What Jesus Reveals To Us About Forgiveness

What Jesus Reveals To Us About Forgiveness June 13, 2019

All my life I’ve been told by my Sunday School Teachers, Bible Teachers and Pastors that the only way to receive God’s forgiveness is to repent of my sins, confess my sins to God, and plead for forgiveness.

Even then, that forgiveness expires the moment I commit the next sin, which according to them is in about thirty seconds after I’ve prayed and asked for forgiveness.

So, obtaining, and maintaining, God’s forgiveness is essentially an endless merry-go-round of sinning, repenting, confessing, praying, receiving, and then sinning again, and round and round we go.

But, what if that’s not at all what we see in the Scriptures?

I mean, what if this constant hamster wheel of forgiveness is not only unnecessary, it’s actually not supported by Scripture at all, and in fact is something created by Church leaders to keep us in an endless loop of fear, shame and doubt?

What if?

Well, as you may have already guessed, that is exactly what I think  has been going on in Christendom for a few thousand years now.

The evidence from the New Testament, and the Gospels especially, is actually really, REALLY Good News!

See, Jesus is the “exact representation of the Father” [Hebrews 1:3], and Jesus “only does what [he] sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does,” [John 5:19], and if we want to know what the Father is like, we just need to look at Jesus, [John 14].

So, what do we see Jesus doing? We see Jesus forgiving people. All sorts of people. All of the time. Almost none of them ever even ask Jesus for his forgiveness, he just forgives them right off the bat.

It’s true.

In fact, I invite you to read through the Gospels and underline all the times Jesus tells someone “Your sins are forgiven.” Then, take note of how quickly Jesus says this; usually before they’ve even opened their mouth to ask him anything at all.

Here’s the reality: Jesus forgives everyone. All the time. Therefore, God also forgives everyone. All the time.

How does Jesus respond to our sins? He forgives. Completely. Automatically. One hundred percent.

Jesus never waited for anyone to repent. Jesus never asked anyone to confess. Jesus never did anything but forgive everyone he met; every single time.

We are forgiven.

And, knowing that we are so completely and effortlessly forgiven is what empowers us to freely and extravagantly forgive those who harm us.

Freely we have received, and so freely we give.

Once we realize how loved we are, and how totally forgiven we are, it’s much easier to love others and forgive them when they sin against us.

See, God was, in Christ, not counting our sins against us, but reconciling the entire World to himself. Now, our only mission is to act as ambassadors of this message of extravagant forgiveness, as if God himself were making an appeal through us. [See 2 Cor. 5:19]

Jesus forgave even those who were murdering him on the cross. Who could ever be exempt from such wide open forgiveness as this?

You are loved. Your sins are forgiven.

Spread the word.


Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.

His newest book, “Jesus Unveiled: Forsaking Church As We Know It For Ekklesia As God Intended” releases on June 9, 2019 on Amazon, and features a Foreword by author Richard Jacobson.

His book “Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible”, is available now on Amazon and features a Foreword by author Brian Zahnd.

He is also the author of the Amazon best-seller, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics To Pledge Allegiance To The Lamb” with a Foreword by Greg Boyd.

Keith also co-hosts the Heretic Happy Hour Podcast on iTunes and Podbean. BONUS: Want to unlock exclusive content including blog articles, short stories, music, podcasts, videos and more? Visit my Patreon page.

Join me this summer at one of these upcoming events:

*Costa Mesa, CA – June 22 “United We Stand”

*Hot Springs, NC – July 11-14 “Wild Goose Festival”

*Woodstock, GA – July 27-28 “Unleashing the Word of God” [With Richard Murray]

Want Keith to come speak at your church or in your home town? Learn more HERE

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  • Margaret Chapman

    What about 1 John 1:9, surely this is not a one off confession.

