How many times must we ask God to forgive? Once? Daily? Weekly? Hourly? As often as we commit sin?
To suggest an answer, we must contemplate what sin and forgiveness are. And for that we turn to the Scripture…
John 16:7 It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me…
1 John 1:7 If we walk in the light, as he is in the light… the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 2:2 He is the propitiation for our sins…
Hebrews 9:26 (Jesus) has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself… 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him. 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
The sin that condemns is not believing in Jesus Christ. When the ultimate sin is confessed, forgiveness and cleansing is granted. Once sin is forgiven, there is no need for further confession and repentance… it is removed as far as the east is from the west. When God forgives through Jesus, ALL sin is forgiven… past, present, and future.
However, when we repeatedly commit individual acts of sin, something takes place in heaven between God and Christ our advocate as found in 1 John 2:1… “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
Think of it this way. When we confess sin to God… including repeated sin… Jesus in essence says… “Father, I paid for that sin on the cross. It has been dealt with and forgiven. Therefore there is no need to forgive again what has already been forgiven. You have justly dealt with it.”
God forgives sin one time. When a Christian is saved, all their sin is forgiven: Past… Present… and Future. This is why Paul wrote in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If ALL sin weren’t forgiven, Paulcouldn’t have written that.