Completely Forgiven Once and For All – Part 2

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Completely​​ Forgiven Once and For All!​​ -​​ Part 2

Rick Moffett​​ 

Note –​​ All quoted​​ Scripture is from the New American Standard version of the​​ Bible unless otherwise noted.​​ 




In​​ Part​​ 1​​ of this article, we discussed​​ how​​ the blood of Jesus (His death) paid the sin debt for all humanity.​​ Furthermore, the​​ shed blood of​​ Jesus was the only payment​​ that could satisfy​​ man’s sin debt.​​ As a result, the​​ outstanding​​ sin debt between God and​​ humanity​​ has been settled once for all.​​ Amen!​​ 



 For the death that He died, He died to sin​​ once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.​​ Romans 6:10​​ 

26​​  For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;​​ 27​​  who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the​​ sins​​ of the people, because this He did​​ once for all​​ when He offered up Himself.​​ Hebrews 7:26-27​​ 

 For Christ also died for sins​​ once for all,​​ the​​ just for​​ the​​ unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;​​ 1 Peter 3:18​​ 

By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ​​ once for all.​​ Hebrews 10:10​​ 

17​​ “AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE."​​ 18​​ Now where there is forgiveness of these things,​​ there is no longer​​ any​​ offering for sin.​​ Hebrews 10.17-18​​ 



Still in Bondage


Despite​​ this truth, Christians are still in bondage concerning their forgiveness. I know this because I used to be​​ in​​ that group.


I was taught for​​ much of my Christian life that​​ to stay forgiven,​​ I must ask God to forgive me each time I committed an act of sin. Some would use language like, “You need to keep short accounts with God,” or, “If you don’t confess every sin you commit and ask God to forgive you, you will fall out of fellowship with God.”​​ Yikes!​​ I was​​ unsure what that meant,​​ but​​ I​​ knew I​​ didn’t want to find out. And so I tried to keep a mental list of all my sins so I could ask God to forgive me​​ for each one.​​ Do you know how hard it is to remember every sin you commit? I’ll tell you. It’s impossible!​​ 



Stop Asking God to Do What He Has Already Done!



Folks, there is no need to ask God to forgive​​ you​​ repeatedly,​​ as some believe. There is also no biblical mandate for anyone to continually ask God​​ for forgiveness. Sin is not forgiven by asking for it or by​​ confessing​​ it. Nowhere​​ in​​ the new covenant are we told​​ to​​ “ask” God to forgive us.​​ Only our faith in Christ’s finished work (death, burial, and resurrection)​​ allows us to share in​​ His forgiveness and,​​ more importantly,​​ His very life!


I know many people who believe that each time they sin,​​ they must ask God to forgive them​​ in order​​ to “stay forgiven.”​​ Some believe they will lose their salvation if they don’t confess and ask forgiveness for every sin. In response to the question, “What if you forget one?” they say, “Well,​​ before I go to sleep at night,​​ I ask God to forgive me of all the sins I’ve committed that day.”​​ In other words, they ask for a “blanket” forgiveness of their sin. But what if you die before you ask for this “blanket forgiveness”; then what? Is this really what a loving Father requires? There is no scriptural basis for it. To the legalistic mind,​​ it may sound good, but if the blood of Jesus shed at the cross provided forgiveness, is it really necessary to keep a record of our sins so we can ask God to forgive each one? God doesn’t keep a record,​​ so why should we?​​ (2 Cor 5:19)


11For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.​​ 12As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.​​ 13Just as a father has compassion on​​ his​​ children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.​​ Psalm 103.11-13​​ 



Fall Out of Fellowship​​ with God?



Some believe they​​ must also ask for forgiveness for each​​ sin to stay in “fellowship” with God. Do we​​ really​​ fall in and out of fellowship with God every time we become angry or lust after another person, behave with pride,​​ or commit any other sin?​​ Our fellowship with God is​​ not​​ based on our behavior,​​ but rather on our birth (spiritual​​ rebirth).​​ How could one ever have an intimate relationship with our Father if​​ it​​ depended​​ on our behavior? Again, there is no scriptural basis for​​ falling in and out of fellowship with God.​​ 


The word​​ fellowship​​ in the Bible​​ can​​ mean​​ -​​ to​​ have in common;​​ communion;​​ to participate;​​ to share;​​ to be in union; to be closely bound together.


