Let us first read about an experience in our Lord’s life that begins to answer your good questions. We read in Mark 2:3-12, “And they come unto Him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where He was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, He said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (He saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.”

Faith in Christ resulted in the man with palsy (paralysis) having his sins forgiven. The Lord Jesus proved that He had the power to forgive sins by healing the man so that he could walk again. The Lord said in verse 5, “Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” All of his sins were forgiven that day. Notice that the Lord also calls him Son. The Lord Jesus was claiming the man as a child of God, a son who had been saved from the wrath of God and eternal judgment in hell. The man’s relationship with Christ as a son in God’s family was secured that day and could not be changed.

When the Lord Jesus teaches His disciples to pray “Forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us” (Luke 11:4), He is not talking about the once and for all forgiveness that we receive from God the moment that we are saved. Instead, the Lord is talking about FELLOWSHIP. Our RELATIONSHIP with God as His children cannot be changed. However, the quality of our FELLOWSHIP with God changes, depending on if we have any unconfessed sins in our lives or not. We read in Psalm 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Confessing our sins daily helps to keep us in close FELLOWSHIP with our loving God. We read in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

In summary, our wonderful God forgives all our sins when He welcomes us into His family as a child of God. This establishes our RELATIONSHIP with Him, which cannot be changed. As we live our lives, He asks us to confess our sins so that He can forgive us, and FELLOWSHIP can be restored with Himself. Oh, how He loves us! He knows how spiritually damaging it is to have unconfessed sins hanging over our heads. He wants us to confess our sins so that sweet FELLOWSHIP can be restored. All praise to Him!  (DJ)  (506.3)