  • Shirley Blake

    Well thanks for this. When I married my second husband, a man who made no claims of Christianity, he made one comment on my then faith. Every prayer I prayed was a plea for forgiveness. Finally he said to me you don’t have to ask you are already forgiven. It hit home, he was right and ever since I have only prayed prayers of thanks for that forgiveness. This really resonates and you’re right we are kept in a place of constantly looking at ourselves, our sins. “What can separate us” only this, my focus on me and my sinfulness separates me from love and forgiveness. Great thoughts, again thanks.

  • Linda

    In Luke 17:3, Jesus tells us very clearly that we are to forgive someone who sins against us IF he repents. The Lord forgives us when we repent. (Acts 3:19) (Luke 13:3)

  • TimTripod

    “In fact, I invite you to read through the Gospels and underline all the times Jesus tells someone “Your sins are forgiven.”

    Reporting back for those who didn’t do this on their own: it only happened twice — to the paralytic lowered through the roof and to the woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. Both stories give their faith as the reason Jesus offered them forgiveness.

  • Cynthia Brown Christ

    My comment is focused on whether or not one must ask for repentance before receiving forgiveness. (I gospelcom.net’ed the word forgive, focusing only on the NT.)

    Right after the Lord’s Prayer Jesus says: 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    Nowhere here does it say one must repent for their own sins.

    In Matt 9:2 Jesus interestingly says “their” faith he said your sins are forgiven and healed him. No repeating required. Just faith.

    And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. This one I honestly don’t understand.

    35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” This is when Jesus says to forgive seven times seventy. He also says you must forgive your brother and sister, and have PATIENT with them, if it takes them some time to come around. NO REPENT HERE REQUIRED.

    March 1:4…. And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. I notice that it doesn’t say – PREACHING A BAPTISM FOR THE FORGIVENESS FOR THE REPENTNESS OF SINS. Repentness doesn’t have to come first.

    10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that,

    “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
    and ever hearing but never understanding;
    otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’[a]”

    Jesus spoke in parables because not everybody could perceive, understand or be forgiven. You had to forgive your brother first.

    I don’t know, but to me, this seems just what grace actually is. Forgiving without cause.

  • David Mark Taylor


  • TimTripod

    Matthew 4:17 – “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'”
    Matthew 6:15 – “But if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (i.e., repenting of an unforgiving attitude is a prerequisite for receiving forgiveness.)
    Luke 11:2-4 – “He said to them, ‘when you pray, say: . . . forgive us our sins . . .”
    Luke 13:5 – “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”
    Luke 17:3-4 – “. . .if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
    Acts 2:38 – “Repent, and be baptized. . .”
    Titus 2:11-12 – “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age. . .”

  • Leighton Cooper

    I would interpret blasphemy as reading whole sentence Bible rather than parsing the Bible to develop flexibility and reason and truth tables. It’s like when Jesus says where 3 or more are gathered, there I am. He isn’t saying the more people that know about your issues means the more chance you have that God will hear your prayer. I think that is complete NONSENSE. What it’s saying is that in geometry say we talk triangles you need to have 3 parts, or quadrilateral conversations you need to have 4 parts. Christians have dumbed everything down into this Jesus wept pattern It’s like I found it, very slogan based. But it was allowed to happen. Instead I need 3 uses of reason for a lot of topics and subjects. But because Christianity has stopped thinking up analogies and metaphores for objective mathematics, science, philosophy “oh that was the other mention that irritated me with this kIDS CULT BIBLE RADIO. Psychology who can know what that is? These people are really confused and refuse to expand themselves by reading univeristy press books. That is why many of us shout from the rooftops that CHRISTIANITY HAS BECOME A CULT.

  • Newton Finn

    I am suspicious of a theology or Christology that lands on only one side of what seems to be a paradox that runs through Jesus’ teaching and life example. God’s forgiveness of sin is indeed extravagant, even a gesture of repentance being sufficient for salvation (a cup of cold water, etc.). Sins of the flesh seem to impose little barrier to–are amply offset by–God’s extraordinary love and acceptance of his children. Yet equally vivid in Jesus’ words and actions is God’s zealous and righteous anger toward the greed and oppression of the rich and powerful (sins of the spirit, essentially idolatry). In seminary, we learned that the searing language used by Jesus (and John the Baptist) toward the elites of their time bordered on swear words. Lose this tension, this paradox, between a loving and a righteous God, and I fear you lose some of the wisdom we are put on earth to acquire, often the hard way.

