Monday, July 19, 2010

Forgiveness Part 5: Judicial, Parental, Personal

Matthew 6:14-15 – If we sin, do we have to wait until we confess before God forgives us? If so, that would mean we fall out of forgiveness, we lose our salvation until we ask for forgiveness. Some teach this, but when we think it through clearly, that teaching is obviously in error. There is a difference between judicial forgiveness and parental (fellowship) forgiveness. Judicial forgiveness is about God being our Father (cf. Ephesians 1:3-7), while parental forgiveness is calling on God as Father. We are judicially forgiven the minute we commit that sin because we have Jesus as an advocate in heaven (1 John 2:1). What we need to do is to confess our sin before God in order to continue in and restore close fellowship (1 John 1:9).

Jesus was not giving some requirement for salvation. He was saying that those who are forgiven become forgiving people themselves (cf. Colossians 3:13). If we do not forgive we become resentful, of other people, of life, and of God. Resentment leads to cynicism, which leads to bitterness, which yields rotten fruit.

Do you forgive yourself? – You don’t forgive yourself it is God who forgives you, and if you are looking for that, the power to forgive yourself, well then you are looking to be God and you realize you don’t have the power and you feel bad and no wonder. Lack of ability to forgive self is not the problem. What is happening is that we are just recognizing that something more needs to be done. Although we recognize that we have been forgiven, we have not changed. We are crying out for the change that will assure us that we will never do anything like it again. Instead of using this “I need to forgive myself” language, which is unbiblical, we need to learn to deal with the problems in our lives that led to the wrong, in such a way that we adopt a more biblical lifestyle. We accept God’s judicial forgiveness and seek His parental forgiveness by confessing sin and seeking sanctification. We grow in the knowledge of our eternal forgiveness which leads to further growth in grace (Colossians 1:9-14).

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Even So... said...

This is the fifth in a five part series, and I truly hope and pray it will be most enlightening and encouraging, as well as convicting and motivating. It was part of a basic training and membership class at our church.

The audio for these posts will be available soon...God bless...