Asking for forgiveness
The Fifth Petition
Seeing that God has already forgiven the Christian all trespasses
(Col.2:13), is it not needless, some people ask, for us to continue to
beg for forgiveness? What do we ask for in this petition? I believe that
it is both necessary and proper that we ask for daily forgiveness (1
John 1:6-10). How do i reply to these people that insist, that i
crucify the Lord Jesus again and again by asking for daily
Your help is welcomed.
Greetings. I'm one of a team of believers who work together as a forum
of sorts. Most of us have known the Lord for many decades; some are
teachers, some retired pastors, and others with some experience.
I think that you can answer your own inquiry by analyzing it a bit.
Yes, all my sins past, present, and future are paid for by the death of
Jesus on the cross. We are saved by grace--an undeserved gift of God.
The blood of Jesus is of infinite value. We can do nothing to deserve
(earn or merit) it. In addition, God is outside of time (He created
space and time), so His gift is truly timeless.
What the scripture indicated concerning "crucifying Christ anew" seems
to apply to those who willingly and purposely sin, perhaps to excess,
and expect to be forgiven with no remorse, no sorrow, and no repentence.
It is like using grace as Carte Blanche. It is also, in a very real
sense, pounding once again the nails into His hands and feet. The
reason that Jesus went to the cross (and there was no alternative) was
to pay for the sins of humankind, all of them, including the one(s) I
may commit tomorrow (either of commission or omission).
Jesus instructed us to learn of Him and to keep His commandments (to
love God with all our might and all of our being, and to love our
brothers as ourselves). This precludes testing His grace by sinning on
purpose. We keep His commandments because He tells us to and because we
love Him. The response to Grace is obedience and worship. In James, we
are told specifically that faith without works is dead. How do we know
that someone who deliberately sins and confesses again and again the
same sins has truly met the Lord?
However, if you truly know the Lord, then you have not only a conscience
but the Spirit of God that convinces you of your sin. We still need to
respect God's gift. Remember the sinner in the temple who was truly
sorry for his sins while the Pharisee felt superior because he thought
he didn't sin? I know quite well that I need the continual washing of
the Word of God and cleansing of the Spirit. David is also my
model--and he confessed his sins and begged for forgiveness.
This is not to mix Law and Grace. The Law is a schoolmaster that brings
us to grace. When I confess my sins, I know that I'm forgiven. I am
not crucifying the Messiah once again; not at all. He reminds me that
He has known me all along, that He knows I'm prone to error, and that I
am very often self-centered and self-serving. But, He is always
faithful to remind me that while I was a sinner, He came to give me
forgiveness. There is no limit to it. The gift is there for the
taking. We still need to receive it, and we need to continue to walk in
His ways and learn of Him. It is only a paradox to those who do not
truly know grace.
Also, I'm sure that we all sin without even knowing or noticing. It is
still a part of our "old man", the old carnal nature that we continually
face. Like Paul said, we do that which we do not choose and don't do
the things we really want to do. I wish I could will myself into
perfection, but it is simply not possible. Hence, the continual need
for grace, and a word of respect to our God. "Forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us."
You have received an excellent reply. I will add just a simple question
for your friends:
If we are not to pray for forgiveness, why did Jesus tell us to do
so? As you are no doubt aware it was He who taught us to pray "and
forgive us our debts/trespasses as we forgive our debtors."
I think the notion of "begging" for forgiveness implies reluctance on
the part of God to forgive. The amazing fact is that Jesus' death
has made it possible for the Father to be "faithful and just" (see I
Jn. 1:9) in forgiving and cleansing us from our sins. Thus we do not
beg forgiveness from a reluctant Judge. We confess our sins in order
to receive the forgiveness He has already made available at infinite
cost to Him. We do not confess our sins in order to merit that
amazing Grace but in order to have unbroken communion with the One
who so loved/loves us.
Amazed by His grace,