Forgiveness of Sins

Forgiveness of Sins

 

Table of Contents

 

“Do I have the obligation to forgive someone who did something evil against me in order for God to forgive and bless me?”

 

“Again, do I have the obligation to forgive someone who did something evil against me in order for God to forgive and bless me?”

 

Definition of Forgive

 

“Does a Christian have the right to forgive the sins of someone else?”

 

Does God ever give the responsibility of forgiving sins to a group?

 

Do Roman Catholic Priests have the power to forgive sins?

 

“Except for the unforgivable sins, does God always forgive the sin of anyone who asks Him?”

 

“Why does God forgive sins at all?”

 

“Can Christians refuse to forgive other Christians?”

 

“When God forgives sins, doesn’t He just do it because He has the power and the right to do it?”

 

“Can a Christian forgive an unbeliever’s sin?”

 

“Can a group sin?”

 

“Is there anything else that must be forgiven besides sin?”

 

“Are there times when Yehovah will not forgive?”

 

“Is anyone guaranteed forgiveness of sin?”

 

“Does God ever forgive the sin of one person because of the faith of a group?”

 

Conclusion

 

 

 

“Do I have the obligation to forgive someone who did something evil against me in order for God to forgive and bless me?”

Popular theology teaches that a person who was sexually or physically abused will only find peace with God if she forgives the man who abused her. Women who finally forgave their abusers and who finally found peace with God frequently give testimonies. Texts used include the following:

 

Mark 11:25 “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any, that your Father also Who is in the heavens may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father Who is in the heavens forgive your trespasses.”

 

Matthew 6:9 “Therefore pray ye after this manner, ‘Our Father Who art in the heavens, Thy Name is Holy. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as in the heavens. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.’ For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

 

Luke 6:37 “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged. Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned. Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”

 

These texts assume one thing found in the following texts:

 

Luke 17:3 “Take heed to yourselves! If thy brother trespasses against thee, rebuke him! And if he repents, forgive him. And if he trespasses against thee seven times in a day, and turns again to thee seven times in a day, saying, ‘I repent,’ thou shalt forgive.”

 

Acts 8:22 “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee!”

 

The above texts are commands given by Messiah to Israel. Similar commands are given to the Saints in general:

 

Ephesians 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another even as God for the Messiah’s sake has forgiven.

 

Repentance is essential. God will not forgive anyone who does not repent of the sin (with one exception that I have found), and no man has the right to forgive anyone of a sin whom God does not forgive. The one exception is found in the following text:

 

Luke 23:34 Then Yeshua said, “Father, forgive them. For they don’t know what they are doing.” And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

 

The Roman soldiers had no idea that they had done a crime against God. They thought that they were executing a criminal. Some of the soldiers later realized that some injustice had been done. Apart from such exceptions, repentance is a necessary prerequisite for forgiveness. If a person chooses to forgive someone else who has not repented, the person is putting himself in the place of God, and is being ‘kinder’ than God. This shows great arrogance. John taught,

 

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Israel’s forgiveness is not automatic:

 

1 Kings 8:33 “When Thy people Israel are smitten down before the enemy because they have sinned against Thee, and shall turn again to Thee and confess Thy name, and pray and make supplication unto Thee in this house, then hear Thou in the heavens, and forgive the sin of Thy people Israel. And bring them again unto the land that Thou gave unto their fathers. When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against Thee, if they pray toward this place and confess Thy name and turn from their sin, when Thou wilt afflict them, then hear Thou in the heavens, and forgive the sin of Thy servants and of Thy people Israel. And Thou shalt teach them the good way in which they shall walk. And give rain upon Thy land that Thou hast given to Thy people for an inheritance. If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, blasting, mildew, locust, If there is the caterpillar, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities, whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness, whatsoever prayer and supplication is by any man, by all thy people Israel who shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and he spreads forth his hands toward this House, then hear Thou in the heavens—Thy dwelling place, and forgive and do and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart Thou knowest (for Thou, Thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men) that they may fear Thee all the days that they live in the land that Thou gave unto our fathers.”

