The Finality of Total Forgiveness
May “T.U.L.I.P.” and “Free Will” Forever Bow Out
The Finality of Forgiveness
I have a few questions for you.
“Do you believe that God has forgiven your sins? With that question I also want to ask,
“Do you believe that all of your past, present and future sins are forgiven forever with finality?”
“Do you believe that your redemption is complete and total?”
What I have found is that there are many, who call themselves Christian, do not believe in the complete finality of forgiveness.
I was one who could not grasp that God’s forgiveness did not require anything else – nothing whatsoever. I always believed that forgiveness required something more than just the death of Jesus on the cross.
I know that many of you also have this kind of belief where you believe that your sins are only forgiven “if and when”…
…if we believe that we are forgiven. In other words, only if we believe this truth then we are indeed forgiven or are able to be forgiven.
…if we confess our sin to someone. In other words, we have to engage in an activity which demonstrates our willing participation in acknowledging that God is right and that I am wrong. We can only confess our sins when we agree with God.
…if we forgive others. In other words, if we do not do what is right towards the other person then God won’t do what is good for us –we must remain unforgiven then.
…if others are willing to forgive us.
…if we live a holy life…
…if we obey the 10 Commandments all the time or
…until we sin again and need to ask for more forgiveness.
Or – forbid this thought –
…if we are one of the few pre-elected and pre-destined ones.
Many of us have at least one big “if.” to work through. But I know of many Christians who have many big ‘ifs’ to work through. Are you able to see through this smokescreen and recognize just how many lies we have been told over the years about the finality of forgiveness? The smokescreen Satan uses is that he presents God’s children with the notion that forgiveness is ultimately dependent upon something human. These “ifs” keep us from believing that forgiveness is already a final and finished act of God’s love. But few of us believe that we are forever forgiven of our sins without at least one “if.” What is your understanding on this issue? Is forgiveness finished for all and for all times or is forgiveness only for some elect or possibly dispensed with limitations? Is forgiveness contingent on anything other than God alone? Now is the time to answer these questions.
Many Christians live out their daily walk as if God had placed them on probation where one wrong sin will land them in a heap of trouble. If you happen to belong to this camp of unenlightened Christians let me share some Good News.
The GOOD NEWS is that God has indeed forgiven us all of our sins – those of our past, and those that have not yet been committed. That is right folks, the Good News is that every human being ever born or that will be born on planet Earth has had their sins forgiven in full. There is no more forgiving which needs to be done. Now – if you believe in this truth you will experience freedom as never before. Not freedom as a license to sin but freedom from the Liar who controlled you and enslaved you to the law of sin.
All Christians are Forgiven!
Can anyone tell me when a Christian actually becomes a Christian? Is it not when they have been forgiven their sins? Do Christians not need to embrace the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and by that I mean, must a Christian not fully embrace the shed blood of Jesus? Was not the shed blood of Jesus the all sufficient offering which was better than that of any animal? Was not this the sacrifice which was acceptable to the Father? And was it not because that sacrifice was the acceptable payment for sin that all sins could be forgiven by the Father? It is Christ’s shed blood which made it possible for the Father to forgive us. The blood of Jesus was fully acceptable and thus we can believe that nothing else must be added to the blood in order for forgiveness to be accomplished.
You see folks, it is just not possible to receive entry into the Kingdom of Heaven as a half forgiven sinner. Nobody receives a probationary citizenship within God’s kingdom. .You either receive new life in Christ and are regenerated or you remain in the dying death continuum. There is no such thing as a half-baked forgiveness gift. If Christ’s blood were insufficient for complete forgiveness then I could understand that our God would require us to do something in order to receive this gift of full forgiveness. In case you actually believe is such nonsense let me again share the Good News. The Good News is that forgiveness is a finished work of Jesus Christ alone. It is impossible to belong to the church of God and be a half-baked half-forgiven Christian. There can never be a time when a Christian is not forgiven or only half forgiven. Never – it is not a possibility in the realm of the ever present tense activity of what God alone is.
