It's Not Easier to Get Forgiveness Than Permission

They say that it's easier to get forgiveness than permission. If that's your mentality, you won't get either one. 

Why? As David prays through the consequences of a dumb decision, he makes an important statement about God.

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. Psalm 25:8-10

David's statement reveals 3 problems with the "forgiveness is easier than permission" mentality.

Problem #1 - Permission is impossible.

God is "good and upright." So yeah. There's a reason getting forgiveness is "easier" than permission. Getting permission from a holy God to sin is impossible. 

Saying something is "easier" than impossible is insanity. 

If a friend asked, "Do you want to go to the gym or Jupiter?" Would you answer, "Well, the gym sounds easier." No. If you reply like that it just means that you're both crazy. 

Would you seriously to pray to God, "Dear God, since I can't get your permission, I'd like to ask for your forgiveness?"

You might as well plan that trip to Jupiter.

Problem #2 - Forgiveness isn't easy.

Forgiveness is not permissive. Forgiveness is progressive. The Bible says that "He instructs sinners in the way."

Two truths here. 

1) Forgiveness is not a way God gives sinners to go ahead and sin. Forgiveness is God's way "away" from sin. God's Word instructs the sinner to turn away from sin, flee, resist, deny - not to go ahead and do it.

2) Forgiveness isn't easy.

Forgiveness requires repentance. Repentance isn't "easy." A repentant person is not looking for an easy way "post-sin." A repentant person is broken than they sinned in the first place. 

Forgiveness is about restoration. That means God is looking to change your character rather than help you coast through the consequences. Again, not easy. 

Problem #3 - God deals with pre-meditated faithfulness, not pre-meditated sin. 

David says that the "paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies." 

If the only interest you have of God is getting His forgiveness, you're making a major mistake. 

The Bible NEVER considers forgiveness for pre-meditated sin, only consequences. The Bible calls pre-meditated sin the "willful, deliberate, practice" of sinning. And it never ends well. Consult Hebrews 10:26, 1 John 3:4-10, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, and Ephesians 5:5-6.

So if you are considering "sinning" and then getting God's "forgiveness because it's easier than permission", please understand. YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE IN THE CONVERSATION. WITH GOD THERE IS NO CONSIDERATION. 

If you are considering sin, the conversation God would have with you is about faithfulness, not forgiveness. 

God is your Redeemer, not your enabler.

The problem with "It's easier to get forgiveness rather than permission" is that you're already mulling over sin in your mind. And if that's where you are, God only offers one solution. Don't. 

Bible Study

Read 1 John 3:4-10.

  • What does this passage teach us about Christ's purpose in securing salvation?
  • What is the error of a follower of Christ making a practice of sin?
  • How does this passage provoke me to pray?


Notice that 1 John 3:6 talks about "abiding" in Christ. Jesus also uses this language of "abide" in John 15. Watch this video clip from Francis Chan. Take a few minutes to watch this video clip from Francis Chan.

What spiritual habits in your life help you to abide in Christ? Foster them.

What activities in your life make it hard to stop sinning? Eliminate them.


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