The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Are all our sins—past, present, and future—already forgiven?

#21

You also say:

Speaking for me and what I understand, Yes, the greater works you speak of are apparent, however, the manifestation of healing isn’t always instant. The healing happened, by His stripes we were healed, but sometimes it isn’t instant. I believe God has reasons for this.

Paidon (please pardon my unconventional multi quote) "We need to cease our concerns about forgiveness. The purpose of Jesus’ death is not about forgiveness—it is about deliverance from wrongdoing. Jesus forgave people while he walked this earth. He didn’t have to die first in order to forgive them.

However, deliverance (or “salvation” if you will) from sin is a life-long process, a process that God performs with our coöperation."

From what I understand, Jesus did have to die, and the act on the cross was legalistic. It had to be to fulfill the legalism of the law up to that point. Now we are forgiven and delivered.

I agree are concerns shouldn’t be on the forgiveness, the focus is on Jesus and his finished work.

"
If we expect to receive the grace of God without our coöperation, it will be in vain. We will not receive it. Sin must be overcome; we must become actually righteous. To continue to be delivered from sin is what it means to stay on the Narrow Path that leads to life."

I believe that Grace is a free gift received when you believe and put your trust into Jesus and what he has done. You get everything you need once you’re born again when the Holy Spirit comes in as your new spirit. Sure, cooperation is required, but not with the mindset that you have to do x y and z in order to keep the Grace upon you. The deeds you do after you are born again start counting to the rewards received at the bema seat.

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#22

Fascinating Paidion. Thank you.

Turtlejoy:

Where? I assume you mean in your own life? could you give me a couple of examples please?

We are all healed eventually. That is not in the same manner as when Jesus walked this earth and said ‘greater works than this shall you do’ . There must be some media evidence of these miracles which have been alluded to, can you point me to these reports?

That is the standard answer from many many christians including those who have a differing view of whether all sins are already forgiven without the need for confession and it may be true.

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#23

Brother Pilgrim, I have already argued that First John addresses both Christians and non-Christians (the Gnostics).

For example, to Christians, John says:

1 Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 Jn 2:12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.

But to non-Christians, he says:

1 Jn 1:8-10 *If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. * NKJV.

Also, you ask,

As to evidence on “social media,” maybe try Pete Cabrera or Todd White. (Here I would remind you that,

  1. *“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.” * 1 Cor 1:27.
    And 2. “Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’ Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered.” John 12:28-29)

So, yes, we are having our minds renewed, step by step, and opening up to the miraculous. In God’s grace we are being delivered of fear and of an earning mentality, and learning to freely receive, to freely give, and to expect great things of our great, unchanging God.

"Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
Acts 4:30-31.


Brother Paidion, Let’s not confuse “sanctification” with “righteousness.”

You say,

Further, in your signature, you state,

But we don’t want to get the cart before the horse. We practice righteousness as a result of being born of Him ( 1 John 2:29), not in order to become righteous.

We are not righteous because we do right. We are righteous because we accept what Jesus did for us at the cross (2 Cor 5:21). “Righteousness,” therefore, is not based on our right doing. It is based entirely on Jesus’ right doing. Christianity is not about doing right.

Righteousness is a free gift, which we receive by placing our faith in Christ. Rom 3:22, 5:17.

In this performance mix, you, and most Christians I see, believe in the need to confess your sins to God, in order to be “cleansed from unrighteousness.” I say this is a misapplication of 1 John 1:9 to Christians; that verse is actually for non-Christians.

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#24

Hermano said:

We might have to think that the faith is ‘from’ Christ and not ‘in’ Christ, in other words, Christ did his redeeming sacrifice because He loved His creation, :confused:

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#25

Unnecessary distinction. Both are true.

Contrary to what you affirm, the apostle John said that we are righteous for that reason, and I believe** him**. And, as John advised, I will let no one deceive me on that score.

Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. (1 John 3:7 RSV)

I consider this the most dangerous of all false teachings. Any “righteousness” that is not practised is not righteousness. Call it something else.

