“Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” (Lk 11:4 NLT)
We understand clearly that forgiveness is an essential part of our salvation. The Bible tells us that ‘we all have sinned and come short of God’s glory.’ (Romans 3:23) The Bible also teaches us that God’s eyes are ‘too pure to behold what is evil’ (Habakkuk 1:13); therefore, until there is forgiveness of our sins, we cannot have a relationship with God. That is why we need Christ to be our Savior. We read in Ephesians 1:7, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”Salvation cleanses us of all of our sins and restores our relationship with God. Why then do we need to pray daily,“forgive us our sins?”
It’s unfortunate, but Christians can still sin, even after they are saved. Though such sins are covered by the blood of Christ, they still affect our relationship with God. On the night before Jesus was crucified, scripture says that He took a towel and a basin of water and began to wash His disciples’ feet.
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean.” (John 13:8-10)
Notice that Jesus said, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet…”In this one sentence, Jesus uses two different Greek words to help describe the two aspects of our spiritual cleansing.
The first word Jesus used is ‘bath’ which describes a complete cleansing. Revelation 1:5. “Unto him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”Salvation is a complete bathing of our spiritual being. Jesus said that a person who has been ‘bathed’ all over, doesn’t need to be bathed again and again. From that point on, he or she needs only to ‘wash’ their feet.
When we receive Christ as our Savior, we are immersed completely into His blood and are forever made clean. However, as we go through life, we pick up a lot of contaminates along the way. Such contaminates can affect both our conscience as well as our relationship with the Lord. In order to remove these contaminates, we do not need to take another shower, we need only to wash our hands or our feet. It’s much like a person who takes a shower in the morning when they first get up, but then washes their hands again and again before each meal. Each time we pray, “Forgive us our sins…”, we are asking the Lord to wash away the contaminates we have picked up from the world.
In closing I leave you with these words from 1 John.
1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
God bless you my brethren.