Do you have to ask to be forgiven?

At youth group last night (sadly no longer considered young enough to be one of the youth, but still in denial about that) one question that got raised was whether you have to ask for forgiveness in order to be forgiven.

I realised as we were talking that I’d not really thought about it – and then we got side-tracked onto predestination, the trinity and other things…

Anyone have any comments?

Published by m

Living in Wales, wife to Matt, mummy to Amy, very disorganised.

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  1. My initial reaction is: in general, yes – to be forgiven the Bible seems to say we need to believe in Jesus, and turn our lives around to follow him. I guess the asking for forgiveness is part of turning around.

    I don’t think you have to ask for forgiveness on every single sin, though.

  2. I think it depends what you mean by forgiveness. It’s possible to be released from the sense of injustice or hatred or desire for revenge towards someone who’s wronged you (especially if God helps), whether or not they ever feel sorry for what they’ve done. But forgiveness is made complete when the relationship is restored, which means the other person has to ask for your forgiveness.

    That’s how it is with God too – in the Bible he pleads with Israel to come back to him, the apostles plead with their hearers etc., but God wants us to accept that we need to ask for forgiveness and we need to restore our relationship with him.

  3. It is a question that belies more in the asking than the answering. I guess my answer would be, “What does asking for forgiveness mean to you and what is so hard about asking to be forgiven?”

    For the same reason we should fall on our knees to pray,
    For the same reason we should sup up our faces to praise,
    For the same reason we should look into someone’s eyes when we speak in earnest.

    We show our commitment not only others, but to ourselves.

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