 

2 Chronicles 6:27 “Then hear Thou from the heavens and forgive the sin of Thy servants and of Thy people Israel, when Thou hast taught them the good way in which they shall walk. And send rain upon Thy land that Thou hast given unto Thy people for an inheritance.”

 

Forgiveness is granted for the purpose of doing right after the forgiveness. Anyone who forgives another who has never turned is not doing right. Why would a person forgive another who is not repentant?

 

A person who has held bitterness and whose bitterness has eaten away at him for years may find consolation in forgiving another. It takes less humility and even some arrogance to forgive another wrongdoer, ignoring the evil works from his own bitterness and putting the focus on the other person.

 

The following is an example scenario: Janie’s stepfather Sam sexually abused her when she was a child. Janie left home when she was seventeen, running away with her boyfriend. They lived together for a while, and then got married, and then got divorced. Janie went to church. She “found Jesus” there, and “turned her life over to Christ.” She became very active in church, met and married the choir director, and began to teach Sunday School. She realized that she had a problem, however. She could not get over the recurring haunting from her abuse. She hated that man. She wanted to see him dead. When she would meet other men in the church that reminded her of him, she would feel hatred toward them, even though she did not have a clue that they had ever done anything like that. She went to a woman’s seminar. She heard how it was important to forgive the abusers of her past so that she be healed and could grow. She learned that the strongholds of her life had to be broken, and that she was suffering from ‘soul bonds’ that had to be broken, based on these two texts:

 

Numbers 30:5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he hears, not any of her vows or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. And the Lord shall forgive her because her father disallowed.

 

Numbers 30:8 But if her husband disallowed her on the day that he heard, then he shall make her vow of none effect that she vowed, and what she uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul. And the Lord shall forgive.

 

Janie was told to write her stepfather a letter telling him that she forgave him. She did not have to mail the letter, but it would ‘bring release’ to her. A number of ladies then prayed that her ‘soul bonds’ would be broken. She felt release as she forgave Sam. From that time on, Janie was able to “see Jesus” in the men whom she had formerly held in contempt for no reason. The story sounds good—at least to some who are ignorant of the Bible.

 

Janie’s problem was not that she had ‘soul bonds’ to Sam. Her problem was not Sam. Sam was an evil man who will pay dearly for his sin, as all sinners will pay, unless he turns and repents and seeks the Grace of God for Salvation. Janie’s problem was her bitterness toward God.

 

Janie’s problem was her pride. A few who have been abused in the same way or worse have come away with great humility and with an excellent fear of God. Janie came away with no humility or fear of God. She was outraged that Sam could do this to her—that God could abandon her like this—rather than being outraged at sin. She was outraged that God had not kept her from being harmed by this man. She was not outraged at her foolish mother who chose this man as a husband. She saw her mother as a victim, not a participant.

 

Janie became religious—a very common symptom of bitterness, but her religion did not give her humility. Religion builds pride, and teaches man to finger others (including demons) for one’s own destructive bitterness.

 

Godliness requires a right view of the deceitfulness of man.

 

Janie feels so much better, now. She is teaching women’s seminars, telling other women how to break their ‘soul bonds’ (even though the texts Janie uses have nothing to do with Janie’s applications) and how to bring release from captivity through forgiveness. Janie will never know that she has become arrogant. She thinks that she is giving her testimony.

 

I will continue answering the question, “Do I have the obligation to forgive someone who did something evil against me in order for God to forgive and bless me?” The obligation to forgive does not extend to all persons or all circumstances. No one has the right to forgive another who did not offend the one trying to forgive.

