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In our societies we are used to give to receive. Especially when we make a mistake, we are used to compensating for it.

Asking for forgiveness is even something that the Bible teaches us as a practice approved by God. We have to use forgiveness among ourselves, that's for sure.

We are therefore not only accustomed but encouraged by the Gospel to use forgiveness in our daily lives towards each other.

As a result, sometimes mistakes can creep into our relationship with God in this regard.

We will try to answer the question: "Should we ask God for forgiveness when we have failed or even when we get to the new birth? ».

 

Every time our TRGN ministry publishes the answer to this question on social networks, it is often a flood of reactions, not always the most pleasant, nor the most polite. This shows us that a majority of Christians have not understood how to act in this area of forgiveness in their relationship with God.

I would like to begin by saying that in no passage of the New Covenant is it specifically written: "You must never ask God for forgiveness!"  And this is why a majority find it difficult to enter into this truth. But on the other hand, nowhere in the New Covenant do you find the account of a born-again person asking God for forgiveness. We will therefore look at some examples together in order to better understand how to act towards God on the subject of forgiveness.

It is important to be clear about why we need to be forgiven. The Bible shows us that the only cause that makes us need to be forgiven is that sin entered into every human being by heredity from Adam and Eve. That is why we all have by heredity, a debt, a fault that we must settle with God. 

We have many examples of this in the Old Testament and especially in the scriptures covering the period of the Law, which make up the ¾ of the Law, where the people of God never ceases to implore forgiveness from God for various faults committed. These same scriptures also show us God asking the people to ask for forgiveness. We can find such examples in:

1 Chronicles 21:8  So David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

This word of King David is only one example among dozens of others.

But today we have a major event that has taken place. The Law given to Moses has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Because Jesus fulfilled this Law to perfection, and because He accepted to be sacrificed, He became THE ultimate sacrifice for mankind.

John the Baptist said of Him:

John 1:29  The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

When John said that Jesus takes away the sin of the world, he was talking about all the sin on earth. The original word translated as "take away" is AIRO. This word gives the notion of: transporting what has been lifted, moving from one place, appropriating what has been taken.

This is why since the cross, sin has been removed from the earth.

Does this mean that no one sins anymore?

No, unfortunately not!

People continue to sin, but Jesus took the sin of this world from a spiritual point of view.

Some people may say to me: "But Frank, Jesus took sin from a spiritual point of view, but that doesn't change anything in our world! ».

I would say yes and no to that.

It is true that in our world this does not change except that everyone now has the opportunity to become a person in the image of God.

But in the spiritual world it changes everything!

And it is in this spiritual world that we will all, without exception, arrive after our earthly death.

God considers through Jesus' sacrifice that no one sins any longer.

But then one might ask why do people go to hell? People who go to hell all go there for exactly the same reason: because they have not accepted what Jesus did for them.

God has forgiven all sins through Jesus' sacrifice, that's a fact. If you are born again all your past, present and future sins are removed, taken away.

Micah 7:19  He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.

We are today in the fulfilment of this word. God has chosen to put our sins under His feet, to cast them to the bottom of the sea. 

  It is now a little easier to understand that there is no more sin between God and us when we are born again. If God has removed the existence of sin from my life, then it becomes useless to talk about it or evoke it, let alone try to deal with it spiritually.

I receive many testimonies when I teach this, which tell me that it is a bit too easy to say that we no longer owe sin to God.

Yet this is the pure truth.

Since the New Covenant, all those who are born again are called saints.

Do you think that God would call saints, people whom He does not consider holy and perfect without any faults?

All those who are born again are holy before God. Would this mean that they are perfect and holy in this world?

Not at all, and that is why it is spiritually that Jesus took the sin of the world upon Himself.

When you and I sin in this world, we all suffer the harmful effects, even though God has already forgiven us.

Even in the Old Covenant we can see that God loves to forgive.

Nehemiah 9:17  They refused to obey, And they were not mindful of Your wonders That You did among them. But they hardened their necks, And in their rebellion They appointed a leader To return to their bondage. But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them.

Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.

God is love and He wants us with Him because He loves us.

So we know that today when we are born again, sin is no longer imputed to us, God doesn't even mention it, He has chosen not to remember our past, present and even future sins. 

It is precisely when we have deeply understood this truth, when God has forgiven all our sins in advance, that this very idea pushes us to live the most holy life possible. God uses love to change us, not repression.   

Now that we know that our sins have been spiritually suppressed, it becomes easy to understand that asking God for forgiveness is useless. 

Most of the time, people tell me that even though they have understood that God no longer impute their sins to them, they still need to ask Him for forgiveness, either out of politeness or out of respect.

