Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Forgiven and Loving

Jesus said, "He who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47).
Most take this to mean, "The worse of a sinner you were before you came to Christ the more you will love God because he forgave you of so much sin." That may be true but let us look at this another way.

The truth is we have all been totally forgiven of all our sins, past, present, and future. If you think you must continue to ask for forgiveness (confess your sins, repent, etc.) then you will love little. You will love little because you will see God's love and forgiveness as conditional to your recounting of sins (how most incorrectly view confession) or promise to try hard to not do particular sins again (how most incorrectly view repentance). Whether you realize it or not those are conditions many put on forgiveness and fellowship which are in reality two things Jesus earned for you eternally. If you think God's perfect love is conditional then you will only love conditionally also. You will judge people harshly based on their behavior and I'm sure all of you know some religious person who does so.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins" (1 John 1:9).
The word "confess" in 1 John 1:9 does not mean recount (recall & recite in prayer) but it actually means "to agree." It is to agree with God about your sins, that you had them and Christ took care of them. If you agree with God that Christ took your sins away, which He did, then you have no reason to recount them. Doing so would actually be the opposite of what John intended when writing this scripture. 1 John 1:9 simply means, "You receive His forgiveness by believing His forgiveness." It is not a rule for daily relationship. It is praising God that Christ finished the work of forgiveness on the cross and saying, "I want in on this!" And it is continuing to agree with and rejoice over Christ's finished work on our behalf!

The word "repent" by itself has nothing to do with sin. It does not mean "turn from sin" in the New Testament. It is a mistranslation that really means "to change your mind about something." We find no commands for Christians to frequently repent. No one was ever even asked to do it twice! Contextually repent almost always means "to change your mind from mistrust/unbelief to trust/faith in Jesus," in other words "get saved." Jesus also specifically says not to make promises to God (Matthew 5:33-37). Jesus recommends we respond to God in time with an honest ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ We aren't to live by the promises we make to God but the promises He has made to us.

Sadly Christians everywhere have been taught to live the opposite of what God desires, that which is best for them. To ask for what they already have, earn what has already been paid for, and promise to try harder to do better. All of this devalues the love of Christ because it says He didn't do or completely do the things He did for us. If we think we have to do something to continue to get God's favor, forgiveness, and fellowship then we will make others earn ours as well. We will live in the imprisonment of believing one of the worst lies ever told.

No one was forgiven little on the cross. Everyone was forgiven of all sin for all time. He who understands God's forgiveness little understands God's love little and loves little. He who understands God's total forgiveness is free to love totally; heart, mind, soul, and strength.


  1. Do you mean when a person commits a sin they do not ask for forgiveness

    1. I am saying they don't have to ask for forgiveness.

      2 Corinthians 5:19 says, "God no longer holds the world's sins against them."

      God is love. 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Love does not take into account wrongs suffered." So if God loves you, & believe me He does, then He won't require you to ask for forgiveness because in His love for you He doesn't hold your sins against you to begin with.