The Theology of Forgiveness

I have written a great deal about the result of sin is eternity without Christ in Hell. Perhaps, too much. But there is a reason for doing so. Our culture has changed dramatically in recent time and the practice of immorality is no longer hidden. Things that were once kept hidden are not simply accepted, but promoted by many. In fact, to speak against these immoral practices are frowned upon in many influential circles. How many times have we heard, ‘up is down and down is up?’

There is a cure for this madness and it is called forgiveness. Forgiveness comes from the heart of God and is the solution to Hell, the solution for sin in our world. This forgiveness comes through the Person of Jesus Christ resulting in an eternity in Heaven.

It is important to note that the Greek verb and noun most often used in the New Testament for forgiveness of sin describe the cancellation of a debt. The idea of debt and sin appear to be similar just as forgiving a sin or remitting a debt. The relationship of God with His most prized work in creation is similar to that of a creditor and a debtor. However, while His forgiveness is the remission of sin, a vast change occurs between God and the new Believer.

Look closely at the New Testament and we find many references to forgiveness enacted by God toward one who commits a sin; to those who repent, confess and believe that Jesus is the Savior.

“Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.” 1 John :5-10 NET2.

“For Moses writes about the righteousness that is by the law: “The one who does these things will live by them.” 6 But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), 9 because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. 11 For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. 13 For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:5-13.

The reason God sent His Son into the world was for the redemption of mankind from sin. Yes, other things are obviously results of His presence among us, but the underlying reason is forgiveness. Jesus accomplished this on the cross. 

In 1 John we find 5 reasons why Jesus came to earth:

1. 1 JOHN 3:4-6 –- He came to ‘take away sins.”

“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; indeed, sin is lawlessness. And you know that Jesus was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. Everyone who resides in him does not sin; everyone who sins has neither seen him nor known him

2. 1 JOHN 3:4-8 –- He came ”to destroy the works of the Devil.”

Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the devil because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was revealed: to destroy the works of the devil.”

3. 1 JOHN 5:9-11  He came to give us Eternal Life.

“If we accept the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater because this is the testimony of God that he has testified concerning his Son. (The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made him a liar because he has not believed in the testimony that God has testified concerning his Son.) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. The one who has the Son has this eternal life; the one who does not have the Son of God does not have this eternal life.”

4. 1 JOHN 4:7-10 –- He came to be the Atoning Sacrifice for our sins.

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God because God is love. By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

5. 1 JOHN 1:5-10–, This then, “is the gospel message…”.

“Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him and yet keep on walking in the darkness, we are lying and not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we do not bear the guilt of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness.  If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.”

Jesus remains Lord.

About Bob Williford

Conservative Southern Baptist pastor, missionary, and personal evangelist. An avid supporter of Texas Tech Athletics. Enjoy oil painting, writing and woodworking. My wife, children, and grandchildren are my joy. Reading and writing are great for relaxing......
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