Yes, I agree. Righteousness is indeed a free gift, which we receive by placing our faith in Christ. But it’s actual righteousness, not “positional righteousness” (which isn’t really righteousness at all). We must coöperate with the enabling grace of God made available by the supreme sacrifice of our Lord. Check out what Paul said about this enabling grace in his letter to Titus. He said the purpose of this grace is to TRAIN us to live righteous lives:

For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all people, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and to live sensible, righteous, and devout lives in the present age, expecting the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of the great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; encourage and reprove with all authority. Let no one disregard you. (Titus 2:11-15)

Paul warned us that we must work together with God to achieve righteousness:

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. (2 Corinthians 5:21, 6:1)

Notice this passage give the REASON for Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf—that we might become the righteousness of God. Paul immediately follows this by indicating that in order to become the righteousness of God, we must “work together with Him.” Any attempt to receive the grace of God apart from coöperating with God’s working to save us from wrongdoing will be in vain.

Let’s see what Paul says about “performance” in Romans 2:6-10

*For He will render to [size=130]everyone[/size] according to his works.

To those who by perseverance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality,
He will give eternal life, but for those who are self-seeking and are not persuaded by the truth,
but are persuaded by unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.

Affliction and anguish for every person who does evil…but glory and honour and well-being for every one who does good… for God shows no partiality.*

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#26

Now this is a curious thing, for someone who has both studied traditional theology…yet heard various speakers talk about Gnosticism (and other strange topics), at the Theosophical Society’s headquarters. What do you base this statement on?

And really, folks. After I heard some of the strange presentations at the Theosophical Society, nothing presented here on this forum - no matter if it is really far out - will surprise me. :exclamation: :laughing:

Even a total deterministic theological model, called “Plan 9 from Puppet Space” (named after the movie, Plan 9 from Outer Space). Even if it embraced philosophically, a total ideal model of reality (i.e. Bishop Berkeley - “everything is ideas, in the mind of God”). Or as Mary Baker Eddy would say, matter is an illusion. Only divine mind and its ideas exist.

That’s it, folks. You take the ideal theological model of Mary Baker Eddy - but make it a deterministic theological model. :bulb:

Anyway, back to our quote: :slight_smile:

Now for some questions:

How do you know this is true?
If this is so, does that chapter no longer apply to us - unless we embrace the label “Gnostic”?
Do we have any statistical data, to say what percentage - if any - were Gnostics in John’s audience?
Were there any other unbelievers - besides Gnostics - who existed at the time of Christ and the apostles?

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#27

The Gnostics were already causing trouble in the days of the Apostles.

Simon Magus is in Acts 8:9-24 (which passage occurred before Paul’s transformation no later than A. D. 36). Peter later had additional run-ins with him in Rome after Simon Magus had become a Gnostic heresiarch.

St. Paul warned St. Timothy against Gnostics and Gnosticism in I Timothy 6:20-21: “O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called gnosis—by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.” St. Clement of Alexandria later had to emphasize the fact that true gnosis (knowledge) exists only within the Orthodox Catholic Church. The “Gnostics” have only a gnosis falsely so-called.

St. John condemned the Gnostic sect known as the Docetists in I John 4:1-3: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (The Docetists believed that Christ’s human body was merely an illusion, thereby denying that He is come in the flesh.)

The Apostle John had to deal with the Gnostic heresiarch Cerinthus. St. Irenaeus of Lyons was told by his master, St. Polycarp of Smyrna, that the Apostle John (who was the teacher of Polycarp) once fled a bathhouse when he heard that Cerinthus was inside it, saying, “Let us flee, lest the building fall down; for Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth, is inside!”

Various sects of Gnosticism were not the only heresies the Apostles had to contend with. They also had to deal with the Judaizers, who were routed in the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem (Acts 15). St. Paul especially led the fight against them, going so far as to wish that they would castrate themselves (Galatians 5:12).

There never was a time, alas, in which the hydra of heresy did not trouble the Church. From her first days the Church had to thunder anathemas against those who perverted the pristine faith of Peter.

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#28

paidion wrote:

How dare you dilute the redeeming blood of Christ, To think that somehow we have to do something to make Christ’s sacrifice valid, but I go on to say that there is only one righteousness, yes he who does right, and that is Christ. :blush:

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#29

I agree, Geoffrey, that the Gnostics were heretics, as far as Traditional Christianity is concerned (and I agree with that perspective). And with all the points you made - in your post.

