Forgiven Or Not

Q. Something you said in one of your answers was that God can’t forgive us if we don’t confess. I was taught that all our sins are forgiven already at the cross, but that we should confess them which is to admit our wrong to God so that we can be closer to God. But our sins are forgiven at the cross, everyone of them, so I feel it was wrong to say God can’t forgive us if we don’t confess because he already has.

A. There are two levels of our relationship with the Lord. I call the first one Union. It’s based on the eternal forgiveness for our sins that was purchased at the cross and guarantees our place in Heaven. We only have to ask once to receive this forgiveness and it’s good forever. Ephesians 1:13-14 is a good verse for this.

I refer to the second level as Fellowship. It ‘s the way God relates to us now, on Earth. When we’re walking with Him and staying free from sin, He blesses us in special ways. But when we sin, this special relationship is interrupted until we confess our sin.   As soon as we do we’re forgiven and our special relationship is reinstated. If we don’t confess, we can’t be forgiven. We won’t lose our salvation, but we will miss out on blessings we could otherwise have had.  A good verse for this is 1 John 1:9.

The parable of the unmerciful servant in Matt 18:23-35 explains this in greater detail. The man never stopped being his Master’s servant, but he was excluded from the Master’s presence for the sin of refusing to forgive a fellow servant.   I was referring to this second level in my answer.

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