Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Infant Steps: What is God's View on Forgiveness

Beloved EROLyrics Readers,

Hope your week has started out beautifully. We have another question on the Infant Steps Series. This time around, it is on forgiveness. Have you ever wondered about forgiveness of yours or others' wrongs? Please see the questions below and please share your views on forgiveness below.

Dear Rita,
I would like to understand some things on forgiveness.

If one continues doing wrong or sinning and asks God for forgiveness each time, does God eventually get fed up with the constant sin and get tired of forgiving? Or will He keep forgiving, if you are truly sincere, no matter how many times you go to Him for forgiveness?

It is possible that a serial killer on his death bed can ask for forgiveness with a sincere heart and eventually make it to heaven?

When God forgives us, do we still have to face the consequences? For instance if a man steals and then prays to God for forgiveness, does he have to report himself to the authority before God forgives him, or does God forgive him and he can go scot-free without punishment?

~Sirius~ and Felicia

If you have any questions you would like to discuss on the Infant Steps Series, please drop me an email at esurunma@gmail.com or leave the question as a comment in any of my blog posts.

All posts on the Infant Steps Series will be posted on Tuesdays, 9 AM West Africa Time.


Enkay said...

Yes, sometimes even though we are forgiven, we still face some of the consequences of our actions. Like a girl having pre-marital sex. She repents and God forgives her but then she's pregnant! Even though she is forgiven, she still carries around the 'evidence' of her 'sin'.

It's more obvious in some than in other cases.

God forgives us again and again. there's no end to it as long we are sincere and ask His help not to return to our sins and actually make the effort to turn away from them.

Temite said...

I am really excited to read all the answers. Keep up the good work Sis Rita.

~Sirius~ said...

I'd appreciate scriptural back up on this issue, especially the aspect of those in Authority, ie the law makers.

Debbie said...

to the first question: God is longsuffering towards us, he will always forgives, "He is faithful and just to forgive all unrighteousness" he already forgaves us of all our sins even before we ask, he is just waiting for us to ask for for his forgivnesess. But that is not license to continue in sin. As paul said, shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbides. A renewed mind in Christ will over time come to know what pleases him and flee all such apperance.

To the second question. Yes a deadman on his bed, regardless of what he has done, if he truly confesses his sin to God will be pardoned, just like the thief on the cross and make it to heaven. It seems unfair that he didn't have to do all the religious stuff we think will guarantee us heaven, true reprentance from the heart is all that is needed.

Yes, we sometimes have to face the consequences of our actions regardless of whether we are forgiven or not. the bottom line is we have peace with God and man. There are laws of the land we have to follow and they have their consequences if violated, so if you steal and ask God for to forgive trust God to do what is best in that situation, submit yourself to the authorities and who knows you may go into prison to save others from going to hell God forgave moses, but he still did not see the promised land, he forgave the children of Isreal but they did still wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

Debbie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leggy said...

God forgives again and again...but we always get the consequences of our actions!!

David C Brown said...

The first thing to bear in mind is the perfection of the work of the Lord Jesus. We are not forgiven according to how well we have repented - although we must repent - or how well we have asked for forgiveness. We are forgiven according to the value of His work. A person who is justified is as righteous in the sight of God as Jesus - because it all in the worth of Jesus and His atoning work on the cross. So God will not tire of forgiving - because He is so satisfied by the perfection of Christ and His work.

But we are not exactly justified to the world, and we do have the consequences of our sins to face up to here on earth. 2 Samuel 12 is helpful. To paraphrase: David said, "I have sinned". Nathan said, "God has put away your sin - but the child that is born shall die".

We need, of course, the help of the Holy Spirit so that we should not sin.

Gee said...

hahahhaha i dont need to struggle for first..i came to read this post and aha!
i saw it!
i am the winner ooo!
top commenter here!
whooo hooo!
E-church coming soon btw...rita i will be need ur help plenty sef..
check me blog 4 updates!
and from the lil i know..yes we face the concequences..one way or another.

