Sunday, May 19, 2013

394. You Are Forgiven

It's done. Complete. The issue of sin coming between us and God has been eternally dealt with... And it was God who dealt with it through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Some will ask God to forgive. His response is that He already has. The sacrifice of Christ occurred once and for all... It did not bring temporary forgiveness. New Covenant scriptures declare we are already forgiven. God has already "reconciled the world to Himself and does not count our sins against us." Why? We've been freed from the law that imputed sin to our account. The sacrifice of Christ took sin away forever. Under the New Covenant God declares that "He will remember our sins and iniquities no more." Now we can live in a relationship of unconditional love instead of in fear and judgment. By faith we trust in what Jesus has already accomplished.

You Are Forgiven (14 Min, 9.6 MB)
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  1. I believe many people stress Matthew 6:15. That is why it is important to know the context, audience and history. Jesus said that before He died, but after HIs resurrection; time and time again it says that we are to forgive others because we HAVE been forgiven. We do not confess our sins to be forgiven, we confess because we HAVE. However I also don't believe that we keep going around asking for forgiveness as if the work of Christ has not been finished. The Bible says that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin.

    The scripture in 1 John, about forgiveness, what that written to Gnostics? I just want to get a clearer definition ont hat scripture.

  2. The word "forgive" is a mistranslation. The concept of forgiveness deceives us about God & how He has felt about the world & about ourselves, how we relate to God & to others.

    I go into detail about it here

    1. Matthew 6:15

      New International Version (NIV)

      15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

      The differance today is Old Covenant and new. Under Old, one forgave to be forgiven.
      Quoted before the cross Matt 6:15
      After the cross we forgive because we are forgiven this simple.

  3. Michael,

    I know that kind of teaching is going around these days, and as I continue to study the scriptures for myself, including looking into the original Greek words, I believe that the words that are translated in English Bibles as "forgive" (and variations of the word, such as forgave, forgiven, etc) are rightly translated so. After looking at these words in the context of their sentences and paragraphs and overall points the epistle writers were making, I see the traditional sense of how we understand the word to fit very nicely.

    1. That hasn't been my finding. Examining both the old & new testament words for forgive reveals that they mean to "lift off" or "take away." Similar to the lamb or God "taking away the sins of the world."

      To biblically "forgive" another person is to lift a burden off of them, it is to give them relief & peace of mind. While it is good to stop holding something against someone as the English word forgive conveys what the bible speaks about is relational. You don't "forgive in your heart" to make yourself feel better, instead you "forgive from the heart" & let the other person know it.

      So while in some ways the words are similar & have overlap there is a distinct difference especially in regards to God forgiving.
      God didn't need to sacrifice to forgive us. He could have just chose to do that like we can chose to forgive others. The problem wasn't with God & man but with man & sin. His sacrifice offers us the freedom from sin's oppression. He was fixing our problem with sin not His problem with our sin.

    2. Michael, thanks for your thoughts. I'm not going to turn this message board into a debate center because Joel & I have heard all the viewpoints but I will make a comment.

      I have watched a few of my grace friends with utter amazement as they have been caught-up with this belief that the sacrifice of Christ was not necessary for man's redemption. I wish I could hire some of these people in sales because I think they could convince people of just about anything.

      Clearly the scriptures from the old covenant prophets to Jesus Himself to the book of Acts to the writings of Paul to the halls of Montezuma declare the necessity for Christ to suffer and die. It is by His blood that we have entered into this new covenant. It is true that sacrifice & offerings (of animals) were not the will of God but Jesus was given a body and came to do the will of God. He became the sacrifice to end all sacrifices.

      Yes, God has always loved us and His love did not kick-in suddenly after Jesus died. He has always been merciful and kind. He does not change. But the demonstration of His love is found in the (necessary) sacrifice of Christ. While we were yet sinners (in Adam) Christ died for us. This is how Love was demonstrated. "By His blood" we have redemption without the need to seek forgiveness for every individual sin because of the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God taking away sin once and for all.