​​ What is it that we have in common with God?


​​ Answer​​ – the life of​​ His​​ Son, Jesus, in whom we are in union (see commentary on​​ Romans ch 6​​ on this website).​​ God is our loving Father; how can we cease to have fellowship with​​ Him? Christ is our very life; how can we cease to have fellowship with​​ Him?​​ 


Sometimes,​​ we may​​ “feel” distant from God, i.e.,​​ and thus,​​ out of fellowship. But did you know that our feelings are a result of our thoughts? Emotions (feelings) are responders. They respond to what we are thinking. That is why it can be easy for Satan to manipulate us. His lies keep us in bondage. But as we focus on the truth, our emotions respond accordingly.​​ Amen!


God calls us​​ into fellowship with Jesus Christ!​​ When we are born-again into the family of God, we have an eternal fellowship with him!


God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.​​ 1 Corinthians 1.9​​ 

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all.​​ 2 Corinthians 13.14​​ 


See​​ the​​ article​​ Commentary on 1 John​​ on this website for more on​​ fellowship with God.​​ 



What about 1 John 1.9?


The question frequently arises,​​ “What about​​ 1 John 1.9?”​​ 


If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.​​ 1 John 1.9​​ 


Doesn’t this verse say we are to ask God to forgive us each time we sin so that​​ He can cleanse us​​ from all unrighteousness?​​ 


Answer –​​ No!


I believe this is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. I will briefly​​ summarize my understanding of this verse.​​ See​​ the​​ article​​ Commentary on 1 John​​ on this website for more on this subject.​​ 


First of all,​​ context is king​​ when it comes to understanding​​ Scripture.​​ Much of the first chapter of 1 John​​ was written to refute the false teaching of those groups John calls​​ “antichrists.”​​ One such false teaching by a group known as the “Gnostics” was that they did not​​ believe they​​ could​​ commit acts of​​ sin. John​​ encourages​​ this group to confess (agree with God) that they had sinned. While confessing​​ one’s​​ sin doesn’t provide forgiveness or salvation, it is the first step. If you don’t believe you have​​ sinned, you will never see your need for forgiveness​​ or salvation.​​ John desired​​ to see them receive salvation so they​​ could be forgiven and share (fellowship) in the life of Jesus. Nowhere in​​ the New Covenant​​ do you see the continuing need for a Christian to​​ ask for​​ forgiveness.​​ Why? Because forgiveness​​ of man’s sin​​ was a one-time event!​​ It happened at the cross over 2,000 years ago.



Nothing​​ New



This practice of repeatedly asking God to forgive us​​ for our​​ sins​​ is not new. Under the Old Covenant, priests continually offered sacrifices for the sins of Israel. They offered the blood of bulls and goats as specified by the Law. However, these sacrifices could not take away man’s sin but only temporarily cover it, thus the need to continually repeat the process. These sacrifices were a picture or a foreshadowing of the perfect sacrifice that was to come via the spotless Lamb of God​​ (Jesus),​​ who would offer​​ Himself once and for all to take away the sin of​​ humanity​​ (John 1:29).


26​​ For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest (Jesus), holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;​​ 27​​ who does not need daily, like those high priests (Old Testament or Old Covenant priests), to offer up sacrifices, first for His (Jesus) own sins and then for the​​ sins​​ of the people, because this He (Jesus) did once for all when He (Jesus) offered up Himself.​​ 28​​ For the Law appoints men as high priests (Old Testament priests) who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law,​​ appoints​​ a Son (Jesus), made perfect forever.​​ Hebrews 7.26-28​​ 

Note -​​ The words in parenthesis in the above verses are inserted by this author for clarification.​​ 



Today,​​ we see the​​ custom​​ of​​ continually​​ asking God to forgive us​​ every time we sin​​ practiced in several different ways. Some do this by regularly attending the ceremonial process of confessing their sin to a man and,​​ in return,​​ having​​ this man pronounce the​​ penitent sinner forgiven.​​ Others​​ do so by walking down an aisle, kneeling at an altar,​​ confessing their sin to God,​​ and pleading for forgiveness.​​ Still, others do so in a way that the process becomes like a “magic formula.”​​ They believe it is their “asking” that provides the forgiveness rather than the finished work of Jesus on the cross.​​ 



What about the Teaching of Jesus?



