The catholic church in the late 1400’s and early 1500’s arbitrarily came up with the idea of “Treasury of Merritt” and “Indulgences”. Interesting concepts to say the least, but do we come up with stuff just because it is what we want? Do we just assume things happen because that is how we were taught? Fair enough if you listening to someone who is teaching from the word of God correctly. Still, I wonder how forgiveness works? Does it happen right away? Does it happen because we want forgiveness? Does asking God for forgiveness mean that we get that forgiveness right then and there? A catholic friend told me once that asking too many questions was a sign of pride – maybe.
Why not ask these important questions? I think forgiveness is important and in fact it is pivotal to our salvation! So lets see what the word of God says about forgiveness.
From the get go we read 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Thank God for being faithful! So we know that we do get forgiveness.
By confessing a sin we then ask God to forgive us. Is that it? If we only ask and then we are forgiven? What is the action of Christ to forgive us right away?
So exactly how does forgiveness occur?
Does God forgive the moment you ask or does he wait till he sees you have truly changed?
Colossians 2:13 says, “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;”
At the cross we were forgiven. When exactly are we forgiven after we’ve already excepted Christ into our heart. Is it as soon as we ask? Or if we have ought against a brother do we need to go and forgive them and then we can be forgiven? First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So we know we have forgiveness if we confess our sins because God is faithful.
If we confess with a contrite heart, we know that we have forgiveness. We need to seriously thank God for this! And worship, reverence him for the forgiveness of our sins and for being faithful and just.
In Touch Magazine July issue p. 42. “Matt 9 begins with Jesus encountering a paralyzed man and telling him, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven” (v.2). This of course, rattled the scribes, to whine Jesus replies, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’?” (v.5). Then in the next verse, to show He has authority to forgive sins, Jesus tells the paralytic to take up his mat and walk.
I John 2:12 it says, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” So it looks like children have their sins forgiven for his name sake. Great and holy is our God. Furthermore I John 4:10 says, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. So basically we have forgiveness at the cross because Christ dying on the cross was a sin offering. Matthew 6:12 says the disciples went out and preached that men should repent. So repentance leads to forgiveness. Matthew 7:7 Says, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:”
Praise God! Psalms 30:1 “I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.” Psalms 32:2 “Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” Luke 17:3 “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.” This is an example of forgiveness and to forgive someone as soon as they ask.
Luke 15:20 The story of the prodigal son is an example of forgiveness that God has towards us. He sees us a long way off coming towards him and he loves to forgive before we even reach him. What an amazing example of God’s love that includes his forgiveness.
We have much to be thankful for!!!