Confessors vs. Possessors of Forgiveness From God

Many people are simple human confessors for forgiveness from God, instead of possessors of divine forgiveness from God.

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace" (Ephesians 1:7) New International Version (©2011)

"He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins." (Ephesians 1:7) New Living Translation (©2007)

But, some of you reading this may ask the question or hear the question being asked by others, "what about confess in 1 John 1:9 and the Lord's Prayer given by Jesus?" Before we go there again, (and you can read about those items in great detail from the links), what are you going to say to God in your prayers on a daily basis? Are you going to continue to ask Him for what He has already done? Or, are you going to place faith in what He has done for you in His finished work on the cross?

Are you a simple confessor of Jesus, giving lip service to what Jesus has done; or are you a possessor of the Holy Spirit, alive living in you, never to leave you, never to forsake you, never to stop loving you, never to get out of fellowship with you, no matter what you do or don't do?

Some will say that there are a couple of different types of forgiveness. They will say, "I know my sins were forgiven on the cross judicially," (also known as positional forgiveness) and here comes the big "BUT" out of their mouths, "but I have to ask God for forgiveness to experience it in my life when I sin, (this is experiential forgiveness) - after all, take a look at what Jesus told us to do in the Lord's prayer, and look at 1 John 1:9."

When Were Your Sins Forgiven?

Let us reason together...(Isaiah 1:18) First off, can you really talk to God out of both sides of your mouth, and have it be truth? Can you really imagine going to God on a daily basis and thank him for what he has done for you on the cross, and then in the very next breath ask for forgiveness from God? This is exactly what some folks are doing everyday in their prayer life, and sometimes multiple times during the day. Which is it, do you believe God forgave you, or do you need more forgiveness today from God? What about all the sins you forget to confess? What happens with those sins that you forget to confess under the banner of experiential forgiveness?

Confess Means to Agree With God - Not ask for Forgiveness

For many folks, the word "confess" is synonymous to asking for forgiveness from God. Catholics will tell you that they go to the priest, in a confession booth, and ask for forgiveness. Protestants will tell you that they don't have to go to a priest at all to confess their sins, they go directly to God, confessing their sins to Him, to get their sins forgiven.

God on the other hand has declared, "It is Finished!" Forgiveness has been finalized. Forgiveness is completed. Forgiveness is eternal. Forgiveness is total. Forgiveness is found in the person of Jesus. A person receives complete forgiveness of sins when they receive Him. A person does not get forgiveness of sins over and over again as they did in the old covenant. This is exactly what Protestants and Catholics are doing. Catholics are sacrificing God everyday in the Mass. Protestants are sacrificing Jesus everyday in their minds, asking God to do what He has already done. Neither the Catholics nor the Protestants recognize that Jesus took away all their sins on the cross. They are in unbelief that God did it all, and they think there needs to be something from man to extract (appropriate) the forgiveness from God.

What Does a Person Truly Believe?

The following question comes to my mind. Does a person really believe in completed forgiveness on the cross, if they believe God did it judicially, yet they turn around and say they need to ask for it experientially? For anyone that is sitting on this mode of forgiveness, it is difficult to tell really what they believe in their own minds, and how they are praying to God at each moment in time. Do they thank God for His forgiveness to begin with in a judicial mode, and then turn around and ask for forgiveness in an experiential mode? Which does a person really believe and when? This type of behavior is indicative of a double-minded person, unstable in all things (James 1:8), no matter who it is. This type of sinful behavior can be seen in pastors, teachers, and laity. Anyone in this mode, it is like pulling teeth for them to look closer at the Word of God. They are resting in their traditions, in their religious systems, and their own understandings.

Is God Waiting for Man to Ask For Forgiveness Before God Forgives?

Pastors and teachers are pulling people away from Jesus (with a watered down gospel) as much as the cults are pulling people away from Christ. These pastors and teachers will have this wonderful sermon on Grace, and tell the people of how Jesus took away all sin on the cross, and then at the end will say something completely opposite like, "God forgive me for the bad things we have done in life." Which is it? Did God take away all sins on the cross, or is there more forgiveness required by God? Their idea of forgiveness is not that Christ completed the work at the cross, but that forgiveness is now a joint works action between God and man. They will say this is how we forgive others, so God must forgive like human forgiveness. Are we now to think that God's divine forgiveness is like man's forgiveness? May it never be so!

