To whomsoever it may concern, for whom Christ died,
In my house, we have been praying that we will be worthy of his coming, and that our garments are not mothed and dirty. [Luke 21:36, James 5:2, Revelation 3:4, Revelation 16:15] I have something that I want to repent of. The only way that I can see to be able to explain it to you is with a letter and verses. Many of these verses you will know, so I have tried to just put references to them instead of making this too long to read.
The Bible says confess your faults to your brethren, [James 5:16] “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
It also says, “test the spirits.” [1 Thessalonians 5:20–21, 1 John 4:1]
While I was in Florida we went out and did some witnessing with a friend, the guy that I went with confused me so much that I had to go through and make sure that what I knew was correct. We should have a good understanding of forgiveness/atonement and how its mechanics works. I am very technical, so if something doesn’t make sense I have issues, it is just how God made me. I am not going to go into the back story, because it is too long, basically the guy would give a partial Gospel going off in all kinds of directions. However, this is what I found in the bible about how forgiveness/atonement works. I have known parts of this but not all put together, I guess that is what happens when you have to listen to your dad every Sunday preach… la, la, la, la, la.
Starting with when Adam and Eve sinned God showed them that there must be a payment for the sin they committed. God sacrificed an animal (quite possibly a sheep). God show them that it he requires blood to pay for a crime committed against him. This is seen all the way through the Old Testament when Abel offered an animal and having faith in the blood sacrifice [Heb 11:4]. When Noah, sacrificed and burned and offered on an altar [Gen 8:20]. When Abraham offered Isaac on the altar and God gave a sheep to sacrifice instead. When Moses, built altars and called upon the name of the Lord. During the Passover in Egypt they had to apply the blood. Leviticus 17:11 says, that the blood makes atonement for the soul. And [Heb 12:24] says, that what Jesus did speaketh better things than that of Abel. [Heb 9:7-28, Heb 10:4], and [Heb 10:19] explains this in extreme detail. It talks about ‘how’ the patterns apply from Old Testament into the New Testament. And so the Gospel is spelled out in [1 Corinthians 15:1-4]. I have also found that Peter got in trouble by Paul for making the gentiles behave like the Jews in [Galatians 2:10]. Peter repented and changed his mind and said in [2 Peter 3:15] that Paul was given wisdom that we should learn. In [1 Corinthians 15:3] it talks about “how” Christ Died and the latter in Hebrews explains the how.
So then, they used a blood sacrifice to call upon the name of the Lord. However, “Call” seems to have changed in meaning through the years. Webster's Dictionary says,
1. To name,
2. To request to meet or come,
3. To invite,
4. To appoint or designate,
5. To invoke or appeal to,
6. To utter a loud sound,
7. To draw into union with Christ, to bring to know, believe and obey the gospel.
John R. Rice said:
Many people believe that a sinner cannot be saved without a period of prayer, without consciously calling upon God. However, the Bible does not say that a sinner must pray in order to be saved. In fact, immediately following the verse in [Rom. 10:13] is an explanation which shows that calling on God is an evidence of faith in the heart and that it is really faith which settles the matter... No matter how long he prays, if he does not trust in Christ, he can never be saved. If he trusts in Christ without conscious prayer, then he is saved already. There is just one plan of salvation and just one step a sinner must take to secure it. That step is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ!
Charles H. Spurgeon said:
Thou art to be saved by faith in Christ...and in Christ alone. Do not think thou must experience this, or that, before thou comest unto Jesus...Rely not on anything thou canst DO, or THINK, or SAY, or know; rest alone on Jesus only, and thou art saved. Give up all other trusts, and rely on Jesus alone, alone on Jesus, and thou shalt pass from death unto life. ~ written in The Sword and The Trowel Magazine 1895 “Christ's Atoning Sacrifice.”
In a book, God's Plan With Men, T.T. Martin (1862-1939) wrote, in which he shows that it's IMPOSSIBLE for man to obtain salvation from God by “asking for it in prayer.” Several excerpts:
When one faces the question of his sins and realizes that he deserves just punishment, one of the first impulses is to pray and beg God to be let off, to be forgiven. Alas! Much of the religious instruction to the sinner is to the same effect. Many feel that God forgives the sinner because he begs to be forgiven instead of because he accepts and relies upon the atoning death of Christ as his Substitute. But God does not forgive a lost sinner just because he begs for forgiveness.
