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How To Ask God For Forgiveness | Spoiler Alert, Christians Don’t Have To

Alarming but true, Christians do not need to ask for forgiveness. We already have it. Let’s unpack this confusion from 1 John 1:9.

Note: Unbelievers DO need to ask for forgiveness, and we’ll cover that process in a moment.

I have frequently been asked how to ask for forgiveness from God. Many Christians are trying to figure out what special prayer to use to ask God for the forgiveness of their sins.

I think it’s important to first disclose I am NOT saying it’s not okay to ask for forgiveness. That’s fine if you want to. But I am saying there is not a single verse and all of scripture that says Christians somehow need to ask God for forgiveness in order to activate the blood of Christ. It’s this idea that if you commit a willful sin, you are somehow in a state of broken fellowship until you fully repent of that sin, and then ask for forgiveness.

In today’s video, I’m going to unpack a lot of confusion that comes from 1 John 1:9 claiming that the author is calling children of God to “ask for forgiveness” as if this is some type of prerequisite for getting right with God.

What you will discover in 1 John 1 is that he is writing people who do not really believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus. In fact, they don’t even think they sin.

And what we discover is happening is that what’s going on in this letter is actually as simple as sharing the gospel with people who need to be saved. And verse nine is simply telling them that they need to confess their sin in order to receive what Christians already have. A once for all forgiveness. Total justification. A people that will be presented as completely blameless.

So when somebody asks, “how do I ask God for forgiveness”, I answer with it depends on whether or not you are already in Christ. If you’re a Christian, I’m basically going to tell you that you do not need to ask for what you already have.

If an unbeliever were to ask me, “how to ask God for forgiveness” I would tell them they need to believe Jesus.

They need to believe Jesus when he says he died on the cross in their place so that their sins would be paid for by his blood. They need to believe Jesus when he says that he has the power in the authority to be the propitiation for their sins. And most importantly, they need to believe Jesus, when he says that he was resurrected from his death, which illustrates clearly that he has the power to give us new life as well.

Author: Mike Cynar

Mike Cynar was raised in a church setting where he frequently noticed that many attendees would eventually drift away. The church labeled these individuals as ‘back sliders’ or ‘fake Christians’ just looking for ‘fire insurance’. However, Mike realized the issue was rarely with these individuals but instead with the church’s message itself. The teachings heavily emphasized behavior improvement and one’s flaws, with only a fleeting mention of one’s identity in Christ. It felt as though every sermon was tailored to the church of Corinth, who as we know or committing sins that even unbelievers don’t partake in. This trend was noticeable not just in one denomination, but across Baptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, and many other churches. Upon understanding the true essence of the gospel – that our righteousness comes from Jesus’ actions, not our own – Mike was inspired to liberate believers from lifeless sermons and reconnect them with the genuine teachings of Jesus. He believes that one can nurture a vibrant and growing bond with Jesus, unhindered by rigid religious practices. And thus, “Jesus Without Religion” was born.

It turns out that it is grace that leads to repentance. And if our heart is to get others to walk in the Spirit and live a godly life, then the best approach is not a beat down sermon, but rather to remind other that it is only when we understand our true identity in Christ that we will live it out. Yes, it’s true, if you’re convinced that God thinks you’re a dirty sinner, you will ultimately continue a lifestyle that mirrors that view, but if you truly believe that even on your worst day, you are called holy, sanctified, justified, and will be presented blameless in the end, well, it turns out this is the secret to living out on the outside what has been worked in to the inside.

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