Chapter # 3 Paragraph # 1 Study # 5
December 4, 2005
Lincolnton, N.C.

<209> Thesis: Forgiveness, as the equivalent of redemption, is a once-for-all extension of exemption from the condemnation of the Law; but, as the mechanism of relationship, it is an on-going necessity for harmony unto Life. Introduction: Last week we considered the issue of forgiveness from the perspective of what it means in terms of exemption from certain consequences of one's sins. We also considered its essential nature as a "relationship" term that reveals the impossibility of harmonious relationships without both of the attitudes represented in "repentance" and "forgiveness". It was our major thesis that anyone seeking to be "forgiven" was seeking to be placed outside of "Law". Forgiveness is impossible under "Law" because "Law" describes and enforces "Justice". Thus, to be "forgiven" is to be translated out of the realm of "Law" and into the realm of "grace-based mercy". Now, we need to address one of the first questions that arise when we claim that when God forgives, He moves the forgiven out from under Law into Mercy. That question is this: when God forgives, does His forgiveness include things the forgiven person has not yet done. In other words, is "forgiveness" only for sins that have already been committed, or is it a blanket issue that actually puts a relationship on a new foundation that cannot be subverted by new acts of sin? The more recognizable form of this question is: Is "once-saved, always-saved" a true doctrine? This morning we are going to look into the issue of whether "forgiveness" has any kind of "once-for-all" sense to it.