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#27540 - Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:10 AM Confession and Repentance  
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Lately I have been offering biblical counsel and encouragement to another Christian who is not particularly strong or mature in the faith. While he has stumbled over many basic doctrines, his most recent "difficulty" is with the concept and practice of confession and repentance, and thus far I have been unable to adequately answer his questions/objections, though I have tried my best to do so from Scripture.

His basic problem/question runs something like this: If true repentance means "turning away" from our sins, "renouncing" them, and not just confessing, changing our mind, and feeling remorse, regret, or godly sorrow about them, then isn't it hypocritical, insincere, and/or presumptuous to do this in light of the clear biblical teaching that our sanctification will never be complete in this life, and that we will undoubtedly sin again?

My first response, admittedly unreflective, was that it probably is hypocritical, insincere, and presumptious; but, it is nevertheless commanded by God (Acts 17:30; 1 John 1:9), and just as Christ's atonement and intercession make up for and cover the deficiencies of all our other acts of obedience, they do so for the inadequacies of our acts of confession and repentance as well. In my opinion, it seems far more presumptuous and sinful to disobey God on account of our own weak, cavilling consciences.

I do not believe it is presumptuous to appropriate by faith the forgiveness that Jesus has provided for us on the cross, not just for our past and present sins, but for our (inevitable) future ones as well. I do not feel that this confidence in His finished work on the cross is "making provision" for sins; but, the fact that I cannot help but use words like "inevitable" causes my friend to stumble (and me to wonder). While I have tried to show that the First Epistle of John brings all these things together in balance and harmony, it just doesn't seem to be sinking in.

Of course, I may be wrong in what I am saying, and I would be open to correction. But if not, I would appreciate ANY help anyone could provide, from more vivid illustrations, arguments, or analogies, to articles or books that make all or any of this more clear. My chief difficulty in selecting Scriptures is distinguishing between those passages that refer to "saving" repentance or repentance that leads to salvation, and the "daily" confession of sins and repentance of believers. 1 John 1:9 and James 5:2 obviously have this latter type of confession (and repentance) in view, and the calls to repentance issued by Christ in Revelation 2:5-16 and 3:3 are essentially for believers as well, although a more decisive and final "turn" seems to be implied there. But what of most of the other calls to and descriptions of repentance (e.g., Ezekiel 18:30-2, Matthew 4:7; 2 Corinthians 7:10), including the verse from Acts 17 that I cited above.
Again, ANY help or discussion that would help throw more light on these matters would be deeply appreciated.


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#27541 - Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:28 AM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: BradJHammond]  
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Brad,

The very first thing that popped into my mind was Romans 6, where Paul deals with the issue of one professing faith in Christ but continues to live the same sinful life.

Have you read and/or considered these?

- Repentance by A.W. Pink

- Sanctification by B.B. Warfield

- Sanctification by Thomas Watson

- Sanctification by John Bunyan

- The Necessity of Progress by John Angell James

- A Discourse on Mortification by Stephen Charnock

- Growth in Grace by Archibald Alexander

- The Gradual Conquest by Ralph Erskine

- What it Costs to be a True Christian by J.C. Ryle

- Will the Unholy be Saved? by Ian Murray

ENJOY!! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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#27542 - Tue Aug 23, 2005 3:00 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: Pilgrim]  
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In a nutshell, I would say that as Christians we are no longer slaves to sin. In other words we no longer "desire" to sin because we know that it is offensive to God. So therefore we begin a life of "repentance" where we are constantly aware of our sinful nature and try to and desire to turn away from sin. As we engage in this spiritual warfare, we start to grow and become better at not being so sinful. But it seems that we as Paul might be afflicted by a certain sin or thorn in our side that reminds us who's in control. Anyway, my point is that I believe as long as we desire and fight against our sinful nature we can be assured of our calling.

