07 May 2012

Quit Asking Jesus To Forgive Your Sins

I've learned that I don't have to keep asking God to forgive me of my sins. One day, not too long ago, I was praying and asking for forgiveness of all these things I did wrong and Jesus said, "Dathan, why do you keep asking me that?" I was like, "Uhhhhh, because that's what I'm supposed to do." Then Jesus asked me, "Did I die on the cross for your sins?" And, I said so confidently (like I knew the answer to this test question), "Yes, of course you did." Then he said, "Do you believe this?" Again, I replied confidently, "Of course, I do!" I thought at this point he was testing my faith. However, he had a completely different motive I never saw coming. What he said next shocked me. He said, "So, why do you keep asking me to forgive you of your sins if I already forgave you?" I had no words to respond. I just sat there like a dummy. I waited minutes before saying anything else and finally answered, "I have no idea."

I started to think more about this, but my brain wanted to reject it. I couldn't wrap my mind around what he said. This went against everything I was ever taught. Even though my heart knew what he said was Truth, I still couldn't believe it (Pro 3:5-6).

Next, he reminded me about the woman who was found in the act of committing adultery (John 8:1-11). The religious leaders (people who were supposed to know God, but clearly didn't) were trying to stone her and Jesus asked for those without sin to throw the first stone. Each one of them had plenty of sin, so they slowly left the scene. Jesus, the only one without sin, asked her, "Where are your accusers? Do they still condemn you?" "No, they don't," she replied. He finally said, "And, neither do I. Go and sin no more." The only person good enough to throw a stone, did quite the opposite - he immediately forgave her. She never asked for forgiveness or even said she was sorry. She just turned around and left (in utter shock, I'm sure). Jesus forgave her before he had a chance to die on the cross. This is the kind of love God has for us.

If Jesus was that good to forgive her and save her life before the cross, then how much more does the cross wipe all our sins away, now?! The sacrifice of God's one and only Son was enough for everyone (2 Cor 5:14-15).

You see, when we look in the mirror, we see only imperfection (2 Cor 5:16-17). We only see a sinful person full of flaws. However, we're looking with the wrong eyes. We should see from his perspective. God sees his Son's sacrifice and it makes us white as snow (Isa 1:18). When he sees you and I, he sees the perfect Spirit inside you.

But, how can this be? How can it be this easy?? Is God nuts?!! Yes! He's crazy-nuts about you! And, only he could come up with such an amazing plan to prove his love.

I finally trusted and accepted the fact that I didn't need to annoy God with my repetitive prayers of forgiveness. However, I still had a habit of doing it. Instead of saying "forgive me", I started replacing it with, "I'm sorry..." You know like, "I'm sorry for doing that last night, or saying this...blah blah." Again, Jesus checked me. He said, "You don't have to say you're sorry. It's the same as asking for forgiveness." For some time, and even still, I find myself trying to get out of this bad, religious habit of asking for forgiveness of my sins.

Let me give a good example of what it sounds like. It's much like praying, "Jesus, will you make the sky blue? I know and believe you've already made the sky blue, but will you make the sky blue?" How dumb and annoying is that??

Forgiveness and the work on the cross has already been done. It's finished (John 19:28-30). There's nothing you can do about it. Actually, he didn't even allow you to have a say in the matter. Forgiveness is a completely finished product, just like the blue sky. All you need to do is simply trust him that you're forgiven. Trust him that the work he did for you was enough to settle your debts. There's no work left for you to do, but receive the inheritance (Gal 4:1-7).

So, now what do you do? Simply trust him. Will you fail? Of course, but not in his eyes. You're forgiven and he doesn't remember your sin anymore (Mic 7:18-20). Will you hate sinning? Yes. Do you beat yourself up? No. God's work on the cross was never supposed to stop us in our tracks or keep us down. It was actually supposed to bring peace, ease, and complete freedom as it was in the Garden of Eden.

