We are all sinners.
It isn’t a pleasant thought, but it is true. It doesn’t mean we are a bad person if we sin; if that was true, then every single person who ever lived (except one, of course) would be a bad person. And that one who didn’t sin, by the way, when called “good” refused to accept that description and reminded the person that the only one who is “good” is God.
Since we all are sinners, that means we all sin. DUH!! We sin every day, and we are supposed to forgive each other. We are not commanded to ask for forgiveness, but to forgive. Forgiveness is what God wants us to do: read the Bible and realize, if you don’t already, that even though Yeshua tells us to leave our sacrifice at the altar and go make right any relationship issues we have with anyone else before offering the sacrifice, we are not commanded to ask for forgiveness– we are commanded to forgive. Read Matthew 6:14 if you don’t believe me. And that’s just one example; the Manual is rife with other examples of the fact that we are to forgive.
Of course, we are to ask for forgiveness, as well, but forgiving is what we do here on Earth. So if we forgive here on Earth, why am I saying that forgiveness is later? I say that because the forgiveness we really need is from God, and the forgiveness He gives doesn’t really count until we are dead.
David said it in Psalm 51- despite what he did to Uriah (and Bat-Sheba, too) he knew that his sin was, first and foremost, against God. Whenever we sin, and whomever we sin against, it is always against God because He told us not to sin, so when we do it is always a violation of His commandment, and to violate God’s commandment is to reject the Lord. That’s hard to hear, but it is the truth- to sin against anyone is to reject God.
As such, the forgiveness you receive from another person is good, but not for you: the one who receives the benefit from forgiveness is the one who is forgiving. By obeying God that person will receive more blessings. The one who is forgiven by another human being may feel some relief now, but the real forgiveness that does that person good is when it comes from God. Think about it: will God let you into heaven simply because you are forgiven by someone else? If that was true nearly everyone would be allowed in because nearly every Mother will forgive her child anything. It is God’s forgiveness we all need, that is the forgiveness that keeps us from eternal sunburn, and that is the forgiveness that we can claim only when we are one of the sheep shepherded by Yeshua Ha Maschiach. If we don’t have Yeshua in our corner, we have no hope of salvation.
The sins we commit are here and now, but the forgiveness we need to receive will be coming when we face God and Yeshua says, “This one is mine, Father.” When I am forgiven by another person that is good for that person, and when I am forgiven by God that is good for me. Even though I will feel better, here and now, if I ask for and receive forgiveness from the person (or people) I sin against, it is God’s forgiveness that I need and it comes through asking it in Yeshua’s name. But I must first be one of Yeshua’s sheep.
God will forgive us as soon as we ask it, so long as we ask correctly: we must come to Him with a broken spirit, with a contrite heart, and we have to mean it! God isn’t stupid and He can’t be fooled- if anyone thinks they can get into heaven simply by saying they believe Yeshua is the Messiah and in His name they ask forgiveness of their sins, it doesn’t work that way. Yes, those are the right words, but you need the right state of heart and mind when you say them. You have probably heard the expression, “You get what you pay for?” Well, your salvation will be as real and wonderful as the work you put into it. It is NOT free- just because we can’t buy it or earn it doesn’t mean it is free. It is invaluable. It is priceless. It is more than anyone can ever accomplish on their own, and it only takes your heartfelt repentance to receive it. But it isn’t “free”- it will cost you friends, it will cost you earthly pleasures, and it may even cost you your life. There are Believers all over the world losing their lives, this very day, because of their belief in God and their work for His Kingdom.
No, my brothers and sisters, salvation can not be bought or earned, but it is not free.
What you may give up now are things that you will lose anyway, when you die, but what you will receive now is peace of spirit, and later complete joy in God’s presence, for all eternity.
Not a bad deal, don’t you agree?
Try your best not to sin: we can never be sinless, but we can always sin less. So do that: sin less. Always ask for forgiveness from all those whom you have sinned against: the ones on Earth, and your Father in heaven. And more than that: remember to always forgive those who have sinned against you.
Invest in your eternity by depositing your forgiveness of others every day, and at your final retirement the size of your spiritual IRA will be greater than any CD or stock could ever pay out.