We conclude our look at God's sovereign forgiveness and reveal how an often used verse that appears to give a condition for forgiveness is so terribly misunderstood, even today. Our prayer is that as you are immersed in the amazing forgiveness of God your life will be transformed.
Evidence for God’s Sovereign Forgiveness Part 2
1 Corinthians 5:7 Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast, as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
1 Corinthians 13:5 Love (God) keeps no record of wrongs.
2 Corinthians 5:19-20 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Ephesians 1:4 NLT Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.
Similar passages are Titus 1:2, 1 Peter 1:20, Revelation 13:8
Ephesians 1:7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
Ephesians 4:32 Instead, be kind to each another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Colossians 1:22 Yet now he (God) has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault.
Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having cancelled (Gr— cheirographon) written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross.
It is unclear in some translations what was nailed to the cross but in other translations it is clear. Here are some of the clearer ones,Acancelled the bond@CNEB, Aarrest warrant@CMessage Bible, Acharges proved against us@CLiving Bible, Athe record that contained the charges against us@CNLT.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Hebrews 9:28 Christ comes the second time not to deal with sin but to bring salvation. Hebrews 10:14 because by one sacrifice he has made perfect for ever those who are being made holy. 1 John 2:12 I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. Luke 15:1-2 Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! The implication of Jesus eating with tax collectors and prostitutes is that he has forgiven them. This is what the perceived scandal was all about.
Truth and Tradition
The accepted Christian teaching on forgiveness is that confession earns forgiveness or that at least one cannot be forgiven unless there has been confession. This is based on a tradition that developed in the Middle Ages and a misunderstanding of: 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we read the previous verse and the following verse the meaning of verse nine becomes clear.
1 John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. These two verses are referring to those who are claiming to be sinless. The middle verse, verse 9, is saying that if we are willing to acknowledge that we are sinners, we need have no fear that God has not forgiven us and, further, that He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Thus, this verse, rather than being a condition for forgiveness is a promise of God=s lavish forgiveness to those who realize their sinfulness. It is because we are forgiven that we have the courage to confess our sinfulness and our specific sins. Confession of our state and our unkind acts helps to confront our need of salvation, it helps to restore relationships, it gives God ammunition against the accuser. Confession is therapeutic in every way, but it is not the cause or condition of the forgiveness which comes from the gracious heart of God. God is the one who forgave us. So often we think Jesus forgave us, but God is made of sterner stuff. The root of our forgiveness is in the very heart of God the Father. It is God who loved the world so much He gave His Son. All glory to the Father.