In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
The first thing to set straight where forgiveness of sins is concerned is that it is God’s prerogative. Just as in salvation, a man can’t ask God to save him. Rather God goes to man to save him. Man only believes in the salvation of the Lord to be saved.
So it is with forgiveness. It’s not for man to ask God to forgive him before God does. When a sinner believes the gospel, he is forgiven. Having become a new creature, when he sins, he’s not to ask for forgiveness before God forgives him. Because he didn’t ask for forgiveness to be forgiven even as a sinner. How much more now!
Under the old covenant, man’s repentance preceded forgiveness as it were, but in the new it’s the other way round. In God’s order, His forgiveness precedes man’s repentance. It’s never a requirement with God for him to forgive man.
- For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
The term ”I will be merciful” depicts to us God’s choice or willingness even in his responsibility and duty.
Now note that forgiveness and repentance are not the same things. That has always been a major problem, that is, mixing up the two terms or taking them for the same. ”God forgives. Man repents”.
Repentance here is from the Greek word metanoia and the verb form metanoeo which means to think differently or afterward, that is, to reconsider. A man cannot think differently if there is no newly introduced knowledge.
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Peter asked his audience to repent; not to turn away from their sins, but to think differently concerning the remission of sins, now accomplished in the work of redemption by Christ. Hence there can be no repentance without a message. You cannot demand repentance from a man to whom you have not preached the Gospel.
Repentance ought to be a result of forgiveness and not otherwise. Here is a problem many contend with:
- And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Firstly, we must understand that the above prayer, which many call the Lord’s Prayer, is one that seeks to reveal God as the heavenly Father, and the work He will do in His Son. Hence the idea is not to ask the heavenly Father to forgive them as they forgive others. This is a manner of praying Jesus gave to them as under the law. This obviously needs clarification with the epistles (Romans to Jude). In the epistles, we see the true nature of the heavenly Father revealed in His Son Jesus.
1 John 2:12
- I write unto you, little children because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
This is not because you forgave someone else or repented, but because Christ died for your sins. The Father’s forgiveness is in his Son! Does this imply not to forgive people? Of course not! That will be hearing amiss. It’s just not a requirement for God to forgive you.
- And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Hence based on the knowledge that God has already forgiven you, you then forgive others knowing you don’t have a reason not to forgive anyone in the light of the forgiveness of sins you have or received in Christ.
Forgiveness is a redemption reality. Today, God doesn’t have to forgive you again and again. He has forgiven you already in Christ. To receive God’s forgiveness is to accept what Jesus did; always remember what He has done as you journey through.
Forgiveness is not for you to worry about; it’s God’s prerogative! See, the new creation is a forgiven being. The forgiveness of God is in the possession of the new creation (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14). He doesn’t need to ask for it. He has been given of God!
Confession of sins and asking for forgiveness is an act resulting from sin consciousness and invariably hinged on ignorance of the subject forgiveness from God’s (that is, the Bible) perspective.
A man having received forgiveness of sins in Christ, ought to be righteousness conscious. You would learn to see yourself and speak as FORGIVEN.
You would also learn to forgive others and always do it quickly. Learn to forgive others no matter what they have done.
I am saved from sin, therefore I exist forgiven. I don’t have a sin problem. I’m in Christ, and I choose to be righteousness conscious!