Forgiven of All Sins

Love keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). This means God is not up in heaven writing down everything you do wrong. God is living in your heart, reminding you of everything He did right for you and to you. God’s love means He’s forgiven you of all your sins—past, present, and future. This is one of the greatest ways He expresses His love. If you’re looking for God’s love, look to the cross. That is where He demonstrated His relentless love for you and me (Romans 5:8). Even when we were against Him, He came for us.
We struggle with Jesus’s love because we don’t believe He’s really forgiven us. We think His love has an expiration date. And that one more sin is going to cause Him to stop loving us. The reason most of us don’t believe we are totally forgiven is because, as humans, we have a sin-by- sin system for forgiving sin. We forgive sin when someone asks us for forgiveness. However, Jesus doesn’t have a sin-by-sin system for forgiveness.
In the Old Covenant, there was a year-by-year forgiveness system for forgiving sin, which would happen on the Day of Atonement. In Catholicism, church members are required to seek forgiveness based on daily or weekly confession to a priest, and in most Protestant circles, forgiveness is based on our confession of sin to God and asking Him for it each day.
However, the New Testament tells us that God does not forgive us sin by sin, confession by confession, or when we ask for it. Instead, Hebrews 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” God’s requirement for forgiveness is shed blood. Not confession, not going to a priest, and not asking for it daily. This means that blood and nothing else secures forgiveness. Jesus shed His blood, and this brought forgiveness of sins. Since He shed His blood only once and will never shed it again, our forgiveness is a done deal.
God does not have us on a forgiveness payment plan. Nor was the cross a layaway plan, where God purchased some of your forgiveness and you pay for the rest over the period of your life through repentance and confession. He paid for it all. His blood took it all away.
When Jesus finished His work, He didn’t come to us with an invoice in hand and ask us to pay up. Instead, He handed us the receipt that said, “Paid in full” (see Colossians 2:13–15).
The New Testament is clear: We are made right by His blood (Romans 5:9), ransomed by His blood (1 Peter 1:18–19; Revelation 5:9), cleansed from all sin by His blood (1 John 1:8), freed by His blood (Revelation 1:5), redeemed and forgiven by His blood (Ephesians 1:7), and brought near by His blood (Ephesians 2:13). It is Christ’s shed blood, and nothing else, that provides God’s forgiveness, cleansing, and presence.
This is God’s process or system of forgiving sins. In our world, in order to get something, we must pay for it. If I want gasoline, I must pay for it first in order to receive it. In the same way, in order to have our sins forgiven, blood must be shed as the payment for our forgiveness so that we can receive it. This is God’s way. Thus, God forgives sins one time for all time. Hebrews calls this forgiveness “once for all.” This means that Jesus offered Himself one time for all sins and His sacrifice is effective for all time. Hebrews 7:27 puts it this way:
“He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this once for all when he offered up himself.”
Since Jesus is not shedding His blood daily, we are not being forgiven day by day. Jesus, unlike the priests of the Old Testament, does not need to offer Himself repeatedly (Hebrews 9:25), because He has “appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself ” (Hebrews 9:26).
This means that Jesus does not have to die and shed His blood again each day as we sin, because His blood was sufficient for all sins—past, present, and future. If Jesus had to shed His blood again, it would mean His first offering was not sufficient. But we know that what Jesus did worked the first time. It doesn’t need to happen again.
As a result of Christ’s one offering, Hebrews 10 says we are made holy once for all (v. 10), and “perfected for all time” (v. 14). In the Old Testament, believers could never be made perfect or cleansed (Hebrews 10:1–2). But through Jesus, believers have been perfectly cleansed, made holy, and totally forgiven—forever.
Additionally, we see that God chooses to remember our sins no more: “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more” (Hebrews 10:17). The only reason He can do this is because what Jesus did on our behalf was enough to take away all of our sins. God promises, right now, that He will not hold our sins against us for any reason. This is why when Christ returns, He does not have to deal with our sins again: “So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Hebrews 9:28
When we don’t trust that Jesus has forgiven us once and for all, it’s kind of like saying we really don’t believe His work was enough. We should stop asking Jesus to forgive us again and again when He’s made it clear He already has. It is done. If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, you are a forgiven person.
There’s no such thing as an unforgiven Christian. For this reason, Jesus shouted, “It is finished!” on the cross. In regard to our forgiveness, the work is done. Jesus has closed shop and is now resting at the right hand of God.
Believers now have “confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19). Under the Old Covenant, only the high priest could enter God’s presence at a set time. But now, through our total forgiveness, believers can enter God’s presence freely. This entry and confidence is spoken of again in Hebrews 4:16: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace.”
The only reason we can have confidence to enter God’s presence is that we are forgiven and cleansed. To say that a holy God would allow unforgiven and imperfectly cleansed people in His presence is to denigrate the holiness of God. God is perfectly holy and thus makes us perfectly holy in order for us to be together with Him. This is why the New Testament tells us over and over that we are saints, holy, sanctified, and righteous (see 1 Corinthians 1:2; 6:11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Romans 1:7).
The New Testament is clear that forgiveness is a completed work. Our redemption and forgiveness have been secured. If we believe in Jesus, then we are forgiven and we are redeemed. We are not waiting or hoping for forgiveness from Jesus; we already have it. To be redeemed means to be forgiven. You cannot have one without the other. I don’t wake up each day and ask my wife to marry me again, because our marriage is already true. We got married one time for all time. In the same way, we’re redeemed and forgiven once and for all:
“We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:14
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses.” Ephesians 1:7
Combining the truth of Colossians 2:13 that says, “God made [us] alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses” (ESV ), and that of 1 John 2:12 that says, “Your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake” (ESV), we realize the message is clear: we are forgiven people. The work is done. We don’t have to do anything for God to forgive us. Our sins are forgiven.
As I’ll talk about more in chapter 14, knowing we are completely forgiven doesn’t lead us to sin more, nor does it give us a “license to sin.” Those who claim we need to confess or ask for forgiveness could have that same license. “If I sin, I can just ask God to forgive me.”
Second Peter 1:9 actually tells us that ungodliness is a result of forgetting our forgiveness. Here’s why: when I don’t believe I’m forgiven, my focus is on sin and shame and guilt, which just leads to more sin, more shame, and more guilt. In contrast, total forgiveness doesn’t lead us to sin more; it actually enables us to be set free from shame and guilt and to focus on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our faith.
Let’s repent each day (change our mind), let’s confess our sins to one another and to God if we want, but let’s do it knowing God has already fully forgiven us. 
Jesus is better than religion because His love isn’t based on our performance. Jesus loves us independent of what we do for Him. Jesus loves us because it’s who He is. Jesus is leading us to believe that the truest thing about who we are is that we are loved and cared for by Him and we have done nothing to deserve it.
God keeps no record of your wrongs. He doesn’t have graph charts of your prayer and Bible study time. He isn’t busy editing your highlight video of sinning so that He can bring it up when you reach heaven (He remembers your sins no more, according to Hebrews 10:17). God has no strings attached. No secret agenda. He just wants to love you and delight in you!
A popular message in many churches today is all about what we need to do to get our minds and heart dedicated and committed to God. But our assurance and security is not found in our dedication and commitment to God. Our assurance is found in how God’s loving heart is always dedicated and committed to us.
For God so loved ... you!

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