Forgiveness is a process. It begins with the Lord convicting us of our sin, our confession and repentance and then the Lord rips our sin out of us. God does not forgive us so that we can either continue to sin or walk around with the potential for that sin still in us. Why, because as far as God is concerned, to merely have the potential for the sin is sin itself.
To have the potential for sin is a sin nature. The nature of God has no potential for sin. So therefore, for the forgiveness of sins to be fully accomplished in us, we must be purged of the potential to do that sin because when God forgives you, He forgets your sin completely. But He cannot forget your sin if He knows that the potential to do it again is still there. He would be a halfway God.
Your sins are forgiven potentially. But the forgiveness is not complete until they are forgiven experientially, which means, no more potential. You want to go around saying you’re saved. I don’t think that’s an accurate term. To me the accurate term is that you’re reconciled unto God. If you want to say you’re saved, say it. But you should know that you’re only potentially saved. Why, because everyone to date for two thousand years that’s saying their saved is dying. So you are potentially saved, you have received the promise of salvation, but if you are experientially saved, you would not die. Brethren, this Church has got to get its act together. No lie has ever got you into the kingdom of heaven. Let’s get it together. Glory to God.
When Christ covers over our sin nature which is the carnal mind, that’s the forgiveness of sins. The crucifixion of the carnal mind, Christ covering over the carnal mind and crucifying it, slaying the enmity in your flesh, is what the “forgiveness of sins” is. You’re not truly forgiven until you stop doing it and then eventually the potential to stop doing it has to be ripped out of you, otherwise there is no forgiveness of sins, it’s a lie, it is a lie. Because the evidence that Jesus has forgiven you is that He has enabled you to stop doing it.
That is the evidence, that is the proof. If you go out to someone on the street and say “brother, Jesus forgives your sins,” their going to look at you and say “what are you talking about.” You have to be able to say to them “I’m forgiven because I have been given the ability to not do it anymore.” “I’ve been delivered from it, I’ve been delivered from drug addiction, I don’t do it anymore, and I haven’t done it for twenty years, that’s how I know that sin in that area is forgiven.” It does not mean that you go out and commit adultery tonight and your sins are forgiven the next day, and a month later you do it again. If you do it again a month later your sin is not forgiven.
The potential for it will always be there until we enter into perfection, but in this condition that we are in, there are degrees, there are degrees. Jesus forgives us first by an act of faith, then He helps us to stop doing it, then He will deliver us with enough measure that we can live out the rest of our lives without doing it if we choose to exercise the authority He’s given us. Then the end of the process is the crucifixion of our soul to Christ which kills the potential. There are three stages of the resurrection and there are many degrees in between. But to say that you’re forgiven when you’re going out and committing adultery once a month or once a year, you’re not even on the path of forgiveness. It’s a process, it’s a process, and somewhere along the line you have to stop doing it or you’re not forgiven. You’re in the process of being forgiven. I know someone’s going to twist my words. The opportunity for forgiveness is present in Christ but you have to lay hold of the power of God, you’ve got to cry out to God until that power works in your life and gives you enough dominion over your sin that you stop doing it. Then you will know that the mechanism to forgive your sins has begun to work in your life. It’s wonderful to know that somewhere out there is forgiveness of sins; it has to begin to work in your life. Then once it begins to work in your life it’s a process that isn’t completed until you’re raised from the dead. But it is possible to be given dominion over that sin while we’re waiting for Jesus to raise us from the dead.