The Lord Jesus​​ spoke of​​ conditional forgiveness.​​ He clearly​​ said​​ that​​ we must first forgive others in order to receive God's forgiveness.



14​​ “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.​​ 15​​ “But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.​​ Matthew 6.14-15​​ 



These statements​​ by Jesus​​ indicate that​​ forgiveness is not a settled issue;​​ forgiveness from God is conditional upon our forgiving others​​ and,​​ thus, is ongoing.​​ In other words, we can never know​​ if we have been forgiven because we​​ might have forgotten to forgive someone during our lifetime. Yikes!​​ If this is the requirement for receiving forgiveness, we are all in big trouble! Have you really forgiven everyone who has​​ ever​​ offended you, hurt you, stolen from you,​​ or lied to you? What about those who have slandered your good name? And then there are those you screamed at when they cut you off in traffic? Did you forgive all of them? Are you sure? Can you even remember all​​ of them? Doubtful! And then, what if you die while still harboring unforgiveness toward someone? Can the unforgiven person still be​​ in union​​ with God,​​ or does his unforgiveness separate him from God forever? Honestly, I​​ doubt anyone has forgiven​​ everyone who​​ offended​​ them.​​ 


Let me say​​ we should forgive others, but not as a condition for God to forgive us. Forgiving others is for our benefit. To do otherwise puts us in bondage​​ (Mat 18:21-35).


So, was Jesus wrong?​​ Remember,​​ context is king​​ when understanding what the​​ Bible means.​​ Jesus was born under the Old Covenant, also​​ called​​ the​​ Law​​ or​​ The Law of Moses, or the Mosaic Law. This covenant demanded that to be “right” with God, one must behave in a certain way, i.e.,​​ keep ALL of God’s commandments.​​ 


Jesus’ ministry was primarily to the Jews​​ rather than​​ to​​ the church. The​​ Jews​​ were very aware of the need to keep the Law.​​ 


The Pharisees, among others, prided themselves in both knowing and keeping the Law​​ (they thought). Jesus came on the scene and showed them that their efforts were falling way short of what was needed to keep God’s holy standard.​​ Jesus​​ said things like, “Everyone who looks at​​ a woman with lust​​ for her” was committing adultery,​​ and becoming angry with your brother was the same as murder​​ (Mat. 5:21,22, 27,28).​​ 


If the​​ “experts”​​ in the Law​​ (Pharisees)​​ were falling short, how could anyone else expect to meet the requirements of the Law? They couldn’t. They were hopeless, as is anyone who makes keeping the Law their standard of living!​​ And that​​ was the whole point:​​ the Law could never make anyone right with God​​ (Mat. 5:20;​​ Galatians 2:16).


Therefore, if you believed you had to forgive everyone who ever offended you to be forgiven, you would soon realize that it is impossible, thus, the need for a savior.​​ 


So, one​​ purpose​​ of​​ the​​ Law was to expose our sin;​​ for that,​​ it was very effective​​ (Rom. 5:20; 7:7).


Another purpose of the Law was​​ to​​ lead us to Christ​​ so that we might place our faith in​​ His finished work at the cross instead of our weak efforts to keep the Law​​ (Gal. 3:23-25).


Much of Jesus’ teaching in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) was​​ intended​​ to expose the self-righteousness of those who thought they were right with God based on their performance. Jesus was preparing the way for life in the new covenant – a life of grace where you could​​ rest in​​ His​​ finished work​​ on​​ the cross!​​ The New Covenant began at the death of Jesus, not at his birth, which is an often-overlooked truth​​ (Mat. 26:26-28; Heb. 9:15-17). The blood of Jesus shed at the cross initiated the new covenant and provided forgiveness of all sin​​ for those who put their faith in Jesus.​​ 



What Did the Apostle Paul say about Forgiveness?



