Christian Believers (are) ~ to continue to pray for forgiveness [from] the consequences of our (daily) sins ! This continues to be a ‘hot-topic’ within the ‘church’ body for (whatever reason…) - And this is not some ‘pedantic statement ~ it does however, require examination. Make no mistake, you ARE forgiven but, let’s take a closer look at some things that we ALL need to understand........
If we accept CHRIST into our lives, our sins are forgiven (past, present and future). So then, why are we told to (continue) to pray for forgiveness for our sins? If a believer asks GOD to forgive his sins, and yet continually ask for forgiveness --- isn't that a lack of faith in GOD’S promises, since you are asking HIM for something HE has already given you?
*YES / No, NOT NECESSARILY …. The Bible teaches that a person need not ask for saving forgiveness more than once. In other words, once we have appealed to GOD for mercy, trusting upon HIS Son (JESUS) to save us from the penalty of sin, then we are saved and will never bear the punishment for our sins. As Paul summarizes in Romans. 10:9: "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved..." Nothing more is required. The root meaning of repentance is: a change of mind (and heart) and purpose. It is deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like. The only way to repent is to have true (godly) sorrow. There is a difference between regret and repentance. Some people are sorry for being caught in the act of sin, but are not repentant of the sin itself. Sin is not a weakness, an unfortunate happening, or a mistake. It is a [transgression] of GOD’S divine law. Any act regarded as a willful or deliberate violation of some commandment or moral principle; any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, or lapse, is a transgression. A Christian [is] also called (by Scripture) to maintain a repentant heart, routinely [acknowledging sin] and seeking GOD’S grace and mercy in the midst of one’s daily mistakes. These activities are not done, with the intent to secure or maintain salvation, yet they are expected nonetheless.
This keeps us honest with ourselves - and also with HIM…! Lamentations 5:16 The crown is fallen from our head: woe unto us, that we have sinned! 1 John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. And that is Not a moment of posture ANY one of us, ever need to find ourselves in. Here is a simple convention to explain the distinction between the two kinds of repentance described in the Bible. You could say that- the Bible teaches the need for Repentance (with a big "R") and repentance (with a little "r"). Repentance (big "R") refers to the repentance that happens during our salvation moment. This is a repentance from dead works and a life lived apart from GOD. It acknowledges that, Yes, we are sinners and in need of GOD’S mercy and forgiveness [if] we are to avoid the penalty of sin, which is eternal death.
This repentance is a unique kind of repentance that only the HOLY SPIRIT can produce in the heart of an unbeliever, (which leads to) acceptance of the Gospel. as Apostle Paul states:
FOR THE SORROW THAT IS ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD PRODUCES A REPENTANCE WITHOUT REGRET, LEADING TO SALVATION, BUT THE SORROW OF THE WORLD PRODUCES DEATH. - 2 CORINTHIANS 7:10
The second kind of repentance (a little "r") is: the regret or sorrow that believers experience daily when convicted of their sinful behaviors.
Becoming a Christian removes the penalty of sin, but it doesn't (immediately) remove the (reality) of sin in our earthly life. This requires a degree of effort on our part. So, we have need for this secondary form of repentance, which is also the work of the HOLY SPIRIT, to produce a sanctifying process. As the HOLY SPIRIT convicts believers of daily sin, HE [is] prompting repentance and leading us into a more CHRIST-like life.
This second kind of repentance is not an (appeal) for saving forgiveness - *we already have that by faith. Rather, it is an appeal for GOD to forgive us from the consequences of our sin. We aren't appealing for relief from Hell; we're appealing for relief from the discipline of the LORD. Much like a son appeals to his human father for mercy to avoid punishment, we ask the Father to spare us as well. And John says the LORD will forgive us in this way “if we repent”:
1JOHN 1:9 [IF] WE CONFESS OUR SINS, [HE] [IS] FAITHFUL AND RIGHTEOUS TO FORGIVE US OUR SINS AND TO CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
There are a couple of good examples (among many) in Scripture to illustrate this principle of repentance for the believer. First, consider JESUS' instructions to the church of Ephesus in Revelation:
REVELATION. 2:5 ‘THEREFORE REMEMBER FROM WHERE YOU HAVE FALLEN, AND REPENT AND DO THE DEEDS YOU DID AT FIRST; (OR ELSE) I AM COMING TO YOU AND WILL REMOVE YOUR LAMPSTAND OUT OF ITS PLACE — UNLESS YOU REPENT.
JESUS tells the church in Ephesus that they must repent of their poor witness (i.e., leaving their first love), or else HE will end the church's very existence. Here we see a connection between a believers' sin and GOD visiting the consequences of their sin upon them. If the church didn't repent of their sin, JESUS will visit the consequences of their sin upon the church.
Likewise, if believers live in unrepentant sin, they will see the consequences of their sin, visited upon them as discipline from the LORD. As Hebrews 12:7-11 says plainly: 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 BUT IF YE BE WITHOUT CHASTISEMENT, WHEREOF ALL ARE PARTAKERS, THEN ARE YE BASTARDS, AND NOT SONS.
9 FURTHERMORE WE HAVE HAD FATHERS OF OUR FLESH WHICH CORRECTED [US], AND WE GAVE [THEM] REVERENCE: SHALL WE NOT MUCH RATHER BE IN SUBJECTION UNTO THE FATHER OF SPIRITS, AND LIVE?
10 FOR THEY VERILY FOR A FEW DAYS CHASTENED [US] AFTER THEIR OWN PLEASURE; BUT HE FOR [OUR] PROFIT, THAT [WE] MIGHT BE PARTAKERS OF HIS HOLINESS.
11 NOW NO CHASTENING FOR THE PRESENT SEEMETH TO BE JOYOUS, BUT GRIEVOUS: (NEVERTHELESS) AFTERWARD IT YIELDETH THE PEACEABLE FRUIT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS UNTO THEM WHICH ARE EXERCISED THEREBY.
Another example is found in the life of David in 2Samuel 12:13-16:
13 AND DAVID SAID UNTO NATHAN, I HAVE SINNED AGAINST THE LORD. AND NATHAN SAID UNTO DAVID, THE LORD ALSO HATH PUT AWAY THY SIN; THOU SHALT NOT DIE.
14 HOWBEIT, BECAUSE BY THIS DEED THOU HAST GIVEN GREAT OCCASION TO THE ENEMIES OF THE LORD TO BLASPHEME, THE CHILD ALSO [THAT IS] BORN UNTO THEE SHALL SURELY DIE.
15 AND NATHAN DEPARTED UNTO HIS HOUSE. AND THE LORD STRUCK THE CHILD THAT URIAH'S WIFE BARE UNTO DAVID, AND IT WAS VERY SICK.
16 DAVID THEREFORE BESOUGHT GOD FOR THE CHILD; AND DAVID FASTED, AND WENT IN, AND LAY ALL NIGHT UPON THE EARTH.
Clearly, the LORD expects believers to pray for forgiveness “even after” ((we are saved)), but we do it for a different reason ~ than the one we had ‘before’ faith. “Before faith”, we prayed with a repentant heart
longing for forgiveness leading to eternal life. Now, having been saved, we still pray for forgiveness [from] the consequences of our (daily) sin. And then guess what happens, “HE” forgives us !