Two Aspects of Forgiveness




"That through His Name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission [forgiveness] of sins" (Acts 10:43).


"If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).

Some Key Verses:

Luke 24:47
Acts 2:38; 3:19; 10:43; 26:18
Romans 4:7-8; 1 Corinthians 6:11
Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14
Hebrews 10:17-18

Some Key Verses:

1 John 1:9
Psalm 51
Proverbs 28:13
Psalm 32:5
John 13:4-11

The person who needs this forgiveness:
The person who needs this forgiveness:
The basis of this forgiveness:
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST (the cross-work of Christ)--Ephesians 1:7.
The basis of this forgiveness:
THE BLOOD OF CHRIST (the cross-work of Christ)--1 John 1:7-9.
The condition (what must the unsaved person do?): BELIEVE (Acts 10:43) The condition (what must the believer do?): CONFESS (1 John 1:9).
The result: "clean every whit" (clean every bit! cleansed completely and entirely so that all sins are forgiven--past, present and future)--John 13:10 and see Colossians 2:13. The Result: the believer's feet are cleansed (cleansed from the defilement that comes from walking in this world)--John 13:8-10
Without this forgiveness the person will DIE IN HIS SINS (John 8:24). Without this forgiveness the believer can have no "PART" (partnership, fellowship, sharing in common) with Christ (John 13:8 and 1 John 1:5).
This forgiveness is needed and received ONCE FOR ALL (at the point of salvation). This forgiveness is needed and received REPEATEDLY throughout the Christian life.
The person who is not forgiven does not have salvation--his sins are retained (John 20:23). The person who is not forgiven does not enjoy the salvation that he has (Psalm 51:12).
The person who does not claim this forgiveness will be CONDEMNED
(1 Corinthians 11:32).
The person who does not claim this forgiveness will be CHASTENED
(1 Corinthians 11:31-32).
This involves a person's eternal standing with God. This involves the believer's actual walk in time.
Those who claim this forgiveness are "IN CHRIST" (Eph. 1:7).

(This relates to the believer's
unchanging POSITION)
The Believer's STANDING
in Christ

Those who claim this forgiveness are "WALKING IN THE LIGHT" (1 John 1:7).

(This related to the believer's
temporal CONDITION)
The Believer's STATE,
his walk in time

William MacDonald, in his book Here's the Difference [published by Gospel Folio Press], has a chapter in which he carefully distinguishes between these two aspects of forgiveness (see Chapter 7).  He calls these two aspects "judicial forgiveness" (salvation forgiveness) and "parental forgiveness" (fellowship forgiveness).  On page 51 of the above mentioned book, he presents a similar chart in which he makes the following comparisons and contrasts between these two aspects of forgiveness:

  Judicial Parental
The Person's Status Sinner
(Rom. 3:23)
(1 John 3:2)
Relationship of God Judge
(Ps. 96:13)
(Gal. 4:6)
Result of sin Eternal Death
(Rom. 6:23)
Broken Fellowship
(1 John 1:6)
Role of Christ Savior
(1 Tim. 1:15)
High Priest and Advocate
(Heb. 4:14-16; 1 John 2:1)
The Person's Need Salvation
(Acts 16:30)
Joy of salvation
(Psalm 51:12)
Means of Forgiveness Faith
(Acts 16:31)
(1 John 1:9)
Kind of Forgiveness Judicial
(Romans 8:1)
(Luke 15:21-22)
Consequence Averted Hell
(John 5:24)
(1 Cor. 11:31-32)
Loss of reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ
(1 Cor. 3:15)
Positive Result New relationship
(John 1:12)
Renewed  fellowship
(Psalm 32:5)
Frequency Once for all (one bath of regeneration)
(John 13:10)
Many times
(many cleansings)
(John 13:8)

William Newell, faithful servant of Christ in the 20th century, wrote this: 

It is well to remember constantly that we who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ have an Advocate with the Father; and that it is, "if any man sin, we have an Advocate."  Also, as in Peter's case (Luke 22:31-32) our Lord prays for us before Satan is even allowed to sift us!  Also, that we have already been forgiven all our trespasses once and for all (Eph. 1:7; Col. 2:13) so far as the pardon of the Judge is concerned.  There is now "no condemnation" (Rom. 8:1; John 5:24).  It is the forgiveness of fellowship of which God speaks in 1 John 1:9, forgiveness by the Father of His child, not to be confused with the once-for-all act of the Judge (emphasis mine).  [Revelation--A Complete Commentary, pages 178-179]


The Complete Forgiveness of All Our Sins
(Salvation or Judicial Forgiveness)

The following verses speak of the complete forgiveness that a person receives when He believes on the Lord Jesus Christ. This forgiveness is perfect. God forgives all sinsópast, present and future. God in His grace is free to fully justify and forgive the believing sinner based on the blood of Christ (the work which He accomplished on the cross on our behalf, dying as our Substitute). Recognizing Godís gracious forgiveness ought to be cause for much thanksgiving and thanks-living, and should be a stimulus for holy conduct (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12-13). How can we do anything less than serve and love the God who has forgiven us so!

"As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12).

"If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared" (Psalm 130:3-4).

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool" (Isaiah 1:18).

"Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back" (Isaiah 38:17). If something is behind your back, then you cannot see it! If our sins are behind Godís back, then He will not see them and will not look at them, as it were.

"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee" (Isaiah 44:22).

"In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve" (Jer. 50:20). Our sins are not to be found!

"Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:18-19). Our sins have been cast into the sea, as it were, never to resurface again! They are gone forever!

"In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Eph. 1:7).

"For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb. 8:12, and see 10:16).

"I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His Name's sake" (1 John 2:12).

"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses" (Col. 2:13). Notice that it says, "ALL"!

"To Him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in Him shall receive remission (forgiveness) of sins" (Acts 10:43).

Have you personally received Godís Son
and the forgiveness that is found in Him?

The Middletown Bible Church
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Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 346-0907

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