All forgiveness of sin acts as an atonement. Now an atonement is a satisfactorily making of amends for a wrong one has done, by paying money to or otherwise helping those who have been wronged for a wrong or injury. An example of this would be breaking a window by accident while playing baseball. Replacing the cost of the window and giving a few extra dollars to cover the cost of the interruption of time is satisfactory. Notice how the word covering was used "To cover the cost" so an atonement acts as a covering.
Now consider that you are the one that had the baseball break your window. After the window is replaced, and you have received a little extra money for your time. What is your natural response? It's a done deal, and it is most likely not going to come up again, but when the kids are outside playing ball, your eye might be taking a look now and again, or you might even call out and ask that the game be moved to another location. Because you remember what has happened, and you don't want it to happen again.
Now consider that the payment is made, but another ball breaks a window. This time you send your servant to the kids to tell them that they really have to move the game to another location. Now the kids do come up with the money again. So OK it's all cool now.
So let us run through this routine of the window breaking and the boys paying for the damage and imagine this routine happening over and over again. Eventually you get to the point that the money that the boys pay no longer satisfies the annoyance.
God had a similar response to this:
Isaiah 1:11 NKJV
To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me?” Says the Lord. "I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams And the fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of bulls, Or of lambs or goats.
Now I want you to think of your own personal experience in matters of "making amends for wrongs that you have done." You will find that with enough thought into the matter that all situations that you have personal errors you have had to make amends for fall into two categories. Situations where the error was forgiven, and situations where the error had consequences, and a value was due for recompense.
If I think back to times such as these that where general to me where I had to pay no amends, and I was just forgiven, usually fell to very simple matters such as:
Bumping into someone by accident. So I turn and say "I'm sorry" I get a "No Problem" and all is well. Let's turn the degree of the error up just a little bit. Lets say that I bump into someone and because of this, they spill coffee on the floor, none got on their clothes, but because responsibility and work need performed to "correct the error" and "restore the error to the state before the error occurred" Forgiveness of this matter is not so easy to obtain. If I did this said "I'm Sorry" and assumed that I was forgiven, and started to walk away. Chances are I would hear a correction "Are you going to clean this up?"
Now in an ideal world where all Christians where forgiving, If you were to bump into a Christian and the coffee would spill. Then the Christian would be self sacrificing and would clean up the mess you would receive forgiveness. Yet if you bumped into a non-believer then the law would apply for they would expect you to make amends for a wrong you did. A clear example of this the worldly example of going to the judge with a lawsuit. Where the offended party declares the acceptable sacrifice that is needed to atone for the sin. So it has been written:
John 20:23 NKJV
If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.
For the decision falls to the one that is offended. Therefore if you are a believer it is important that you do not offend a non-believer for when you do you are still under the law.
Matthew 5:25-26 NKJV
Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
Then for situations where a sin occurs against a believer.
1 Corinthians 6:7 NKJV
Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated?
For the three structures towards world peace are in play. The way of the law, when the offender pays the penalty. The way of forgiveness, when the offended pays the penalty. The way of generosity which is from both, when others pay.
So then it is an advantage for believers to separate away from non-believers, as it is suggested:
2 Corinthians 6:17 NKJV
Therefore “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you.”
So to introduce you to the word repent. An example of this would be for those kids to stop playing baseball around the house that they always break the window. Thinking again to that example, if you where the one constantly having to replace that window. You would want that to stop occurring. Well this also has been commanded for believers.
Matthew 3:2 NKJV
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
When he says at hand this is not a matter of after death, it is a peace that is offered right now. Yet for "ALL SINS" this is the prayer:
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours.
So from your own experience and from the actual examples of forgiveness and forgiveness that you can see with your own eyes even on the news channel. You can see who receives mercy, and who does not.
So you might be wondering why does the Death of Jesus pay for all sins? Well it is stated here:
1 John 2:2 NKJV
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
I love learning how two opposing viewpoints work out in the pure view of truth, so here goes.
We have some insight into this conflict of concepts given to use by God through Paul.
Romans 8:3-4 NKJV
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
So I want to restate this into a simplified statement: Everyone in the world has the ability to walk by the Spirit, and not by the flesh. All actions performed in the spirit are forgiven, and all actions performed in the flesh are condemned.
So to the questioner I say this, If you continually walk by the spirit for all your future, all of your future sins will be forgiven. Now much in the new testament can be said about the flesh versus the spirit. Yet another polar example has been given to help us understand this polar opposite approach.
