Are Only Past Sins Forgiven? Romans 3:25 & 1 Peter 1:9
Today, I’ll be examining topic of the forgiveness of sins. Specifically, when we place our faith in Christ for salvation, does God at that moment forgive all of our sins (past, present and future), or just PAST sins, those that occurred before that moment we were saved? Let’s look into it.
The whole reason for this video is that some people on the Internet, particularly those who believe you can lose your salvation, are teaching that at the moment we place our faith in Christ for salvation, only our past sins are forgiven, those that occurred prior to that moment when we placed our faith in Christ. This means that anytime we sin after we are saved, those new sins are not automatically covered by the blood of Christ and are not forgiven until we confess them and repent of them. By confessing and repenting of new sins, this brings them under the blood of Christ and allows God to forgive us for those sins.
But, this also means that if a saved Christian fails to confess and repent of any new sins after they are saved, then those sins are not forgiven and he or she could lose salvation. So for saved Christians to keep their salvation, they must walk in obedience to God and then confess and repent of every sin, every day, so that they don’t have unconfessed or unrepented sin in their lives that could cause the loss of their salvation.
So salvation becomes a partnership with God, where salvation is given as a free gift of God through faith in Christ, but keeping salvation is then up to each Christian, requiring them to walk in obedience, plus confessing and repenting of all new sins that occur. God does His part, but the saved believer then also has to do his or her part. Otherwise, salvation can be lost.
There are two verses that are commonly used to prove this position, both from the King James Version of the Bible:
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of SINS THAT ARE PAST, through the forbearance of God;” Romans 3:24-25
“But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his OLD SINS.” 2 Peter 1:9
Just looking at these verses at a surface level, it does appear that they are saying that only SINS THAT ARE PAST, or OLD SINS, are the only sins that are forgiven. But is that really what these verses are saying?
The answer is emphatically, NO!
And before I even begin showing proof from Scripture against this idea, let’s think about just how crazy this notion is, that only past sins are forgiven.
God is perfect and His standard is total perfection. Nothing imperfect can exist in His presence without Him passing judgment. That means, after accepting Christ, if all your future sins are not forgiven then, from the very moment you place your faith in Christ, you must be perfect in dealing with your sin. If you commit a sin after being saved, and all Christians still sin, then EVERY sin must be confessed and repented of perfectly. Even one sin not covered by the cross could send you to hell. After all, the Bible says:
“For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10
This is saying that it only takes one sin not covered by the cross to send you to Hell. That’s because God’s standard is total perfection. One sinful thought or deed, or one omission where you should have done something good but didn’t, or a sin that you forgot about or were not even aware of, any of these left unconfessed, unrepented of, could send you to Hell. God doesn’t grade on the curve. He doesn’t look to see if you had good intentions and were trying hard enough to be good. It’s not about YOU at all. It’s about HIM and His perfect holiness. His standard is perfection. That is terrifying. If all our sins (past, present and future) were not covered by the cross, then no one would be saved. We would all be lost, because Christians still sin and we do not confess or repent of every sin perfectly. Many sins we will not even be aware of until we stand in His holy presence and look back at our lives.
The good news is that, at moment we place our faith in Christ, God forgives ALL SINS – past, present and future sins, even unconfessed and unrepented future sins. So in this video, let’s prove two things:
- That God forgives ALL sins – past, present and future
- That these two verses are NOT saying that only past sins are forgiven
Ready? Let’s go, starting with number 1.
God Forgives ALL Sins – Past, Present and Future
The Bible proves this in four ways:
- Direct statements that prove all sins are forgiven – past, present and future
- Blessings that could only occur if all sins were forgiven
- An example in Scripture of a sinning believer that proves all sins are forgiven
- Direct statements that it is God who keeps us saved, not our own obedience or repentance. It’s not up to us to keep ourselves saved.
Let’s look at each of these.
1. Direct Statements In the Bible
One of the clearest verses in the Bible concerning God’s total forgiveness is Colossians 2:13-14.
