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Forgiveness:  How complete is it?

Gary Googe Jul 24

I’ll answer this question right up front.  Completely!!! It couldn’t be any more complete than it is.  When Jesus Christ was judged for your sins and the sins of the world, it was complete.  Not one sin was overlooked.  The justice of God was completely satisfied at the cross of Christ when He bore your sins and mine.  Even in the early days of His earthly ministry it was predicted that this complete forgiveness is something He would provide.

John 1:29

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. [Emphasis added]

Then later John comments about the completeness of it.

I John 2:1-2

1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. [Emphasis added]

Israel’s apostle Peter also speaks of it.

II Peter 2:1

1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. [Emphasis added]

Yes! He “bought them”! This means He paid the price due for their sins, even though most people would reject Him and what He did for them.  Here in this passage, Peter mentions Christ’s redemptive work in paying the price for their sins.  No one was overlooked in this.  Christ died for the sins of the entire world.  Even when presenting the gospel to an unbeliever, we’re not only free to tell them about what Christ did for them, we MUST tell them if we’re to give them the complete gospel message by which they may be saved.

I Corinthians 15:3-4

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

The “scriptures” he speaks of must be the Old Testament scriptures because they were the only ones in existence at that time.

And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: [Emphasis added]

Isaiah 53 is an example of this.  People then didn’t know what he was talking about, but the message WAS given.  Hindsight on this is 20/20. It is clearly seen.

Isaiah 53:4-8

Surely he [speaking prophetically of Jesus Christ] hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord [God the Father] hath laid on him [Jesus Christ] the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. [Emphasis added]

Again, people reading this back then had no idea what was under discussion.  But we can certainly see its meaning now.

An often-quoted passage about God’s complete forgiveness is found in the Psalms.

Psalm 103:12

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

The writer of Hebrews also speaks of the work of Christ that was done for all.

Hebrews 2:9

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. [Emphasis added]

Lastly, the apostle Paul talks about this which Christ did for all mankind.

II Corinthians 5:14-15

14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. [Emphasis added]

His death for all provided forgiveness for all.

Colossians 2:13

13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; [Emphasis added]

This is addressed to believers, but it relates to all mankind.

I Timothy 2:5-6

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. [Emphasis added]

Need I say more? Isn’t it plain from Scripture that Christ died for the sins of the entire world?

It has always amazed me how there are many people, even preachers, who reject this simple but so important truth.  I even had some seminary professors who didn’t believe this.  I listened to them in utter amazement.  Did they have some legitimate argument to believe as they did? Absolutely not! I sat there with an open mind, but I heard nothing that changed my mindMan’s so-called “rational” thinking never changes the clear teachings of Scripture

The gospel [the good news] message we have for the world is that God through Jesus Christ has done something marvelous about our sin problemIt is even impossible to present a clear presentation of the gospel of Christ without talking about this.

Again, II Corinthians 5:21

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]

Right before that “bottom line” to the situation at hand, we have comments about how and why this came about.

II Corinthians 5:14-15

14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:

All being spiritually dead means ALL were in need of the spiritual life provided by faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. [Emphasis added]

This all adds up to the fact that every believer has a ministry with a very important and exciting message.

II Corinthians 5:18-21

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

Full circle reconciliation [salvation] only comes to someone when they believe this gospel message.

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. [Emphasis added]

What a wonderful message it is that we have to give the people who come in and out of our lives.  Their sins were all addressed at the cross of Christ.  This means every person we meet is a candidate for salvation.  Jesus Christ was judged and paid the complete price due for their sins.  If they will then believe this, God will give them the righteousness they need to be fully reconciled to Him.  In technical terms that will then give them the justification needed for their eternal salvation.

There are those who claim we need to confess our sins as believers for forgiveness.  Is that true? Absolutely not! I’ve written an entire article on this one subject alone for our website— Confession:  Do we need to confess our sins for forgiveness? It should answer every question you may have about this.

Our forgiveness is complete because of Christ’s work in His death, burial and resurrection. We are even reminded that we are to forgive others in the same way God has forgiven us.

Ephesians 4:32

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. [Emphasis added]

It is when we know how God has so graciously, completely forgiven us that we tend to be motivated to treat others with that same kind of forgiveness.  Don’t we all need to learn to make a habit of that? Wouldn’t the world be a more peaceful place if that happened? But this all comes about one person at a time.  Let us all feel we need to lead in providing examples of that! Meanwhile we can enjoy the blessing of knowing our sins have been completely forgiven.

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