we believe this we are ressurected with him, not will be but are.This is beyond intellect. All forgiveness for sin is complete, Jesus is where the rubber hits the road , he is the cornerstone, it is all about him, there is no other way, if we fall we fall at his feet.never at the law or works.for me christian or non christian both forgiven, but christian life in Jesus, non christian still dead.
Thank you for the way God has bless you to built up the Body of Christ. Can you comment on Luke9:23? I would love to hear what you have to say. Thank you…Roberto
Please see my post on that passage. (Enter “Luke 9:23” into the search box at the top of this page.)
I am quite open to receive a different interpretation to the parable of the unforgiving Servant. I cant, however, accept an interpretation that includes an appeal to the fact that it was given before the cross since Jesus states that this is what the kingdom of God is like. It was Jesus death and resurrection that established him as King in the kingdom of God. I cant accept that Jesus is saying that this is what the kingdom of God is like now but it will be different after the cross.
My take on this parable is found here.
Parables reveal secrets hidden since the beginning of time, Jesus is the kingdom of heaven, he is the door, he is the forgiving servant who forgives 7× 70 ,who makes the leaven holy,he is the man seeking pearls, We will only find the kingdom in him no other place.He is the door.
The impossible has been made possible!!!!
I read your interpretation of the parable and essentially I found nothing in it which I disagree. Gratitude should be the motivation for forgiving others. We are not to live in fear but faith. Nonetheless if we do not forgive others God will hand us over to the torturers as Jesus has promised. We cannot say that because of the cross he will not do this. Rather because of the cross he will allow us to endure difficulties and grant to us the gift of repentance that will give us liberation.
By you own words the cross is not the gift of liberation , repentance is, an act on our part activates the power of the cross is essentially what you are saying.I would rather say the gift of the cross is liberation that activates repentance ( turning to God) that overpowers sin.
Chris – I couldn’t agree with you more – the cross itself is the liberating power that activates every divine blessing including repentance . Here is precisely why the cross is particular and NOT in its redemptive universal as Paul argues.
If the cross itself is the liberating power and the cross itself activates repentance – then why doesn’t the cross activate liberation and repentance universally?
There is only ONE reason it does not- BECAUSE the cross was particularly for Gods elect PEOPLE ALONE from all ages (who would eventually in Gods timing be given the gift of repentance via the cross alone ). If you preach universal propitiation and forgiveness via the cross then you must logically preach that it is NOT the cross that activates salvation but a WORK of either repentance or choice .
Choosing to accept forgiveness IS JUST ANOTHER WORKS MIXED GOSPEL. Only the cross plus nothing activates every part of salvation from choice, to repentance to glory!
“We are not to live in fear but faith”
“If we do not forgive others God will hand us over to the torturers”.
I know you state you don’t agree with Paul, but it kinda looks to me that you don’t agree with yourself.
Maybe it’s your terminology that I don’t get.
Why would anyone want forgiveness when they are justified? Justification is more than simple forgiveness / pardon; forgiveness / pardon alone would still leave the sinner without merit before God because the sin is still there! When God justifies He imputed all of our sins to His Son and then imputed divine righteousness to the sinner (Romans 4:22-25). Christ’s own infinite merit thus becomes the ground on which the believer stands before God (Romans 5:19; 1 Corinthians 1:30; Philippians 3:9). So justification elevates the believer to a realm of full acceptance and divine privilege in Christ Jesus.
Because of justification, believers not only are perfectly free from any charge of guilt (Romans 8:33) but also have the full merit of Christ reckoned to their personal account (Romans 5:17). Here are the forensic realities that flow out of justification: (1) We are adopted as sons and daughters (Romans 8:15); (2) We become fellow-heirs with Christ (v. 17); (3) We are united with Christ so that we become one with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17); and, we are henceforth “in Christ” (Galatians 3:27) and He in us (Col 1:27)
When you commit that next sin, the one after that, and sins for the rest of your life (I am being repetitive) know that they were on the cross nearly 2,000 years ago and you committed those sins because you gave in to the influence of your FLESH instead of trusting God to solve a problem and/or meet a need…. Flush the word “forgiveness” and move on to who you are “in Christ”!