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened together with Him, having forgiven you ALL TRESPASSES; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross;” Colossians 2:13-14
This verse clearly says that ALL sins are forgiven. The word ALL in the Greek is the word “pas.” It means “all, every, whole, all manner of, thoroughly.” It refers to “completeness,” that there are no sins that Christ’s sacrifice did not cover. All of our sins – past, present and future – have been nailed to the cross. We can see this completeness in the way the same word is used elsewhere in Scripture, for example:
“For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till ALL G3956 be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18
We can see that “ALL” means…well, ALL, that there’s nothing that’s not included. It’s not limited in any way. In the New Testament, there is not one instance of someone losing their salvation. There is, however, an instance where Paul said a believer who died with unconfessed and unrepented of sin would still be saved, proving that all sins were forgiven, past, present and future. We’ll get to that in a few minutes.
The moment we place our faith in Christ, all of our sins are nailed to the cross. Our debt to God is paid in full. And then God does something amazing: It says He blots out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us. Literally, He wipes our record of sins completely clean from His books that He uses to judge people, so that when He looks at His records for a saved believer to see if he or she has committed any sins, there’s nothing there. All sins were blotted out the moment he or she believed in Jesus.
When we place our faith in Christ, our sins are forgiven and we are declared just. We are justified in God’s sight. All traces of sins – past sins, present sins, and even future unconfessed, unrepented sins – are blotted out of His records.
That’s why the Bible says,
“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.“ Psalm 103:12
“I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Isaiah 43:25
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:13
John was writing to reassure believers of their salvation. He said plainly that you may KNOW that you have eternal life, meaning that they could know with absolute certainty that they were saved. John would not have given this reassurance if salvation was so fragile that it could be lost by not confessing and repenting of a sin. If salvation depends on our obedience and repentance, then we can NEVER know with certainty that we’re saved until the day we die, because our salvation would always be at risk. What about sins we’re not even aware of, sins of omission, or sins we forgot about and never confessed. If keeping salvation depends on us, then we can never be sure of it. Yet John says that salvation is NOT at risk, but that we can KNOW with certainty that we are saved.
“By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…For by one offering He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified…And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.“ Hebrews 10:10, 14, 17, 18
Sanctify means to set apart, to make holy. By believing in Jesus for salvation, we are not only justified (declared just in God’s sight) but we are also sanctified (set apart, made holy). It says that we have been perfected forever in God’s sight. But if only past sins are forgiven and if we can lose our salvation by sinning and not repenting of any new sins, then we are not already perfected forever in God’s sight. Yet this verse says that those who believe in Jesus are already perfected forever. From a judicial standpoint, it has already happened (past tense).
And it says Jesus died for us “once for all.” If only past sins are forgiven, then we would have to keep reapplying the blood of Jesus every time we sin. That’s not what this verse is saying. In fact, the writer of Hebrews wrote at great length about how inferior the old system of Temple worship was, where Israel had to keep offering sacrifices year after year, and how Christ’s sacrifice now is far superior because He offered it once and it was complete. It does not have to be reapplied year after year, sin after sin. Instead, we are perfected by His one sacrifice, once and for all.
“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.” 1 John 2:12
While the English translation of this verse leaves the reader unclear about which sins are forgiven (past, present or future), the original Greek makes the meaning abundantly clear. In the original Greek, the word translated as “forgiven” is a perfect participle, which means it occurred in the past but is continuing in the present. This verse is saying forgiveness is ALWAYS present for those who have placed their faith in Christ. If forgiveness is ALWAYS PRESENT, then it cannot be NOT PRESENT, which would happen if only past sins are forgiven and then a believer sins.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
Our salvation is not at risk because salvation is entirely a work of God’s grace and a gift from God that operates through faith in Jesus. This verse makes it clear that it is “not of yourselves,” “not of works.” So, after we are saved, if we still have to walk in obedience daily, confess our sins and repent of new sins to bring those sins under the blood of Jesus for forgiveness and salvation, then that definitely would be a work that we do. Salvation would be “of yourselves,” for it would then be up to you to secure your salvation. And then too bad if you miss one sin. But this verse says that salvation is “not of yourselves.” Salvation doesn’t depend on you confessing sins and turning from them.