People living like this think they only need God 10% of the time. The other 90% of the time they think they are basically good. "Watch me God, look how good I am, - and I ask for forgiveness for the times I am not good" is what a person is indirectly saying to God, living in a mode of confessionalism for forgiveness instead of living by faith in what He has done for them. In essence, most folks don't believe their sins are completely forgiven. They need a little soapy scrubbing cleaning action now and then to get themselves presentable to God. They have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and gotten caught in the sin that so easily entangles.

Putting Faith Into Practice

Put an end to your confessionalism for forgiveness, and agree with God (confess) that he took your sins away on the cross for all time, for all sins. He is the faithful one to have forgiven you and to have cleansed you for all time of all unrighteousness. Confess it. Agree with God concerning it. Put it to rest. Walk by faith that He has done it all.

If Jesus is God in the flesh (and He is - John 1:14), and Jesus prayed from the cross to the Father and said, "Father forgive them for they know what they do" (which He did say - Luke 23:34), do you think that prayer was answered by God?

Isaiah 1:18

"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. "

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Jesus asked, "Who do you say I AM?"

Was Jesus a liar? Was he a lunatic? Is he God?

Who do you say Jesus is?

Matthew 16:13-20
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Take a closer look at Jesus Christ today.

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The True Meaning of Biblical Confession

In regards to 1 John 1:9, I thought it would be helpful to clear up some misconceptions about what the true meaning of the word "confession" is with a little background information about the Greek word translated as "confess."

What does confess mean according to 1 john 1:9?

First off, the word "confess" simply means to agree with God. The word in Greek means according to Strong's G3670 - homologeō - ὁμολογέω is to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, assent. Let's be crystal clear; confess does not mean to ask for forgiveness.

Confession has a much deeper meaning than what most people think of it.

The very word to confess has a much deeper meaning to agreeing with God about the whole aspect of what Jesus did on the cross and what sin really is all about. For a person to confess has to do with the person agreeing with God about the person and the finished work of Jesus on the cross.

To understand this in the context of the Bible, requires putting aside any preconceived notions, or teachings of men or traditions, and letting the Holy Spirit teach a person. For more information on this see the article I wrote with more Bible references:

Confession of Sins 1 John 1:9
Understanding 1 John 1:9

Now, some folks may think that is only one of many meanings, and shades of meaning, of that word confess. Some may think that confess is not simply "agreeing" with God and that there is more to it than that. Some even think that it is the asking for forgiveness that causes God to forgive us of our sins. I have even had folks tell me, "that we must admit, declare, confess, acknowledge our sins before they are forgiven." They would point out the word "If" and say that word is a conditional if. See below for more details on the word "if."

The True Meanings of the Word Confess

Confess Jesus God

Confess Jesus Has Done it All

First off, let's look at the complete definition of confess:

It is important to note, that while there are other variations in the simple meaning for confess, the word for confess in the Bible, in the Greek language is never used to ask for forgiveness. If you are in Jesus Christ, you have forgiveness, you don't get more forgiveness from God. "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;" Ephesians 1:7

Forgiveness is not a vending machine from God.

Just to clarify from the source: "The New Testament Greek Lexicon" for the word 'Confess" used in multiple places:

to say the same thing as another, i.e. to agree with, assent
to concede
not to refuse, to promise
not to deny
to confess
to confess, i.e. to admit or declare one's self guilty of what one is accused of
to profess
to declare openly, speak out freely
to profess one's self the worshipper of one
to praise, celebrate

Translated Words
KJV (24) - acknowledgeth, 1; confess, 17; confession is made, 1; give thanks, 1; profess, 3; promise, 1;

NAS (26) - acknowledge, 2; admit, 1; assured, 1; confess, 6; confessed, 4; confesses, 6; confessing, 1; declare, 1; give thanks, 1; made, 1; profess, 1; promised, 1;

Most folks want to equate the references in the bible to confess and confession with asking for forgiveness, because that is based on their traditions. This is not biblical at all. If anything, the word confess is the exact opposite of asking for forgiveness, because asking for forgiveness is a denial of the finished work of Jesus Christ. While a person should acknowledge sins, the person needs to also acknowledge that Jesus paid the price for all their sins on the cross. They need to acknowledge, admit, agree, profess, declare, and give thanks to God, and praise Jesus, God in the flesh, for what He has done for them.

