(God’s forgiveness, and 1 John 1:9)
Hi there, I believe that you’re going to find this information to be very refreshing.
Allow me please to begin this chapter by showing you something beautiful in scripture.
Notice please the following pre cross, law-based verse about forgiveness from God:
“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
Now contrast that with the following post cross, grace-based verse about forgiveness from God:
“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
They speak the opposite message from one another don’t they? Prior to Jesus’ atonement, scripture tells us that God won’t forgive someone unless they forgive others. (Ouch). However after the cross, Christians are told to forgive others as God has forgiven them. (That’s a HUGE difference). The pre atonement verse is law-based, while the post atonement verse is grace-based. So what does that tell you about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in regard to the sins of God’s people? That tells you that the Christian’s sins have all been forgiven.
Here’s more scripture which guarantees us that in the new covenant, sin-forgiveness has been fully accomplished for all Christians:
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”
”And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,“
1 John 1:9
At this point, someone’s bound to be thinking, “what about 1 John 1:9? Doesn’t that teach that Christians receive ongoing forgiveness from God?”
Well let’s take a look at it and see:
1 John chapter 1
1 “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
[I want to insert a little bit of information here before we move along. Those people who are not in Christ have no sin forgiveness from God, (Acts 10.43 & 26.18). God’s wrath abides on them (John 3.18 & 3.36), and they are spiritually-dead in their trespasses and sins, (John 8.24 and Ephesians 2.1 & 2.5].
Now here’s how religion deals with this topic of 1 John 1.9, as well as the issue of the Christian’s sin forgiveness in general:
Religion tells the Christian that 1 John 1:9 is written to Christians as a bar of soap for daily sin cleansing.
Then the Christian thinks to themselves: Well then what did it mean when Jesus said “it is finished” And what about Jesus having sat down because He atoned for all of my sins? Are you saying that now that I’m a Christian, I have to keep chasing after the forgiveness of my sins that I’ve already been forgiven of? And how can I possibly keep track of all of my sins? It’s too overwhelming to constantly keep track of them all. Are you saying that I’m “positionally” forgiven by God, but in my everyday life, not so much? That way of living the Christian life sure looks a lot more to me like looking at my failures than it does looking at my Saviour’s success.
Have you ever encountered such a thing in your dealings with religion?
Does that sound like a confusing mess to you? It should, because that is a confusing mess. That’s “religion,” and it’s the kind of confusing double-talk that religion puts on people.
Religion disregards the exclusivity of Jesus Christ’s blood atonement for the forgiveness of man’s sins, and makes God’s forgiveness of man’s sins like unto the way that man deals with the forgiveness of fellow man’s sins. (By seeking ongoing forgiveness as you sin, by promising to do better, or to make some sort of restitution to the offended party).
There is however a clear answer that will eliminate religion’s confusion about the application of 1 John 1.9, so allow me to show it to you please.
We know for a fact that John, (the writer of this epistle) has an established record of evangelical writing. Meaning, he has already written for the salvation of lost people.
In his gospel, he wrote in 20.31: “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
Therefore when we read the first chapter of 1 John, it appears that he’s writing in regard to some unsaved people who are among the saved people of his audience, (so that they too can be saved). The text isn’t teaching (as religion frequently claims) that 1 John chapter 1 is about a Christian restoring fellowship with God.
Why do I say that 1 John chapter 1 is evangelical for the salvation of lost people?
Because the text speaks to people who:
~ Have to be convinced that Jesus physically walked the earth
~ Walk in darkness
~ Are liars, and do not the truth
~ Say they have not sinned
~ Make God a liar
~ His word is not in them
Friend, the only possible person that that describes is an unsaved person.
Therefore you can rest assured that the risen Lord Jesus Christ has fully put away the sins of God’s people. Sin forgiveness is the finished work of Jesus’ blood atonement, (not an open-ended possibility).
And as an extra bit of information about this matter of the scope of the Christian having been fully forgiven in Christ. Paul, (who penned most of the new testament) never even once suggested that a Christian should seek ongoing forgiveness from God in any of his epistles. Even during his famous lament in Romans 7.14-25 where he bemoaned the fact that he was doing the sins that he hated, even then, he never even once suggested that God would forgive him of his ongoing sins. Why is that? It’s because he understood what Jesus’ blood atonement accomplished, and that God wouldn’t be issuing out any additional sin forgiveness for him.
So shouldn’t we understand as well as Paul understood what Jesus’ blood atonement accomplished for us?
I hope that you don’t think that I’m endorsing sin by what you’ve read here. Because if that’s what you think I’m saying, then you’ve not understood what I’m trying to communicate. I advise the Christian to always be turning away from sin, and to seek God’s help in doing so. Ongoing & unrestrained patterns of sin in a Christian’s life will bring God’s chastening, (not punishment), as well as sorrow for grieving the Spirit of God. (Who wants that)?
However the main thing that I want you to understand from this message is that Jesus fully accomplished the blood atonement for ALL of the sins of God’s people, which means that if you’re a Christian…you are indeed a fully forgiven person where God is concerned.
All glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ, and no glory to us whatsoever.