Y.B.I.C,

Dave


Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. - Galatians 2:16
#27543 - Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:52 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Thanks Pilgrim.<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />
All excellent articles, especially about the broader theological context of sanctification. I found the ones by Archibald Alexander and Thomas Watson particularly helpful (and convicting!).
I am still hoping to find something that even more directly addresses/explains confession and repentance in relation to the overall process of sanctification.
From the theological/philosophical angle --- why/how repentance can be/is sincere even though we know we will sin again, and from the practical angle --- what are the steps or acts of true repentance, e.g., taking thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5), renewing the mind (Romans 12:2), and putting off and putting on (Ephesians 4:22-24), and how do we do them.
I should point out that my friend does not dispute that a Christian must be holy and sanctified, only whether repentance can be truly sincere/unhypocritical if we believe/know that we will inevitably sin again, possibly even the same sin. On this I still feel like I'm beating my head against a brick wall.<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/Banghead.gif" alt="" />


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#27544 - Wed Aug 24, 2005 4:59 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: Reformation Monk]  
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Puritan,
"In a nutshell" I agree totally with what you say, although I'm still thinking of more specific acts of confession and repentance for specific sins, which certainly eventually involves "putting off" or "turning away."
I like the way J.I. Packer puts this in Hot Tub Religion:

Quote

The form that sanctification takes is conflict with the indwelling sin that constantly assaults us. The conflict, which is lifelong, involves both resistance to sin's assaults and the counterattack of mortification, whereby we seek to drain the life out of this troublesome enemy.


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#27545 - Wed Aug 24, 2005 6:10 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: BradJHammond]  
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BradJHammond said:
I should point out that my friend does not dispute that a Christian must be holy and sanctified, only whether repentance can be truly sincere/unhypocritical if we believe/know that we will inevitably sin again, possibly even the same sin. On this I still feel like I'm beating my head against a brick wall.

Brad,

I believe that your friend is disregarding certain fundamental and important elements in regard to sanctification in general from which his question results. The biblical teaching and that which has been traditionally held by Calvinists, is that regeneration, although it does not contribute to one's justification nor is it to be construed as being part of any alleged infused righteousness, but rather provides the ability to believe unto justification, is nonetheless an actual and radical transformation of the very nature/soul. As I'm sure you are full aware, regeneration creates a godly disposition/inclination toward God and all that is good. However, this inclination is in principle and only partial for there yet remains part of the "old man" which wars against the spirit. The point is, that theoretically, a regenerated person who has come to Christ is capable of avoiding all sin. (1Cor 10:13) Thus one cannot say truthfully that a sin repented of will be committed again.

Secondly, one who has been regenerated, come to Christ in repentance and faith and received remission of sins has also been given the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is this very Spirit Who works in, around and through the child of God to sanctify him/her. It isn't the case that after a person comes to Christ that God leaves that person to fend for themselves and strive after holiness but rather, He assures one's sanctification by His own power, guidance and preservation. (Phil 2:12, 13) It is part of the immutable decree of God that all who have been predestined are assuredly called, justified and glorified. Sanctification is thus immovably wedged between justification and glorification and that which will infallibly occur. Thus one cannot say truthfully that they will assuredly sin, particularly in the same manner.

Thirdly, and lastly, That all children of God will sin is a truism for there are times when God allows them to give in to temptation for the purpose of discipline but more so to the end that they may cling all the more to Christ and depend upon the Spirit of God to fight against the world, the flesh and the devil. (1Jh 2:15, 16; 5:4) Further, when one is convicted of their sin and they repent of it, resolving to new obedience, they see the immeasurable mercy and forgiveness of God toward them because of Christ's redemption accomplished in their behalf. Their hearts grow in gratitude and they increase in their being conformed to the image of Christ; being partakers of His divine nature. (2Pet 1:4) It would be a strange thing indeed for one who has been given a new nature to not hate sin and resolve to live righteously before the Lord. (Rom 6; Rom 7:18ff) And, when a transgression occurs, it is only naturally for one to turn away from that act if sin, confess to the One Who loves them most their sin and seek His forgiveness, blessing and assurance that they belong to Him. (1Jh 1:9, 10)


Hebrews 12:4-13 (ASV) "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin: and ye have forgotten the exhortation which reasoneth with you as with sons, My son, regard not lightly the chastening of the Lord, Nor faint when thou art reproved of him; For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, And scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. It is for chastening that ye endure; God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is there whom [his] father chasteneth not? But if ye are without chastening, whereof all have been made partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened [us] as seemed good to them; but he for [our] profit, that [we] may be partakers of his holiness. All chastening seemeth for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yieldeth peaceable fruit unto them that have been exercised thereby, [even the fruit] of righteousness. Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the palsied knees; and make straight paths for your feet, that that which is lame be not turned out of the way, but rather be healed."


