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How do we know that Jesus died for our past, present, and future sins?

translate past present and future sins

In Colossians 2:13–14, Paul writes, “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (ESV, emphasis added). The word all means “any, every, the whole of.” Thus, all of our sins—past, present, and future—were nailed to the cross and completely forgiven (see Psalm 103:12 and 1 Peter 2:24).

In 1 John 5:13, the apostle says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life” (ESV, emphasis added). John wrote this epistle (or letter) to reassure believers of their eternal salvation, which is a present and future reality (John 3:16). But if only our past sins are forgiven, then we could not know that we are saved, and John would be a liar. John is not a liar (John 1:14; 1 John 1:1–4). Therefore, we know that our salvation is eternally secure. Our past, present, and future sins have been eternally forgiven (John 10:25–30).

In Hebrews 10:10, the writer says, “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (ESV, emphasis added). Because of the blood of Jesus Christ, we have been “made perfect forever” (verse 14), God will remember our sins no more (verse 17), and “there is no longer any offering for sin” (verse 18, ESV). But if only our past sins are forgiven, then none of this is true, and we would stand condemned before God. Yet the writer of Hebrews clearly expresses that the sacrificial death of Jesus was offered once for all. Therefore, we know that the blood of Jesus covers our past, present, and future sins (1 John 1:7).

In 1 John 2:12, the apostle writes, “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake” (ESV, emphasis added). Are only our past sins forgiven? No, all of our sins are forgiven! In the original language, the words translated “have been forgiven” refer to a past action that continues in the present. Simply put, believers are forgiven and remain forgiven: “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. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1–2, ESV). The word propitiation means “appeasement” or “satisfaction.” In other words, the sacrificial death of Jesus wholly appeases and satisfies God’s wrath against our past, present, and future sins. The condemnation fell on Him instead of on us.

The biblical evidence shows that Jesus died for our past, present, and future sins. If you are still uncertain, or if you are worried that you are not forgiven, then God wants to give you assurance today. The burden of sin is too heavy for you to carry (Psalm 34:8). Why not give it to Jesus? He will carry it for you (Matthew 11:28–30).

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How do we know that Jesus died for our past, present, and future sins?
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This page last updated: April 4, 2023