It is also important to note that our English language is lacking in depth to really grasp the true meaning of words. Sometimes we have to go to the original Greek language a bit to have a more thorough understanding of a verse of Scripture.

It is more like, "Whenever we agree with God concerning our sins" or "Whether we agree with God or not," he is faithful and just to (have forgiven and continue to forgive us), and to (have cleansed and continue to cleanse us) of all unrighteousness." The verbs in 1 John 1:9 for forgive and cleanse are these types of verbs referred to as aorist tenses.

Aorist Tense
The aorist is said to be "simple occurrence" or "summary occurrence", without regard for the amount of time taken to accomplish the action. This tense is also often referred to as the 'punctiliar' tense. 'Punctiliar' in this sense means 'viewed as a single, collective whole,' a "one-point-in-time" action, although it may actually take place over a period of time. In the indicative mood the aorist tense denotes action that occurred in the past time, often translated like the English simple past tense.

God has done it all. God is the faithful one, God is the just one, to have forgiven and to have cleansed for all time.

We don't push God's vending machine buttons to get something from God, because that would be setting ourselves up as our own god. We don't set up "preparation to be forgiven" by God.

It is not a conditional "if" for God to do something for us. The whole of the 1 chapter of 1 John is dealing with acknowledging God in the flesh, what Jesus has done, the sinner that sins, and the faithfulness of God. What good is God to a person that thinks he doesn't sin? What good is Jesus to a person that thinks that God did not come in the flesh?

This is a hard teaching for some that have grown up their whole lives with teachings of men, their traditions, or their preconceived notions of their having to do something for God to do something for them. Today, we don't get more forgiveness, we don't make "preparation for forgiveness," no, we are forgiven by God.

Confess and praise His name, Jesus has done it all!

A person thinking that they must agree with God before God will forgive them of their sins is problematic in a number of ways; both scripturally and logically.

It doesn't match up with the rest of Scripture, where God says, "Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin." Hebrews 10: 17,18

Also, from a logical standpoint, if confession from people was a prerequisite for forgiveness from God, then obviously one has to think about all the sins that they forgot. No one can remember each and every sin in order for God to forgive them if that were the case.

Additionally, all of the sins committed today were after the cross. They were all in the future when God paid the penalty for sin and have been forgiven. So, yes, God forgave everyone of their sins before they have ever been committed and before anyone asks for forgiveness. Jesus being God in the flesh, saw each and every sin in the world, and took it upon himself. He became sin for us, so that in Him, we could become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

The agreeing with God, is agreeing with God about sins, agreeing with God about His forgiveness, agreeing with God about His righteousness, agreeing with God about Jesus and what He has done.

Furthermore, "without the shedding of blood, there is no more forgiveness." Hebrews 9:22

Forgiveness has been dealt with once for all. Now, the issue is a person going to believe it and receive eternal life in Him? God broke down the barrier between God and man when he forgave everyone at the cross. Now He is inviting everyone to repent and believe in Jesus and receive His life, the Holy Spirit, to come and live inside a believer.

Many folks are still implying and outright declaring the "IF" statements in 1 John are "if then" statements. They are not. In fact, the Greek language is crystal clear on the matter.

Here is a link to the Greek word study from:

Beyond the Pulpit

Translating “if” (“ean”) from Greek to English: (1.) First Class Conditions are assumed “true” and are translated “since;” (2.) Second Class Conditions are assumed “false” and translated “not;” and (3.) Third Class Conditions assume “doubt” meaning the statement could be “true or false, and are translated “may or may not.” The “if” is not directing or commanding us to do something, but rather it is pointing to the fact we may or may not do something.

There seems to be a problem with most translations when dealing with this section. The translators seem to focus on tradition. Translators have not translated the third class conditions or changed them.


