Are We Just Forgiven? OR Do We Have Diplomatic Immunity For Sin?
Are We Just Forgiven For Sin
If We Constantly Confess It?
Do We Have Diplomatic Immunity For Our Sin
Granted By God Himself?
This article is about the forgiveness and the fact that we are forgiven if we are Christians. God does forgive sins. I go so far as to call this diplomatic immunity if we are believers. The judgment of God is very real, as is damnation and also hell. The judgement of God comes on all of us. But what form does it take, and what are we judged for? Confession of sin is described in I John 1:9, but is it totally controlling? Is it…
“The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?”
as we lawyers like to say.
What is truth regarding all of this? What is gospel truth? What you read may surprise you.
YOU HAVE HEARD IT SAID. . .
Most Christians go to bed every night with I John 1:9 on their minds: “If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (KJV). Confession of sin is important. It keeps us in right relationship with God, at least in our minds, because we can think of ourselves as ‘enemies of God’ due to our sin (Col 1:21). We want to be forgiven. We want to know that God forgives sins. We don’t want to face the judgement of God. And of course NO one wants to face damnation.
It’s a beautiful passage except for this: it makes SIN-focused. As I say in another of these in this series, if we see ourselves as sinners — even if saved by grace — our thought is that we are sinners. A sinner can’t see his righteousness in Christ.
Was John schizophrenic? I John 3:9 (KJV) says: “Whoever is born of God does NOT commit sin, because God’s seed remains in him, and he CANNOT sin because he is born of God.” The same person could not have made both statements unless they were schizophrenic — OR unless WE misunderstand him!
First, notice I use the KJV here. Most modern Bibles distort this last passage terribly.
Second, I think we do totally misunderstand John.
Both of these are far beyond this brief gospel truth.
The modern church is sin focused because it is laws, rules, and Bible principles to live that preachers so often focus on (Rom 7:5, Phil 3:9). This produces ignorance of God’s righteousness in us (Rom 10:2). Precepts put the focus on US, not on God. The gospel puts the focus on GOD, not on us. When the focus is on us, we cannot know we are forgiven – at least not totally, because we bear responsibility for our sin. It’s hard to know that God does totally forgive sins if our focus is SELF.
Thus the difference between ‘instructors in Christ,’ who are preachers of the law, and ‘fathers of the gospel’ (I Tim 1:7, I Cor 4:15).
If you live by law, you will feel guilty and condemned. That is the JOB of the law (Rom 3:10, 19, Acts 15:10, II Cor 3:6, etc.)
Law includes all the precepts, principles, standards and pulpit exhortations that are imposed. Living this way, the last thing you think about at night is confessing any SIN you think of. You go to sleep sin-conscious, and wake up sin-conscious.
This is not living the gospel! The gospel is the power of God because it is a revelation of his righteousness in us (Rom 1:16, 5:17, 10:2, II Cor 5:21). It reveals who we are in Christ: “As Jesus is, so are we in this world” (I John 4:17). It reveals the finished work of the cross: our ‘constitution’ for life in God’s Kingdom. The gospel causes us to go to sleep — and wake up conscious of our righteousness in Christ, not our sin.
BUT I SAY UNTO YOU . . .
The cross changed absolutely everything (II Cor 5:17). Living by anything else but the gospel, including God’s Old Covenant law, is said to be ‘darkness.’ The gospel brings the light of truth and grace that came by Jesus (John 1:17). The gospel fulfills the word of God in us (Col 1:23-25). The gospel shows how Jesus abolished death and brought abundant life on earth, and eternal life to LIGHT — giving us total life (II Tim 1:10).
“Repent and believe the gospel” (Mk 1:15). These were our Lord’s very first words— the foremost thing on his heart. When we REPENT, it’s not usually sin we repent of. We repent of not knowing gospel truth (II Tim 2:25). Not living the gospel, Satan takes us captive at his will and keeps us blind, and with a veil over our heart (II Tim 2:26, II Cor 3:15-17, 4:4).
In Galatians 5:1-4, Paul talks about FREEDOM. Do you know what this actually means? It is to be ‘exempt from liability.’ I’m sure you know what being tax exempt is. Well, this means to be free from liability for sin. Do we still sin? YES! Should we be responsible for our sin? YES! But does God hold us liable for sin at the judgment seat of Christ? NO! We have DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY for sin from the God of heaven.
Jesus came to do away with sin by the cross (Heb 9:26). He became sin FOR us (II Cor 5:21). We should be conscious of the spiritual reality that our sins have been purged (Heb 10:2). For God to judge saved, born again people for their sin would be to impose double jeopardy on himself, not to mention giving NO recognition to the finished work of the cross. Paul says, “Reckon yourself to be dead indeed to sin” (Rom 6:11).
God forgets our sin (Heb 8:12, 10:17). How can he judge what he can’t remember? GOSPEL BELIEF gives us confidence on the day of judgment (I John 4:18). SIN-CONSCIOUSNESS can’t produce CONFIDENCE before God. God will judge us for our gospel belief, not our sin (John 12:46-48).
If you truly live gospel truth, ALL things become new to you. You become a NCIC (Nick): a new creation in Christ (II Cor 5:17). You become a new species — a GodMan. But if you mix the gospel with anything else, it is destroyed (Mat 9:17). Only the gospel gives us power over sin, and to be conformed to the image of Christ. Anything else is flesh.
To learn about the general nature of ALL these articles that will be written:
You Have Heard It Said, But I Say Unto You
Click here: http://wp.me/P1cSU4-g1
I must repeat this a lot, so bear with me. The things I write are for believers in Jesus Christ.
They are not for those who are not born again, and who are not in a spiritual relationship with Jesus.
If you are a Christian, then they are for you — regardless of your age, sex, race, how long you’ve been a Christian, what type of church you attend, or anything else.
If you are not a Christian, then become one by accepting Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior.
Then what I say will apply to you.
Roger Himes, The Gospel Coach