Second, this verse says that salvation was given through faith. We didn’t have to confess every sin and repent of every sin to get saved. We simply had to recognize our lost condition and place our trust in Jesus, believing only in Him for salvation. That’s why it says salvation is a GIFT that operates through faith. It is not EARNED by turning from sin and walking in obedience. So if we don’t have to confess and repent of our sins to GET saved, then we don’t have to confess and repent of our sins to STAY saved. If that’s not clear, I have a whole separate video on the topic of repentance in my Salvation versus Discipleship series.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage… For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Galatians 5:1, 13
What is this liberty? It is the liberty or freedom from the condemnation of the law, which condemned us because of our sin. Paul’s entire letter to the Galatians was addressed to saved believers who were being persuaded by Jews to still observe Jewish laws and seasons associated with Temple worship, thinking that obedience to the law was still required to keep your salvation. Paul told them to instead stand fast in the liberty of Christ which has set us free from the law. He was clearly saying that all sins had been forgiven, including future sins, and therefore the law cannot condemn us and that we are not required to live under the law. We have liberty. This does not mean that we are free to sin, just that the law cannot condemn us and cause us to lose salvation.
If future sins were not automatically forgiven, then they would not have liberty but would still be under the law and would be required to either observe everything the law commands, or make sure they confessed and repented of every single breaking of the law. But Paul never said they were to do that. Instead, Paul said that their complete forgiveness has brought them liberty.
Does liberty mean that a saved person can sin without losing salvation? Yes. That’s why Paul warned them not to use this liberty or freedom to freely sin. If they could lose their salvation by sinning, that’s not liberty. That’s still being bound by the law.
So a saved believer cannot lose salvation by sinning. He or she has liberty. But hear Paul’s warning that we are not to use that liberty to sin. Just because we have liberty from condemnation under the law and, therefore, cannot lose our salvation does not mean we can sin however we like. Sin is NEVER OK. There still are many consequences to sin, including losing God’s blessings, falling under God’s discipline, suffering the results of sin in this life, such as broken marriages or prison, or possibly even experiencing an early death and then losing rewards in heaven. There are many consequences to sin. So sinning is NEVER OK. But loss of salvation is no longer a consequence for a believer in Christ who sins. We have liberty because of Christ’s sacrifice.
As a saved believer, if only past sins were forgiven, how could you ever be free from the condemnation of the law and live in liberty, if any future sin you commit and fail to confess and repent of could still condemn you and send you to Hell? That’s not liberty. Yet Paul says we are to stand fast in liberty.
Jesus speaking: “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before His angels.” Revelation 3:5
“Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:5
Revelation 3:5 is the one of the clearest verses that says we can never lose our salvation, which means all of our sins (past, present and future) would have to have been forgiven the moment we believed in Christ, that some future sin could not condemn us to Hell. I also include the verse from 1 John 5 here because a lot of people who believe you can lose salvation point to Revelation 3:5 as proof of that. They say that the word “overcome” shows that only those believers who overcome sin and walk obediently will be saved. But the same author, John, tells us what it means to be an overcomer in 1 John 5:5. He says that an overcomer is someone who believes in Jesus, PERIOD. Salvation has NOTHING to do with our obedience or repenting of sin. Salvation only has to do with our repenting of unbelief, believing in Jesus for salvation. I have another video on repentance if you have questions about that.
To all overcomers, which John defines as those who simply believe in Jesus, Jesus Himself promised to never blot out their names from the Book of Life. For that to happen, ALL SINS (past, present and future) would have to be forgiven the moment we are saved. It’s not up to us to keep our salvation by confessing and repenting of sins daily.
