When a person is an unbeliever, he is dead in sin, unforgiven of all sins – no matter how many good or bad works they do.
But when we believe in Jesus Christ, then we receive the forgiveness of ALL sins. We are no longer dead in sin, but we are made alive in Christ.
Colossians 2 “13 You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us. He has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.”
We were included in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection – together with Him.
When Jesus died on the cross, He died with us.
When Jesus rose from the dead, the believer was made alive with Christ.
So then the believer is no longer in his sin, but we are in Christ.
Forgiveness of sins is the position we have in Christ by faith and not our deeds.
We don’t receive forgiveness progressively in installments based on how much we confess/repent. But we receive forgiveness once for all by GRACE through FAITH in Jesus Christ who made us ALIVE.
So what happens if we sin after being saved?
Do we go back to the “unforgiven” position? Do we become “dead” in sin again?
NOT AT ALL.
It’s because we were forgiven only by the blood of Christ and NOT by our works.
The word “forgiven” means to “send away” or “dismiss”. The record has been wiped clean by the blood of Christ.
Therefore we don’t become unforgiven when we sin.
We are not sinners who stumble at times.
We are righteous saints who sometimes sin.
We cannot become “dead” but God made us “alive” permanently forever!
John 5 “24 “Most certainly I tell you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and doesn’t come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.”
There is no judgment/condemnation for believers because the law that condemned our sins has been wiped away, nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14 – the verse at the top)
The believer is not constantly transitioning back and forth between the forgiven position and the unforgiven state based on his sins/deeds.
We are righteous by faith in Christ without doing any works! So then we cannot become unrighteous by our actions.
Believers cannot become “unforgiven” people when we sin.
The command to confess sins (1 John 1:9) was given to unbelievers who claimed to not have sin and who were not yet “cleansed” by faith in Christ. He commanded them to confess to be forgiven of ALL unrighteousness.
1 John 1 “8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we haven’t sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
But as John writes a few verses later, the believer is ALREADY FORGIVEN.
1 John 2 “12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.”
Does that mean, we should sin a lot more? The simple answer is no.
1 John 2:1 “My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have a Counselor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous.”
But if we do sin, we are already forgiven because we are not righteous by our works but by Christ who is our Righteousness!
The Gospel is this:
Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came in the flesh and never sinned but lived a perfectly righteous life. He died on the cross to forgive all sins for those who believe. He rose from the dead so that His righteousness has been freely gifted to us by faith in Him.
Acts 13 “38 Be it known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man is proclaimed to you remission of sins, 39 and by him everyone who believes is justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.”
Everyone who believes in Jesus Christ is forgiven all sins and is justified (made righteous) without doing good works.