In His grace,


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#27546 - Wed Aug 24, 2005 11:30 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Perhaps I have misconceived and therefore misrepresented the nature of the application of God's forgiveness of our sins, and this has contributed to my friend's present confusion/difficulty.

In response to a question about Bob George's teaching that Christians should not confess their sins since their sins "were forgiven at the cross" Ra McLaughlin writes:

Quote

This last point highlights an important distinction that Bob George fails to make, specifically the distinction between what Jesus did on the cross, and what the Holy Spirit and Jesus do now. Jesus obtained forgiveness for us on the cross, but we were not forgiven of all our sins at that time. Rather, the application of forgiveness comes to us in our own lives as the Holy Spirit applies forgiveness to us and as Christ intercedes for us - and they do not do these things before we sin. Rather, it is an ongoing application. As we continue to sin, the Holy Spirit continues to apply forgiveness to us. This is what makes Christ's current intercession so important. If his work on the cross had finished his intercession for us, then all that would remain for him to do would be to wait for his return. But the Bible tells us that Christ is in heaven right now interceding for us (e.g. Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25), meaning that he is now before God's throne pleading the merit of his shed blood on behalf of believers who continue to sin. As Jesus maintains God's approval through this intercession, the Holy Spirit is free to forgive and cleanse us of the sins we regularly commit.


Would you agree or disagree with this?


The full article is here:
Is It Wrong to Confess Your Sins?


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#27547 - Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:42 AM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: BradJHammond]  
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Quote
BradJHammond said:
In response to a question about Bob George's teaching that Christians should not confess their sins since their sins "were forgiven at the cross" Ra McLaughlin writes:

Quote

This last point highlights an important distinction that Bob George fails to make, specifically the distinction between what Jesus did on the cross, and what the Holy Spirit and Jesus do now. Jesus obtained forgiveness for us on the cross, but we were not forgiven of all our sins at that time. Rather, the application of forgiveness comes to us in our own lives as the Holy Spirit applies forgiveness to us and as Christ intercedes for us - and they do not do these things before we sin. Rather, it is an ongoing application. As we continue to sin, the Holy Spirit continues to apply forgiveness to us. This is what makes Christ's current intercession so important. If his work on the cross had finished his intercession for us, then all that would remain for him to do would be to wait for his return. But the Bible tells us that Christ is in heaven right now interceding for us (e.g. Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25), meaning that he is now before God's throne pleading the merit of his shed blood on behalf of believers who continue to sin. As Jesus maintains God's approval through this intercession, the Holy Spirit is free to forgive and cleanse us of the sins we regularly commit.


Would you agree or disagree with this?

<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" /> I agree and disagree. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

Let me try and explain briefly. There is a vast difference between one who confessing his sins (repentance) believes on Christ and is thus justified and one who has already come to Christ in sincere repentance and thereafter sins and confesses them before God. It is my understanding of 1Jh 1:9, that the author is addressing those who have been justified by the blood of Christ. (1Jh 2:1; et al) Thus the focus of John's epistle is in regard to sanctification and not justification. There is another aspect which must be considered also, and that is that which Christ has accomplished objectively through His atonement and that which is subjectively experienced by the believer. To illustrate this difference, I would have you compare Rom 3:28; 5:1 and Jam 2:26. In the former, it is said that we are justified by faith alone. In the latter one is [shown to be] justified by works. Thus, there is no contradiction for the former is objective and the latter subjective/experiential.

So, in this matter of that which was accomplished by Christ objectively, i.e., His paying the penalty for all sins committed by the elect; past, present and future and the necessity for the believer to confess his sins before God to receive forgiveness and cleansing, I believe 1Jh 1:9 is referring to the latter. ALL sins have been atoned for and pardon has been extended to all the elect in the court of justice. However, in the life of a believer, when sin is committed the Holy Spirit evokes the consequential guilt in the heart. And as a child of God who has offended Him Who has loved Him, even unto death there is need of confession to append consolation through forgiveness and cleansing. Thus the confession spoken of in 1Jh 1:9 is in regard to the matter of assurance; the testimony to the genuineness of one's faith and relationship to God.