To Jesus and the inspired New Testament writers forgiveness and justification were synonymous and interchangeable terms. They saw forgiveness as not merely God no longer holding sins against a person ether they saw forgiveness as being declared righteous .
The parable of the Pharasee and the publican praying declares this- Jesus said of the publican who cried for the mercy of forgiveness, “That man went away justified.”
Not only that but the guilt and penalty of sin is the only thing that disqualifies a believer from being righteous. Remove the sin through divine forgiveness and the forgiven one becomes righteous.
Also divine forgiveness (which only those in Christ have) is not merely remitting the penalty of sins , rather it is removing the sin altogether . This is why divine forgiveness can never be separated from justification. Therefore ALL the forgiven are justified and THEREFORE ONLY the justified are forgiven. Both divine forgiveness and divine justification come through the blood therefore the blood is particular and forgiveness is also particular and not universal. Since justification is NOT universal – niether is forgiveness .
Forgiveness and Justification ARE NOT interchangeable! They are TWO DIFFERENT WORDS! Consult the original Greek—consult any English Dictionary…. IF you are found guilty of a criminal offense, but the offended party forgives you—you are still going to prison. IF you are found NOT GUILTY, THEN a judge will say “sir, you are free to go…. Justification (by anyone’s definition …) is God’s declaration of NOT GUILTY—the charge is GONE! Forgiveness belongs to the Kingdom Gospel (Acts 2:38) and Justification belongs to the Grace Gospel (Rom 3:21-26). This subject is IMPORTANT. Justification CANNOT be reduced to a mere pardon or forgiveness….
I beg to differ. Justification is not “lowered” to divine forgiveness as you assume rather divine forgiveness is elevated to justification in the New Covenant . Divine forgiveness through Christ is secured entirely by Jesus death alone apart from which there is no forgiveness of sins “In Him we have forgiveness of sins THROUGH HIS BLOOD” (Eph 1:7) and
“Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” Heb 9:22
The same blood that forgives also justifies. “having been justified by His blood” (Rom. 5) .Therefore you cannot secure forgiveness without justification neither can you secure justification without divine forgiveness. This is precisely why the NT authors use both divine forgiveness and divine justification interchangeably to refer to the same condition.
In fact God Himself used these two concepts interchangeably -in Gods own description of the New Covenant He doesn’t even mention justification but only forgiveness because in Gods eyes His forgiveness is His justification and divine forgiveness is secured by His gift credited righteousness . “F OR I WILL BE MERCIFUL TO THEIR INIQUITIES, A ND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SINS NO MORE.” (Hebrews 8:12 NASB)
Clearly to God divine forgiveness is on the same level as divine justification .
This is a better way to show that the Holy Spirit declares that justification ( divine perfection) is synonymous with forgiveness-
“For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, “T HIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM A FTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD: I WILL PUT M Y LAWS UPON THEIR HEART, A ND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,” He then says, “A ND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.” Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin. (Hebrews 10:14-17 NASB) This is an astounding truth ! Here the Holy Spirit testifies to the reality of our being perfected forever by Jesus one sacrifice by stating that we are forgiven. In Gods eyes perfection (justification) is synonymous with forgiveness
We can become forgiven but we cannot become righteous, we need a means to become one with the one who is righteous,, faith that we are new, born again, a new creation, so it is all faith , belief in this birth that cannot be seen and is only felt, or in some way experienced when in unity with the object of that faith Jesus, the cornerstone where we all stub our toes.
Thanks for your input. We don’t see it the same way, but IF you believe that we are “perfected forever by Jesus’ one sacrifice”, THEN that’s good enough for me….
Thanks for bringing out the Word in a new light to me. Pray for me as I share these truths to my church congregation. ☺
OK so you say a Christian once saved, never has to ask for forgiveness again in their whole lives? They only have to ask if they feel guilty or if it helps them get over the hurdle of their own soon, but actually they don’t have to ask?
I don’t agree with that, but I understand you base this on your understanding of holiness. (Process vs Position) I read some of your other blogs and think you are saying that we are totally holy already, which to me is not correct but that explains why you say asking for forgiveness is not needed.
