Free In Christ

Finding Freedom in the Churches of Christ

Father, Forgive Our Sins

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One of the points that Andrew Farley makes in “The Naked Gospel” is that it is inappropriate for Christians to ask God to forgive our sins because He already has when Jesus died on the cross.

I really agree with this.

I remember growing up always hearing people ask God to forgive them of their sins and really thought nothing of it.  I was taught to pray this way as well.  We are probably all taught to pray this way because (even if we aren’t taught to say it) we are taught to use the Lord’s Prayer as a model for how to pray under the New Covenant.

But there really is a problem with this; the Lord’s Prayer was given under the Old Covenant.  The stuff about the kingdom coming was said before the kingdom came (yes, you could argue that the kingdoms mission has not come to fruition, but not that it hasn’t come) and the stuff about forgiving us was said before the forgiveness came.  Isn’t it now inappropriate to ask God to forgive us since He already has.

The reason given by most is “I ask God to forgive me to remind myself of my sin” but I would have to ask:  If God doesn’t remember our sins, should we?  This is important.  One of the best ways to avoid sin is to take its power over our lives away.  This is what Christ did on the cross.  By forgiving all of our sins, Christ made us not have to worry about it anymore.

Its like when you are a kid and you mom says “don’t eat that cake that I just made” and it makes you want the cake even more.  If she hadn’t said anything you probably wouldn’t have even thought of the cake but now that she said something all you want is the cake.  The Apostle Paul said much the same thing when he said that the Law of Moses made him want to covet by telling him not to covet.  This is how these things work.  When we are told we can’t have something, we want it all the more.

But in Christ, Christians are given total freedom and total forgiveness.  This allows the Spirit to change what we want so that we will want the right things instead of the wrong ones.  We no longer want things just because we can’t have them because we can have them, we just no longer want them.

So, stop asking for forgiveness and learn to live in the forgiveness that you have received.

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Written by freeinchrist

February 24, 2010 at 8:00 am

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