 

As an example, consider this scenario: John is a preacher. Sam is another preacher. Sam sinned. His sin became public. His sin had nothing to do with John; John was not involved in his sin. John feels that Sam is part of the Body of Christ (though the proof is contrary to this conclusion). Sam’s sin was adultery and participating with a prostitute, cheating his church members by using their funds to buy the services of whores, and so on. John feels that there must be “healing.” John therefore writes a letter, and publicly reads this letter on the air: “Sam, my brother, on behalf of the Body of Christ, I forgive you. I want to see you restored, and our fellowship to be renewed. I love you, my brother. Accept this forgiveness as from the Lord. In the love of Christ, John.” What John has done includes the following:

 

  • he has acted as the vicar of Christ (the stand-in for Christ in Christ’s absence), the same position that the Pope claims for himself.
  • No one except a prophet has the right to speak for God, and even prophets can only speak exactly what Yehovah says to speak. Anyone who places himself in this position is worthy of death (and it will come).
  • John has falsified the teachings of the Bible. Sam did not offend John; he offended God. John has no more right to forgive than I have the right to forgive my neighbour’s child if he back-talked his mother. Forgiveness must come from the offended party only.
  • John has claimed to speak for the entire Body of Christ. This shows great arrogance. Does he think he is Christ? The Head alone does the speaking, not a hand or a foot or a toe.
  • John has shown that he has not understood the Gospel, because he managed to overlook the required humility necessary for Salvation. Even if Sam had repented before John, John would not have the right to reassure Sam unless Yehovah directly spoke (as to a prophet) to John. John does not know the heart of Sam. Yehovah only knows the heart of all flesh. He alone can read minds.
  • John has proven himself of the same ilk as Sam, looking so lightly on the sin and evil of Sam, but calling him a brother. They are indeed brothers, but not brothers in the Body of Christ. True Saints will have a much higher view of the demonstration of Salvation. John has made it look cheap.
  • John has blasphemed God (doing worse than King David) by declaring such a low standard of forgiveness in the face of such obvious evil.

The above answers another question: “Do I have the obligation to forgive someone who did something evil against the Body of Christ in order for God to forgive and bless me?” No one has the right to do that except the Head of the Body.

 

“Again, do I have the obligation to forgive someone who did something evil against me in order for God to forgive and bless me?”

Messiah said,

 

Mark 11:25 “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any, that your Father also Who is in the heavens may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father Who is in the heavens forgive your trespasses.”

 

He was speaking to Israelis, warning them how they must behave with other Israelis.

 

But what if the person who seeks forgiveness will repeat the same offense again? Anyone who repeats the same offense has never repented. The Hebrew word for repent means to turn, to return from doing something. Anyone can mouth words. No person has repented who continues with the same evil.

 

Repentance and forgiveness are reversible:

 

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Him. And he said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?” Yeshua says unto him, “I don’t say unto thee, until seven times, but until seventy times seven! Therefore the kingdom of the heavens is likened unto a certain king who would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him who owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had nothing to pay, his lord commanded him and his wife and children and all that he had to be sold, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down and worshipped him, saying, ‘Lord! Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all!’ Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion. And he loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out and found one of his fellowservants who owed him an hundred pence. And he laid hands on him and took [him] by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what thou owest!’ And his fellowservant fell down at his feet and besought him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all!’ And he would not, but went and cast him into prison till he should pay the debt. So, when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very upset. And they came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then, after he had called him, his lord said unto him, ‘Thou wicked servant! I forgave thee all that debt because thou desired me! Shouldn’t thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant even as I had pity on thee?’ And his lord was furious. And he delivered him to the tormentors till he should pay all that was due unto him! So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you if ye don’t forgive from your hearts every one his brother their trespasses!”

 

When Messiah said, “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you,” He was referring to the reversal of forgiveness! Any person who repents, then turns from his repentance by doing the same thing again, has repealed his own forgiveness!

 

When Messiah told Peter, “I say not unto thee until seven times, but until seventy times seven,” I propose that the sins of the brother were not seventy times seven of the same sin, else the brother’s repentance would have been a farce, a way to keep justice from occurring.

 

In Messiah’s example of the servant and the king, if the servant had again repented, this time for mistreating his own servant, would the king have forgiven him? The text does not indicate this. He repented from his own repentance by not forgiving according to his own forgiveness! The example shows two distinct truths: the Israeli has an obligation to forgive a repentant fellow Israeli, and repentance and forgiveness may be reversed by hardheartedness against another Israeli!