For example, let's look at Adam and Eve (Gen 2:25-3:12). When Adam and Eve were chilling in the garden, they were clearly naked, but unaware of it. Their nakedness was evil. Yet, Jesus still kept walking and talking with them on a daily basis as if nothing was wrong. Not until Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil were they ever aware of their nakedness. They were blissfully unaware of right and wrong before they ate the fruit. After eating it, however, they hid from Jesus when he came looking for them. They were ashamed because, now, they knew differently. Did God mention their nakedness before the fruit? No, because God is that awesome.

Fast forward to Jesus (the second Adam) dying on the cross (Rom 5:12-19, 1 Cor 15:45-47). When Jesus allowed himself to die for us, he forgave all sins past, present, and future (Col 2:13-14). Do we still have the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Yes, because of Adam and Eve's decision - we asked for it. However, we also have a new awareness. We have a Savior that has forgiven us. Now, who is condemning you of sin? Not Jesus. You're actually condemning yourself. Just because you're aware of sin, doesn't mean you need to wallow in it or condemn anyone else of their's. Jesus gave us a new knowledge that we're completely forgiven because of the cross.

Honestly, religion taught me that I needed to ask forgiveness of my sin on a daily basis. And, like a dummy, I believed them. As if I could actually account for every sin I committed, anyway. On top of that, I've probably sinned 36 times while writing this blog post from wanting to cuss at these religious teachers.

Frankly, I despise religion. And, religious Christians are the worst people on the planet! God has clearly forgiven all his people, yet these religious types want to continue to show everyone how bad they are and how we'll never be good enough. However, if they had any real relationship with Jesus, they would have known we were forgiven, right? Unless they just chose to keep it to themselves. Yet, we must forgive them. They're our brothers and sisters too.

Finally, don't ask God to forgive you of your sins anymore. He's already done that. If anything, the New Testament tells us to simply confess our sins one to another and pray for each other (Jam 5:16). Then, go and sin no more (Rom 5:18-6:11). And, if you do happen to fail again, His grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:8-10).

Unlearn everything! Get to know God's heart. Read your Bible and ask him all the hard questions, and not your pastor. The Spirit, and all his wisdom, is inside of you.


Anonymous said...

If anything now, when I screw up I just say THANK YOU SO MUCH THAT I'M FORGIVEN!! YOU ARE SO AWESOME!!

Dathan Ellis said...

Yes!! He is that AWESOME! ~:-D

Anonymous said...

Fresh off the press you lucky dawg...

Every Sabbath, every rule, every command that God has!
New revelation, another new thread
Confirming the old man to be quite dead.
I never knew why but each time I would find
Words in the Bible that I easily defined
As words you could jot down, one after next
In the listing of rules that must be kept,
I simply regarded them all as ‘shoulds’
Which quickly unraveled into ‘damaged goods’.
But today while reading Isaiah 56
As I read “who keeps the Sabbath and doesn’t defile it”
Instead of my heart not knowing what to do
My precious Papa, in love, broke through.
He placed His Son over that one phrase –
I was delighted and completely amazed.
Now when I read a “rule latent” sentence
I own it’s completion – it truly is finished.

Wow – please don’t give up on this ride called Grace!
In owning Christ’s completion, I see Love’s face.
I now understand why there is a gap
Between me and those who are saved but lack.
As they face rules they fail to achieve,
Or worse, they think they actually succeed…
“How dare you!” with blazing anger, I see
A heart confounded by jealousy.
“I work for my blessings!” their motive quite plain.
“I demand, therefore, you must do the same!
How dare you rest in a life of ease!
Get up and work, there’s a Savior to please!”

Luke 10:38 through 42,
Martha felt the same and became burdened too.
In angry frustration she decided to carry
Her anger to Christ about her sister Mary.
“Why,” she asked, “Do you not make her do
Everything I am – what she’s supposed to?”
Do you work like mad or take in every word?
For Martha thought Mary’s behavior absurd.
Which chose the way of greatest potential,
Of most importance and most essential?

If you choose to work and toil like Martha
And I choose, like Mary, to sit and be part of
This rest called Grace – please don’t strive
And fight with me, He’ll not take your side.
You judge my motive as I sit and take in…
You think me lazy and resting in sin.
Know this, Christ has already made very plain
Which women took the path most sane.

