Jesus Christ gave His followers a pattern for prayer that includes seeking forgiveness daily. The invitation to regular repentance is not a means of renewing our salvation, but rather a maintenance plan for our fellowship with the Lord. When we trust Jesus as our Savior, our sins are forgiven forever. The stains from our past, present, and future wrongs are wiped from our record; however, we're a fallen people so we do continue to commit sin.
With the exception of Jesus Christ, no person is perfect. Sin is simply a fact of human life. The Lord's payment for our transgressions means that we can look forward to an eternity spent in God's presence instead of getting the punishment we deserve. On this side of heaven, though, we still have to contend with our tendency to do wrong--and we must also deal with the consequences. The Lord's admonition to seek daily forgiveness is a reminder to confess our sins and turn away from them because we are forgiven.
God's grace is not a license to sin; instead, it's a reason to pursue righteousness. Bad attitudes, thoughtless actions, and unkind speech do not fit who we are as children of light. We're new creatures in Christ, bought for a price and set free to live as partakers of His grace.
Salvation makes a way for us to enter God's presence, while regular confession and repentance keep the pathway well maintained and free of obstruction (1 John 1:9). The so-called "sinner's prayer" need be said only once, but a saint will tap into God's forgiveness every day of his or her life.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.