But when we analyse this kind of thought, we quickly come to the fact that these people have not yet fully understood the full extent and power of Jesus' sacrifice. It is to appease their own consciences that they feel the need to ask God for forgiveness. They need to do something in order to receive, as they have not fully understood what the word "grace" means. Grace does not imply anything in return or beforehand, and God does not ask for anything in return or beforehand of what He has done for us through Jesus.  

 

Let us look at a quite important example, the case of Peter when he denied Jesus three times.

Matthew 26:69-75  Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.” 71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!” 73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.” 74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!” Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

We are not going to go into all the details of this denial of Pierre, but simply some of the actions he has taken. Peter denied Jesus to save his life. He did not do it once, and we could have said that it was under the emotion or surprise of having been challenged.  No, it was three times that Peter said: "No, I don't know him".

Peter even said coarse things in order to pass himself off as someone who was not a disciple of Christ; this is what verse 74 says when it is written that he began to make imprecations.

Was Peter heard asking God for forgiveness when he realised his fault and wept bitterly?

Not at all!

Let's go a little further and look at the next time Peter was in the presence of Jesus.

We are now at the moment when Jesus appeared to His disciples after the cross.

John 21:7  Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.

Let's look at Peter's first reaction when he realised that Jesus was there. Peter jumped into the water. Obviously he was not yet comfortable with the fact that this hadn't changed Jesus' attitude towards him at all. Jesus remains the same, He does not demand forgiveness from Peter.

Yet if we were to ask God for forgiveness when we sin, Peter would have had a good reason to do so.

Never once does Jesus refer to a request for forgiveness that should have been made by Peter because of his three denials.

When you think about it, it seems quite normal, why ask God for something He has already given us?

Would you ask for a glass of water from someone who has just given you one?

The same goes for forgiveness with God. God has already given us His forgiveness, and there is no need to ask Him for it again, because He will answer us, "I cannot give it to you, because I have already done so". Couldn't God forgive us each time we do something wrong?

No, it is impossible!

We will detail this a little further down.

Some people see it as a lack of respect towards God, yet it is only an immense grace that God has given us. Forgiveness has already been given to us, so why ask for it again?

This is what God said about those who have been born again:

Hebrews 10:16-23  “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin. 19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

God chose not to remember our sins, any of our faults.

This passage goes on to say that: "Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin".

This means that, as in the Law, whenever there was sin, a sacrifice was necessary.

This is why Jesus had to take away all the sin of the world at once, in a single sacrifice. If we had to ask God for forgiveness and obtain forgiveness every time we realised that we were sinning, then a sacrifice would be needed for every sin, for every forgiveness given, as under the Law. This would mean that Jesus would return to die on the cross every time a person who has sinned asks God for forgiveness so that this sin could be forgiven. This is what the above passage tells us.

This is not to mention that if Jesus had not taken away all the sin of this world, all the sins you and I would commit without realising it would never be forgiven. So if we followed this logic it would be impossible for anyone to get to heaven because all their sins would not be forgiven. 

Do you understand now that it is impossible for you to be forgiven for each of your sins because Jesus died only once and made only one sacrifice for all and for all time?

 This passage goes on to say that we must be cleansed of all evil conscience.

What does the author mean in this case?

Quite simply that if you feel the need to ask God for forgiveness, it is because we feel accused, that we have a guilty conscience about what we have done or said wrong. If we feel accused, it's because we haven't understood that we are already forgiven, so we leave it to satan to accuse us even more.

We must be purified of any bad conscience, that is to say, feel no accusation, no condemnation.

Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,…

Of course all this does not mean that we have a pass to take advantage of the situation. Would you take advantage of someone who loves you unconditionally, and whom you also love?

Certainly not!

Not asking God for forgiveness doesn't mean I should act disrespectfully. On the contrary, when I sometimes find out that I have sinned, I am sometimes (for a short while) angry with myself. Other times I tell God about it, saying to Him: "Father, I have failed again, thank you because I am already forgiven, this simple fact pushes me to keep myself even more in holiness. Thank you Holy Spirit for helping me to sin less and less".

I can therefore fully express my regret and respect to God without asking him for a useless forgiveness because I already have it.

It is not a question of living as a person to whom everything is due, no! It is because I am going to realise this exceptional, immense grace that God has given me by granting me His forgiveness beforehand for all my faults that I am going to be pushed by my conscience and my spirit to sin less and less.  

I guarantee you that you will sin much less by stopping asking God for forgiveness, rather than by appeasing your own conscience with a request for forgiveness that God will never be able to give you because it is already in your possession, and because Jesus has been sacrificed once and for all.  

 

 

Bye for now...