The problem I have with the author's statement is that it lends itself to a faith + works (confession) = justification situation. If God ONLY forgives those sins which are confessed, then of necessity, those sins which are not confessed are held against the individual and added to his "account" for which offenses he will have to pay for at a later time. This would mitigate against that which was actually accomplished and merited by Christ for the elect and applied to them at the time they believed on Christ; their justification.

Okay..... hopefully this will suffice to explain both my understanding of the text and why I cannot fully accept the author's statement. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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#27548 - Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:08 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: BradJHammond]  
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Brad,

To piggyback on what

Quote
Pilgrim stated:
The problem I have with the author's statement is that it lends itself to a faith + works (confession) = justification situation. If God ONLY forgives those sins which are confessed, then of necessity, those sins which are not confessed are held against the individual and added to his "account" for which offenses he will have to pay for at a later time. This would mitigate against that which was actually accomplished and merited by Christ for the elect and applied to them at the time they believed on Christ; their justification.


The very concept of an equivalent correspondence between confession and applied forgiveness--in which only sin actually confessed can be forgiven--inevitably diminishes the holiness of God, the pervasiveness of indwelling sin, the glory of Christ incarnate, tempted, sinless, righteous, crucified, dead, buried, risen, ascended, interceding, returning, and consequently, any assurance of the Gospel; in short, it is merely another form of self-righteousness, purchasing salvation through incremental merit. Those who put themselves under such a system (the early Dr. Luther comes to mind) put themselves under the curse of Galatians 3:10, since our remaining corruption would make even our prayers of confession--apart from the pre-imputed righteousness of Christ--sinful, and we would never obtatin forgiveness, rather we would actually be increasing our guilt every time we confess our sin!

E.g. I sin, then I confess that sin, but in so doing I am sinning more, so then I confess the sin of my impure confession, but in so doing I am sinning again ... (and I am also not engaged in loving God and my neighbor, which I should be doing, and consequently sinning more) ... where does it stop?

Here's the example I use in Sunday School:

A few years ago I was engrossed in a condensed volume of the Institutes and kept reading while I walked down the block to the bodega to get a snack. At the corner I came within inches of being pancaked by a bus whose driver really wanted to get through the yellow light. If I had not been spared, I know I would have died without having time to formulate a prayer of confession for having broken at least the 6th commandment ("...requireth all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life..."). Where would be my hope? It is not for nothing that 'last rites' and 'purgatory' were contrived as last resorts under such a legalistic system.

The heart is desperatly wicked ... even in its crucified remnants in the new man, and no amount of confession as a legal requirement can obtain enough forgiveness to cleanse it.

Should we not confess then? No, this is the opposite error, because, as Pilgrim stated above, true confession is not a magic key to forensic appropriation of otherwise-begrudged forgiveness, but rather a marvelous means of ongoing sanctification through which we increasingly grow in our appreciation of the work, and our love for the person, of our sovereign Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The Father has accepted his sacrifice once and for all, and has imputed it to us in justification. Either Christ paid for all my sins--including the sins of forgotten or wrongly-motivated confession of sins!--or I am not forgiven at all.


In Christ,
Paul S
#27549 - Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:33 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: Pilgrim]  
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Pilgrim,

Thank you for your response. I agree with you that 1 John 1:9 is addressing the sanctification of believers and not their justification, and that there is an important distinction between the "objective" work or fact of Christ's atonement, and the "subjective" experience, appropriation, and application of it by believers.

However, sanctification itself is not merely a subjective process or phenomenon, but rather an objective aspect of our salvation that is to be "worked out with fear and trembling" (Ephesians 2:10; Phillippians 2:12-3), although we are assured that God will ultimately bring it to completion on "the day of Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:6). The passage in question does not say: "if we confess our sins we can/should feel assurance
that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." That would reconcile more easily with the rest of my theology, but it just doesn't appear to me to be what the text itself is saying.

