Huh? Whaddaya mean, “Forgiveness is only for the past?” Can’t I be forgiven for what I might do tomorrow? Am I s’posed to be perfect from this moment on?
The answer is “Yes” to the first, and “No” to the second.
The real question should be, “Am I forgiven automatically?” The answer to that, from what I read in the Bible, is that we are not automatically forgiven. Forgiveness is something we have to ask for in order to receive. It is available, God is always willing to give it, but it is something we must ask for in order to actually receive.
And more than that, when we ask for it the asking must be genuine- it must be a true T’shuvah (turning from sin) that comes from our heart and soul. We must be more than sorry that we sinned, we must be rueful, regretful, and so upset that we did this to God (for every sin we commit is, first and foremost, against God- read what David said in Psalm 51) that we shouldn’t just ask for forgiveness, but also ask that the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) strengthen and convict us in the future so that we can recognize, and overcome, the sinful desire before it becomes a sin.
Forgiveness, the Kingdom of God, Salvation: they are all here, now, and waiting for us. We are all pre-qualified and able to receive these wonderful gifts from God, the results of Messiah Yeshua’s (Jesus) sacrificial death: all we need to do is ask for them.
Where’s the catch? What do we have to give in order to receive? That’s a worldly view, isn’t it? The world doesn’t give without expecting something back, but God…..wait a minute! God does expect something back from us! After all, He’s made covenants with us. Each covenant (despite what you may have been taught) doesn’t annul the previous covenant, but instead is appended, adding to it, building upon it, so that every covenant God has made with us is still valid. From the rainbow of the Noahdic Covenant to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31): every covenant is still valid in God’s eyes, and we are expected, as with any covenant, to fulfill our side of the deal. What is our side? To fear God, honor His word (Torah), accept Messiah Yeshua as our Savior and do T’shuvah in our hearts, which should then translate to a change in our actions.
Your forgiveness is already accomplished, but you have to ask for it. Every day, every moment, when you know you have sinned and even if you don’t think you have sinned. Don’t believe for a second that just because you think you are blameless that you are- God knew our nature well enough that He even commanded there be a sacrifice for the sins we commit unintentionally (Leviticus 4.)
We all sin, we all will continue to sin, we all are born into sinfulness, we all have iniquity in our very nature, and the only humans who don’t have to worry about sinning are the dead ones. But we can overcome our nature, we can be more than just what we are; thanks be to God (and to Yeshua) for the Grace provided which will save us, and for the Holy Spirit which can guide and help us overcome who and what we are, so that we can be more of who and what God wants us to be.
We are told that if we ask, we shall receive, so, then…ask! Ask for forgiveness often, ask for yourself, ask for others, and ask with reverent thankfulness.