While I would say that many Christians know that all of our sins are forgiven once and for all times, there are way too many who do not live according to this truth. Many children of God only believe in this truth after we have entered into the Kingdom of God by spiritual re-birth. What a wonderful gift of the Holy Spirit to be given the full assurance and understanding that all of our sins were dealt with on the cross in Christ. But I have noticed something very strange occurring after that initial new life experience. For whatever reason many a true believer has wandered away from the truth of full and complete forgiveness and have come to accept the lying notion that there exists a fluctuation within the measure of God’s forgiveness. We so very soon and often believe that God’s forgiveness depends on what we do or do not do. Have you ever thought to let God reason His full and unconditional forgiveness gift through with you in your solitude time with Him?
I was one who, due to my upbringing, would constantly be begging God to forgive me for my sins. I would enter into this form of begging even during my early childhood days. I dare say that this belief in the lie – that God’s forgiveness requires additional begging on my part, whenever I had done a wrong, has indeed become the illusionary reality of how many believers in Jesus view God. Somehow, many Christians who have had the new regeneration life experience, tend to move from God’s 100% grace activity to our works mentality. Have you ever stopped to think that God’s work of grace in us never ever had anything to do with what we ever did or even now do? Since when has God’s forgiveness of sin ever had anything to do with anyone other than with the work of Jesus Christ?
I would strongly suggest that you place into doubt all of your preconceived ideas about God’s forgiveness and spend some time asking Him to teach you by His Spirit of Truth. I do believe that many of us need to recheck everything we have come to accept and believe about forgiveness. Ask yourself and ask God these questions:
Was God’s gift of forgiveness ever based on anything you did in addition to what Jesus did on the cross?
Were you a part of God’s pre-creation plan of a slain Lamb ‘before the foundations of the world’ as we are told in Revelations 13:8?
Please ponder on this thought – ‘God’s complete forgiveness of all sins was a completed fact of truth in Christ prior to any of us ever being born, – even before the foundations of the world were set.’ And this forgiveness was demonstrated at a historical point on Calvary in the time of the humanity of Jesus Christ and was therefore applied retroactively to every person from Adam and Eve onward.
Now here is where the Arminian artillery gets pointed in my direction because I firmly reject the notion than man has to exercise “free will” in order to receive forgiveness. But before you shoot, please take the time to read to the end. But let me poke once more at your Arminian belief system before you shoot. I wish to make it very clear that the fallacious so called Arminian “Free will” of mankind has absolutely nothing to do with the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross. In fact, man does not possess a free will but that is another topic I discuss elsewhere.
What I find strange is that many of us truly believe in this truth that forgiveness is a free and a completed gift from God to mankind. But yet many a Christian remains so fully deceived about how this truth is to be lived out in our daily lives. It is my contention that we have come to confuse the verb “to believe”. This verb ‘to believe’, as it is used in the English language, can be used both as a noun and as a verb – confusing is it not?
In order for me to identify what I am talking about I will use the word ‘faith’ as the noun form referring to an established belief system and will use the word ‘faithing’ as the active present tense verb form indicating activity of hearing and obeying.. In other words, let us understand clearly that having a faith in something is to have a belief about a thing. You see, we can have a belief in a true fact or we can have a belief in a lie and that is what the noun ‘belief’ or ‘faith’ identifies. Faith is therefore no more than a static belief system in either a truth or in a lie. Of course, as active present tense believers in the Person of Jesus Christ, we understand the importance of having a sound faith which is based on true scriptural doctrine as taught to us by the living Holy Spirit who alone is the active living Word of God.
But here is the kicker so to speak. We can have all the knowledge and all the true facts of sound Christian doctrine and yet not have our everyday present tense activity engaged in a Godward direction of listening to Him and obeying Him. ‘Faithing’ is not knowledge based but it is always present tense relational and community based activity. Faithing is the active verb and needs to be understood as being actively engaged in listening to God’s Holy Spirit.
It is important to have the ‘faith’ or ‘the belief’ in the true fact that God’s forgiveness of our sins never was, and never will be, disbursed according to anything we do. Forgiveness of all sin is unalterably rooted in the finished and eternal present tense character of I AM and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on that historical cross.