1 John 1:5 NKJV
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
Now much can be said about the Light and the Darkness as well. So again let us compose all the evaluating concepts into a greater statement of understanding. Everyone in the world has the ability to walk by the Spirit giving light, and not by the dark deeds of the flesh. All actions performed in the spirit and light are forgiven, and all actions performed in the darkness of flesh are condemned.
So let us get a raise of hands from the audience. Who does not ever want to be condemned?
Well hopefully everyone metaphorically raised their hand, because receiving condemnation is not fun in my opinion (even though I now try to also be content with receiving condemnation).
So structurally here are the two lines of thought. If I receive condemnation or not. If I do receive condemnation do I pay the penalty or not.
How do I not receive condemnation?
The short easy answer: Love your neighbor as yourself. The detailed answer for the over thinkers like I am. Here goes:
Matthew 5:7 NKJV
Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
This was not good enough of an explanation for me I wanted "No Condemnation at all". Yep God is Good Check it Out.
Proverbs 28:13 NKJV
He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
Wait a second! This was given to us in Proverbs! Now I want to show you this awesome comparison in the old testament between Pride and Humility.
Proverbs 16:18 NKJV
Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
Micah 6:8 NKJV
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?
Yep and Jesus was in agreement check it out:
Matthew 11:29 NKJV
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
So the Big Guy Upstairs wants us to be humble. How does that humility tie into to this light - spirit - darkness - flesh concept?
Well we get another awesome explanation from Jesus through Paul here:
2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
So remember how in Proverbs it was telling us that if one covered his sin he would not prosper. Here we see instruction to boast of weakness. So here is logic: When I boast of my weakness and forsake my weakness the power of Christ rests on me and I obtain mercy.
A personal example that happened to me today. I was a few minutes late to a meeting that I needed to go to. I walked in and declared to the entire room that I was sorry and that I was bad at managing my time so I received mercy. Thanks God.
Now another way to understand this freedom from condemnation is to understand how the flesh spirit polarization leads to the light dark polarization. For we have already seen how the pride humility polarization leads into the light darkness polarization.
So the flesh leads in three directions when in "Denial": Anger, Depression, and Anxiety. So the Spirit of Humility and Faith in God is on one side as the Light, and the Prideful Fleshly reaction in "The Decision to Fix the Threatening Behavior" is on the other side as darkness.
So I want to point out the specified teaching that Jesus gave to help us understand when we are in the light.
Matthew 6:22 NKJV
The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
Now where it says "your eye is good" the full meaning to the Greek word is to be "unfolded". So when you see, if your vision is not folded, then you are full of light.
In plain English: When you are thinking of something that does not pertain to the current situation you are in the dark. Yet if you "Sell all of your thoughts and give all your attention to the one that is talking to you." then your thoughts are unfolded and you can clearly see what is going on.
Also as backup to this ideology during the sermon on the mount Jesus gave us a Parable about a Sower. This shows us the "Four Directions of Thoughts" that your mind is in when listening to the "Speaker". Not hearing what is being told to you (birds taking away the word), not caring about what you are hearing, busy thinking about other things, and then the "Good Ground" where the mind is clear and able to hear all that is said.
Fulfilling what he said.
Mark 4:12 NKJV
so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’”
So to summarize: See, Hear, and be forgiven; All by Faith, Humility, and Forgiveness.
So does the penalty need paid? The penalty falls into four classes. No Penalty - Offender Pays - Offended Pays - Gift Pays.
The Level of requirement is based on belief structures and necessity for amends. For example: If I broke Great Grandmas Old Violin. Nobody might pay, it might just stay broke. Yet forgiveness can occur.
The requirement of the Sacrament of Confession by the Catholics The natural person wants to boast to achieve status even though it tears them down. To learn to boast of weakness, a safe environment is needed so the one developing can build the confidence to start their public usage of humiliating statements.
Again: "Anxiety" is a sign of the darkness and its pattern includes guilt. Therefore:
1 John 3:3 NKJV
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
And it takes time.
Philippians 3:12 NKJV
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
So Good Luck on your dealings, and a word of advice, "No one plants trees in the fire, and a fire can not burn with no wood. If one is Anxious and you talk to them, they might return to faith, or they might become angry, for all thorns are thrown in the fire. People will dwell in the fires that they start, or in the peace that they prepare." Amen