All this is fine and debatable and we can talk about it and we can agree to disagree, but a person can walk out of the “shadow of the almighty” or they can “frustrate grace”. Surely an unrepentant heart and lifestyle will grieve Holy Spirit and thus exit/leave his salvation and then commit sin unto “spiritual death” and “lose their salvation’?
The actual term is wrong I believe. You don’t” lose your salvation”. I feel the real term is, “Throw away your salvation.” This is the proper explanation for the interpretation of the text “for them there no more remains a sacrifice” as they “trample the blood of Jesus under foot”…the keys words in this whole school of thought to be “for them”. I did use scripture in my thought process but didn’t want this post to become a Bible verse match as I know you have lots of scripture you base your things on too. I just wanted to chat basically and see your thoughts on my last point as I said, we can agree to disagree on the first few points. Thank you brother. Good bless.
You put a lot of words in my mouth and touch on several issues. You may be interested in my post on Heb 10:26-29 and my series on the believer’s security.
Hi Conrad,hope u dont mind me piping in.The problem with believing one can lose salvation,or throw away salvation,is it can’t co-exist with our being adopted and chosen before the creation of the world.It is God’s salvation,and He would not adopt or choose one,indwell with the Holy Spirit,then have that messed up or changed by someone.Man does not have that power and the Father would have to be mistaken and not answered Jesus prayer that we might be with Him.Truly we can grieve the Holy Spirit,just as our own children can grieve us.But no matter how distant a father may be with one of his own children,the blood says they are his.How much more is this true with our Heavenly Father!God bless you .
What when our conscience tells us that what we did yesterday was wrong, in fact a sin.
No need to ask for grace, because it is already given to us? (Yes, that is what they preach in my church).
But in my opinion:
Stay humble. Confess you mistake to God and ask for forgiveness. And thank Him.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1. John. 1,9.
Hello Skriveren- …The issue here is not should you confess your sins? but Why do you confess your sins? That will tell you IF you should confess your sins or if it’s wrong to confess your sins more than anything.
Regarding I Jn 1:9- this verse is not spoken or directed to authentic believers in John’s day or in our day -but it is directed to counterfiet gnostic professors of a false gnostic JESUS . These heretics taught that sin was irrelevant and not objectively real since it was related to the physical body and the physical body was considered to gnostics as irrelevant because all physical reality to them is an allusion -therefore they concluded JESUS wasn’t really physically human and sin is just an illusion produced by the illusion of physicality. This is why throughout I Jn the apostle argues for a physical Son of God- in this historical context you must interpret I JN 1:9- this verse met be read together starting with I JN 1:1- 1JN 5 :18 I Jn 1:9 is an evangelistic call to the gnostic professors of the false gnostic CHRIST to GET SAVED ! (To confess THEIR sins (admit and agree with God that real and objective sin is what alienated them from God and that the death of JESUS physical (blood and water) body is the only means of their forgiveness .
I Jn 1:9- ISNT addressing modern believers as a means to be forgiven nor is John Teaching modern believers to maintain their relationship or their justification by confession – that is by faith alone plus nothing! To teach confession as a means of forgiveness would be another heresy altogether- the heresy – I might point out -that you have embraced and are attempting to promulgate !
“faith alone plus nothing” Yes, of course, when it regards our first salvation. But when we have become the children of God, then God want to raise us to be like Him. Not sin anymore. Walk in His ways. Be mature and do the same things like Him. Any other behavior should be confessed and forgiveness asked for.
You divide the gospel of Jesus into a lot of fractions: a-this Jesus said to the Jews, b – this John wrote to gnostics, c – this Paul wrote to us heathens, d — this Peter wrote to Jews. It is totally wrong to divide the Gospel of Jesus Christ like that.
Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teaching but goes beyond it, does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your home, and don’t say, “Welcome,” to him; for the one who says, “Welcome,” to him shares in his evil works. 2. John 1, 9-11
You said, ““faith alone plus nothing” Yes, of course, when it regards our first salvation. But when we have become children of God….” You are saying we get saved by faith but we maintain our saving relationship with God by works!
