Doctrine of Forgiveness

January 15, 2011


A. Introduction.
1. There is a difference between redemption and forgiveness.
a. Redemption is the salvation ministry of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Redemption is directed toward sin. Redemption is the means of salvation.
b. Forgiveness is the result of the salvation ministry of Jesus Christ on the Cross. There is no forgiveness on the Cross. The Cross was all judgment, and judgment is not forgiveness.
c. There are two categories of forgiveness for believers.
(1) All pre-salvation sins were blotted out the moment you believed in Christ so you could receive the filling of the Spirit and thirty-nine other things.
(2) All post-salvation sins are forgiven at the moment of rebound. Failure to use the grace provision of 1 Jn 1:9 results in perpetual carnality. That means the status quo of grieving the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30) and squelching the Holy Spirit (1 Thes 5:19).
2. All sins of human history were entered into the computer of divine decrees and the printout occurred at the Cross. They were imputed to Christ and then judged. Jesus Christ in His perfect humanity was qualified to receive this judgment from God the Father. He accepted the imputation of these sins because of His impersonal love for all mankind. Then He received the judgment for every sin because of His personal love for God the Father.
3. The righteousness of God condemned every sin in eternity past. What the righteousness of God condemns, the justice of God judges, so that the love of God provides the solution to the problem of sin as expressed in the grace of God. Personal love for God the Father in our Lord’s humanity motivated Him to stay on the Cross and be judged.
4. All of this took place because Jesus Christ made four great decisions in eternity past as eternal God.
a. The first decision was atonement. Atonement means that the Lord Jesus Christ was judged for the sins of the world. He was judged as a substitute for us (the Greek preposition HUPER plus the genitive of advantage).
b. The second decision was propitiation. Propitiation is the judgment of our Lord satisfying the righteousness of God the Father.
c. The third decision was reconciliation. Anyone can be reconciled to God the Father through the salvation work of Jesus Christ.
d. The fourth decision was redemption. Redemption is our Lord paying the price for our eternal salvation, purchasing us from the slave market of sin. Mankind makes the decision to take the redemption solution.
5. All pre-salvation sins were forgiven and blotted out the moment you believed in Christ. You could not have the filling of the Spirit at the moment of salvation unless your sins were all forgiven. God could give you nothing at salvation if you were still tainted with sins.
6. All post-salvation sins are forgiven at the moment you use the rebound technique of 1 Jn 1:9. You have to rebound because there was no forgiveness provided on the Cross.
7. What Jesus Christ did on the Cross did not provide forgiveness. Forgiveness is not a part of the Cross. The work of Jesus Christ on the Cross did not include forgiveness. Pre-salvation sins were forgiven the moment you believed in Christ. Post-salvation sins are forgiven the moment you rebound. But if you do not rebound, you continue in a state of carnality until you die the sin unto death. The unbeliever’s sins are never forgiven because he never believes in Christ. They are judged for their works not sins at the Last Judgment, which includes their failure to believe in Christ.
8. There is no forgiveness in redemption. There is the opportunity of freedom through faith alone in Christ alone.
9. In Jn 19:30 we have the statement of our Lord on the Cross, “It is finished.” This is the perfect tense of the Greek verb TETELESTAI, which means “Finished now with results that go on forever.” This verb divides the work that Jesus Christ did on the Cross with forgiveness. Forgiveness does not occur in the courtroom, the basis for forgiveness does. No one is ever forgiven because Christ was judged for their sins; they are forgiven because they believe in Christ. TETELESTAI is the separating line between redemption and forgiveness.
10. When a person rejects salvation through faith alone in Christ alone, he rejects the love of God completely, but the love of God never rejects the unbeliever. Forgiveness is a decision made by mankind. You have to respond to what was done for you.

