Are All Our Sins Covered? Follow Up.

Q. Re: Are All Our Sins Covered?. This believer may not understand the difference between salvation and temporal fellowship. 1 John 1:9 says If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As you have taught in other articles, this restores us to fellowship with God in the here and now. So, yes, we should be aware our our sins and quickly confess them to God. When we are in fellowship we can do nothing wrong and when we are out of fellowship we can do nothing right. Have I understood you correctly?

A. Thank you for the follow up comment. I considered putting this point in my original answer, but the question was about salvation and I didn’t want my answer to confuse anyone about the sufficiency of the Lord’s sacrifice.

There are two levels in our relationship with the Lord. I call the first one Union. It refers to our salvation which is eternal and unconditional. From the moment we first believed it was guaranteed because every sin of our life was paid for on the cross (Colossians 2:13-14). The Holy Spirit was sealed within us to guarantee our inheritance (Ephes. 1:13-14, 2 Cor. 1:21-22) and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that.

I call the second level Fellowship. It pertains to our relationship in the here and now. As you have correctly stated, staying in fellowship with God and receiving the blessings that come from an intimate relationship with Him requires that we confess our sins on a regular basis to purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). This has nothing to do with earning or maintaining our salvation, but with maintaining the quality of our earthly relationship with the Lord. Many Christians live defeated lives because they don’t understand this distinction and ignore John’s admonition to confess early and often.

As it happens, I’ve just released an MP3 study on Union and Fellowship. It’s available for free download by going here.

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