Believers are ever in fellowship with God via “desiring and doing His good pleasure” (Phl 2:13). They are saved by His grace, and manifest their love to Him by their obedience. The place where God has them is in a constant and unbroken state of holiness and acceptability in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! Though sin indwells, there is permanent separation from the sin (2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:2), for the believer is “not in the flesh, but in the Spirit” (Ro 8:9). This is sanctification unto holiness, and walking in “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2Pe 1:3), without a cloud of interference between the believer and God.

When Christians sin they need not to ask for forgiveness—they already have that! But the sin must be confessed (admitted), repentance applied, then thank Him for the forgiveness. Thus, it is “Father, I realize I have sinned and I thank you for your forgiveness.” The request for forgiveness of all our sins was established when we received His Son, and there need not be a continuing request for that which He has done “once for all” (Heb 10:10) in perpetual forgiveness. It’s not the request for forgiveness, but in the confession of our sins that “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1Jo 1:9).

After the initial request and confession of sins, forgiveness is perpetual and unbroken; we walk in perpetual forgiveness, thus it’s not as though we go in and out of sin—because the sin is never imputed. The sin is in us, but not on us—because it is all on Him (opposite of the Lord not having sin in Him but ours on Him)! “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him” and “the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isa 53:5, 6).

It’s not that we continue to ask for forgiveness but that we continue to “confess,” which means to admit we’ve sinned; then we are to thank God for forgiving us, and know that He never withholds it. There can never be anything to interrupt our perpetual fellowship with God. He desires only one way, which is a continual relationship that doesn’t lose connection with Him, the Son and their Holy Spirit! This answers to our being “hid” from sin (Col 3:3) and not in it, though it be in us. His death was our death unto sin; His resurrection is power against sins “dominion” (Ro 6:14); and His ascension is our fellowship with Him and the Father—through the Spirit.”

In the Lord’s Prayer, “forgive us our debts (or sins in Luke) as we forgive our debtors,” is saying to forgive us our debts to You as we forgive others their debts to us. This addresses how we are supposed to be towards one another if we are to be in the will of God; and the forgiveness of God for this sin is there in those who always forgive others for their offences. This issue is not related to personal sins but sins against others and God. Our personal sins are dealt with between ourselves and God—through confession and repentance.

We aren’t without sin, but are without guilt (continuously), and it is permanent, or God could have no union with us, let alone fellowship, as we mature! It’s not as though we are in sin and then out of it, that is not how God works. This answers to why God and the Scriptures never collate or relate the saint as a sinner (e.g. Rom 5:8; 1Pe 4:18). The sins of the Christian are impulsive, not intentional; and if intentional due to immaturity, we are always brought to realize the seriousness of sin and its decadence. Our fellowship can be interrupted by sin from immaturity, and that will only be temporary as we mature; but the absence of guilt persists.

The Father’s agreement with His Son to go to the Cross and be raised from the dead (Heb 13:20, 21) established our union (Covenant of Redemption – the present Covenant of which we are the recipients, and not Benefactors), and He established it so that our desire will ever be unto His “good pleasure” (which desire He “works” in all reborn – Phl 2:13). Yes, God has worked it out so that we can be in constant union and fellowship with Him and His Son—by Their Holy Spirit!

The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS