Question #23: Briefly discuss the forgiveness of sin from a biblical perspective.
Answer: The forgiveness of sin is the sweetest thing in the world! It is sweet to the soul, mind, spirit and even the body. It is sweet because of the peace it delivers. It is sweet because of the freedom and liberty it gives. It dispels the horror of sin’s penalties. It defeats the terror of sin’s guilt. This is what Ryrie calls “the remedy for sins.” “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9).
Forgiveness of sin can be done only by the offended party. In our case, God our Maker is the One offended. He created us. He gave us rules, roles and responsibilities. We messed up. We disobeyed Him. We violated His laws. We sinned. Thus the need for forgiveness. “At the beginning of Christ’s ministry John the Baptist announced the purpose of it when he pointed to Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (Basic Theology, 250).
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'” (Jn 1:29).
The Lord Himself made it clear that His death was the basis for forgiveness:
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28).
“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt 26:28).
One-Minute Theology with Chaplain T features the question and answer portions of the Systematic Theology courses that were part of my seminary work at Piedmont Baptist Graduate School. I will be posting one Q & A everyday until my ordination council meeting set for February 2014.
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