Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Critique of CP's forgiveness (pg2)


Chuck Phelps is correct about mankind’s forgiven condition but then he gets to the definition of “forgive.” In column two he states, “The basic meaning of “forgive” is to release from a debt or penalty.” It sounds good until you realize that our debt and penalty is not released, it’s already been paid. Christ’s righteousness is applied to us. Yes, we don’t have to pay the penalty ourselves and in that sense we are “forgiven.” 

Why I think this is important is that just because forgiveness has been sought for and has been granted, it does not absolve the fact that there are consequences to doing wrong. Chuck Phelps is not dealing with it here but later we’re going to see God’s command to forgive, just like Christ forgave us, and we should, but that does not stop the consequences of sin and I believe this is a big area where Christians, especially IFB, have issues.

I think the courtroom and living room analogies are good. It gives you a visual of your relationship with God.

Chuck Phelps goes on to Practical Forgiveness. He’s right in that we can’t lose our salvation due to sinning after salvation. Security of the believer is important but I think it’s important to realize that we’re already forgiven and he does point this out. I’m concerned when he says, “fellowship forgiveness is conditional.” I don’t believe that our fellowship with God is ever broken, it may be strained or tense because we have sinned, but it’s never broken and God’s always there. This may be what Chuck Phelps is saying but I’m not sure. I John 1:9 is God’s promise to us that He’s not going to turn us down when we come to Him in humbleness of heart, asking for forgiveness.

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