  4. I guess we'll just have to disagree about this, as would also be seen in the subject matter of the discussions that have taken place on our various podcast episodes. The problem was multifaceted in nature (not just a problem that man had with sin, but a problem that God had with man, as is evidenced by myriads of scriptures in the Old Testament and New Testament).

    I'll just leave it at that, as I'm sure that even if we disagree on the nature of the problems, God is the one who took care of all of it.

  5. Doh... looks like Kap and I were commenting at the same time. :)

  6. Humm...i was just thinking and reading theses comments and i thing Mr.Reyes is on to something. I look back at the garden of Eden and Adam and Eve never asked forgiveness for what they did yet God sacrificed an animal and covered them with the skin(Jesus), removing their fig leaves.I see it now that God gave the laws just like we give our little kids rules because kids need boundaries or they will hurt themselves(sin). They don't understand love fully yet, they only do what they want like putting dog food or poison in their mouth cuz when your little you don't understand danger. They don't even understand why their parents tell them no. The issue is never been about their parents love, their parents love for them is always there, they just don't understand it yet. As they grow up, they grow to know their parents love for them and eventually the rules are not needed anymore. If an adult child still remains under rules they can become rebellious or the opposite, feeling so insecure without the rules that they can't function without them. Or what should happen, is they mature in their parents love, the rules fall off and a relationship of love remains as adults. The child can now see that the parents only had the rules until they could grow up enough to understand how much their parents love them. The rules were only for a short time for protection.

    1. Tricia, I totally hear you on the whole idea of kids needing rules and boundaries, and then eventually becoming mature enough to not need them any longer. Having a teen and a preteen myself, I have used various rules and boundaries to help them grow. :)

      I guess the issue here, with the law being brought into the conversation (as is well needed in a discussion like this), is that that was not the purpose of God giving the law. If we go back and read either the Ten Commandments, or any of the 600+ other laws that were given, we see that the law was given to pronounce blessings, as well as judgments, punishments and curses on those who didn't keep it. In other words, God hadn't simply set the law up to provide the Jews with some good boundaries. It was serious stuff.

      And as we've discussed many times on this podcast, Paul would later lay out in detail what God's purposes were for giving the law. In Paul's own words, those purposes were death, bondage, guilt and condemnation.

      Romans 3:19, for example, says that the law was given to make the world guilty (hypódikos) before God. Sin had already been in the world before the law, but what the law did was to impute man's sin to man. It charged the guilt of sin to man's account. That's why Paul calls the law the ministry of death and condemnation, and of bondage and guilt.

      The law made man guilty (imputed guilt to his account), which is one reason why forgiveness was needed (hence the multiple instances of variations of the word "forgive" in the New Testament in relation to our sin).

      This is another reason why "justification" is such a huge issue in Paul's writings. "Justified" means "to be declared without guilt" and "to be declared right or righteous." This means that man previously hadn't been right or righteous, but rather had been guilty. If the problem was merely a problem that man had with sin, rather than a problem that God had with man, then justification would never be needed. But the problem was indeed a guilt problem, and therefore that's why justification was needed, along with forgiveness, and ultimately Life.

      There's much more to say about this, but I've tried to keep it short (for lack of time, as well as to hopefully keep it simple).

      Kap and I have noticed various people out there who are neglecting so many of these core biblical teachings, and instead taking a sentence or two, or even a word or two, and making doctrines that simply don't stand up (in our own estimation) to the fullness of what the scriptures say in their larger contexts, and all we're aiming to do is to look at it all as a whole.

    2. I guess my question would be then
      Is God saving us from Himself or from His "final enemy" death? Death which sin earned us & the devil holds the power of (Hebrews 2:12-15).

  7. Sorry for the late response, I agree with the context of 1 John 9. I believe that forgiveness has been granted because of Christ sacrifice, no longer do we need a priest that keeps doing sacrifices, when we have a spotless lamb(Jesus) who dealt with our sin once and for all.

    We are forgiven people so we can forgive others.

    Thanks to all that responded:)