Because the Scriptures are the Word of God and cannot be broken (John 10:35), the text CANNOT be saying that we must confess all of our sins for all of our sins to be forgiven, or even that if any sin goes unconfessed it will not be forgiven; but it nevertheless does seem to be saying that something "objective" is done or occurs in relation to God's forgiveness when we confess our sins. The author of the article I posted suggests that although our forgiveness was obtained, secured, or purchased once and for all by Christ on Calvary, it is not until we confess our sins that God's forgiveness is applied to us by the Holy Spirit, and Christ intercedes for us at that time, pleading our case before the Father as our advocate, and this is not done "before we sin."

Quote

Jesus obtained forgiveness for us on the cross, but we were not forgiven of all our sins at that time. Rather, the application of forgiveness comes to us in our own lives as the Holy Spirit applies forgiveness to us and as Christ intercedes for us - and they do not do these things before we sin.
Rather, it is an ontgoing application. As we continue to sin, the Holy Spirit continues to apply forgiveness to us. This is what makes Christ's current intercession so important. If his work on the cross had finished his intercession for us, then all that would remain for him to do would be to wait for his return.


Quote

In short, when believers confess their sin, Jesus pleads their case before the Father and the believers are subsequently forgiven and cleansed.


As far as I can tell the author does not explicitly state that only those sins that are confessed will be forgiven, nor does this appear to be a necessary implication of what he does say, although such a conclusion may seem unaviodable. Surely no sane Reformed person would ever say such a thing (IMHO); but what about the distintion he makes between Christ's once-for-all work of "obtaining" forgiveness on the cross and His ongoing work of "applying" this forgiveness, which is related to, though perhaps not totally dependent upon, our confession and repentance?
Is this a valid or warranted distinction? Is this part of what is usually understood by Christ's "priestly" work? If not, then what exactly is the nature of His priestly work or ministry of "intercession"? (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1). Tom Oden, citing sources such as Gregory Nazianzen, Eusebius, Johannes Wollebius, Richard Baxter, John Pearson, and the Book of Concord says that Christ's cross is his "finished priestly work," while his "heavenly intercession" is his "present priestly work; he also makes reference to his "blessing"as the ultimate consummation of his "future priestly work" (The Word of Life, p. 305). What do you make of this? Is it biblical? orthodox? reformed? heretical?<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/shrug.gif" alt="" />


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#27550 - Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:55 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: Paul_S]  
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Paul,

I agree with you in condemning any assertion that there is an "equivalent correspondence" between confession of specific sins and forgiveness of those sins. But you indicate that while Christ's atoning work is finished (the Father has accepted his sacrifice "once for all"), he is also still "interceding." This is also what the Bible says (Hebrews 9-10; 7:25), but what does it mean? --- i.e., his still interceding --- his still pleading the merit of his blood? Is this literal or figurative? Eternal, ongoing until the end of the age, or once and for all? If ongoing, why? Especially if no more "pleading" is actually necessary?
This is what I'm struggling to better understand, and I pray for a teachable mind and spirit.
If you, Pilgrim, or anyone else knows of any good Reformed or ancient works on this subject I would appreciate a point in the right direction. Grudem, Erickson, Garrett, and Sproul are very sketchy. What about Calvin, Berkhof, Hodge, Turretin, or Warfield?


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#27551 - Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:25 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: BradJHammond]  
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BradJHammond said:
However, sanctification itself is not merely a subjective process or phenomenon, but rather an objective aspect of our salvation that is to be "worked out with fear and trembling" (Ephesians 2:10; Phillippians 2:12-3), although we are assured that God will ultimately bring it to completion on "the day of Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:29; Philippians 1:6). The passage in question does not say: "if we confess our sins we can/should feel assurance that God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." That would reconcile more easily with the rest of my theology, but it just doesn't appear to me to be what the text itself is saying.

