Forgiveness of sins – a completed fact
25 not that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood of another— 26 He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. (Heb. 9:25-26)
Religion has turned forgiveness of sins into something that is issued from God repeatedly, as we confess our sins, and thereby confession of sins has become part of the official liturgy of many churches around the world, often practiced in every service. But this constant repetition of confession of sins is a sign that we haven’t understood how great the atonement and the finished work of Jesus really is.
In the old covenant, under the law, the Jewish people sacrificed animals to atone for sins. But animal sacrifices could not remove sin, but only temporarily cover it, and therefore new confessions had to be made constantly, and the same animal sacrifices had to be offered repeatedly, year after year.
But the sacrifice of Jesus differs totally from the animal sacrifices of the old testament. While the animal sacrifices could only temporarily cover sin, the blood of Jesus accomplished something completely different: Once and for all sin was put away. God went back in time to the days of Adam and Eve, and forward in time to our days and put all sins that mankind ever has committed and ever would commit on Jesus at the cross.
After his death and resurrection, Jesus carried his own blood into the most holy place in heaven and won an “eternal redemption”.
12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. (Hebr. 9:12)
What does “eternal redemption” mean? That our sins have been eternally forgiven!
Paul says in Ephesians:
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins”. (Eph. 1:7)
Do you see that the redemption is clearly connected to the forgiveness of sins? That Jesus obtained an eternal redemption thus means that He obtained the forgiveness of all of our sins for all eternity!
Forgiveness of sins is already a done deal, and something we already have, because of the finished work of Jesus! Forgiveness is not about how good we have been at daily confessing our sins. It is about that Jesus is “the lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29). When did He do that? At the cross!
A famous preacher has said: “Since Jesus doesn’t die daily, our forgiveness isn’t issued daily. It’s once for all, and it is finished!”
Believe this. Believe that you are eternally forgiven because of what Jesus did at the cross! This knowledge sets us free from sin, shame and sin consciousness, and leads us into the wonderful freedom that God wants all his children to experience and walk in.
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