Jesus to Nicodemus gave no such instruction [John 3:14-16]. Philip to the eunuch gave no such instruction [Acts 8:29-39]. Paul and Silas to the jailer gave no such instruction [Acts 16:30, 31]. Peter to the household of Cornelius gave no such instruction [Acts 10:42,43].
The Gospel of John, the one book specially given to lead a sinner to be saved, gives no such instruction [John 20:30,31].
T.T. Martin shows that man's first desire when found guilty is to BEG or ASK to be forgiven. But this is not the Gospel. God never tells anyone to ask Him for forgiveness. If salvation were obtained by simply uttering a prayer or begging God to be let off, then Jesus would not have had to die on the cross! He could have stayed in heaven and used a prophet to tell us, “Okay, now I'm starting a new dispensation. Anyone who just prays, begging me for salvation, I'll accept and give them the new birth!” I have been guilty of this and I didn’t even know it!
T.T. Martin continues by giving us the illustration of judicial law. He says:
Every transgression must have “a just recompense of reward,” however sorry the sinner may be, however much he may pray and beg to be forgiven, let off; however much the priest or preacher or friends may pray for him to be forgiven, to be let off. A man who has violated the state law falls on his knees before the judge, confesses his sin and begs the judge to forgive him, to let him off; and he calls men from the audience to come and help him beg. The judge replies, “If I should yield to these petitions I would be a perjurer; I would trample on law. Every transgression must receive a just recompense of reward.” Would that all could realize that every prayer from sinner, priest, or preacher, for a sinner to be forgiven, let off, is a prayer to God to become a perjurer. If sinners could realize that, after all their kneeling every night and confessing their sins, and praying to be forgiven, to be let off, every sin ever committed is still there, and that “Apart from shedding of blood there is no remission,” they would then realize their real need of a Saviour, a Redeemer.
No righteous judge in any court of law would let a condemned man go free simply because he “asked to be let go” or “prayed that he give him leave.”
Next, to define repentance is to feel pain, sorrow, or regret for something done or spoken, also to change one’s mind on the subject. [Luke 13:3-5].
Examples of sacrifices and unrepentant hearts that were rejected by God (Esau, Nadab, Abihu, Judas):
- Esau in [Hebrews 12:16-17], Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. Esau prayed and cried and God rejected him. He didn’t feel sorry for what he did.
- Nadab and Abihu tried to innovate the sacrificial system, the violations that got them in trouble was unauthorized entry, lack of reverence, and offered strange fire, they used fire from another source and should have used the fire from the brazen altar, I found that it is suggested that they were intoxicated also and then God consumed them with fire. Leviticus 10.
- Judas Iscariot called upon Jesus with “Hail, Master” [Matthew 26:49]. [Matthew 27:3-4] says, Judas REPENTED HIMSELF and saying I HAVE SINNED to the elders. He did not repent to God and he sure did not trust the Blood of Jesus to forgive him (verbal confession). Judas made confession to a priest, just as every Roman Catholic does. But they do not receive forgiveness of sins because of it, and neither did Judas. Forgiveness only comes through trusting the blood of Jesus [Eph. 1:7]. Clearly, the moment a person BELIEVES, he is saved [Eph. 1:13]. Paul plainly tells us in [2 Corinthians 4:13] “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, and THEREFORE have I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore speak.” After a sinner's saved, he will SPEAK, or CONFESS that he is saved! SPEAKING THE CONFESSION itself isn't what saves a man, FAITH is necessary for God to give a man the new birth. But, if a man is saved, he will then CONFESS that he has trusted Christ as his Saviour!
So, there is a group of people that God speaks of, and that “Says Lord, Lord”; I do not want to be part of this group! In [Matthew 7:21-23], we see people who called upon the Lord, but were never saved: Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. They are trusting in what they did, prophesy, casting out devils, many wonderful works… Matthew 7 tells us that they did not have faith from the heart in the finished work of Christ.