The traditional translation - “If we confess….”
The literal translation- “We may or may not confess.…” or “Whether we confess or not….”

Let's put an end to the man made "bar of soap" routine and enter into His rest. A rest from works of thinking that asking for forgiveness is somehow keeping a person clean.

A person can either choose to agree with God or not. A person can either choose to confess it or not. God is asking everyone to believe in Jesus, who is continually faithful, that He took away our sins (forgiven for all time), and cleansed us of all unrighteous for eternity.

The question is not what do we do with sins today, the question is do we believe that Jesus forgave us of our sins? Can you imagine going to God in person (face to face), and saying, "Yeah, Jesus I know you forgave my sins positionally, 'but' I am now asking for my experiential forgiveness from you." Come on, let's get real here. That is spiting in the face of God. Because every time a person is asking for forgiveness today to God after hearing the complete Gospel, is telling God they don't believe He did it all. It is double talk and is the exact opposite to confess (agree with) God.

For a person to keep saying "if then" and think that asking for forgiveness is the meaning of "confess" in spite of the Greek word studies, is simply displaying a prideful attitude that a person doesn't care what the Word of God is really saying, and simply wants to stand with the teachings of men.

I confess to (agree with) the following statement in Galatians 1:10:

"For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ."

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What is the Judgement Seat of Christ?

The topic of conversation today is the Judgment Seat of Christ and what is good or bad.

A reader asked the following question:


When I read 2 Cor. 5:10 when it says we will appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad, I just don't quite understand. How do I know if I am being good enough or if what I do is bad?

I am saved and I know that I am the righteousness of God in Christ.

Thank you,


Hello An_,

That is a "good" question that trips up a lot of folks.

Today, we use the terms "good" and "bad" in very generic ways. This is not how those terms are being used in 2 Corinthians 5.

It is good (here I am using "good" in a very general way in this sentence and the first one above) to read things in context. That is the first clue.

2 Corinthians 5

Awaiting the New Body

1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7 For we live by faith, not by sight. 8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

The Ministry of Reconciliation

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus taught that no man is good. In Mark 10:18 we read what happens after a man runs up to Jesus and asks what he must do to inherit eternal life. The man did not recognize Jesus as God and literately the man thought that there was something he himself could do (earn) eternal life.

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[d]”

Another time, Jesus was asked in John 6 about doing the works of God:

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

So, we can see that the only work of God is this for someone to believe in Jesus - God in the flesh.

Okay, that now leads us back to what is good and what is bad in God's eyes?

Romans 12 talks about what is good and pleasing to God.

A Living Sacrifice

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

In essence, our bodies, indwelt by God's Spirit, to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice (which if we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, we are holy and pleasing to God not because of what we do, but who we are). Paul tells us not to conform to the way the world thinks, but allow God to transform and renew our minds.

Everyone in Christ is "good" in the site of God.

Everyone in Christ has allowed God to work "good" through them at some point in their lives. Maybe with some, it was at the last moment of their life, where they finally placed faith in what Jesus has done, as opposed to placing faith in what they have done their whole lives. Others allow God to work "good" through them many times during their lives.

The bad is anything not done in faith. All the bad will be burnt up. Bad is doing something out of thinking that they are earning God's love. Bad is doing something out of a fearful attitude of thinking they will not be in fellowship (saved) if they don't do good works. Bad is anything done that is out of self.

Good is of God, and can only be done by God. Yes, God can use believers to do good, but any good in God's sight is allowing him to use us. This is our living sacrifice. We give up self, in order for God to use us.

Many times, things appear to be be done as good, however, only God knows the heart. He alone knows all our motives. This is and only determined by God. So, the judgment seat of Christ for believers is an ultimate declaration of those things that are good and bad. This is nothing to be fearful of, but should be rejoiced about.

Only that which is good will remain. Rejoice in him, and his righteousness, not our own.

Matthew 6

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Here are some good messages to listen to:
What is the new covenant? * What really matters to God? * Shouldn't we want to obey the commandments? * What is the attitude of faith? * 1 Cor 15:50 The rapture? * What is the judgement seat of Christ? * What does apostasy mean? Topic: Judgment

Hopefully that helps put things in the "good" perspective.

In Christ Jesus,

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