B. The Distinction between Redemption and Forgiveness.
1. Gal 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us for it is written, ‘Cursed [judged] is everyone who hangs on the wood [Cross].’”
a. This passage discusses redemption and does not mention forgiveness in the process. Redemption and forgiveness are not the same thing. There was no forgiveness in the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. The Cross was a time of judgment, not forgiveness. Forgiveness is a decision made by human beings. Salvation is a decision provided by God.
b. Redemption provides the spiritual freedom to fulfill the unique plan of God or to fail to use the equality of freedom to execute the unique plan of God. Redemption is freedom from the slave market of sin as a result of faith alone in Christ alone. There is a relation between redemption and forgiveness, but they are not the same.
c. Redemption comes at the Cross. Forgiveness comes at the point of faith alone in Christ alone. The result of believing in Christ is forgiveness.
(1) All pre-salvation sins were forgiven the moment we believed in Christ.
(2) All post-salvation sins are not forgiven unless we fulfill 1 Jn 1:9 to name our sins to God.
(3) All the sins of all unbelievers reject salvation and their sins are never forgiven, but they are also not used for the indictment of the unbeliever. They are not judged for their sins; for Christ was judged for their sins. They are judged for their refusal to believe in Christ.
d. The curse of the Law is sin. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law. All forgiveness is a result of redemption. Once you believe in Christ you are free from slavery to the lusts of the sin nature. Forgiveness does not come until you acknowledge, name, or cite your sin or sins to God the Father. Forgiveness is always a result of salvation; it is a result of the spiritual life. Redemption is a part of judgment, and the curse of the Law is judgment.
e. Forgiveness is not a part of redemption, but a result of redemption. All pre-salvation sins are forgiven at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone. All post-salvation sins are forgiven at the point of rebound as per 1 Jn 1:9.
f. There is no forgiveness described in this redemption passage (Gal 3:13), only judgment. God never mixes judgment and forgiveness. Forgiveness always follows judgment as a result of our Lord’s decision to go to the Cross and be judged for our sins.
2. Eph 1:6-7, “to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He [Father] has graced us out in the Beloved [Jesus Christ]; by agency of Whom [Jesus Christ] we have redemption through His blood, [we have] the forgiveness of trespasses on the basis of the riches of His grace,”
a. Faith responds to atonement and redemption and believes in Christ. The moment we believe in Christ we receive thirty-nine irrevocable things plus the filling of the Holy Spirit. We could not receive these things unless something happened at the moment we believed in Christ, and that something that happened was the forgiveness of all pre-salvation sins. God blesses us because we have believed in Christ.
b. Forgiveness occurs at the moment of faith in Christ, not at the Cross. The moment of salvation is the first time God ever forgave you of anything. You could not be forgiven anything until you were filled with the Spirit. God cannot give you thirty-nine irrevocable absolutes unless you are forgiven. There is no forgiveness at the Cross. You are forgiven after the Cross, when you believe in Christ, and every time you rebound. Some pastors erroneously teach that all forgiveness occurred at the Cross and therefore rebound is not necessary.
c. We are commanded to stop grieving and stop squelching the Holy Spirit, which can only be done through rebound. We are forgiven after salvation whenever we name or cite the courtroom case of having believed in Christ.
d. The judgment of our sins and forgiveness were separated by our Lord’s statement on the Cross, “It is finished now with the result that it stands finished forever.” No one ever has forgiveness of sins until he believes in Christ.
e. The word “redemption” and the word “forgiveness” in verse seven are both in the accusative case and there is no such thing as an accusative of apposition in the Greek. There is a nominative of apposition and a genitive of apposition, but not an accusative of apposition. Therefore, the phrase “the forgiveness of sins” is not an explanation (in apposition) of the phrase “the redemption through His blood.”
(1) The word “forgiveness” is an accusative of result, and not an accusative of apposition. The word “redemption” is the accusative of direct object. Forgiveness is a result of redemption.
