Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Grace Q & A: Our future sins are already forgiven?

17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 NKJV

For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1 NASB

We've been in a study of the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ. Utilizing a Q & A format we've been asking questions concerning Grace, getting back to the basics of the Grace Gospel. We've seen that under Grace we are no longer under condemnation. We've addressed the sin issue. We saw the place of Grace and the local church

 Today, it seemed good to address another issue. What about our future sins? Are our future sins really already forgiven? The sins we've yet to commit? Those misdeeds we've not even engaged in are already forgiven and cleansed? 

 The answer is yes. When you received Jesus, at that instant all of your sins were forgiven and you were fully cleansed by the blood of Jesus. This is such good news it should be heralded throughout the land. Yet, when we speak this truth to believers it's met with disbelief and skepticism. Why?

 We are conditioned by tradition and religion that we need to see ourselves as lowly sinners. To see ourselves as not so pure. We see our righteousness as mere positional but not truly who we are presently. We are also convinced that we aren't fully forgiven.

God's forgiveness is an installment plan?

 The installment plan theology is what much of the Christian Church ascribes to. This plan seems gracious to tradition. In reality, it leaves Christian's seeing themselves as only partially forgiven. 

 The installment plan sees forgiveness as an individual transaction. Each time you miss it or blow it, you must come to God to get forgiven for that particular sin. If you don't, you harboring known sin. You will be out of fellowship with God, and your prayers will not be answered. 

 The installment plan sees us forgiven only up to the point of receiving salvation. Afterward, we must receive forgiveness for each sin committed. How is it received? By our owning up to it and apologizing for it. 

 In this theology, tradition prides itself on being gracious by saying "see your past is forgiven." People will speak of the goodness of God to rescue people from their past. The Saints past is done away in Christ, they are made new. Great, but what about today? 

 What about the struggles believers are facing right now in the present?  What about those temptations that seem to be overtaking them? What about those habits they can't seem to overcome? Are they currently unclean Christians? 

 What about the addictions that may be there tomorrow? What about the anger issues, the impatience, the critical words that may be spoken? What about the future? Is it uncertain? 

 Before Grace, I knew 2 Corinthians 5:17. I knew I was a new creation. I knew the enemy couldn't remind me of my past without me reminding him of his future. Tradition would say, you're righteous in Christ, your past can't hold back God's goodness or favor. What about my current circumstance? Would that cause God to withhold blessing?

 So I knew I was righteous in Christ, but this righteousness seemed only to apply to my past and not my present or future. I don't believe I am alone in this experience. Tradition can never offer me any peace of mind or a firm faith. 

Forgiven ONCE for ALL Time!

Tradition's installment plan disregards the Finished Work. The installment plan exchanges a once for all time forgiveness, for an individual transaction plan. Its biggest error is substituting a forgiveness only attained by the shedding of blood with a forgiveness obtained by individual apologies. 

 How is forgiveness even obtained? Is it by our turning away from committing sinful deeds? Is it by our admitting we sinned? Is it by individual apologies? The Bible is clear, there is only one God accepted way forgiveness for sin is obtained.

22 In fact we can say that under the old agreement almost everything was cleansed by sprinkling it with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. Hebrews 9:22 TLB (emphasis mine)

 The Word is simple and clear. The only way for sins to be forgiven is for the shedding of blood. Think with me. If we are only forgiven of our past sins, and after the point of conversion, we must seek forgiveness as an individual transaction for each sin, whose blood is being shed for each of these forgiveness transactions? Ours? Does Jesus need to keep dying for each sin we commit? 

 Religious tradition then back peddles, saying no Jesus shed His blood once but we must individually apologize for each sin to obtain forgiveness for each sin we commit. So we exchange the once for all sacrifice for individual effort. We substitute God's forgiveness plan with our own apology plan. Traditions plan of redemption and receiving of forgiveness is in direct opposition to God's perfect plan of blood-bought redemption.

 Jesus perfect shed blood is the final sacrifice it's the only shed blood we need for once for all time forgiveness of all our sins, past, present and future. Our individual apologies are not how we receive once for all forgiveness.  God isn't looking for your apology but rather looking for you to believe and accept His once for all time perfect sacrifice for sins. 

 Forgiven once for all time for all our sins? Yes! The Word is clear;

13 You were dead in sins, and your sinful desires were not yet cut away. Then he gave you a share in the very life of Christ, for he forgave all your sins, Colossian 2:13 TLB

14 who bought our freedom with his blood and forgave us all our sins. Colossians 1:14 TLB

12 I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus. 1 John 2:12 NLT

  It is clear He has forgiven us once for all time. Rejoice, in Christ, your past is cleansed and done away with. Your past can have no hold on you. All shame of yesterday is removed by Jesus, the shame remover.

 Be glad, He sees your current situation. He sees you in the middle of the mess. God isn't turning His head away from you. He isn't turning His back on you. His perfect redemption purchased the blessing and goodness and favor not your behavior or performance. His goodness causes us to run towards Him even in our worst. You are forgiven and cleansed right now. 

 Celebrate, your future is bright. His forgiveness is already there awaiting you. Even if you fail, stumble or fall, you can confidently get back up and keep walking with your Father. No need to fear that He will eventually give up on you. 

 Oh, but what if I am still failing and giving into this same temptation? Surely, His Grace has limits? No, His Grace knows no bounds. The concept that He wouldn't keep forgiving us if we keep sinning the same sin is faulty. Because He has already forgiven us once for all time. Look, when He saved you, He knew of all your struggles and failures, and the foul-ups you'd make before you did and He still chose to save you.

 In summation, are we forgiven of our future sins? Yes, we are forgiven once for all time. Heaven's economy is a shed blood economy. Jesus shed His blood once for all time. There is an endless supply of forgiveness. It's not over, no matter how many times we fail. We must remember and trust in the Finished Work. We are forgiven once for all time in Christ. 
 Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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