Are They Also Forgiven?
Now please, all you Calvinists, please hold off on using your artillery on me as well. Please be so kind and finish reading before you so much as even think of killing the messenger before I go any further.
I used to believe that non-Christians are not forgiven of their sin but I have had to change my belief about that. I now understand that such a belief was never based on the sound faith doctrine of the Scriptures but was rather based on the opinions and interpretations of man. I was told two different thing. The Armenians said that man must use His free will to believe and receive forgiveness. That is right, the Armenian camp adamantly told me that the unbeliever must first believe by their free will and then God will forgive their sins. Then came along the Calvinists with all their different TULIP petals and variations thereof. “God elects and predestines people to Hell or to Heaven” they told me. I was told that if I do not believe according to John Calvin, Charles Ryrie, and other “reformers” that I am preaching a heretical and blasphemous gospel. With so much Christian confusion going on around me, I finally came to ask myself, “So do I really care what either camp thinks?” “Never!” I concluded. “I only care about what the relational community of God has to say about forgiveness.” I hope and pray that you too will shake off the ‘isms’ as I did. Yes I so dearly desire for you to become an active ‘faithing’ participant with the Holy Spirit. Do not believe what I write but rather take it to God in your own personal solitude with Him and ask Him to teach you His truth by the Spirit of Truth.
If you have come to that place where you too can now agree that Jesus died for all of the believer’s sins then maybe you could take it one step further and accept that Jesus actually died for all of mankind’s sins. Period! But how many of us have come to understand forgiveness as it is pedaled under the ‘limited atonement’ concept – that yes, forgiveness is in Jesus but that does not mean that God automatically forgives everyone just because Jesus died on the cross. If we hold on to the notion that something more is required in order to receive forgiveness then we fall into the Armenian trap of believing that we need ‘to believe’ in order to be forgiven. You may even find this understanding expressed in some of my earlier writing but I now distance myself from that understanding. It is not true ‘that if I believe’ that God will then and only then use some of that free forgiveness gift and give some to me too. What I am thus claiming, when I make such a foolish statement, is that God’s forgiveness is not based solely on the work of Christ but on the unbeliever’s participation of believing. Some ardent religious person may very well claim that an unbelieving person only receives forgiveness because of their ‘believing’ in Jesus Christ. But what such teachings give us to understand is that God does not forgive unbelievers because they do not have faith to receive this forgiveness. Are you with me so far?
The problem of understanding what the Spirit of Truth is wanting to teach is when we stop listening to the Living Word of God who is Jesus Himself, and we start worshiping a created thing – such as a compilation of historically inspired scriptures. When we become book worshipers we soon come to pick out certain verses that suit our point of view and that is what all denomination end up being guilty of. I personally believe that the Holy Spirit has only one point of truth which He seeks to share. Because people have worshiped a book they have splintered into over 39,000 denominations, cults, sects and religions. People who worship in the Spirit of Truth will remain one in that Spirit as well.
When certain passages of the inspired Scriptures are taken out of context there often seems to emerge a widely held belief. Beliefs are however never the full and complete truth because a true fact which is not relational with the Spirit of Truth, Love and Right is not the complete truth. It remains only an unrelational fact of truth which is of no use to anyone. Incomplete truth is a lie. How often have we been told or even read the following verse?
“For without faith it is impossible to please God.
For whosoever would draw near to God must believe that He is,
and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
I have used that verse many a time but too often I have used it as a proof text out of context. Let me lay it out clearly here that this verse says nothing about forgiveness. It does not state that forgiveness is denied unless we believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. This passage does not make that claim. It does however tell us that we must believe or we can’t draw near to God. What these words identify is that if we are not actively ‘faithing’ in the present tense of our life then we will not be drawing near to God. Faithing, if you remember, is the activity of wanting to hear God by His living Spirit of Truth and Love and wanting to obey what He is teaching and telling us. It is not about a static belief in God. This verse certainly does not imply that we are unable to receive forgiveness unless we draw near to Him and approach Him first.