This is a complete and total heresy that the gospel you lay claim to and accuse me of departing from clearly debunks. The gospel you claim to believe clearly states we are saved by faith alone and we continue by faith alone .
“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.””
Paul would ask you this- “are you going to begin by faith but finish by doing this and confessing that?”
“Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?”
It is not me who is dividing up the gospel message but you my friend. It is not me who has gone too far and not continued in the teaching of our Lord JESUS Christ but you. The teaching of JESUS is this: We begin our saving relationship with God by trusting JESUS alone plus nothing and we continue our saving relationship with God by trusting JESUS alone plus nothing . You teach (contrary to Jesus) that we begin by faith but continue by trusting our behavior and our performance . Good luck with your teaching -you will need it – because God has no part in it.
When we continue to sin, (every honest do it), should we do nothing?
Just say Thanks?
No, repent and ask God about forgivness. In this way you stay humble. You should know better about the letter to Galatians. Paul wrote to Christians who preached circumcision. I don’t. Not even lawdoings. Only doings of FAITH and obedience.
You are breaking one important spiritual law: You are putting up Paul as a greater theacher than Jesus Christ. (And also above the other apostles of Christ). Who is the Word of God, Paul or Jesus? Nobody can lay any other foundation than Jesus, The Son of God. Stop telling people that the teachings of Jesus doesn’t matter so much anymore, because Paul is the great one. That is what Åleskjær and others in fact do. This is a sin that leads to wrong doctrines.
No one is greater than Jesus and no one is claiming anything less. But Paul’s teachings in the Bible are not less inspired than Jesus bible Teachings: “All Scripture is God breathed” .
Also no one is claiming that confession is wrong so I’m not sure why you assume that. What the Scripture teaches (both Jesus and all the inspired writers of Scripture teach ) is that confession is NOT THE MEANS by which sins are forgiven. Only believing in the blood of Jesus alone secures the forgiveness of sins. If confession secures forgiveness then Jesus died for nothing : 1. Peter and ALL The prophets testify to this : “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.” (Acts 10:43 NASB) 2. Jesus testifies to this: “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:45-47 NASB)3 . Paul testified to this: “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses. “(Acts 13:38-39 NASB)
. When we BELIEVE that our sins are forgiven we are confessing (admitting and agreeing with God) that we had/have sinned- how can I claim my sins are forgiven unless I agree I have sins in the first place? It is ludicrous to insist that one has to confess in order to be forgiven- no I confess (agree that my sins are forgiven) BECAUSE I AM FORGIVEN- not IN ORDER TO BE FORGIVEN!
I Jn 1:9- was written to people who believed neither in sins or the forgiveness of sins. John was not addressing Gods people in 1jn 1:9 but John WAS addressing Gods people in I Jn 1:12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake.
You also said, “You divide the gospel of Jesus into a lot of fractions: a-this Jesus said to the Jews, b – this John wrote to gnostics, c – this Paul wrote to us heathens, d — this Peter wrote to Jews. ”
What you claim as wrong to do here is a basic and ancient rule of Bible interpretation which has been embraced by the Lords Bible teachers for millennia , namely; that the Bible must always FIRST be interpreted in the light of its original readers, it’s original recipients and it’s original language, culture and circumstances.
To claim that every verse in every book in the New Testament was written to you personally is completely rooted in the sinful narcissistic culture you live in and has no foundation in biblical reality. You remind me of the man who believed as you do – that every verse in the Bible was directed towards him personally who then opened his bIble to this verse “And Judas went and hanged himself” and then in discouragement he opened his Bible again to another verse which said, “You go and do likewise.” In dismay he then turned to another place in the Bible looking for personal guidance . To his dismay he then read this verse, “what thou do – doest quickly.”
It is utter nonsense and self centred narcissism to assume as you do that every verse in the New Testament is written and directed to you personally. Sin can be confessed and repented of but stupid is stupid forever.
Skirveren you are not teaching Jesus either. No one writer in scripture is more important than another as the bible is ALL the words of God. What Paul and Jesus say are equal in value and validity. True Galatians is dealing with those trying to impose Law upon believers but the fact remains having begun in the Spirit(3:3) trying to perfect yourself in the flesh is foolishness. Jesus said that anyone who believe in Him is free from condemnation no if’s, ands or buts not symbolically free from actually free.