But it’s another thing entirely, to say a particular chapter of John, is addressed solely to the Gnostics. It raises the questions, I asked Hermano - in my prior post.

As an aside, the Quakers find the Gospel of John, a chief inspiration - for their Christian perspective. And I am a big fan, of both the Eastern Orthodox and Quaker, mystical orientations.

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#30

If Thomas, a believer, can make a confession of unbelief and then in an instant at the appearance of Jesus fall to his knees and worship God; or if Saul, a Torah bound Jew, can fall to the ground at the appearance of Jesus and finally arise from his disbelief to worship God… then I highly doubt there would be any issue with any so-called non-believer coming to worshipful confession as that one steps through death’s doorway into His very Presence.

Consider this – IF “confession” be deemed necessary for “forgiveness” then the news is great, i.e., ‘Good News’… for who in all their prideful arrogance or blind ignorance would not respond in worshipful contrition post death, and in kind, before the presence of God… as is reflected in these texts below:

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#31

Yeah, I would never say that anything in the Bible was addressed solely to the Gnostics.

Speaking of fandom, my favorite biblical writer is the Apostle John (his gospel and letters). If I could own only a single biblical book, it would be John’s gospel.

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#32

Yes. One thousand times yes.

I have been contemplating lately how people tend to think that innocence and goodness are fragile, while wickedness is as tough as stone. The truth is the opposite. Goodness is like adamant, while evil is delicate and frail. In the immediate presence of the risen and enthroned Christ, wickedness is instantly obliterated by the splendor of His Godhead.

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#33

Thank you Hermano. Last night I spent considerable time watching videos of these two people. I don’t know whether they subscribe to your perspective on forgiveness or not and whether that has any connection with a return to the miraculous walk of Christ. Neither am I sure what to make of these two men. I saw an instance of a man who claimed to be almost blind but who now can see very clearly. That was the most remarkable possible miracle and requires me to trust that he is truthful (which he appeared to be). I also witnessed very many ‘healings’ which were much less convincing and considerable episodes of the renowned ‘leg-lengthening’ ‘scam’ including one where Cabrera lengthened it then shortened it, then lengthened it then shortened it, then lengthened it then shortened it just to demonstrate he could do what he wanted time and time again.
Here is a clip of Derrren Brown doing similar:
youtube.com/watch?v=cpz_9_KalFY

I also wanted to download an ebook but discovered it was going to cost me a donation which was a minimum of $35.
So, I don’t know what to make of it but I thank you for presenting those names.
Regarding your interpretation of John’s writings, I find no fault in that and you have given me much food for thought.
God bless you
John

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#34

Holyfool randy, what do YOU make of this one?:
youtube.com/watch?v=j48YZaiLukQ

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#35

Hi Pilgrim. I am often to the Gym now - for swimming and such. I’ll view the YouTube video entitled One of the greatest miracles recorded in a pub later and give you feedback. I’m not sure if this is video regarding a magic trick, a practical joke or a “allegedly” real miracle. But if it is an “allegedly” real miracle, then videos can be doctored - by a video expert. Or actually recording, a smoke and mirrors stage magician. More later, after I view the 10 minute video. :smiley:

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#36

I think there is a sea of forgiveness already filled, into which the sins of all men will be poured and consumed by the gracious forgetfulness of God. So in a sense it is already “finished”. That forgetfulness is in itself a promise of life, to be delivered on the other side of broken and a contrite heart, which is the means of access to it- the key to the prison cell of futility. God is not bound by any lack of time. Every soul will eventually be humbled before Him- displayed in the perfect image of Himself that removes the sting of sin and death by everyone who sees it- Christ crucified.

As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, “If I be lifted up from the earth I will draw all men to me”.

He has been lifted up from the earth and He is in the process of drawing all men unto Him,

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive, each in His own order.”

As each one sees the serpent upon the stick, and is slain by it, they are healed of the serpents bite. “Death where is Thy sting”?" The sting of sin is death. Death is swallowed up in immortality.

Righteousness is by faith in Christ, that is the seed planted in the heart, where the vine of righteous thoughts and acts begin to follow- but it must always be returned to, that core, because “We all stumbled in many ways”.