2. Blessings That Could Only Occur If ALL Sins Were Forgiven
There are two key blessings that occur the moment we place our faith in Christ for salvation. These blessings could ONLY occur if all sins (past, present and future) were forgiven.
“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of His glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14
“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.“ Ephesians 4:30
The moment a person believes in Jesus, the Holy Spirit indwells that person and “seals” them, it says, “unto the day of redemption,” which is the day we are finally given our eternal bodies. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came and went from people. Samson and Saul are examples. But in the New Testament, we began a new dispensation, a new Age of Grace. And in this present age, the Holy Spirit does something that never happened before: He permanently indwells a believer in Jesus and places His seal upon them.
Paul described this seal as “the earnest of our inheritance.” An “earnest” is a partial payment that is given to guarantee the full payment at some future date. For example, when you buy a house, you typically give an earnest money deposit to the seller, which is a small amount of the total purchase price, as a guarantee that the full payment is coming. When we are saved, God gives His Holy Spirit to us as His earnest deposit, guaranteeing that the full payment, which is our eternal bodies, will be received as some future date.
Nowhere in the New Testament do we ever see the Holy Spirit break that seal and leave a believer. If fact, this verse promises that the Holy Spirit will NOT break that seal even up to the day of redemption, when God completes His redemption of us and gives us our eternal bodies. If we remain sealed until then, that means we can never lose our salvation, even if we have unconfessed, unrepented of sins. That means future sins cannot condemn us, which means future sins have to be forgiven the moment we place our faith in Christ. If future sins were not automatically forgiven, then the Holy Spirit’s seal would be broken the moment we fail to confess and repent of a future sin, because our salvation would be lost. Yet, these verses say that we are sealed “unto the day of redemption.”
Notice in this second verse in Ephesians 4 that even when we grieve the Holy Spirit, such as through sinning, that the seal is not broken. We remain sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption, and nothing will change that. That can only happen if all sins (past, present and future) are forgiven. That’s because salvation depends not on our obedience and repenting of sins, but on the promise of God and His power to keep us saved.
“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:5-7
The moment we are saved, we are seated with Christ in the heavenlies. Paul was speaking to believers, telling them that they were already seated with Christ in heaven. Notice how this was written in the past tense as something that had already happened. God isn’t waiting until the end of our lives to make some final decision about whether we’ve been obedient enough or good enough to inherit eternal life. The moment we believe in Jesus, ALL sins are forgiven (past, present and future) and we are seated with Christ in heaven. Nowhere in the New Testament does it ever mention that a person is ever “unseated” because of their disobedience as a believer or because they died with unconfessed sins. In fact, this verse promises that we will remain seated with Christ so that God can show His riches and kindness toward us in “ages to come.” That guarantee can only be given if all sins (past, present and future) are forgiven the moment we place our faith in Christ.
3. Example of Someone Who Would Be Saved With Unconfessed, Unrepented Sins
In 1 Corinthians 5, Paul wrote to the church about a saved believer who was engaged in continual sexual immorality and was unrepentant.
“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.” 1 Corinthians 5:1
Then Paul declares judgment on that saved believer:
“For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed…to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.“ 1 Corinthians 5:3, 5
Paul declared that this believer in the church who was engaging in unrepentant sexual immorality would be turned over to Satan for the “destruction of his flesh.’ In other words, he would be put to death. But then Paul clearly says that the man’s spirit would still be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. The man would NOT lose his salvation. That’s because all of his sins, including those he had not confessed or repenting of, were already nailed to the cross and were completely paid for by Jesus.
This unrepentant, sexually immoral man would be saved because he placed his faith in Jesus, not because he had repented of all his sins and had turned from them, for Paul says the man was unrepentant. That’s why he would be put to death. The man was committing the very sins mentioned in Galatians 5:19-21, where it says “they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Yet, Paul declared that he would still be saved. That’s because the moment he placed his faith in Christ, all sins – past, present and future – were expunged, removed or blotted out of his record, not just the ones he repented of, but all sins. There was no sin left for God to judge. They had all been nailed to the cross. If only past sins are forgiven, then this believer would not be saved, for he was totally unrepentant and not willing to stop in his continual sin of sexual immorality. Yet, Paul clearly said that his soul would still be saved.