 

Definition of Forgive

What does the word forgive mean? The Hebrew word literally means to carry.  Anyone who forgives another is agreeing to carry the damage from an offense in order for the two to have a peaceful relationship

 

This presents a problem. Suppose that a Tim is violent, and he frequently punches other men when he becomes angry because he does not demonstrate self-control. Tim works with Bob. Bob tells Tim to move a particular barrel because it is in the way. Bob is a true Christian. Tim is the member of a Baptist church. Tim becomes very angry, though he doesn’t know why. (He does not know that he is loaded with pride, and his pride has been hurt.) Tim gets up into Bob’s face and tells him,

 

”Who do you think you are? my mother? If you want the barrel moved, move it yourself.”

 

Bob replies, “I don’t know where the barrel goes, but I do know that each of us is supposed to put away what we get out for the sake of safety. I am not trying to be offensive, Tim, but I know that the boss will be angry if the barrel is still out.”

 

Tim replies, “So you are acting as the boss now!”

 

Bob replies, “Never mind. I should not have said anything…”

 

With that, Tim slugs Bob and knocks him across the room, drawing blood from his cheek. Bob is dazed, but he angrily returns back to his project, not saying a word to Tim. Others saw what happened. After lunch, Tim comes over to Bob in private. He says to him, “I, uh, well, uh, I’ve been thinking. And it was not right for you to tell me what to do, but, uh, it wasn’t right for me to slug you. I, uh, well, I apologize.”

 

Bob says, “Forget it.”

 

Tim says, “No, I don’t want to forget it, I want your forgiveness. Forgive me, Bob. I was wrong.”

 

Bob begins thinking, “This has happened before. It has happened about six times with different ones. Tim has never been fired because his brother in law is the foreman. But Tim will do this again.”

 

Must Bob forgive Tim? Tim is a repeat offender. Can Tim and Bob form a restored relationship?

 

Bob answers Tim, “Once I know that you will never do this again to me or to anyone because you have gotten this thing in control, once I know that you have stopped this practice, you will have my forgiveness, and I will be glad to have a peaceful relationship with you. Until then, I don’t trust you, and I don’t want to give you a false impression, Tim. I don’t want to be around you. You are too dangerous.”

 

Anyone who agrees to forgive is making a very important agreement. It is wrong to lightly or falsely forgive to avoid another problem.

 

Apart from the exceptions that I have given and some others that I have not, “Do I have the obligation to forgive someone who did something evil against me in order for God to forgive and bless me?” Keep in mind that the texts used above are specifically for unbelieving Israelis. The standards for Saints will be higher. Therefore, the answer is, Yes, with the exceptions given. Those exceptions are important and are frequent. Also, be aware that forgiving does guarantee forgiveness from God or blessing from God. Yehovah’s acceptance of one’s repentance and His willingness to bless must meet Yehovah’s conditions and desire to bless.

 

“Does a Christian have the right to forgive the sins of someone else?”

Matthew 9:2 And behold, they brought a man sick of the palsy to Him, lying on a bed. And Yeshua seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy, “Son, be courageous. Thy sins are forgiven thee.” And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, “This blasphemes!” And Yeshua knowing their thoughts said, “Why think ye evil in your hearts? For which is easier—to say, ‘sins are forgiven thee,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk’? But so that ye will know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins,” then He says to the sick of the palsy, “Arise! Take up thy bed, and go unto thine house!”

 

Forgiving sins is the territory of God alone—unless He gives part of that territory to a group. Messiah and Peter discussed this:

 

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Him. And he said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?” Yeshua says unto him, “I don’t say unto thee until seven times, but until seventy times seven!”

 

Is Peter forgiving the sins of his brother?

 

A sin may be against an individual or a group, a sin may be against God, or a sin may be against both, as the following texts show:

 

Genesis 39:9 “None is greater in this house than I. Neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?”

 

Genesis 42:22 And Reuben answered them saying, “Didn’t I speak to you, saying, ‘Don’t sin against the child,’ and ye would not hearken? Therefore, behold, also his blood is required!”

 

Exodus 23:33 “They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me. For if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.”

 

Deuteronomy 20:18 And they won’t teach you to do after all their abominations that they have done unto their gods, and ye would sin against Yehovah your God.

