Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20040128.htm
APPLYING THE CHRISTIAN'S POSITIONAL RICHES IN CHRIST
Part V: Applying The Truth That Believers Are Forgiven All Trespasses
(Colossians 2:13 with Ephesians 1:7; 4:32; Colossians 1:14; 3:13)
Lesson: There are two distinct SPHERES of RELATIONSHIP between the believer and God when it comes to SIN and FORGIVENESS (cf. Lewis S. Chafer, Systematic Theology, vol. III, "Soteriology," p. 238): (a) POSITIONALLY, the believer is fully and eternally forgiven all trespasses so he can enter heaven at death or the rapture of the Church, cf. 2 Corinthians 5:1, 8-9; (b) in EXPERIENCE, though forgiven all pre-salvation sins, the believer must confess them to God through Christ for forgiveness, 1 John 1:8-10. Even if he fails to handle these sins and God disciplines him by the sin unto death, the believer's POSITIONAL forgiveness provides him immediate, full and eternal access to heaven's bliss!
- The Bible teaches Christ died to save us from sin; 2 Corinthians 5:21 is very clear about that fact.
- However, we Christians still sin: 1 John 1:8-10 states as much, and claims that if we deny it, we err!
- Well, IF Christ died to save us from our sins, but we still sin, do we need to perform penance and go to a confessional and spend time in torment in purgatory when we die to be refined enough to enter God's holy heaven?! What if we are not of that segment in Christendom that promotes involvement in the sacraments and penance -- how can we as believers who have sinned enter God's holy heaven?
- One of the truths of the Christian's position in Christ is that the believer is positionally forever forgiven all trespasses. We view this truth in light of the believer's sins with applications as follows:
- Applying The Truth That Believers Are Forgiven All Trespasses, Colossians 2:13 et al.
- Positionally in Christ, the instant a person believes in Christ as his personal Savior from sin, he is released from all charges of sin against him by God, a process known as forgiveness, Colossians 2:13; cf. Walvoord, Jesus Christ Our Lord, p. 154:
- When Paul wrote to the Colossians believers, he noted that Christ on the cross had forgiven them all of their trespasses, Colossians 2:13.
- However, when Christ died, these Colossian readers were still unsaved, for they were not evangelized until after the Day of Pentecost that followed Christ's death and resurrection, cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., p. 1690. This, this forgiveness was a positional one typical of all believers.
- In fact, when Paul wrote Colossians 2:13, some of his Christian readers were living in error, or in trespasses as he notes in Colossians 2:18-23; cf. Ryrie Study Bible, KJV , ftns. to Col. 2:16 and 2:18.
- Thus, even though all of us believers sin as 1 John 1:8,10 reveals, when we believe in Christ for salvation, God positionally and unconditionally forever FORGIVES us ALL TRESPASSES!
- Experientially, the believer's temporal STATE, committed sins and God's forgiveness for them are treated differently than the believer's POSITION in Christ as follows:
- If a believer commits a sin after he puts his faith in Christ and is saved, his fellowship with God is broken, a state that also means a break of fellowship with other godly believers, 1 John 1:6.
- In this condition, the Lord relates to the believer by convicting him of sin and his need of confession so that he is very uncomfortable in his relationship with the Lord, cf. Psalm 32:3-4.
- If he continues in this state of broken fellowship, God will take the believer by premature death home to be with Him in heaven as discipline, 1 John 5:16 with 1 Corinthians 11:29-30. The believer ends up in heaven even though he is experientially disciplined based on his positional forgiveness in Christ.
- However, if a believer confesses his act(s) of sin committed as a believer, God is faithful and just to forgive him his sin(s) so he can be restored to God's fellowship and blessing, Psalm 32:5.
- Thus, it is wise for the believer to yield to the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit as soon as that ministry is apparent; in this way, he can minimize God's discipline and enjoy His blessing, Ps. 32:8-9.
Application: (1) Though we as believers SIN, the SOLUTION is NOT by way of all sorts of human penance works, but by confession that rests on God's cleansing provision in Christ's cross, cf. 1 John 2:2. (2) However, we bear no eternal condemnation now that we are in Christ (Romans 8:1), for we are in Him POSITIONALLY fully, eternally, unconditionally forgiven all trespasses, Colossians 2:13.