(2) These two accusatives are a double accusative: the accusative of direct object and the accusative of result. They can also be described as a double accusative of primary and secondary object. The primary objective is redemption. The secondary objective is forgiveness. One follows the other; they are not simultaneous. Forgiveness follows redemption. Forgiveness is separated from redemption.
(3) The concept is the same as we have in Col 1:14, “By agency of Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” There is no concessive connotation here at all.
f. The salvation ministry of Jesus Christ on the Cross must be distinguished from the doctrine of forgiveness.
g. Redemption was the decision of Jesus Christ in eternity past as eternal God and fulfilled on the Cross as true humanity.
h. Forgiveness is the decision of mankind in time under two categories related to human sins. Category one is the forgiveness of all pre-salvation sins at the moment of faith alone in Christ alone. Category two is the forgiveness of all post-salvation sins resulting from the fulfillment of the protosis of 1 Jn 1:9, “If we acknowledge our sins.”
i. Forgiveness depends on redemption and is the result of redemption. There is no forgiveness of sins in redemption and atonement, only the judgment of all sins.
j. God the Father judged all human sins of history at the Cross with the result that sins are forgiven under two conditions–faith alone in Christ alone and rebound when necessary.
k. All sins of the unbeliever were judged at the Cross, but never forgiven because of rejection of Christ as Savior, Jn 3:18,36. If you reject Christ as Savior, you have rejected the love of God, but the love of God has not rejected you. The sins of the unbeliever are never mentioned at the Last Judgment, only his failure to believe in Christ and human good.
l. The judicial case of the Cross established precedence for the function of forgiveness of sins. It produced precedence based on unlimited atonement.
m. Which person of the Trinity has precedence for the function of forgiveness?
(1) God the Father is the chief justice of the supreme court of heaven and imputed all the sins of mankind to the impeccable human nature of Christ and judged every one of them. The courtroom of the Cross was strictly a matter of judgment. All the decisions of God the Father related to the Cross were decisions related to judgment.
(2) In Eph 5:2, “Begin walking in the sphere of virtue-love just as Christ also loved you and delivered Himself over as a substitute for us, an offering [food offering] and sacrifice [burnt offering] to God resulting in the aroma of fragrance [propitiation].” This indicates that God the Father is the judge and our Lord is the recipient of the judgment.
(3) 1 Jn 2:2, “but He is the propitiation for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the entire world.” God the Father was satisfied with His judgment of our Lord.
(4) 1 Jn 4:10, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins.”
(5) The precedence for forgiveness is unlimited atonement. All sins had to be judged on the Cross and God the Father had to be satisfied with that judgment. Precedence is based on the doctrine that God the Father as the judge had to be satisfied with the judgment. Only the judgment of the Cross satisfies the Father. God the Father also rules in every case of rebound.
(6) In 1 Jn 1:9 we acknowledge our sins to God the Father, and He is the member of the Trinity who forgives us. God the Father is the member of the Trinity who always deals with sin. The issue is not sin, but forgiveness. Forgiveness is based on a decision you make to believe in Christ and on the decisions you make after salvation to acknowledge your sins to God the Father.
(7) Rebound functions because the impeccable human nature of Jesus Christ accepted the imputation and judgment of our sins on the Cross.
(8) In every case of post-salvation sinning, the believer uses volition lust to sin. Consequently, he must use grace volition for recovery of his spiritual life. Lust precedes grace, but grace overcomes lust at the point of rebound.

B. Definition of Forgiveness.
1. The principle of legal pardon is no different from the principle of personal pardon and forgiveness.
2. This means that if someone asks for your forgiveness, and in honor you forgive them, then integrity and loyalty to doctrine demands that you forget whatever was done against you, and that never again do you recall this in your mind or penalize the individual for it.
3. However, arrogance has no ability to forgive.

C. Illustration of Forgiveness: Joseph.
1. Gen 50:21, “‘Therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”
2. Joseph had no intention of ever seeking revenge. He was a magnificent, mature believer. He is functioning under doctrinal orientation plus grace orientation.