Faith is a mental and moral conviction of the truth. But do not be deceived Faith is not a doing in itself. Obedience can be made into an idol like the Law was. Something good from God that has becomes over emphasized and over blown in it’s importance. We are not saved, cleansed or made holy via our behavior. Those things are ours via faith through only the blood of Christ poured out once for all sin. Continue how you began, not through deeds of the flesh trying to be good and saying sorry when you blow it but by being convicted and convinced that faith in Jesus alone is your everything. There are no parts to salvation the new testament shows time and again how you began is how you finish.
” We are not saved, cleansed or made holy via our behavior.” I agree totally. Should I then sit in my sofa for the rest of my life, doing nothing?
No, because Faith with no actions (doings) is dead. (Letter of James). And a children of God will be corrected after doing sin. What is the right respond from the child: Forgive me Lord and Obedience. In order to restore the relationship with God. Not to take away the sin. Only the blood of Jesus cleanses sin.
Please read Hebrews chapter 12 and 13. The people that are not corrected are not genuine children of God. God bless you ALL that still study the Scriptures.
Faith and Obedience are two side of the same coin. What is Noah said “Yes Lord”, but was sitting on his sofa for the rest of his life?
Our relationship with God is not maintained by anything but credited righteousness. Justification by faith alone and reconciliation by the death of a jJesus alone apart from our works, behaviour or performance of any kind- it is by faith from start to finish.
Please tell me that you don’t really believe you can maintain your relationship with a perfect thrice holy God by anything but the blood of Jesus? I don’t know where you are being taught these man made myths and traditions but you need to read the Bibke again.
The Bible clearly teaches we get right with God by one means alone- blood – and we stay right with God every day by one means alone -blood. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus alone, kept by grace through faith in Jesus alone and we will finish our relationship with God by grace through faith in Jesus alone. If you get right with God by faith but you attempt to stay right with God by your performance or your behaviour then you have fallen from grace- you have become severed from Christ! Have you heard of the reformation my friend? It’s called sola fide.
And as for James – James isn’t teaching anything contrary to this basic and essential gospel message . When he says “faith without works is dead ” is is speaking of SAID FAITH, LYING FAITH OR MISPLACED FAITH – he is not referring to authentic trust in Jesus blood. James IS NOT advocating a works based gospel or a mixture of faith and works based gospel as you have falsely assumed . He is referring to people who merely claim to believe in Jesus – whose hearts are still unregenerate, who are laying false claims to The word “faith” in order to indulge their sinful desires. James is talking about unsaved sinners claiming to have “faith” and using the word “faith” as licence to sin. Again you are misapplying the Scripture of James because you are taking it out of its original historical context , purpose and audience. James wasn’t addressing authentic believers in Christ nor was he advocating that believers maintain their relationship with God by works!
So obedience and works in faith is not necessary anymore? My friend, please read Hebrews chapter 11 and 12. 11 is faith and 12 is obedience. God bless you.
Obedience in love is always Gods goal in the gospel and always has been: “who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: …” I Peter 1
But there are two kinds of obedience taught in the Bible- the obedience of law vs the obedience of grace through faith. The former is motivated by fear, guilt , pride,self effort and will power and because it is motivated by these it lacks the sincere love God requires and therefore though it may be accomplished outwardly by the letter -because it lacks the motive of sincere love -it always results in disbobedinece. The latter (obedience of faith) is motivated entirely by Gods grace , by God’s new covenant promise (Heb 8) and by God’s love alone. Because the obedience of faith comes from total forgiveness, total acceptance, total credited righteousness (since JESUS death alone secured all these blessing ) it is never demanded , never coerced and never comes with threats or fear because the blood of Jesus has removed all the “have to, must or else” from obedience . Those who believe the gospel have won the the divine blessing lottery freely apart from their behavior or performance .They are truly free in CHRIST from every demand of obedinece . Instead the obedience of faith comes from JESUS love within alone (not a love generated by self at all) and comes out of the gratitude and freedom we have in JESUS. Every time you say, “but we HAVE to obey” you reveal you are still living in the bondage of the obedinece of law and have not yet matured into the obedience of grace through faith my friend. “If the Son sets you free you shall be free INDEED!”