4. Direct Statements That It Is God Who Keeps Us Saved
God declares in Scripture that He has taken upon Himself the responsibility of keeping all of His children saved and in the faith. It is not up to us to keep our salvation through repenting and turning from sin, which means future sins that occur after we place our faith in Christ cannot condemn us or cause us to lose salvation. It is God alone Who keeps us saved.
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,” Jude 24
“waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 1:7-8
“To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” 1 Peter 1:4-5
Notice that it is God’s power that keeps us saved, not our own obedience. I went through this in detail in Part 4 of my 5 part series on Salvation versus Discipleship. It is God Who will keep us from falling, confirming us to the end and keeping us saved by His power. If it’s God’s responsibility to keep us saved, then there’s nothing we can do to change that. That means no future sin on our part can cause us to lose our salvation, even if we fail to repent of it, just like the sinning believer in the Corinthian church who would still be saved even with unrepented sin. The only way that’s possible is if all sins (past, present and future) are forgiven the moment we are saved.
So the bottom line is this: salvation can never be lost. It’s not up to us to keep ourselves saved. It’s not up to our obedience as believers. It’s entirely up to the promise, the grace, the faithfulness and the power of God to keep all of His children saved so that none are lost. This means all sins (past, present and even future unconfessed, unrepented of sins) are forgiven the moment we place our faith in Christ.
Now, let’s prove that the two verses I stated at the beginning of this lesson are not saying that only past sins are forgiven.
Proof That The Two Verses Are NOT Saying Only Past Sins Are Forgiven
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of SINS THAT ARE PAST, through the forbearance of God;” Romans 3:24-25 (King James Version)
The argument is that the righteousness of Christ is only declared, as it says here, for the remission of “sins that are past.” Therefore, future sins would not be forgiven.
This is a good example of how a verse can be looked at in isolation, taken completely out of context, to give it an entirely different meaning than what the author intended. So let’s examine this verse in context, looking at the meaning of the chapter as a whole and then examining the verses that lead up to this one verse, to see if we can understand what Paul meant by the phrase, “sins that are past.”
In context, Romans Chapter 3 is talking about two people groups (Jews and Gentiles) and, more importantly, two periods of time: the past, which is before the cross, and the present, after the cross. We see this in these earlier verses.
THE PAST, which refers to the period of time before the cross, when the Jews were under the Law of Moses:
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:19-20
So Paul begins by speaking of Jews who were under the law before the cross. Then he spoke of the time after the cross in the very next verses.
- THE PRESENT, which refers to the time after Christ came, where God is now revealing that righteousness comes through faith in Christ, not through the Law.
“But NOW the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:” Romans 3:21-22
So chapter 3 is talking about two time periods: before Christ and after Christ. When Paul then refers to the “remission of SINS THAT ARE PAST, through the forbearance of God;” in Romans 3:25, he is not talking about how, when we are individually saved, God only forgives our past sins. He is referring to sins committed by Jews during the prior time period of the Law, the time before the cross, that he just described in detail in the verses leading up to verse 25.
In Romans 3:25, the key words are not, “sins that are past,” but the words, “forbearance of God.”
“Forbearance” means, the action of refraining from exercising a legal right, especially enforcing the payment of a debt.
Paul is saying that God, in His forbearance, refrained from exercising His legal right to condemn Israel during this prior time period of the Law, which occurred before the cross. Their obedience to the Law, as seldom as that was, never saved them. God could have destroyed them, but He didn’t. God instead exercised forbearance by deferring His judgment over “sins that are past,” sins Israel committed before the cross, until that present time, when righteousness through faith in Christ was revealed. That’s why the very next verse says:
“To declare, I say, AT THIS TIME his righteousness:” Romans 3:26
God deferred judgment over sins that Israel committed in the past so that AT THIS TIME (the time after the cross), He could declare His righteousness through Christ. So this phrase “sins that are past” has nothing to do with God only forgiving our past sins. It means God was demonstrating forbearance by delaying judgment of Israel over sins that occurred before the time of Christ.
