Does a Christian Need to Ask God for Forgiveness After Sinning?

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HAS

Puritan Board Freshman
Since Christ paid for all our sins on the cross, why should we then ask His forgiveness when we blow it and sin again? Should we just confess the sin and move on, or should we actually ask for forgiveness?

Hardy
Pastor
New Covenant Church
Auburn Hills, MI
SBC/Reformed Baptist
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
I actually had a young woman come up on my front porch last summer and tell me I was in sin and not believing God that he removed my sin if I still needed to ask for forgiveness.

There are places in the New Testament that say we (as Christians) need to confess our sin and repent. Why are you asking this Pastor? Have you had a run in with these kind of people also? I tried to explain there is regeneration with leads us to pray and confess Christ for justification and another kind of prayer that is relational. This ministry was world wide and they were from New York inviting people to some conference in the area. Very strange.

(1Jn 1:6) If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

(1Jn 1:7) 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.

(1Jn 1:8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

(1Jn 1:9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

(1Jn 1:10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Even the Lord taught us to ask for forgiveness in the Lord's prayer.

(Mat 6:12) And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
 

steadfast7

Puritan Board Junior
"Forgive us our trespasses ...."

Yes, we should ask for forgiveness. But the asking is not the ground of our forgiveness.
 

ac7k

Puritan Board Freshman
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.

It says IF... so I say part of the confession is asking for forgiveness.

Also in the Lord's Prayer:
"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6:9-13

So I say that asking for forgiveness is what the Bible speaks of.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
Yes. God is displeased with the sins of His justified and adopted children, and although they are justified regarding all their life's sins, past, present and future, the moment they believe, they still need forgiveness, cleansing and renewed obedience as they walk in the way of sanctification.

Here's David a justified man, probably justified from his youth from all his past, present, and future sins, but these words are spoken about the Lord being displeased with him:
And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD. (II Sam 11:27)
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Martyn Lloyd-Jones has my favorite treatment of this issue. In his sermon on the Lord's Prayer, he points out that we who are already once-for-all forgiven still ask regular forgiveness of our Father, because he is our Father. We're already justified, but salvation is more than that. We are also brought into a Father-son relationship. Here's Lloyd-Jones:

Who is the man who can pray, 'Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors'? He is the man who already has a right to say 'Our Father'. And the only man who has a right to say 'Our Father' is the one who is in Christ Jesus. It is 'The Children's Prayer.' It is not a prayer for anybody, but only for those who have become the children of God in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the relationship of the child to the Father, and the moment we realize we have offended, or grieved or sinned against the Father, we confess it and ask to be forgiven, and we are sure that we are forgiven.

Such ongoing asking of forgiveness is one of the great privileges of the Christian. It does not in the least suggest one is estranged from the Father until it is done. On the contrary, it is our most precious witness to the truth that we are not estranged—that we are in fact eternally justified and assured of forgiveness even before we ask.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
So, we ask for something we already have? Or do we not have forgiveness until we ask for it again?

You just have to stir the pot don't you Andrew? lol You are a cantankerous soul.

Haha :) I'm not trying to stir the pot unnecessarily, but I really don't know how I would answer these questions well to an unbeliever, especially someone like a Catholic. I like what brother MLJones said as quoted by Jack, although I'm still trying to sort through it.
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Haha I'm not trying to stir the pot unnecessarily, but I really don't know how I would answer these questions well to an unbeliever, especially someone like a Catholic. I like what brother MLJones said as quoted by Jack, although I'm still trying to sort through it.

As I grew up I heard the following in response to your question, "Our sins are forgiven in a way that removes all punishment, but sin still has consequences (hurt feelings, broken relationships, premarital children, etc). We continue to pray for forgiveness with regards to these consequences. Our sins cause a relationship strain between God and us. We should repent of our sins as a way of telling God that we are sorry for causing this strain."

Not sure if you would agree or not, but that is what I grew up on.
 

sastark

Puritan Board Graduate
So, we ask for something we already have? Or do we not have forgiveness until we ask for it again?

You just have to stir the pot don't you Andrew? lol You are a cantankerous soul.

Haha :) I'm not trying to stir the pot unnecessarily, but I really don't know how I would answer these questions well to an unbeliever, especially someone like a Catholic. I like what brother MLJones said as quoted by Jack, although I'm still trying to sort through it.

Substitute "asking for forgiveness" with "doing good works" and the answer may become clear: "Are we required to do good works in order to show that we have faith? Or do we not have faith until we do good works?"

Asking for forgiveness is commanded in Scripture, but it is done out of obedience to Christ: Not because we fear not having our sins forgiven if we don't ask for it (can any of us confess every sin we ever commit, in thought, word and deed?), but because we are regenerated, we ask for forgiveness. Just as good works don't save you, but are done as evidence of a true faith, so forgiveness is asked for, not because some good work (confession of sin) is required on our part for us to be forgiven, but because those made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit will want to have their sins forgiven, so that we may be conformed to the image of Christ.

If we say we have no sin (and no need to confess it), the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, it is evidence that the truth is in us, and our sins are forgiven.
 

HAS

Puritan Board Freshman
Right now I'm preaching through the Sermon on the Mount and I'm at Matt 6:12, which is why I'm asking the question. One person asked me about this about two months ago, but I haven't really studied it until now. I like MLJ's quote, and I'm using his book on the Sermon on the Mount, but I'd still like to get the input of all of you.

Where I am on this issue is that I think that we should still ask for forgiveness, based on Jesus' continued intercession for us (Rom 8:33-34, Heb 7:25, I Jn 2:1-2). That seems to imply that there are ongoing issues we must address with the Father, and the Lord represents us before Him.

Hardy
Pastor
New Covenant Church
Auburn Hills, MI
SBC/Reformed Baptist
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
If you are converted and you don't confess your sins you will feel the withdrawal of the Spirit's felt presence, you may experience (worse) chastisements, and you will fall into more severe backsliding.

You will be resisting the Spirit in His sanctifying work, prompting you to seek forgiveness from your displeased Father, receive cleansing of soul and repentance and new obedience.

Look at David. In one sense he was right with God. But after he committed adultery and murder, in another sense he wasn't right with God until his experience of repentance recorded in Psalm 51.
 
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