Dathan Ellis said...

Wow!! This is REALLY good. Heavy.

Lauren said...

Why is it then the Lord's prayer contains "forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors"?

Dathan Ellis said...

Was the Lord's Prayer instruction before Jesus died on the cross and forgave our sins, or after? It's important that we view Jesus as being under the Law in order to fulfill it. Before the cross, we had to continually be washed of our sins. Jesus did this once for all time. Also, when we sin against Jesus, he's already forgiven us. However, if I sin against you, you have not already forgiven me and I have to apologize and ask for your forgiveness. If we truly accepted God's forgiveness, we would love others the same way and forgive them before they did anything to hurt us. This is not something we can do on our own, but comes from simply receiving more of his forgiveness in our hearts. The more we receive, the more we can give. The forgiveness we extend to others is not even our own, but his through us.

Lauren said...

It doesn't make sense. Why would Jesus teach a very specific prayer only to cancel his teaching a little while later? Should we then not follow Jesus' teachings before he hung on the cross?

Also, cleaning of sins in the OT was done by sacrifices not just asking for forgiveness. Why would that change?

Also, why is it that the Lord's prayer contains "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors"? You didn't really answer my question.

Lauren said...

Also, am I not to believe Matthew 6:14-15? That my sins will not be forgiven by God unless I forgive others of their sins toward me?

Dathan Ellis said...

I think I did answer your question, but you just didn't like it.

1) This was a sample prayer.
2) Would you ask your husband how to talk to him? Then, if your relationship with Jesus is even closer than your husband, why would you ask him how to pray? This is silly. He just gave the disciples what they asked for.
3) The Law was completely fulfilled by Jesus and it no longer has reign over us. It can be completely achieved by loving him and loving others. Isn't this an even greater achievement than a sample prayer? Jesus also forgave all sin on the cross. If he was able to cancel all sin, then couldn't that part of a sample prayer also be canceled? This too is a greater accomplishment than a sample prayer.
4) Jesus also never mentioned in the Lord's prayer to say, "In Jesus name, Amen." But, aren't we supposed to use his name when we pray? Why did he leave that out?
5) Do you believe that Jesus died for your sins on the cross? Do you believe he paid the ultimate sacrifice 2000 years ago way before you were ever a thought in anyone's mind? Or, did he die for your sins when you accepted him? Weren't you co-crucified with him on the cross?
6) We don't have to sacrifice animals anymore because God's Son came down and paid it once for all. I think all Christians agree that we don't have to sacrifice animals anymore. If he can cancel animal sacrifices, then can't asking him to forgive us be canceled to.
7) You can't forgive anyone unless you have received forgiveness, first. I mentioned this in my last answer. This is why he says if you don't forgive others, then he won't forgive you. How can you forgive anyone unless you receive forgiveness from him, first (and forgive yourself)? How can you love anyone unless you receive his love (and love yourself), first? The forgiveness and the love you give others is not even your own. It's his through you.

Honestly, you can keep asking him to forgive you of your sins if you want. Everyone else does it. Or, you could ask him what he thinks about all this stuff I'm writing. Let me know what he says.

Anonymous said...

I like your explanation, Dathan. Yes and amen.

Lauren said...

Actually both my husband and I had to learn how to talk to one another. We had to discuss what is important in our lives in order to understand each other better. People grow up in different families, different environments and you can't really expect two people to come into a relationship and completely know how to talk or act toward each other. I think this would be especially true for someone who didn't grow up with a relationship with God or Jesus. One might not even know where to begin in a prayer.
Maybe I'm simple or something, but all I saw in your first response was a question to my question. I wanted you to explain why "forgive us our debts" is included in the Lord's prayer. I think you didn't respond directly to my question. I didn't discount your answer. I just think you avoided it by talking about something similarly related.
Dathan, it seems to me that you pick and choose which verses to believe and discount others. Why would this be important enough for Jesus to say and teach like other principles he taught, but now it is okay for us to throw it away? Should we just throw away baptism because he gave it to us as an example before he fulfilled the law and now I don't believe it is necessary so I don't include it in my Christian faith?
Also, I don't know where the "in Jesus name, amen" part came in. I never said it was included in the Lord's prayer and I never said it was necessary.
I really don't see how much of what you are saying tells me I shouldn't ask for forgiveness of my sins especially when Jesus gave that example to his followers.
Another note: are you saying that non-Christians cannot forgive each other?

