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Our heavenly Father knows us better than we know ourselves. When we seek God, we need not have perfect words but only a sincere and contrite heart, as we acknowledge and pray for forgiveness. HE knows our all our faults and sins which are many. How could we remember every slight or unkind and impure action or thought? Therefore, when we come in all sincerity before God and ask for Forgiveness for all past transgressions HE promises His mercy. Our sins are washed away. Being of a sinful nature we must walk closely every day to keep in check with his will. Every day we need His forgiveness.
I consider asking to be forgiven by a person, such as say, my wife Faye, to be different from asking to be forgiven by the Lord. For instance, if I told her a lie I would ask her to forgive me for lying to her about whatever the lie was. I've never told her "I'm sorry" and didn't specify what my sorrow involved. So, in this example, I've sinned against my wife and I'm asking for forgiveness. There are those who believe that all our sins are against God, so let's see what the bible teaches. David is recorded as having done despicable acts against Uriah the Hittite, his wife Bathsheba, and the officer he involved in carrying out his muderous plot. However, when he prayed for forgiveness he is said to have told God 'against You and You only have I sinned...' Psalm 51:4. Upon further study of scripture, we find other evidence of sin's infection. After the eighth plague the Pharaoh of Egypt told Moses and Aaron he had sinned against God, Exodus 10:16. When Achan stole some of the spoils from the Jericho invasion he told Joshua, 'I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel', Joshua 7:20. But, when the priest Eli rebuked his sons for their wrongdoing he says this: "If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against God, who can intercede for him"? 1 Sam 2:25. Lastly, Paul told the Corinthians that when you sin against your brothers.... you sin against Christ, 1Cor 8:12. If I ask for forgiveness from my wife, Faye, I am essentially asking forgiveness of God also even if I don't specify at the time of speaking to her. But when I ask the Lord to forgive me, I'm asking to be forgiven for who I am which includes all that I have done. I want to be seen differently by Him, not because I've done good but because He sees me as a son, in Christ, and not as a slave, lost because of something I've done. I'd never ask Faye to forgive me for who I am, a sinner saved by grace. She'd want to know what I've done. I was born a sinner and had not done anything except come into the world. God doesn't NEED to be told anything at any time. Confession is a way to keep a balanced account with the Lord, and is NECESSARY for salvation, Romans 10:9. After that, it is necessary for sanctification, separation, consecration, and legitimation. All my sin,(being born into the world) was compensated for at the cross of Messiah, but was applied to my eternal life ONLY upon confession of a need for His sacrifice, and repentance. When I confessed and asked for forgiveness, I was admitting to being what I am, unable to please God no matter what I do.
For many years Psalm 19:12-13 has been a favorite of mine when it comes to dealing with my own sins. David says, "Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me.. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression." David recognized two categories of sin.. One is willful sin, when we know it is wrong but we do it anyway. When we are aware of such sins, it is best to specifically confess them and ask for forgiveness. But even if we confess as many as we are aware of, there are still the "hidden faults" that we may not even be aware of. We may not be aware of how some word or action hurt someone, or we may have forgotten to carry through on a promise. We all have numerous sins that we are not even aware of, both sins of commission and omission. In such cases we are not able to name these sins, but may simply ask the Lord to forgive us for all such shortcomings, as David did.
Before we even ask God for blessings or forgiveness he has instructed us to leave everything at the alter and first go and make peace with the person we have hurt. This is the very first step towards forgiveness and the most difficult one. We should never bypass it, as true healing comes from humility and Gods grace. It does not end there, because a sin against any of his children is a sin against the father as well. So we need to seek the forgiveness of God. The last step is correction. God is not safety deposit locker where we deposit each days sins. We need to resolve to do everything in our power to never repeat the sin again.
God hate sins, and also dislike sinners, therefore when requesting for forgiveness from the lord, there is no way it can be done without mentioning some specific sin committed, and also let us remember that God is omnipresence, and is aware of all our life circumstance. Then by mentioning, the specific items of our mistakes, He will be humbled to assumed that, it is a confession and which you may likely not want to undertake again. 2 Peter 3:9 - The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Forgiveness is the intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, lets go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well. And in Christianity, all wrong doings are considered as sin towards God, and indeed the actual forgiveness is made when the sinner found favour before the Lord, and cleansed of the Sin. The process of which certainty depends on the relationship between the person and Christ. Psalms 32:5 - I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD, and thou forgave the iniquity of my sin. "Iniquity is wickedness or sin. In biblical terms, it is a violation of God's moral law, which can be described as perversity". JESUS IS LORD.
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