Aug 17

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Forgiveness. We all need it. “All have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) and “the wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). Without it, we would all spend eternity in a devil’s hell.
Forgiveness, in the Bible, is expressed in several different ways: remission; redemption; blotted out; delivered; cut off; take away. The word which occurs most often for forgiveness is (in the Greek) aphiemi which means “to send away” (Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, p.88). It would be like a boy, upon lighting a firecracker, quickly throwing it—sending it away. Jesus forgave (sent away) the sins of the palsy (Mat. 9:2-6), and we are assured that God will “send away” our sins as we confess [and repent and pray for forgiveness (Acts 8:22)] (I John 1:9).
Another word used (in the Greek) for forgiveness is aphaireo, meaning “to take from, take away, remove” (Thayer’s, p. 87). Little children are experts at getting stickers and splinters in their hands. But, to remove the splinter, by their reaction, you would think you were pulling a tooth! Yet, once the “surgery” is completed, what a relief to the child (as well as the parent). The splinter was once there, but it has been removed and taken away—it’s gone. So it is with forgiveness. The soul had sin, but the Father takes it away. Just like the splinter–it’s gone.
We should also understand, if we are forgiven, it is by the grace of God—not by any meritorious works that we did (so that God owes us or is indebted to forgive us). Rather, His forgiveness is by His grace. That is, God, without obligation to us, provided us a way to have our sins taken away. Then, when man does that which God has set forth for us to do, our sins are forgiven.*
Blessed be the name of God for His wonderful grace which enables us to be forgiven.

Gary Henson

* [In order to obtain forgiveness of sin, the Christian is told by God to confess the sin (1 John 1:9), repent of the sin and pray God for forgiveness (Acts 8:22). The non-Christian is told by God to believe Jesus is the Son of God (Mark 16:16), repent (Acts 2:38), confess Jesus to be the Son of God (Romans 10:9), and “be baptized…for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38; see also Acts 22:16).]

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