So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”
2 Samuel 12:13–14
In considering the subject of forgiveness of sins we need to remember that Scripture presents it in several different aspects. There is, first of all, the forgiveness which God gives to all who believe upon His Son (Acts 10:43; 13:38–39). This is perfect and complete, and is never repeated. The basis of it is the work of the cross, the blood of Christ shed for our redemption (Ephesians 1:7). He who comes to God as a sinner and puts his trust in the Lord Jesus passes from death to life (John 5:24) and is now a child of God, justified before His throne and accounted clear of every charge (Romans 8:33–34). His responsibility as a sinner having to do with the judgment of God is over for eternity. But now a new responsibility begins: that of a child having to do with his Father. If the child sins he loses fellowship and needs restorative forgiveness. This is granted when he comes to his Father in contrition, confessing his failure (1 John 1:9). There is a third and very important aspect of forgiveness which we may call governmental. In the government of God there are certain consequences of a temporal (and often a physical) character, which follow the commission of sin. These consequences go on for years, or God may in mercy remit them, if we walk humbly before Him. In David’s case most serious governmental consequences followed long after Nathan assured the penitent king the Lord had put away his sin.
My sins forgiven, my fears removed,
I know that Thou hast ever loved.
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 58.