Paul said,​​ “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.​​ (Eph. 4:32)


Jesus said that we forgive others to receive forgiveness. Paul said we forgive others​​ because​​ we are forgiven. They are exactly​​ the​​ opposite. Jesus indicates that our forgiveness is ongoing and conditional. Paul​​ suggests that because God’s grace (acting through the blood of Jesus) has provided forgiveness, we,​​ too,​​ should extend that grace to others by forgiving them.​​ Again, Jesus lived​​ and taught​​ under the Old Covenant of Law; Paul lived​​ and taught​​ under the New Covenant of​​ Grace!



Get Your Eyes Off Your Sin



You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal if I want to​​ continue to​​ ask God to forgive my​​ sin?” ​​ Let me ask you this. If you believe or feel you must​​ keep an account of your sins and seek forgiveness each time you sin,​​ where​​ is your focus? It is​​ on you​​ and your sin. You will be self-conscious rather than God-conscious. We are​​ encouraged​​ to set our minds on things above​​ (Phil. 3:13-14; Col. 3:1-4; Heb. 12:1-2).​​ We​​ should​​ keep our eyes on Jesus​​ as​​ his Holy Spirit leads us. Satan would like nothing better than for you to​​ take your eyes off Jesus and​​ be continually focusing and fretting about your sin.​​ 


Dear brother and sister, it is​​ essential​​ for you to know that you are​​ unconditionally loved and​​ accepted just as you are.​​ (consider the story of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15).​​ You are as righteous and holy as you will ever be.​​ You have been redeemed by​​ the blood of Jesus​​ and reconciled to God. These things are not based on​​ your behavior.​​ Aren’t you glad?​​ They are based on​​ your​​ new​​ identity​​ in Christ!​​ 


Draw Near to God


Can we draw near to God​​ if​​ we are​​ unsure we are forgiven, loved, and accepted? Probably not. But that is what we are encouraged to do,​​ and not when our behavior is perfect, but rather​​ when we are weak and struggling in our time of need.​​ 


14​​ Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.​​ 15​​ For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as​​ we are, yet​​ without sin.​​ 16​​ Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.​​ Hebrews 4.14-16​​ 



Our Response to Sin


Do Christians still sin? I’m pretty sure you know the answer to that question. But just in case, the answer is yes. So, what should be our response? When the Holy Spirit shows you your sin, quickly confess it to God.​​ The word​​ confess​​ in the​​ Bible means​​ -​​ to speak the same thing, agree,​​ or admit. So,​​ agree with God about your sin. You will know when you sin.​​ A lack of peace and conflict in your soul usually accompanies it. Then,​​ thank​​ God​​ that​​ He has already forgiven you!​​ Then, repent and move on with your life. Repent means to have a change of mind​​ (that leads to a change of behavior).​​ As we​​ continually renew​​ our minds​​ with the truth, our minds​​ will be changing​​ (repenting)​​ ​​ to agree with that truth.​​ These things are not to be a “formula” but rather an ongoing process.​​ ​​ 


And just for the record,​​ I am not saying sin is not serious. When a believer is walking in sin, he is not experiencing and expressing the life of Jesus. I am also not saying we should sin all we want because we are forgiven. Paul anticipated this same concern –​​ 


1​​ What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?​​ 2​​ May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?​​ Romans 6.1-2​​ 


We are no longer suited for sin. Sin does not agree with who we are in Christ.


22​​ that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,​​ 23​​ and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,​​ 24​​ and put on the new self, which in​​ the likeness of​​ God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.​​ Ephesians 4.22-24​​ 



You are now righteous and holy in Christ. You have a new,​​ divine nature;​​ therefore, live like who you are!​​ (2 Pet. 1:4).


God is not surprised when we sin, but​​ He​​ does not dwell on​​ it. So​​ why should you?​​ 


18​​ Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer​​ any​​ offering for sin.​​ 
Hebrews 10.17-18​​ 



Until you rest in the finality of the cross, you will never experience the reality of the resurrection.”​​ ​​ Bob George




1.​​ Practical Word Studies in the New Testament

2.​​ Strong’s Talking Greek Hebrew Dictionary

3.​​ Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words

4.​​ Principles of Exchanged Life Counseling;​​ Laird, Carol

5.​​ Classic Christianity;​​ George, Bob



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