When Were We Forgiven?

9 October 2014

”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.” (1st John 1:7)

I remember a Bible Study several years ago when a young child asked an amazing question. He said, “If we are forgiven and get to go to heaven, then why do we pray to be forgiven?"

This question speaks directly to our text today. In the Bible, forgiveness of sins is secure by the sovereign power of God but it is expressed in different ways.

First of all, we were declared just and therefore forgiven before the world began by the fact that we were elected into Christ.

"According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:” (Ephesians 1:4)

We were not chosen because we were “holy and without blame.” We were chosen so that we would be holy and without blame. Therefore, we were forgiven in Christ even before the world was created! Our position in Christ made us clean.

Secondly, when Jesus died on the cross, His blood was shed so that we would have forgiveness of sins. At this point we were cleansed legally.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)


The fact that we are healed shows that we were cleansed on the cross. Further, the symbol of wine in the Lord’s Supper represents Jesus’ blood which gave us forgiveness.

"And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:27-28)

Next, when we come into a vital relationship with Jesus through the New Birth, our conscience is made new and our spirit begins to testify that we are the sons of God. By this testimony we are declared to be righteous and clean.

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” (1st Peter 1:23)

If we are incorruptible that means there is, in a sense, no sin in us. Therefore, we are clean! Paul confirms this as well:

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;” (Colossians 2:13)

In the resurrection, we will be changed completely into the image of Christ and even our bodies will have no sin.

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1st Corinthians 15:51-52)

We have already seen several different perspectives of our forgiveness but we have not looked at the one under consideration in our focus verse. This forgiveness is an experience that we feel.

"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. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:7-9)

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19)

Notice that the text says times of refreshing, plural. These are the times when we walk obedient to the word of God, we are in fellowship with Him, and we feel forgiven.

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20th November 2017 18:51

Tags: 1st_john, forgiveness, salvation, sin


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Elder Bryce Lowrance

















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