3. Doctrinal orientation plus grace orientation means spiritual self-esteem and a personal sense of destiny.
4. For the believer who has a personal sense of destiny, he never reacts in bitterness or vindictiveness; he never seeks revenge.
5. A personal sense of destiny related to God from maximum perception of Bible doctrine means you live your life as unto the Lord.
6. Note that Joseph forgave his brothers long ago. He forgave as Christ forgave. This is grace orientation combined with +H (sharing the happiness of God) as a problem solving device.
7. Joseph did not feel threatened by his brothers or by the injustices of the past. He was not in any way handicapped because he had a “difficult childhood” and a disastrous youth. Environment is not the issue; the issue is God’s timing.
8. Under God’s perfect timing, He prepares us one step at a time and eventually promotes us.
9. In other words, Joseph also used the faith-rest drill. He did not, in any way, take vengeance upon his brothers. He deferred any punishment that might come to them to the wisdom of the sovereignty of God.

D. Scripture Passages on Forgiveness.
1. The pattern for such pardon and forgiveness is found in Isa 43:25. “I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake [because of My honor and integrity]. Furthermore, I will not remember your sin.”
2. The pattern of forgiveness is applied to the believer as part of the royal family honor code. Col 3:13, “Bearing one another and forgiving each other. Whoever has a complaint against anyone else, just as the Lord forgave you, so also you should forgive others.”
3. Eph 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other just as God in Christ has also forgiven you.” That mandate is for the believer who has attained spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity. This describes the winner. He is tender-hearted and forgives others on the basis of the fact that God has forgiven him.
4. Rom 12:19, “Beloved, do not take your own revenge, but defer to the wrath of God. For it stands written [Dt 32:35], ‘Vengeance is Mine; I will repay, says the Lord.’”

E. The Two Forgivenesses.
1. The Problem of Two Forgivenesses.
a. The first forgiveness is salvation forgiveness for eternal life. The second forgiveness is forgiveness for the spiritual life.
b. The problem occurs because we are born again. All sins were judged on the Cross. The decision to believe in Jesus Christ means the forgiveness of all sins prior to that moment.
(1) If the unbeliever never believes in Christ, he is not judged for his sins at the Great White Throne judgment. His sins were judged on the Cross. The only sin for which the unbeliever is judged is the one sin of not believing in Christ. Their name is not in the Book of Life. They are indicted on the basis of their good deeds, which do not add up to the perfect righteousness of God.
(2) The unbeliever does not have forgiveness of pre-salvation sins.
c. For the believer, however, all pre-salvation sins are blotted out at the moment of salvation and God never remembers them again. Isa 43:25, “I, even I, am He who blots out your sins for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.”
d. Post-salvation sins are blotted out by the use of the rebound technique, 1 Jn 1:9.
e. There is forgiveness for sins committed before the Cross and for sins committed after the Cross. The Greek word used for forgiveness of sins committed before faith in Christ is CHARIZOMAI. The Greek word used for forgiveness of sins committed after faith in Christ is APHIEMI.
2. The Problem of True Forgiveness.
a. The first forgiveness, salvation forgiveness, is for your eternal life, and is taught in Col 2:13-14, “And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven [CHARIZOMAI] us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us which were hostile to us; He has taken it out of the way and nailed it to the cross.” The decrees against us are all of the sins which were ever committed in human history. God the Father imputed these sins to Christ on the Cross. The judgment of our sins on the Cross is the basis for our forgiveness.
b. The second forgiveness, post-salvation forgiveness, is for your spiritual life. This is taught in 1 Jn 1:9, “If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all wrongdoing.”
(1) This is the experiential forgiveness related to post-salvation experience, in which the spiritual life is set back until rebound takes place. God has provided options to offset every contradiction to His plan for your life. When you choose sin, you destroy your spiritual life.