There are things in the Old Testament that are used as a way to show how salvation works, [Luke 18:13-14] as an example of forgiveness is Old Testament. The New Testament starts where Jesus Died, was buried, and rose again, and his blood hit the ground, and after he rose he ascended to heaven to offer himself up to God as our Atonement for sin. Luke 18, is not an example after Jesus died. Also when Peter said “Lord, Save Me” [Matthew 14:30] he didn’t want to drown, he was not asking Jesus to save his soul, he called for physical salvation of his life, not spiritual salvation of his soul. Then as we know Peter denied Jesus, so we know he had a heart problem. Those are a few examples of calling upon the Lord in the wrong way, and I do not want to be guilty of this.
How does God Forgive us? [Mat 6:12] And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. [Mat 6:14] For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: As? If? For the As and If we find in Luke 17:3 the process that is given for us to forgive each other. [Luk 17:3] Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. So in the process, it goes step 1. Rebuke(express disapproval), step 2. If he feels sorry and changes his mind(repents) then go to 3 if not go back to step 1, step 3. (Forgive) him. Luke 17:4 says if the entire process fails repeat the process steps 1-3. So in this order we learn that the Holy Ghost Convicts(rebuke), I feel sorry and change my mind about my direction(repent), it is God’s job to (Forgive)! In the above process we do not find anything that tells us that we must “Ask” for forgiveness so that we might receive it. Also remember that the Lords prayer is putting the Law on a pedestal, you would think that forgiveness is conditional if you only teach the Lords Prayer, remember, this was given pre-Cross. Are we not in trouble if we are only forgiven by how much we forgive? Is it a me centered gospel or Jesus Centered Gospel? Is forgiveness once for all or is it progressive little by little?
[Hebrews 10:10] By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all].
I cannot find anything in the bible that says “Ask for your sins to be forgiven.”, “Ask and you will be saved.” I cannot find anything of the sort. So as we know: [Luk 6:45] A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Thus, I have repented from “Asking for Forgiveness.”
- The old me every night and all the time:
“Dear Lord, please forgive me of (x sin) that I have done that displeases you. Help me to do better. (over and over every time I fail)”
- The Short version during the day when something happens; “Please forgive me.”
- The new me every night and all the time:
“Dear Lord, I am sorry for (x sin) that I have done that has displeased you, do not want to do it again, please help me to do better, Thank You O Lord for your Forgiveness/Atonement in this matter because you said ‘IT IS FINISHED’.”
- The Short version during the day when something happens; “Sorry Lord, Thank You for your Forgiveness.”
The old me was constantly asking for forgiveness, the new me is constantly giving thanks after I repent and even when I forget to repent. When Jesus forgives us of all sins, it is for the Past-Present-Future, so all I can do is say I am sorry and give thanks.
[Eph 2:8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
If forgiveness/salvation/atonement is a gift, how can I “Ask” for it? All that is left is to “Receive” it, and show God my gratitude. What do you say when you receive a Christmas Present? “Thank You!” [Psalm 30:12] and [1 Thessalonians 2:13] says we should give thanks forever that believe!!! This verse says that ‘by faith Christ is in us’ it does not tell you to “ask” for it. [Eph 3:17] That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith… see companion verses [Galatians 2:20, 2 Thessalonians 1:10, Colossians 1:27, Galatians 4:19, Galatians 1:15-16, 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, Romans 8:10].
I have noticed with my children that it drives me nuts when they ask every 30 seconds for something. God has to be annoyed when I was constantly ‘asking for forgiveness’ all the time when He said ‘IT IS FINISHED’!
Do you believe man or do you believe what God says about the New Covenant?
Did you know that there is a transition from the Old to the New?
[Hebrews 8:7] For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second [covenant].
In Christ and in Love (Eph 3:17),
Matthew, for whom Christ died!
Video's pertaining to the subject:
- Law of Christ
- The Sermon on the Mount and the Lord's Prayer
- Obsessive-Christianity Disorder - The Truth you may never hear in church.
- Need a forgiveness “touch up”?
- The Biblical Doctrine of Blood Atonement
- Conditional Forgiveness?
- Willful Sin? No Sacrifice Left?
- Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit
- GETTING THE GOSPEL RIGHT & WRONG. Dennis Rokser, Guest Speaker. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4
- Once For All Forgiveness
- A License to Sin?
- Same God, Different Covenant
- Stuck in a sin-repent cycle?
- Lie #3: You're Saved by Jesus's Death on the Cross
- When We've Sinned
- Can unconfessed sin hinder our prayers?
- Something to share with others: The Best News Ever!