Many years ago I had someone tell me that as a Believer I have two kinds of forgiveness in Christ.
Admittedly, this idea is widely taught in Christianity today. However, I have noticed that there is a lot of Christian jargon floating around (e.g. positional and relational forgiveness) that I can not find in scripture. As the saying goes "just because something is found in the Bible belt, does not necessarily mean it is found in the Bible".
I spent some time studying this topic because I wanted to know the answer to this question. Forgiveness, Is it finished? I know of no single verse or teaching in the NT that tells me as a born again believer that I need to ask God to forgive me of sins, so that I can be cleansed progressively (relational forgiveness). This belief and practice is taught by many protestants. Countless times i have heard pastors teach Christians in an institutional church setting that they need to "bring their sins down to the altar (ask for forgiveness) and get right with God". Is this true? As a believer am I not perfectly cleansed and perfectly made right with God already? I view the idea of relational forgiveness as just a reformed version of catholic theology. The difference being that we as protestants are going directly to God (over and over again) for forgiveness of sin instead of confessing to the priest in a box.
I believe in forgiveness of my sin - past, present, and future. I believe it is actual, not positional, and not relational. The bible teaches me that I was born a sinner. I am not a sinner because I sin. I did not have to commit one single sin to become a sinner, I was already a sinner before I was born. When i was reborn I am no longer a sinner, I am a saint. I am a new creation. I am the righteousness of God.
However, It is obvious to me that even after I was reborn and I became a saint not a sinner that I still commit sins. Do I need to be forgiven and cleansed over and over again? I do not believe so. As a Christian I have been forgiven (once for all).
So what do i do as a believer priest when i sin? I do not need to be progressively forgiven. In my walk as a born again believer I acknowledge and regret my sins, I turn from sin and I go forward joyfully knowing that I am already forgiven. Amen!