Thank you for a very good answer. Yes, I know very well the Grace Alone teachings from Martin Luther. Because I was born into The Lutheran state Church in Norway.
And I agree totally about saved because of grace alone. But the old fashioned Lutherans was very aware of sin in their lives. They fought against it, sometimes in spirit and sometimes in flesh.
But in the new extreme Grace message there is no awareness of sin. Nothing of sin is pointed out in the meetings. Not even porn, as many young people stick to.
And when they start to exalt Paul as a greater teacher than the other apostles and even Jesus HIMSELF, then I leave that church.
But I tell you, everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matt 5,28.
And don’t tell me that Jesus said this to the Jews Only. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.
And I have seen very young people, lovers, not married, sharing room on the church trip. Some weeks later they were not lovers anymore. There is no awareness for sin anymore. Anything goes.
Paul did exclude people from the church because of sin. Not embrace it. Read Paul’s letter more carefully.
It sounds spiritual and wise to the human ear to assume that more emphasis and preaching on sin will help to keep professing believers from loose morals but this notion has virtually no foundation in biblical reality and no real effectiveness in producing holy living or in keeping sin in check in the churches. Preaching sin is just a very thin disguise for preaching law. Preaching against sin has no more power to curb sin than preaching law. The law brings the knowledge of sin but has no power to stop sin. In the same way preaching against sin brings the knowledge of sin but has no power to stop sin. Only the grace of God and the preaching of the grace of CHRIST has the power to keep young people from sinning my friend . It is not the knowledge of sin that makes people hate sin and that gives them the power to stop sinning. The gospel teaches that only “HYPER” grace (your term) can do that!
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,”
Titus 2:11-12 NIV
You blame the preaching of hyper grace for the loose morals in the churches . Nothing can be further from the truth my friend- It is the preaching against sin, preaching a works based faith and preaching morality that produces all the loose morals in the churches today! Preaching against sin (preaching law) is and always has been the number one cause of sin in the churches. You might as well throw gasoline on a fire ! Law always increases sin but grace always conquorer sin.
Biblical grace is JESUS in you! Jesus in you always conquored sin but moralism and self effort always increases sin.
Skriveren- I want you to take a close look at the meaning of what you just said. “Should I then sit in my sofa for the rest of my life, doing nothing?” Would sitting there undo the works of Christ? Would sitting there make Jesus a liar in all the places He promised eternal life for faith? However lazy and sad just sitting on your hands would be does just sitting un-save you, un-wash you and steal your righteousness and sanctification away from you?
You are afraid to sit on the couch because you think that by not sitting you are holding up your end of the salvation bargain. But salvation unto eternal life is not a bargain it is a gift, freely given even to those who might sit on the couch to the end of their days. Should they? No but a person’s sitting or not has absolutely nothing to do with their sonship, standing before God or their eternal life.
Should we sit forever on our couch with our hands tucked under us? No Yet Jesus is our Sabbath rest. If me do not understand that rest and the restfulness He gives our life will be one big hamster wheel with us running and striving towards something God has freely given us exhausting ourselves with religious doings instead of satisfying ourselves with Jesus.
Barry, I agree with your post/reply 4-26-16 @ 2:13am. One question please though. At the end of your reply you mention mature and being free indeed. We are set free by Jesus, the prison door is wide open. Where is the grace for your friend to walk out into that freedom? I hear a tint of judgement stated as accusation in the last part. But I could be wrong, as I also am struggling to exit through the wide open cell door.
Warren (South Carolina, USA)
Whether i extend grace or not is completely irrelevant to those who are refusing to let go of self effort in exchange for the grace and freedom found in JESUS since I am not the source nor the administrator of divine grace – and that is a good thing because God is a whole lot more gracious and patient than I am.
The question remains- how much divine grace is there for folk who reject grace and who insist on a works based gospel? I don’t know the answer to that but their may be a clue in this divinely inspired statement: “ Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!”
