It is absolutely true that the believer is justified (declared righteous) before God and that ALL of his sins (past, present and future) have been forgiven by a holy God based on the death of Christ for those sins. The apostle Paul preached this truth in his gospel presentation in Acts 13:38-39, “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the FORGIVENESS OF SINS; and by Him everyone who believes is JUSTIFIED FROM ALL THINGS from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.” Once a sinner believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior they are instantly “forgiven of all sins.” The apostle John speaks to this in 1st John 2:12, “I write to you, little children, because YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN for His name’s sake.” The believing sinner is also JUSTIFIED the moment they believe, which means God looks at them as RIGHTEOUS in His sight. In fact, He sees them in all the value of Christ’s perfect righteousness. The apostle Paul spoke of Christ’s death on the cross resulting in the believer having Christ’s righteousness in 2nd Corinthians 5:21, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that WE MIGHT BECOME THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.” Because of this, Christ does not need to ever die again for the believer’s sins. He died once and His precious blood has cleansed us from those sins. “…the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1st John 1:7).

What we have just seen is the perfect STANDING (or POSITION) the believer has before God. But now we need to consider the believer’s STATE (or PRACTICE) when he sins. We have seen that all of our sins were dealt with on the cross when Christ was “made a sin offering” for those sins (2nd Corinthians 5:21 with Isaiah 53:10), resulting in the believer being eternally forgiven by God. Yet that “forgiveness” is what we would call “JUDICIAL forgiveness”; it is the forgiveness that God grants to a guilty sinner as a Holy Judge. After one is forgiven by God “the JUDGE” he then enters into a new relationship with God as “the FATHER.” He is born-again into His family, as we see in John 1:12, “But as many as received Him (Jesus Christ), to them He gave the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name.” If a believer in the family of God sins, his sin results in a disruption in fellowship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus. Just as a dark cloud separates us from the warmth and beauty of the sunshine, our sin comes between us and the Father and we can’t enjoy the warmth and beauty of His love. The believer is still a child of God in the family of God but he is now “out of communion” with the Father and this fellowship must be RESTORED. How does that come about? You are right that we need not ASK for forgiveness, but scripture teaches us that we must CONFESS OUR SIN before our Father and then our fellowship with Him will be restored. The apostle John taught this in 1st John 1:9, “If we CONFESS OUR SINS, He (the Father) is faithful and just to FORGIVE US OUR SINS and to CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.” The “forgiveness” in this verse is what we call “PATERNAL forgiveness,” for it is the forgiveness God the FATHER grants His child the moment he confesses his sin(s) before Him. In addition to being forgiven, the Father “cleanses His child from the sin he confesses,” which simply means that the Father delivers us from the sin by His precious Word (see Psalm 119:9 and Ephesians 5:25-26). The believer then has a “good conscience” before the Father and is completely restored to fellowship with Him. See 1st John 3:20-22 & 5:14-15.

In closing, it vital to see the difference between the believer’s perfect STANDING before God (which is based on Christ’s finished work on the cross) and the believer’s STATE before God (which is based on whether or not a believer is living in sin). Nothing can change our STANDING before God, but one unconfessed sin can sever our FELLOWSHIP with the Father until the sin is confessed.  (471.1)  (DO)