“If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

But why? If all our sins are already covered why should we acknowledge them again. What more cleansing do we need than what we received on the day we believed and were cleansed as we bowed the knee in out hearts and perceived Him first as Savior, and then as Lord of all?

Because of the body of this death that we are being separated from, day by day if we continue in His word in the fiery crucible of life, our dependence upon Him growing as our dependence on the ways of men and the lusts of the flesh diminishes and the pleasures of the mind lose their attraction- we renew our initial humble bow as the revelation of His glory grows and we are consumed by it “Beholding with unveiled face, as in a mirror the glory of the Lord and being transformed into the same image with ever-increasing glory by the Spirit who is the Lord”.

Our growing dependence upon Him comes as we become more aware of the futility of self and it is the means by which we are securely grafted into the vine of life. It is renewed day by day by deaths and resurrections, mortification and renewal, within the heart, soul and spirit.

“Change your ways and thoughts and return to your first love or I will come and remove your Lampstand from its place”.

“I am the true Vine, if any man does not abide in me he will become withered as a branch and he will be cut off and gathered by men and cast into the fire.”(Jn 15)

So it is a process sparked by a single all sufficient event. If we argue between the process and the event, as if one transcends or supplants the other- I think we just prove we havent seen deeply enough through the colors of the prism into the white light that combines them all into one…

“Who among us can live with the consuming fire?
Who among us can live with continual burning?”

  15He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity,
        He who rejects unjust gain
        And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe;
        He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed
        And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil;

  16He will dwell on the heights,
        His refuge will be the impregnable rock;
        His bread will be given him,
        His water will be sure.(Is 33)

But how will he walk in this righteousness?

By a broken and a contrite heart.

How will he find that?

Through daily deaths and rebirths, growing in grace.

What if one refuses the deaths and wants only the life?

He will recede slowly following many appeals(because God is merciful) back into death until the second death renews him to repentence again.

The process is not at odds with the event that sparked it all. Into the chaos the words were spoken “Let there be light” and separations and creation begins.

All men are secured by predestination, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”. IMO the Lamb slain IS the foundation of the world- from which all, exploded into chaos and scattered through futility is being “gathered into one in Christ”- like the universe contracting from the big bang into the pristine seed of the Logos that spawned it.

Are they in it who have not seen it? They are not in it experientially. They are veiled by time and mortality. So, does it do them any good? or does it do us any good to tell them they are in it already?

maybe, but to tell them it is there for them seems more effective to me, than to argue among ourselves as to whether it is already or isnt until some point in time. To let them kno the experience of life and light and righteousness is available to change their experience works for me because no one knows anything but by what they have seen or experienced.

“Who has known the mind of the Lord and who has been His counselor…For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things to whom be the glory throuh the ages.”’

The I Am was and is and is to come. All these things are eternal in His presence. His presence is felt and seen when the veil is torn…

And we all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image…"

And he is the radiance of the Father’s glory and the exact representation of His nature…

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

So to me its more about veils being lifted.

“Upon this mountain I will remove the covering that veils the people”(Isaiah 25)

and while we can debate the objective status of those who are still blind the efect of their blindness is no different for them until they experience the revelation of their deliverance, Christ crucified- and receive of that revelation a broken and a contrite heart.

And we who have already received it, will not plumb the depths of it and bring it forth in the form of practical salvation for the lost, eyesight to the blind, unless we abide in that state of being and that process.

If we do not, and we wither as a branch, and are cut-off, our experience is the reality we will know regardless of the objective finality we see with our minds in the distance, and our disagreements about things seen through the glass darkly.

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#37

Well, Pilgrim, my first reaction to folks claim to filming a miracle - is this: Is there first a scientific explanation, to explain it? And it would take two alternative explanations:

Videos can be doctored - by a video expert
An actual recording, of a smoke and mirrors stage magician

So if I had the budget, I would hire 3 professional magicians and 3 video experts, to review the video. And come up with explanations, to explain what is happening. Suppose they couldn’t. Just like the doctors at Lourdes, couldn’t explain away certain cures of incurable diseases. And I understand the percentage of real cures they verify and certify - is very low. Then it might really be a miracle.

http://www.gaspirtz.com/images/cartoons/psychic-with-crystal-ball.jpg

Now I went to the annual fun festival, for the Theosophical Society last week in Wheaton, Illinois. And they had there usual mix of weird and normal vendors. And there were many readers there - charging money. And they looked to me, like you might find the same folks in Skid Row. I wasn’t impressed with any of them - by appearance.

http://static1.cartoonsy.com/preview/78/0a91c9823437468

But there were also some from the Vineyard Church in Wheaton, which is actually situated at the Wheaton College campus. They offered free healings and free readings. Of course, since they were Christian Pentecostals, I took them up on both.