Part of the confusion over Romans 3:25 has to do with the King James Version translation, where the authors took the original text and translated it into Old English and it’s the Old English that perhaps is throwing people off. Other translations are a little bit clearer.
If you have an Interlinear Bible that shows the original Greek, the literal translation reads:
Interlinear Bible (Literal word-for-word translation from the original Greek):
“Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood, for a showing forth of His righteousness through the passing by of sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God, for the showing forth of His righteousness in the present time.” Romans 3:24-26
So this verse in Romans is NOT saying that God only forgives our past sins when we are individually saved. That is a terrible misinterpretation of this verse.
2 Peter 1:9
“But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his OLD SINS.” 2 Peter 1:9
This is another verse where the original Greek makes the meaning of the verse clear. The word “old” in the phrase “old sins” is the Greek word, “palai,” which means “a great while ago,” “in times past.” It refers to the idea of retrocession, of something that happened formerly or a great while ago.
Peter was simply reminding the believers that their sins were forgiven by God a long time ago, “in times past.” He’s not saying that only past sins were forgiven, but that the forgiveness of sins occurred in the past. He’s reminding them that God did this great thing for them in the past.
The Interlinear Translation from the original Greek reads like this:
“For the one in whom theses things are not present is blind, being short-sighted, taking on forgetfulness of the cleansing of his sins in time past.” 2 Peter 1:9
So we can see that this verse does not offer any proof that only past sins are forgiven. That’s not what Peter was saying.
In conclusion, the moment we place our faith in Christ, all of our sins (past, present and even future unconfessed, unrepented of sins) are forgiven. We are forever justified or declared just before God. Therefore, we have liberty in Christ and can enter His rest. We can no longer be condemned to where we lose our salvation.
This doesn’t mean we’re free to live disobediently and can sin however we like. Sin is NEVER OK and God will discipline His children. When we sin, we move out from under the blessings of God and come under His discipline. But that discipline will not include the loss of salvation. God doesn’t abandon His children just because the do wrong. He disciplines us. And because God is faithful to discipline us, that is why John tells believers to keep short accounts with God:
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
This verse is addressed to believers, the church, not the unsaved. It is NOT talking about salvation AT ALL, but about how a believer who sins can restore fellowship with God that has been disrupted by their sin. When we sin, just like when a child does something wrong, it affects the relationship with the parent and that has to be restored. A parent doesn’t abandon their child and neither does God abandon us when we sin as believers in Christ. Our salvation is not at risk. But sin does affect our relationship with God to where it can hinder blessings and cause God to discipline us. So with God, we confess our sins to restore fellowship, blessings and intimacy with Him.
If all this still isn’t clear, I urge you to watch my video series on Salvation versus Discipleship. Part 4 is entirely about the sureness of our salvation, how it can never be lost.
So all sins (past, present and future) are forgiven the moment we place our faith in Christ.
Finally, I do this in all my videos, if you are not 100% sure that you are saved, that if you died today, God would welcome you into heaven, I urge you to make your commitment to Jesus secure right now. Here’s a prayer for salvation that you can pray. But keep in mind that a prayer does not save you. You are saved only when you place your trust in Jesus alone, believing in your heart that He died to pay your debt of sin to God and that He rose from the dead to show you the eternal life that He offers. This prayer, then, is just a way of formalizing that decision, putting a stake in the ground, saying that you are trusting in Him and never going back. If that’s what you would like to do, please pray with me:
“Lord, I have sinned and I need you to save me. I believe that Your Son Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins and that He rose from the dead to show us the new eternal life You have for us. I believe solely in Jesus to save me, that He paid my debt of sin 100%. Please forgive my sins and save me now, Lord, according to your promises. In Jesus Name.”
If you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, know right now that you are eternally saved.