Dathan Ellis said...

God knows everything about you. He can help you relate better than anyone can. He even knows what you need when you don't ask or don't know too. So, talking to him is MUCH easier than talking to your husband. I didn't say anything about getting rid of baptism. The Bible states that if we ask anything in his name it will be done. This is why people say, "...in Jesus name, Amen." He didn't say it, but isn't it necessary for our prayers to be answered?

Ok, cool. We can choose to believe differently. No worries. I'm really not here to convince you what's wrong or right. That's the Holy Spirit's job. I'm just sharing my heart and what I hear the Father say.

Non-Christians have God's love and forgiveness too.

What did Jesus say when you asked him about what I said?

Lauren said...

By the way, I'm not trying to convince you that we do or don't need to ask for forgiveness of sins. I'm asking, why would Jesus include it in his example prayer to followers if he didn't think it would be necessary for his followers in the future? Maybe you don't want or care to analyze it, so that's fine, but I was sincerely wondering what you think on the matter.

Lauren said...

Are you saying that you don't have to be a follower/believer of Christ to be forgiven and inherit the kingdom of God?

Anyway, you have some concepts that are not readily seen in most Christians (that's not me saying I agree or disagree with you). I got kind of interested and I'm not really sure if it's just because I'm terribly bored where I am or because God wanted me to delve into the Bible more. Maybe a mixture of the two :-)

Thanks for letting me post on your blog.

Dathan Ellis said...

I sincerely thought I already answered it. Ok, let's look at it:

1)Our Father in heaven,
2)hallowed be your name,
3)your kingdom come,
4)your will be done,
5)on earth as it is in heaven.
6)Give us today our daily bread.
7)And forgive us our debts,
8)as we also have forgiven our debtors.
9)And lead us not into temptation,
10)but deliver us from the evil one.

Look at lines 3,4 & 5. Didn't the Kingdom come already? Jesus (God himself) was staring his people in the face. That's certainly the Kingdom come. The Bible also says we have Jesus in us (the Spirit) and that we are already citizens of Heaven. Us being here is also proof that we're the Kingdom come.

Ok, now his will be done: Jesus died on the cross to fulfill God's will. He assuredly forgave our sins and accomplished only what God could do. And, his will MOST DEFINITELY will continue to be done as time goes on. Why would he ask us to pray this too?

on earth as it is in Heaven: Jesus said that whatever we bind on earth will also be bound in Heaven. Isn't it constantly being done by what we pray? Jesus being here on earth also opened the windows of Heaven to move even greater.

Is this starting to make sense?

Anonymous said...

Lauren,when I read the article/blog I thought the same thing.... I understand what D-man is saying; but I will continue to say the Lord's prayer and I will continue to ask God/Jesus for His forgiveness. God may have forgiven me 2000 years ago for everything I'm ever going to do wrong; but I know I sinned today and I still need to say I'm sorry. (I'm sorry God, if I annoy you by saying I'm sorry every day;) but I know He suffered and died for me and I will continue to ask for forgiveness because I continue to sin.
If I am God/Jesus' bride and my relationship to Him is like a marriage then I am still going to apologize when I do something wrong. I get it D, He already forgave me. I get it D, He doesn't see me; He sees His son. But, I still sin, I still mess up, and I'm still going to say I'm sorry; forgive me. I love you, God, thanks for forgiving me, in Your sons name.
In Christ's Eyes, love you bro, D-man
Keep the faith sister Lauren.

Dathan Ellis said...

Do what you want, bro. That's between you and God. Let me know what he says.