Do we need to ask God to forgive our sins?

ask-question-1-ff9bc6fa5eaa0d7667ae7a5a4c61330cThis question might seem odd for some people. “Of course we should ask God for forgiveness when we sin!” they respond.

But others think that asking for forgiveness is only something we should do at the time of our salvation.

What do you think about this?

Some reason that if, at the moment we receive God’s gift of salvation, Christ’s sacrifice removes the guilt of all our sins past, present, and future. Why then, it is asked, should we continue to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness?

Certain Scriptures immediately come to mind.

In Matthew 6:12, we learn that Jesus taught his followers to pray, “And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

Then Jesus said, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15).

We also might think of the well-known promise in I John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

How do we reconcile these statements with the clear truth that, at the moment we receive God’s gift of salvation, Christ’s sacrifice removes the guilt of all our sins past, present, and future?

My answer to this question will be offered in the next post. I’d like to hear from you first. How would you answer this question?

Steve Cornell

This entry was posted in Confession, Forgiveness, Salvation, Walking with God and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Do we need to ask God to forgive our sins?

  1. Tim Allen says:

    In our daily experience, we may find a “wedge” in our relationship, that needs to be dealt with from our end. But, we are assured that forgiveness is granted , not on the basis of how much we “mean it” or how contrite we are feeling; rather it is based on the promises of God and the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice. His forgiveness has been granted already, but are we able to accept it? I would argue strongly that our ability to feel forgiven cannot be owned until the sin is fully owned by true confession. We can rest assured that His mercy has already covered the sin through the atonement.

    • revjpbowman says:

      So Tim, what I hear you saying is that confession is solely for the benefit of our feeling forgiven? So it’s simply a religious rite to make us feel better? I see it a little (or a lot) differently. Yes, the atonement has already covered my sin. My heavenly bank account has unlimited funds, but I still have to write a check (be willing to come under conviction ((not condemnation)), confession ((acknowledgement of wrong)), and repentance ((turning away from that “wedge”)) ) on that account for debts (sins) I acquire after the account is set up. This is the scriptural pattern throughout the Old and New Testaments.

  2. Pauline says:

    Reblogged this on Uniquely Designed Individuals and commented:
    Without forgiveness, there can be no true repentance ….

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