The Scriptures abound with the words ‘to believe’ and ‘faith’. In fact we are told over and over that we must “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and we will be saved.” (Acts 16:31) After what we have just come to study, would you consider making a claim that at least in this verse we have found a possible link of faith and forgiveness? Now, if that were true then we would be able to solidify the Arminian claim that one must use their ‘free will’ to believe in Jesus in order to receive forgiveness of sins from God. The extension to that thought would then be that if we do not believe then God would never forgive an unbeliever’s sins. Now I wish to ask you this next question.
On The Need “to Believe”
Prior to Being Forgiven
Is this the Truth – that if an unbeliever does not believe then their sins will also not be forgiven?
When the Arminian camp claims that ‘to believe’ or that ‘faith’ is a condition which must be met in order to receive God’s free gift of forgiveness is that really true? Are they talking about a static belief – as used with the noun ‘faith’ or are they talking about an active verb which refers to the listening life of ‘faithing’ obedience which is only possible for those who are already forgiven in Christ?
If we say that a static belief in a true fact of God’s existence and of Christ’s historic work on the cross is a prerequisite to receiving forgiveness of sins then where does that static belief or ‘faith’ in a true fact come from? If we make this claim that an unbeliever must fist have ‘faithing’ – the active listening and responding in obedience ability, where does that come from? If we claim that this active ‘faithing’ only comes from the active life of God at work within a forgiven person how does it get to be a part of an unbeliever? Do you see the dilemma we face when we believe that something else like ‘believing’ must be added to the finished forgiveness work of Christ on the cross?
Do you remember that God can never give us His Son’s presence to dwell within us if we have not yet been forgiven and been spiritually re-birthed? Consider this – God can’t help those whom He refuses to forgive. So clearly, an unforgiven unbeliever must then fist muster enough faith and righteousness from himself in order to step out of the alienated position with God and seek his own reconciliation. This is especially the case if you believe as Arminians believe.
Now the Calvinists will come along and say that man is dead in his sins and that there is nothing spiritually alive in him that could bring about or self-generate sufficient ‘faith’. I would agree with such a claim for man is a derivative and a dependent creature and only God who is self-generating and self-determining in His essence of character is the source of all that gives of Himself for the benefit of others.
Thus, that which is attributed to ‘human faith’ is either a dead belief system which has developed from being exposed to some good teaching and has been accepted as being true facts or the term ‘human faith’ has become synonymous with the gift of ‘faithing’ which comes from God and is given to every human person. The activity of faithing is also to be considered as being man’s ‘response – ability’. Faithing is thus the active Godward response – ability to the voice of God and the ability to respond to that voice of the conscience with obedience. If this faithing gift comes from God and is given to every human being then it would be impossible for man to exercise ‘human faithing’ in order to receive forgiveness.
So what is this faith which must be present within a person prior to receiving forgiveness, if that really is the requirement of God on mankind prior to His dispensing of forgiveness?
Is there such a ‘faith’ or a ‘believing in’ which man can self-generate and reach out to God with? If you believe that there is in man what is in God alone, then you also believe in what the serpent had to say – “You will be like God”. Such a belief in human divinity ability is no different than what Oprah and other New-Agers hold dear. An unbeliever can never self-generate a faith which can penetrate evil, wickedness and sin enslavement.
Human beings can never self-generate any amount of Godward faithing activity for faithing is the gift of God to every person so they may obediently respond to the voice of God. God gave Cain the ability to hear and obey. God would not have told anyone to master their anger if it were not a possibility to do so. Even as Cain was able to hear the voice of God and was able to understand God’s directions, and was able to obey them, he rejected the “faithing” seed gift and thus this faithing seed was never given the opportunity to grow. The nature of man is that he has a needs nature – not a sinful nature nor a righteous nature. The needs nature of man dictates that all what he has is derived from a spiritual source – be it from God Himself or from the one who negates God’s character – that being Satan. Nothing in man is ever self-generated – if it were, then man would be as God alone is – just as the serpent’s lie promised.
Please continue reading this article by clicking through below to read PART 2