The Double Dose

July 28, 2021

Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt (Matthew 18:27).

I’ve been asked on several occasions, “Why do I have to confess my sins to the Lord every day if He has already forgiven me all of my sins when I was saved?” It’s an honest question borne from an honest concern about the extent of God’s forgiveness of sin and the continuing influence of sin in the life of the believer. Consider, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:8-9).

Christians experience two kinds of forgiveness from God. The first is a permanent, once-for-all forgiveness that is experienced at the moment a person is saved. We know this to be true from Romans 5:1-2, Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

The word ‘justified’ means to set right with God. It is a 1st aorist, passive participle which means that to be set right with God was something that happened to the believer (passive) in the past (1st aorist) that has continuing results (participle), i.e. when a person is saved it is God who saves him at a point in time with the person being made right with God continuing on indefinitely. Note also the phrase, into this grace in which we stand. The perfect, active, indicative verb ‘stand’ means that since a person has been saved, he/she continues to stand in God’s grace. The perfect tense conveys past action with present results.

So, when you are saved, all sin - past, present, and future - is forgiven completely. But Christians are still subject to trials, temptations, and weaknesses of the flesh (human desires). As a result, Christians sin even after they are saved. For that sin they need God’s daily forgiveness and cleansing (1 John 1:9), not to be saved all over again (which salvation cannot be repeated), but to restore fellowship with God that is broken by the sin. 

I refer to The Parable of the Prodigal Son from time to time to illustrate this. When the prodigal was out in the world living it up with his father’s money, he was still the son of his father. The relationship remained intact. But fellowship with his father was broken - he was away from his father’s house, living a life alien to his father’s life, and engaged in self-destructive behavior contrary to his father’s morals and values. Only when he repented of his sin and returned to his father was fellowship restored. But he was always his father’s son.

“Lord Jesus, thank You for the love and forgiveness You extend to me because I know at times my life displeases You. Thank You for the eternal and the daily provision of forgiveness necessary to bring me peace and renewed joy in You. To Your honor and glory I ask, Amen.”


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