I have been looking into this concept of being born agian, born of God, regenerated, converted, repentance, forgiven and saved.
I have been doing a study of the definitions of forgiveness and salvation. The very definition of forgive is to cancel a debt. The definition of saved is delivered and spared.
In this blog, I would like to deal with the concept of being forgiven.
Question; when were you forgiven?
What happened on the cross? Was not our sin debt cancelled? Were we not forgiven at the cross? "But wait", you say, "I was forgiven when i asked for forgiveness that day when i said that prayer.". Think about it. Was it your prayer that cancelled your sin debt?
Think of it this way; Can a judge forgive a criminal based on the criminal's plea for forgiveness? You know that a just judge can not. Only if the criminal's fine is paid for. We broke God's moral law and Jesus paid our fine right? If this is true, then it's not that God wants to forgive you but He cant until you repent. It is that He has already settled the score, paid your sin debt and forgiven you on the cross. The question is, have you recieved this forgiveness?
Here is another way to put it; Forgiveness is a pre-wrapped gift, ready to be given to anyone who will admit that they need it. God has already forgiven you. You may not have experienced His forgiveness yet. But He already forgave you. You were already off the hook in God's eyes. The problem is, most people arent really convinced that they are the sinners that Christ died for. If you asked a big majority of proffessing christians why Jesus had to die for them, you they would probably say something like, "Because of our sins". Then you ask them "Like what exactly?" and most people could not tell you what they have done that was so bad that the Son of God had to be tortured and murdered on their behalf.
Let's just say that I hurt you or offended you in some serious way. Bad enough that our relationship has been broken. You decide that you are going to forgive me and consider my sin against you as good as gone because you love me that much. And let's just say that because you have forgiven me, the next time you see me you treat me with gentleness and kindness and say "I just wanted to let you know that you hurt me really bad when you.... but I forgive you." And I proceeded to tell you that what i did wasn't really that bad, that you are blowing it out of proportion and "frankly you just need to get over it and stop trying to make me feel guilty". And even worse, i kept doing the same thing that hurt you to begin with. I am already forgiven by you right? But what is missing? My repentance right? And what will my true remorse and change toward you bring about? It will bring about reconciliation between us. That will also be the point when I will experience the blessing of your forgiveness. You were so ready to give the gift of forgiveness to me but I couldn't admitt that I did anything wrong in order to need any forgivness.
This is my point. I think many have not truly experience God's forgivness. I think many have not truly been reconciled to God because they have never come to the point of remorse and contrition to the point of change over their sin against the Almighty.
I believe that when a person is reconciled to God, he is changed forever and is born agian (regenerated).
Now does this mean that all are forgiven? Is everybody saved? Obviously not. But I will have to clarify this next time.