 

1 Samuel 2:25 “If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him. And if a man sin against Yehovah, who shall entreat for him?” And they didn’t hearken unto the voice of their father, for Yehovah would slay them.

 

1 Samuel 12:23 “And as for me, God forbid that I should sin against Yehovah by ceasing to pray for you. And I will teach you the good and the right way.”

 

1 Samuel 19:4 And Jonathan spoke good of David unto Saul his father. And he said unto him, “Let not the king sin against his servant—against David, because he has not sinned against thee, and because his works toward thee are very good. For he did put his life in his hand and slew the Palestinian. And Yehovah wrought a great salvation for all Israel. Thou saw and didst rejoice. Why then wilt thou sin against innocent blood to slay David without a cause?”

 

1 Kings 8:46 “If they sin against thee (for no man is who doesn’t sin), and thou be angry with them and deliver them to the enemy so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near…”

 

2 Chronicles 6:22 If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before Thine altar in this house…

 

Psalm 119:11 I hidden thy word in mine heart so that I won’t sin against thee.

 

Jeremiah 51:5 For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, by his God, by Yehovah of hosts, though their land was filled with sin against the Holy One of Israel.

 

1 Corinthians 8:12 But when ye sin so against the brethren and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against the Messiah.

 

If the sin is against a brother, the brother has the right to forgive the sin. If the sin is against God, only God has the right to forgive the sin—unless God gives that right to a group (as I said above).

 

Does God ever give the responsibility of forgiving sins to a group?

John 20:21 And Yeshua again said to them, “Peace unto you! As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” 22And when He had said this, He breathed on them. And He said unto them, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit. 23Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them! Whosesoever ye retain, they are retained!”

 

This End-Times text will be fulfilled during the Tribulation. Such forgiveness of sin or its retention will be absolutely vital at that time. Forgiving or refusing to forgive sins will be for the purpose of saving lives.

 

If the group forgives an individual of his or her sins, the person will meet the Biblical requirements for sin forgiveness, and the Spirit of Yehovah will apprise the group that this person has truly turned to righteousness. The forgiveness will be extended on the spot in order to save the individual’s life. (The individual will be in great physical danger.)

 

If the group refuses to forgive an individual of his or her sins, it will be because the person will not meet the Biblical requirements, and will pose the greatest danger to the group. The forgiveness will be refused because the Spirit of God will apprise the group of the deceit of the person; it will be refused to save the lives of the members of the group!

 

The group that is given the responsibility to forgive sins or cause them to be retained will consist of Israeli Saints.

 

Do Roman Catholic Priests have the power to forgive sins?

If Roman Catholicism is truth, they do. If Roman Catholicism isn’t truth, they don’t. Roman Catholicism is one of man Replacement Theologies, teachings that declare replacements for literal, physical Israel. It declares its priests as replacements for the Aaronic priests of Israel, and its members as replacements of the Israelis. It claims the promises of Israel for itself. Its altar upon which the Eucharist is performed is supposedly a replacement of the altar of Israel. Its Pope (meaning Papa, or Father) takes the place of the Israeli High Priest, and even stands as a temporary replacement for the Messiah of Israel (called the Vicar of Christ). If Yehovah’s vow in His Covenant to Avraham has been rescinded, and Yehovah has replaced Israel with the Roman Catholic Church, in which case, Yehovah did not keep His word, then Roman Catholicism is truth. If Yehovah has kept His vow that He made with Avraham, knowing fully well the nature and character of the future people of Israel, Roman Catholicism isn’t truth. Decide for yourself whether Yehovah’s character is such that He keeps Covenants and vows, or whether He makes them, then takes them back, instead giving them to others.

 

“Except for the unforgivable sins, does God always forgive the sin of anyone who asks Him?”

This question is based on the following text:

 

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

Peter responded in a very different way:

 

Acts 8:22 “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee!”

 

The only types of thoughts that are sins are plots.

 

Simon plotted evil. He had confessed his sins, and he had believed. He now desired to buy the ability to grant the Holy Spirit to whomever he wished. His greed for power and prestige became obvious. His pride and lack of humility showed. Peter cursed him, declaring him outside of the faith at the same time.