I'm trying to make the distinction between that which has been fully completed (objective), which would be the "definite" atonement of Christ and that which is ongoing and experimental within the believer (subjective). Whether or not this finds acceptance in your thinking is something you are going to have to decide. My point before and still remains that the atonement of Christ was total, i.e., ALL that stood before the elect and God has been fulfilled in Him; e.g., propitiation, reconciliation, sacrifice, and redemption. These things result in the believer's justification, adoption and sanctification (1Cor 1:30). 1) Forgiveness (remittance) of sins is forensic and is not dependent upon an individual's repentance and/or faith, but rather upon the active and passive obedience of Christ Who not only paid the penalty for transgressions of the law but also imputes His own righteousness to the account of the individual at the point which faith is exercised. We could go on for some time and also speak about the fundamental differences between the proximate cause of justification and that which is a prerequisite to apprehending that justification. (cf. Redemption Accomplished and Applied, by John Murray or Justification by Faith Alone, by Joel Beeke)

The salient issue is, Does one's repentance and faith following justification effect the forgiveness/remittance of sins (objective) or play a part in the believer's ongoing sanctification (subjective)? Let me offer but a few texts, of which many others could be presented as well, to defend my view of the former choice,


Matthew 26:28 (ASV) "for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many unto remission of sins."

Acts 2:38 (ASV) "And Peter [said] unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."

Acts 10:43 (ASV) "To him bear all the prophets witness, that through his name every one that believeth on him shall receive remission of sins."

Romans 3:25 (ASV) "whom God set forth [to be] a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over (remission) of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God;"

Hebrews 9:22 (ASV) "And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission."

Hebrews 10:18 (ASV) "Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin."


So, again, based upon these few texts, I believe it is incontrovertibly established that forgiveness of sins is a) forensic, b) objective, c) alien to anything wrought by the believer. Thus, I am forced to understand 1Jh 1:9, 10 as saying that the alienation experienced (subjective) by a believer due to sin is removed through the means of confession/repentance with the assurance that due to the substitutionary work of the Lord Christ, God is obligated and faithful to not hold any transgressions against him (nothing written to the believer's account).

Quote
You then offer:
Jesus obtained forgiveness for us on the cross, but we were not forgiven of all our sins at that time. Rather, the application of forgiveness comes to us in our own lives as the Holy Spirit applies forgiveness to us and as Christ intercedes for us - and they do not do these things before we sin.
Rather, it is an ongoing application. As we continue to sin, the Holy Spirit continues to apply forgiveness to us. This is what makes Christ's current intercession so important. If his work on the cross had finished his intercession for us, then all that would remain for him to do would be to wait for his return.

As should be obvious from what I wrote above, I must disagree that the "application" of forgiveness is an ongoing process. Unless God was wholly satisfied with the atonement of Christ, which of necessity includes the ALL that was held against us, so as to make reconciliation possible:


Colossians 2:13-14 (ASV) "And you, being dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, you, [I say], did he make alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses; having blotted out the bond written in ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us: and he hath taken it out that way, nailing it to the cross;"


In the vernacular, "It's a done deal!" for the believer. Forgiveness of sins came about through a judicial act and pronouncement of which is applied immediatelywhen one is united to Christ by a living faith.

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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#27552 - Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:22 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: Pilgrim]  
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BradJHammond Offline
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Thanks Pilgrim. At the very least you've clarified your own position. I must say that it's what I still believe; but, this whole issue of Christ's ongoing intercession (during His session) and how it relates to our acts of confession and repentance is rather new to me, and I'm just trying to determine how it should be understood.


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#27553 - Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:58 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: BradJHammond]  
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Pilgrim Offline
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Brad,

I understand what you are wanting to know; re: the intercessory ministry of Christ. But sometimes it is good to establish those things which are clear before trying to understand those things which are not so clear, e.g., IJh 1:9, 10 in light of the myriad passages which speak of the full forgiveness of sins merited by Christ's atonement. Once one has it firmly implanted in the brain that a believer's confession does not somehow cause God to dispense forgiveness for confessed and/or unknown (secret sins) which are perhaps held in escrow until that time, then it might be easier to dig into that which you are now wanting to know. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

These articles may help in your study:

- THE APPLICATION OF THE ATONEMENT, by Charles W. Bronson (no, not the actor <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" /> )
- Of the Nature of Christ's Mediation, by John Flavel
- The Glory of Christ, by John Owen

In His grace,


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#27554 - Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:12 PM Re: Confession and Repentance [Re: Pilgrim]  
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BradJHammond Offline
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BradJHammond  Offline
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TN
Thanks for the references!<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />
Just to let you know, I'm reading Owen's The Glory of Christ (and by the way, WOW!) right now and will report back here with any relevant insights or new questions.


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