(2) Post-salvation forgiveness cancels the repercussions of sin and restores the status of your spiritual life. This forgiveness qualifies you to continue your spiritual life and fulfill the two power options of the spiritual life–the filling of the Holy Spirit and doctrinal orientation. Sin causes divine discipline from the supreme court of heaven.
(3) “Purifying us from all wrongdoing” is forgiveness for sins of ignorance.
c. The first forgiveness qualifies you to live in the eternal state in a resurrection body. The second forgiveness qualifies you to continue your spiritual life in time.
d. The first forgiveness is related to time and the second forgiveness is related to eternity; for your spiritual life is designed to make your eternal life in heaven a most significant thing.
e. Both forgivenesses are based on the salvation work of Christ on the Cross.
f. Once you rebound, you are forgiven in the sense of APHIEMI, cancellation of punishment. All the suffering does not go away, but whatever suffering is left over is designed for your blessing and spiritual growth.
3. The second forgiveness is also taught in 1 Cor 11:30-31, “For this cause many are weak [warning discipline] and sickly [intensive discipline] and many sleep [the sin unto death]. If we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.” The supreme court of heaven has three categories of discipline against the sinning believer. Judging ourselves is tantamount to naming or citing our sins. Naming our sins to God is tantamount to self-judgment, which is compatible with the divine judgment of our sins on the Cross.
4. Principles.
a. God the Father judged our sins on the Cross. Therefore, the sins we commit today already went to court over 1900 years ago.
b. Consequently, post-salvation sins of the believer must be dealt with through a non-meritorious function–the rebound technique. Good decisions are always grace decisions.
c. This means using the privacy of our priesthood for acknowledging, admitting, citing, or naming our sins to God without promises that we will do better, without emotion, without crying, and without begging for forgiveness.
d. Acknowledgement of our sins to God is totally apart from any human works being added, such as: penitence, public confession, feeling sorry for our sins, or promising God that we will do better.
e. No system of penitence, no lustrations (ceremonial purification rites), no self-imposed or ecclesiastical punishments are included in the function of the rebound technique.
f. Just as nothing can be added to faith in Christ for salvation, so nothing can be added to acknowledging or admitting our sins to God for the recovery of our fellowship with God and the opportunity to again be filled with the Spirit.
g. Both believing in Christ for salvation and naming our post-salvation sins for forgiveness are totally non-meritorious functions on our part. They depend entirely and completely on what God has done. What God has done is to impute every sin to Jesus Christ on the Cross and judge those sins. Legalism always wants to help God by adding some form of human works which cancel out grace. The moment we acknowledge our post-salvation sins to God we have forgiveness and restoration to fellowship with God; we have recovery of the filling of the Holy Spirit. God forgives both the sins of cognizance and the sins of ignorance.
h. No category of post-salvation sinning, no matter how extreme, implies loss of eternal salvation. No sin, no denial, no renunciation or category of degeneracy can cancel the forty things every believer receives at the moment of salvation.
i. The culprit in personal sin is the volition of the individual believer guilty of a personal sin. The old sin nature is not the source of sin, but the source of temptation. Human volition is the source of all personal sin. Personal sins are either sins of cognizance, in which volition recognizes temptation as a sin and commits a known sin, or sins of ignorance, in which the volition is not aware that the temptation is a sin, but lusts to do it and does it. Therefore, the believer must take the responsibility for his own decisions, for his own choices, including all sins of ignorance or cognizance.
j. Without rebound as the basis for problem solving devices, personal sin will destroy your spiritual life. Without rebound as your number one problem solving device, it would be impossible to be filled with the Spirit, learn doctrine, and avoid Christian degeneracy.
k. The antithesis of the rebound technique is the denial of post-salvation sinning, 1 Jn 1:8-10, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, He is faithful and righteous with the result that He forgives us our sins and to purify us from all wrongdoing. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” To deny post-salvation sinning is to deny reality in post-salvation experience.