 

Yehovah is not under obligation to forgive anyone’s sins just because he confesses. All the conditions must be met, including the condition of turning from the sin.

 

Some forms of confession are bragging. Some common ‘testimony services’ are brag sessions, telling of the great former evil as a form of entertainment. A true confession must be accompanied by true repentance. Yehovah will be both faithful and righteous to forgive when the one who is asking for mercy will be one who lives according to that mercy. Yehovah’s foreknowledge will always participate in His decisions.

 

Many will ask for forgiveness of sins. Few will be granted forgiveness. The rest will prove themselves unbelieving and faithless, enslaved sinners who had no true desire to be freed to walk righteously.

 

Yehovah’s condition for Israel’s forgiveness is given in the following text:

 

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people that my name is called upon them shall humble themselves and pray and seek my faces and turn from their bad ways, and I, will I hearken from the heavens, and I will pardon to their sin, and I will heal their land.”

 

Four things are required:

 

  • Humbling
  • Praying
  • Seeking His faces
  • Turning

A small part of Israel does one out of four at the present time: praying. Even fewer do some seeking. The Israelis (as a group) do not humble themselves, most having absolutely no interest in the Hebrew Scriptures. There has been no turning that Yehovah has acknowledged as legitimate. The gentiles (as a group) have not done better.

 

“Why does God forgive sins at all?”

1 John 2:12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His Name’s sake.

 

Sins that are forgiven by God are forgiven for the sake of the Name of Yeshua (i.e., for the sake of Salvation) Who gave His life to pay the penalty for the sins of the world.

 

“Can Christians refuse to forgive other Christians?”

Paul wrote regarding this:

 

2 Corinthians 2:6 “Sufficient to such a man is this punishment that [was inflicted] under many so that contrariwise ye [owe] rather to forgive and console [him], lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with too much sorrow. I therefore beseech you that ye will confirm love toward him. For I also wrote to this end so that I will know the proof of you—whether ye are obedient in all things. To whom ye forgive anything, I also [forgive]. For if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave [it], for your sakes [forgave I it] in the person of the Messiah lest Satan should get an advantage of us. For we are not ignorant of his devices.”

 

This man did an immoral act (probably not realizing it), and Paul found out about it. He wrote to deal strongly with the man, including setting up his death by turning him over to Satan. The man turned, but the Saints at Corinth did not know whether they should forgive him or not. Paul told them to do so, and to confirm love toward the man. The Saints could have refused forgiveness, but this could have caused great damage to the man and to others if Satan used this event.

 

“When God forgives sins, doesn’t He just do it because He has the power and the right to do it?”

Forgiveness of sins against God requires the shedding of blood:

 

Colossians 1:14 …in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

 

Ephesians 1:7 …in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace…

 

Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses.

 

Sins require blood. If God forgave sins by merely speaking words, there would be no need for Yeshua to be the sacrifice. Every sin that a man does demands the shedding of blood. This is why anyone who thinks that he can sin, and then confess to God (Who, in their theology, basically must forgive him) does not fear God and has never obtained forgiveness! Sin and forgiveness both demand a high price!

 

A human may forgive the sin of another human if the sin was against him, but the sin itself is still against God. If anyone sins against another person, two evils have been done: the sin against the other person and the sin against God. The Torah teaches this by commanding an Israeli who sinned against another to make restitution, and also to bring a sacrifice!

 

Another reason why God forgives sin is given in the following text:

 

Psalm 130:4 forgiveness is with Thee in order that Thou shalt be feared!

 

A very good reason to fear Yehovah is because forgiveness is with Him! Anyone who thinks that he can obtain Yehovah’s forgiveness for any other reason than because of Yehovah’s Grace will never obtain forgiveness.

 

“Can a Christian forgive an unbeliever’s sin?”

Pharaoh thought so:

 

Exodus 10:17 “Now, therefore, forgive, na, my sin only this once, and entreat Yehovah your God. And He will turn-away this death from me.”

 

There is no indication that Moses forgave (carried) Pharaoh’s sin. Moses knew that Pharaoh would not follow through on his repentance.