  • ashpenaz

    If Universalism is true, then I don’t want forgiveness–I want purgation. I want God’s wrath and restorative justice. If I don’t have to negotiate with God to get him not to sentence me to Eternal Conscious Torment, then I want the Temporary and Purgative Conscious Torment which will remove all the things that aren’t like Jesus. I’ve heard it said that the proof of forgiveness is the destruction of sin–I don’t want to be forgiven over and over again. I want to stop sinning, to stop wanting to sin, to stop believing that there is something other than God to want.

    If you believe in Hell, then forgiveness gets you out of having to fundamentally change. If you believe in Universalism, you know you are on the very difficult road of becoming like Jesus even in those times you don’t want to, and nothing will stop God from burning away all the stuff keeping you from Him. So I don’t want Him to let me off the hook. I don’t want Jesus to substitute Himself for my sins. I want to suffer for my sins to the last penny so I will never believe again that there is something other than God to want.

  • Leighton Cooper

    Forgiveness has nothing to do with anyone else. It’s a matter of bringing and working to see where your own injustices’ are. No one can forgive anyone. instead personal work to see where you are treating someone else unfairly begins. oR YOU MAY NEED TO ADD WORDS THAT EXPLAIN A STANDING UP FOR FAIRNESS DIALOGUE. you have to go outside of Christianity! it’s hard because so many proven techniques that teach you how to come to see why you treated some one a certain way and demand you do personal work. For example when I was younger youth pastors had tapes that sounded cool. and I stole a tape on this I love you if, or I love you because, but the proper answer was supposed to be I love you unconditionally, which sounds nice except that some people do have a horrible background and have to dig out terrors in their subconscious again Christianity fails to believe in so much spiritual practices. and never once suggested to me that maybe you should write things down. Which is a truth. UNLESS I WRITE THINGS OUT! I CAN’T REMEMBER. So I have always bought a full case of reams of papers. That is an example of FORGIVENESS. But I also had subconscious buried word bindings and bonding’s that were buried in my unconscious which I had to dig out. Christians don’t suggest intellectual classics for anything and you are encouraged not to read any non-fiction especially math, science, philosophy and psychology so I had to leave Christianity!! Legitimate University ideas don’t exist in Christianity. I had to dump all of it. Just not enough there!!! I am at odds 180 degrees!!!! I’m writing as a resistance factor to warn against a lot of (pretend that discussion’s don’t exist) for many symptoms of depression and stuff like that. They do!! They’re just non-existing or flat out rejected in Christianity. I can’t reconcile anything. I’m starting to not care so I should probably quit blogging. I really don’t fit in to this movement especially Evangelical and baptist muscular Christianity which I have nothing in common with

  • Margaret Chapman

    Hi Leighton, some of the great scientists were and are Christians, so I don’t think anyone should dissuade you from the study of math. science, philosophy, psychology or the classics. Unfortunately it’s not easy to discuss differing views or views that oppose traditional Christian teaching without being called a heretic. I have found a book called “Sinners in the hands of a loving God”, available at Amazon and other book sellers to be a very helpful book .Maybe it would be helpful to you also.. I might add. that I don’t usually reccommend books but this one is a good one. Regards.

  • Leighton Cooper

    I do think there is some connection between purgation and wrath and worth I never accept the fact that if I hate myself more(because I have a disability) that that translates into Jesus loves me more, because I hate myself more. I always substitute words like sign, sine, or syne or renewal for sin. Forgiveness should be sorted into mechanistic processes because you have to add more lines of (retain a property, retain a fact) but a real result needs to introduce itself in-order to have accomplished forgiveness. I still stand by, that no one can forgive us. It instead involves personal work to realize, where as a human you (couldn’t be bothered to pursue your own interests. Identity disorder, one does not carry enough identity. The Christian religion lacks so much existing conversation found throughout The Great Books of the Western world, Great Courses Plus, Questia digital library that we cannot say anything and get understood. It’s to the side of abandon the sinking Christian ship, with its refusal to allow people to evolve their interpretations of scripture. Everything I was confused for decades about in Christianity I am re-solving. But over and over again I fail to get understood. So I more or less have abandoned this movement.