Kafo said...

Three questions three answers

1. 1 John 1:8-9 and 2Tim 2:13 He will forgive as long as you ask sincerely and he will always be faithful even when we are faithless. but the key is a SINCERE HEART

2. Luke 23:40-43 Yes a serial killer on his death bed can make it to heaven, just like the thief on the cross.

3. Read the story about David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel focus on chapter 12:10-19 this is the sentencing or consequence phase of their affair,
four sons died because of his sin
The son conceived in sin
Ammon killed by Absalom ch. 13
Absalom killed by his uncle Joab
and ch. 18
Adonijah killed by Solomon's order
focus on 1 kings 2

so yeah
and let us not forget that David was a man after God's own heart
so if his house can suffer this consequence even tho he was forgiven what exempts u

i hope this helps

David C Brown said...

I'm thinking about the consequences; we must remember that grace marks everything that God does at the present time. So even as we have to bear the consequences of what we have done as we do that in the consciousness of His grace it becomes a blessing. So that we have Psalm 51 as an example of the blessing that came out of David accepting these consequences. And he also says, "In my affliction I have prepared for the house of God ..." gold, silver, brass,iron, etc. 1 Chron 22: 14. This was spiritual wealth (in figure) such as we gain as we accept the affliction as from God for blessing.

Someone has said of Paul - in God's government it was right that he should suffer as one who persecuted the Lord's people; in God's grace he suffered as a Christian.

simeone said...

i'm learning...this is nice..

Telekinesys said...

'He blots out our sins and remembers them no more'. Thats what the good book says.

N.I.M.M.O said...

Interesting topic and comments too.

However, it seems everybody is talking of a 'reactive forgiveness', one in which GOD reacts to our mischief rather than a proactive GOD who knew us even before we were created.

I beg to differ a little.

I believe GOD forgives even before we make a mistake (aka sin).

That, to me, is grace.

Unbiased said...

God always forgives. Scary when you think of it cause it leaves room to take him for Granted.

I guess if you have a truly repentant heart (Which desires not to go back to that same sin) then he forgives. (I mean what is the point of forgiving you 3minutes in a row of the same thing?)

I agree with enkay though. Even David still lost his first child with Bathseba after God forgave him. (Actually he should have died but his punishment was minimized).

Your slate is wiped clean but you still have to deal with the consequences.

Rita said...

Dear Sirius and Felicia,

Thank you for your thought-provoking questions. Just to share with you my take on the questions

The question on continuous sinning…

God forgives in the true sense of the word that is, when He forgives, He does not keep record of what has been done in the past. Every moment with Him is like a new moment. Permit me to say that He is not keeping count hence to Him each time you ask for forgiveness, it is like asking for the first time.

Two scriptures to refer to are:
1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Hebrews 8:12 - For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
God does not expect us to continue in sin or take His Grace for granted. Paul wrote in Romans 6: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? [1] God forbid [2a]. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof [12].”

Rita said...

It is possible that a serial killer on his death bed can ask for forgiveness with a sincere heart and eventually make it to heaven? Yes, this is possible. Still referring to 1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But let us not focus on that because …” God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil [Ecclesiastes 12:13-14].”

On Forgiveness and facing the consequences

Need I say more? The other comments give good biblical examples to support the answer to the question.
When I saw the question, the first scripture that came to mind was give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s [Matthew 22:11]. Without going too deep into that scripture, I know that God wants us to respect authority and not expect us to cut corners. So though God will forgive, it does not mean that we would not face the consequences. However, repenting may prevent us from facing a far worse consequence. Using the example of stealing, if the person returns the stolen good and confesses, it is possible that the person he stole from will no longer report him to the authorities.

atlanta said...

The Gospel, or "Good News," is that God has forgiven the sins of the world, past, present, and future. It's true that the earthly consequences of sins still exist, but it's hard to imagine that God would be angry at someone when he knows it's impossible for that person to be perfect.

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