For the healing, they just prayed.

For the reading, they said three things:

I was an artist of some sort.
i experienced a loss in my life
God will restore everything I ever lost

Well, I am a writer (hack, mind you) and I lost my mom approximately 3 years ago. And the last one, I have no clue. But it sounds good. But I do feel they were real and the Holy Spirit was working with them. Of course, their readings were no where near what my mom could tell me. She was a Protestant woman, who was born with the gift of prophesy.

Is the YouTube video showing a miracle? Maybe. But I think the folks from the Vineyard Church, would win more converts - for their work.

Now Tom Loud of shorelinefullgospel.org/ feels that Pete Cabrera Jr, also grows legs back. And he learned to do the same thing. See the video youtube.com/watch?v=_4JaEnkpYWg entitled The Truth about Pete Cabrera Jr. Finally Revealed!

So yes, Pilgrim. The man in the Pete Cabrera video seems sincere and Pete doesn’t ask for money (according to the narrator) - unlike the TV healer Benny Hinn. Since growing the legs longer, is done by other people - it’s probably real.

I do know that the folks who do the most powerful miracles, really don’t want folks to record them. Even in Native American ceremonies, video and audio recording of ceremonies (as well as still pictures) - is not allowed.

Let’s end with an interesting video

or

youtube.com/watch?v=axZNs2y9PXo

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#38

At first, I thought you were kidding when I saw the emoticon of embarrassment. But in considering your final words, I now think you were serious, and so I will take it as such.

Make Christ’s sacrifice valid? Valid for what? Is the purpose of his sacrifice to provide a fire escape from hell (as many fundamentalists and evangelicals believe)? Or is the purpose to deliver us (or save us) from sin? (as the angel announced to Joseph).

Salvation from sin is a process, as the following verses indicate:
Acts 2:47 … And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
1 Corinthians 1:18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 15:2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing

I believe it to be a life-long process that will some day be complete:
Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

We must work together with God in order to be consistently righteous. If we expect God to make us righteous apart from our coöperation with Him, we deceive ourselves, and any attempt to receive the grace of God will be in vain:
2 Corinthians 6:1 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.

God won’t make us righteous without our coöperation. He never forces Himself on anyone. And we cannot be consistently righteous except through the death and resurrection of Christ. So how does “working together with him,” in your mind “dilute the redeeming blood of Christ”?

You are saying that the passage indicates that the one who does right is Christ alone?
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. (1 John 3:7 RSV)
If the first “he” refers to Christ, then to whom does the second “he” refer? It’s clear from the context, that John is writing about people in general and not about Christ in particular:
No one who remains in him continues to sin; no one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil… By this it may be seen who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do right is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother.

I have quoted passages that give the reason for Christ’s death many times. And I continue to do so, until the real reason for his death is accepted:

*I Peter 2:24 He himself endured our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

II Corinthians 5:15 And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.

Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Heb 9:26 …he has appeared once for all at the end of the age for the abolition of sin by the sacrifice of himself.*

To live for him alone… to have him as Lord… to be redeemed from iniquity, purified, and continually be zealous for good deeds, is a life-long process. Alone God won’t do it for us. Alone we cannot do it. But working together with Him, it will be accomplished!

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#39

The one in whom Christ lives is righteous. He is righteous because the life is in Him, in the fellowship of communion with the Lord Jesus. that righteousness is by faith, and grows in the image of the one who died to resurrect us. It is an inward thing. No one can judge it but God.

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#40

That seems to be in harmony with that which I have been saying. This “fellowship of communion” includes both parties, Jesus and the one in whom he lives. Both have a part in the Christian’s righteousness. It is not a unilateral act on Jesus or God’s part in which righteousness is thrust upon the person because just Jesus died for him, with no participation on the part of the person.

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