  • Leighton Cooper

    I think you are losing the extra-ordinariness faith and trying to rightly replace it with logical truth tables. I too have abandoned faith and replaced it with actually writing out truth tables. I still am not confident enough into making actual analogies and contexts ) but they are a part of the heart of that sort of thing. When people continually refer to them selves as children, They sound like they are in Denial. There is a good series of books about that “The Original Cause and unseen role of Denial. by CeAnne DeRohan. This series outlines denial in interesting analogies and contexts. It’s not really a how to book as it is a description of possible processes that may be involved. Unless Gestures bubble up feelings or tiredness and anxiety you aren’t really receiving forgiveness. Forgiveness is objective and out of it you should be able to continue your path more expanded and not get interrupted so much, which can happen. I have an anxiety disorder so when I sit down to practice computer programming Theology, sometimes I immediately have to go take a nap first. That is an anxiety disorder. It has nothing to do with mood. That also should shake out more, that you whole feel a tone of a mood. I can trace how body sections flow or are interfered with and identify when things get stuck. through my meditative practices over the year. ( I Don’t Use Prayer and I find it a cheap excuse and not sufficient like diagramming out, or adding definitions to extend a focus.) My version of Jesus I grew up with (evangelical and Baptist), wrecked my life so much and offered no management organization, that I had to throw the whole episodes out. I finally can take back what my disorder is with quite a lot of understanding; but I had to throw my religion out. God’s love and God’s mercy really are not applicable to me. I don’t receive much mercy from religious bloke. So that isn’t true for me at all. You pay a steep price when you reject organized religion from the pastors that are still practicing it. I refuse to so I am not offered a lot of courtesy it’s more like 1x a year they have to tolerate me. Oppression, Religion is only available for Republicans, anarchists and kinds of people associated with that. They want friendly people who vote republican, come as they are and are momentarily nice, while voting for candidates that want to remove social security, remove health care, jack up drug cost’s for people who need drugs and look the other way. Raise poor people’s rents. Cut food stamps. ) all while claiming that that is not what they are doing. Talking about children in cages is talking politics with that faction and they just won’t talk about it. I think those (Evangelical and Baptist’s are complete CULTS!!! AND i STAND BY THAT!!!! I am not suitable to be a Christian

  • Leighton Cooper

    Repentnece is actually re-defining a topic in an algorithmic fashion. There exist mechanical process’ that teach one how to re-solve long standing issues. It’s very hard to do this in Christianity, because Math, Science, Philosophy and Psychology are so demonized. They also don’t suggest books outside of their little cult either especially University Press books(Questia) Great Books of the Western world, Great Courses Plus. These are actually deep with analogy and context which is what most people need to really earn their forgiveness. I Mean Earn Too!!! Praying and just pretending are phony. Raising and expanding your vocabulary and factorizing important topics into algorithms is actually really useful. I mis apply this stuff and use it on social topics rather than just trying to solve computer and math problems. and it brings a lot of personal insights my way. I would say that that is a Jesus come to me moment. But I am so aghast at religion that I just don’t carry respect for all the phonyness in it.

  • Leighton Cooper

    Thank you I will take a look at that book. I’ve done enough work to reshape my version of Christianity which I disagree more often then I accept. That’s just my truth. I have studied a series of books by CeAnne DeRohan Original Cause, the unseen role of Denial. which explores theology dumped out of Christianity. That’s why so many of us consider it a phony community. Good luck on your journey

  • Katarzyna Michalewska

    The only one obstacle to accept Gods unconditional Love is our nonbelieving in this Love.

  • Freethinker