Galatians 1:7-9 NIV
The “other gospel” Paul warns about here is works based gospel .
Skirveren, do a “Search This Website” at the top, and put in 1 John 1:9 and you will find ample posts by Saint Paul Ellis on this verse. I highly recomend them.
Warren (South Carolina, USA)
When we obsess over either our sins or our confession of sins as the means of forgivness we are not obeying the gospel but are being introspective and self focused:
The gospel is all about obsessing over JESUS plus nothing or no one : “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
Colossians 3:2-4 NASB
Obsessing over sin and confession of sin is just blatant and willful disobedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. JESUS is “finished with sin” , has “done away with sin once for all” and “the life He lives he lives to God.”
Why are you still so obsessed with what JESUS is not? Isn’t because you are still in your flesh and not in His Spirit on this issue?
Barry, who are you referring to in the last sentence of your reply 4-24-2016, @ 3:04pm?
I am confused. I think your probably referring to “skiveren” but it’s possibly me or “momzilla76”.
Warren (South Carolina, USA)
hi Warren- it really wasn’t directed towards anyone in particular – I was just sounding off in a moment of exasperation- I apologize to anyone I may have offended by my sarcasm.
If a person believes that Jesus Christ is Lord but he continuously sins like stealing.And never confess about that and not even repent. Even in that sinning state is he forgiven. Even if he don’t give up that and not change is mind. Do u mean to say that God has forgiven him and never want remember he’s wickedness. A prodigal son story tell that when hez son came back with repentance mind hez dad ran to him.
We are not forgiven because we feel sorry and try to not sin a sin again. We are forgiven because of the one time blood offering of Jesus. Hebrews 9:12-10:18 explains the depth of that. Yes we should feel sorry and want to cease our sins but God does not forgive us based on our feelings and good intention to never do it again. As for the prodigal son the father began shouting and celebrating before the son could say his apology.
Paul this truth is so liberating. Sometimes I’m lost and don’t know His way.
But if being honest is appropriate here, I am confessing-to-be-forgiven at one point and I don’t pay attention accept to Christ in me, so I don’t know if more. I know that this sin is forgiven. Thank you for your graciousness despite all our misgivings. I recently settled in my heart that I really can’t trust in my unfinished work and need to rest in His finished work. But this doesn’t sit will with every councel. I can’t always feel in Christ or Christ in me, but by faith I rest in it. That is such a gift. There was a challenge, I wasn’t so sure that grace was leading me. Sometimes we need to be thankful, but sometimes there are concerns and apprehensions. I lay it at His feet. Thank you Holy saints and brothers and sisters.
“It’s true that God has forgiven you, but if asking helps you to receive, then by all means ask!” I think this is true of all of our struggles–just talk to Him, just ask! Just don’t think that HIS UNCONDITIONAL love, mercy, grace and forgiveness is in holding— until you ask! We have all that we need in His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, in us and us in Him (as a believer), we are One with the Father in the Son. Amen!
I do believe each and every time you/we ask Him to forgive our sin…..the next thought should be, how is He going to do that? This should immediately remind us of His once for all sacrifice- price paid in full and you/we will just praise Him in the midst of the sin that was boggling our mind! Eventually, after doing this over and over, you/we should just be running boldly to Him and praising Him…………without the confession and asking for help. Hence, “the confession” does not prompt or give power to the forgiveness which has already been accomplished by Him (Jesus). He went to the cross one time for the sin of the world, for all peoples, for all of time, all sin! Amen!
Both best friends and lovers have the common courtesy to say sorry when they have offended one another; not because their relationship requires or demands it but because of common relational courtesy and respect.
God is our best Friend and Lover. While Jesus death removes any legal or relational obligation or requirement to fess up, admit we offended Him and say we are sorry; doesn’t He deserve the same courtesy at least on the Lover and best Friend level alone?
I swear sometimes we get so legalistic about grace that we forget our common manners with God.
But what if He doesn’t see it,since they are washed away by His blood.Imagine a woman that has been forgiven by her husband,but doesn,t know what she did,yet he knows she did something and because of his love he forgives her.She then goes to him continually begging and reminding him of the man she slept with,while he points out she’s forgiven.What happens?