In need of continual forgiveness?

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ijunn

Puritan Board Freshman
Dear brothers and sisters, I feel like I am starting to get a reputation for asking questions on the forum instead of partaking in certain threads, but here I am again. I am a former nonconfessional baptist, now attending a reformed church. I was thinking about justification and the forgiveness of sins. When the Bible speaks of that we have been justified by faith, and have received the forgiveness of sins, does this also include future sins? In the sense of automatically? It seems strange to allready be forgiven for something not yet happened. I know that Jesus died for all my sins and I believe this. But the fact that he died for all my sins on the cross, does not mean that I was forgiven on the cross, now does it? Forgiveness comes through faith in Christ crucified. Now the Bible speaks often about confession of sins (the Lords Prayer and I find most directly: 1 John 1:9) If we confess our sins He is faithfull and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Is this an actual remitting of sins, as in the sense, an actual (re)application of Christ' atonement? That we receive forgiveness everytime we, by faith, plead to His blood? I believe this is how the Lutherans see it. Does this mean that from the moment we sin, till the moment we take time in prayer to confess, we are in fact, unclean? Does anyone have some good sources from a reformed perspective. I tried google but most search results turn out to be roman catholic.
 

aadebayo

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Ian

I will deal briefly. If you read John chapter 17, Christ prayed for His disciples. In verse 6 - 10, Christ said "have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. 7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them Christ made this statement before Peter denied Him 3 times. This means Christ had already forgiven Peter before Peter denied Him. As Christians, we have the spiritual and sin natures warring against each other. As Paul says in Romans 7, (my paraphrase) we hate the sin that we constantly commit. I hope this helps.
 

joebonni63

Puritan Board Freshman
I think it's the hard part to wrap around head around what salvation is and how it really works. Yeah but if you are truly saved you will have all your sins forgiven past present and future it can be confusing because most christian do not come with predestination thought and then they try to put some other slant that you start to believe and then you are totally confused. Rest assure that things are ok.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
See the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 11:

V. God does continue to forgive the sins of those that are justified; and although they can never fall from the state of justification, yet they may, by their sins, fall under God's fatherly displeasure, and not have the light of His countenance restored unto them, until they humble themselves, confess their sins, beg pardon, and renew their faith and repentance.
 

Peairtach

Puritan Board Doctor
We are fully justified the moment when we exercise faith in Christ of all our sins, past, present and future. We could never be ready for Heaven of this wasn't the case. Did Jesus die for all the sins of His people or just those committed up until conversion or until yesterday?

But God is still displeased at our ongoing sins amd they cause moral uncleanness of heart. See e.g. the account of David's sin with Bathsheba, where it says that the Lord was displeased, and see Psalm 51, where David says he needs cleansing. The ongoing way of sanctification is through seeking forgiveness, cleansing and new obedience.

Sent from my HTC Wildfire using Tapatalk 2
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I could be wrong, but I understand Lutherans to think a bit more like Justification is a constantly present reality; meaning, that it is Justification by Faith Alone with every act of faith an at-that-moment-becoming reality. We must also remember that Lutherans believe salvation can be possessed absolutely; and also lost absolutely after having had it. So Luther might say, "I am Justified!" in the face of his sins and doubts many, many times; and feel that in that hour he experiences his Justification as if for the first time. He would speak this way about baptism: "I am baptized!" and take comfort in that; his old man was drowned, had just been drowned that day, and the new man risen up. Luther was a very present-hour fellow.

I believe there is something in the "present" perspective which we Reformed should also desire to affirm--because there is a "now-ness" to salvation, and it has to do with the equal emphasis we put (or should) on Spirit-wrought perseverance, as much as on any of the other parts of our salvation. Looking for resources, I recommend the Canons of Dort, ch.5. In other words, I know I am saved (and was saved in the past) because NOW I am clinging to Christ alone for salvation. Past moments are not meaningless--the "past moment" when Christ died and rose again is beyond all importance--but I do not rest in "the hour I first believed." I don't count on "evidences" of my faith. My justification, therefore, should be seen by me (in part) as having had such a powerful effect that it "feels" like it is happening every moment thereafter. "Forgetting what is behind..."

But it is probably fair to say that Reformed theology makes more use than Lutherans of the ordo salutis, the (logical) order of salvation when describing what we've obtained. And we speak often about our initial, and one-time Justification. It is a DONE deal (thanks be to God). It was "the hour I first believed," and it was never MORE sure later than at that instant. It was ENSURED with as much certainty before time, when we speak of the divine decree, election, and predestination. Which explanation then demands that we further distinguish between the decree to Justify, the Justification wrought (at the cross), and the application of Justification at the time of conversion (we are confessionally opposed to "eternal justification").

Consider this: many of us were converted as children, some so young we don't know when. But our ability to analyze and articulate a spelled out doctrine of Justification may only have happened once we were teenagers. Maybe later. But as we embraced a richer understanding of the faith we had known in simpler form, we did not then become Justified. For some, there has never been anything like an "emotional" response to the knowledge of Justification. Learning it was as "exciting" as learning noun-verb agreement, sentence diagramming, and fractions. But it is still certain-knowledge, as much as any of the other topics. But some of us have periodically meditated on the profound possession of that knowledge since we first obtained it. Sometimes we are encouraged to do so by sermons. On such occasions, we are all urged by Holy Spirit to make that doctrine a "present" reality to our mind, whether it has emotional impact or not.

I hope this is helpful.
 
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earl40

Puritan Board Professor
Consider this: many of us were converted as children, some so young we don't know when. But our ability to analyze and articulate a spelled out doctrine of Justification may only have happened once we were teenagers. Maybe later. But as we embraced a richer understanding of the faith we had known in simpler form, we did not then become Justified. For some, there has never been anything like an "emotional" response to the knowledge of Justification. Learning it was as "exciting" as learning noun-verb agreement, sentence diagramming, and fractions. But it is still certain-knowledge, as much as any of the other topics. But some of us have periodically meditated on the profound possession of that knowledge since we first obtained it. Sometimes we are encouraged to do so by sermons. On such occasions, we are all urged by Holy Spirit to make that doctrine a "present" reality to our mind, whether it has emotional impact or not.

I hope this is helpful.

This was extremly helpful and I have often seen many of the reformed "think" they were converted or justified as if they knew when the Holy Spirit did His work, though it is true one can see as one ages the work He has done in the past. This allows me to look upon many more within the church as being Christians, because like you I know The Holy Spirit does a lot of His work that sometimes is hard to "see" many times.
 
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ijunn

Puritan Board Freshman
Yes I think Lutherens don't make much use of the ordo salutis. These are helpful replies. The reason I ask is because in my (daily) christian walk, to be honest, I find more comfort in the fact that Gods verdict that I am justified by faith, is an everyday reality. I am still justified today by faith, just as I was 5 years ago, and will be 5 years from now, by faith. Not that we ever become more or less justified, but my experience is not tied to first moment I believed. I can always doubt that moment because of present sin. I do think it is just a matter of experience and closely tied to the doctrine of perseverance.
 

ijunn

Puritan Board Freshman
But God is still displeased at our ongoing sins amd they cause moral uncleanness of heart. See e.g. the account of David's sin with Bathsheba, where it says that the Lord was displeased, and see Psalm 51, where David says he needs cleansing. The ongoing way of sanctification is through seeking forgiveness, cleansing and new obedience.

But are our sins actually remitted when we confess them, does God forgive them again, so to speak when we have actually committed them? The texts do seem to imply that we receive actual forgiveness.
 
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