 

Saints must be accurate regarding what they claim they can do. Pharaoh’s sin was against Yehovah, not Moses, and Moses knew this. He did not promise Pharaoh anything, and he certainly did not tell Pharaoh what God would do. I have heard some promise others, “God will forgive you.” How do they know? Did God give this blanket promise?

 

“Can a group sin?”

Yes. Israel is accused of sin, though not everyone in Israel took part in the sin. Moses interceded for the Israelis as a group:

 

Exodus 32:32 “And now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin— And if not, blot me, na, from thy book that Thou hast written.”

 

“Is there anything else that must be forgiven besides sin?”

Exodus 34:7 …keeping Grace for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and Who will by no means clear, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and upon the children’s children upon thirds and upon fourths.

 

Biblical definitions of sin are covered in another document. Iniquity is the remaining guilt that anyone has who has sinned and whose sin has never been removed. It is true and genuine guilt before God for past, unforgiven sins, not the feelings of guilt with which many suffer.

 

Transgression is the violation of any command by doing less than or more than what has been commanded. If Yehovah says to bring a lamb as a sacrifice, and someone wants to bring a bullock, this is a transgression through pride. Obedience demands that the person or group obeying does not go “to the left or to the right” of the command.

 

King Saul transgressed by sacrificing when Yehovah had commanded that only priests do this. King Saul was not from the priestly line.

 

“Are there times when Yehovah will not forgive?”

Isaiah 2:8 Their land also is full of idols! They worship the work of their own hands—that which their own fingers have made. 9And adam bows down, and a man humbles himself. Therefore don’t forgive them!

 

Isaiah was not praying this to Yehovah. He was prophesying this to the Israelis! The Spirit of Yehovah was telling the Israelis that they had violated to a point where forgiveness was no longer possible.

 

Jeremiah 18:23 Yet, Yehovah, Thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay. Don’t forgive their iniquity, and don’t blot out their sin from Thy sight! And they shall be overthrown before Thee. Deal with them in the time of Thine anger.

 

Jeremiah appears to be the one praying this prayer. Yehovah did not respond at that time. He later responded, and many Israelis died because of Yehovah’s wrath. Jeremiah cursed them. Yehovah hearkened. Jeremiah was not unrighteous.

 

Joshua 24:19 And Joshua said unto the people, “Ye cannot serve Yehovah! For He is a holy God! He is a jealous God! He will not forgive your transgressions or your sins!”

 

The Israelis had to obey the Torah just to stay alive on the Land of Israel! They had a guarantee that Yehovah would not forgive transgressions or sins! They found that Yehovah was serious. The Israelis made peace with Yehovah for a time in the days of Joshua, and closely followed the Torah.

 

Mark 3:28 “Faith I say unto you, all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme. But he who shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness; he is in danger of everlasting damnation!”

 

Matthew 12:31 “Therefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men. But the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaks a word against the Son of man—it shall be forgiven him. But whosoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the [world] to come.”

 

“Is anyone guaranteed forgiveness of sin?”

Jeremiah 31:34 “And they shall no more teach every man his neighbour and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know Yehovah!’ For they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them,” says Yehovah. “For I will forgive their iniquity and I will no more remember their sin.”

 

Yehovah has guaranteed that the Israelis living toward the end of the Tribulation who have not become hardened against the truth will be forgiven. No other entire group of which I am aware has such a guarantee.

 

“Does God ever forgive the sin of one person because of the faith of a group?”

Though no one has ever asked me this question, the following text answers this:

 

Mark 2:3 And they come unto Him bringing one sick of the palsy who was carried by four. And when they could not come near unto Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where He was. And when they had broken up, they let down the bed in which the sick of the palsy lay. When Yeshua saw their faith, He said unto the sick of the palsy, “Son, thy sins are forgiven thee.” But there were certain of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, “Why does this thus speak blasphemies? Who forgives sins but God only?” And immediately when Yeshua perceived in His spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, He said unto them, “Why do ye reason these things in your hearts whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, ‘Sins are forgiven thee,’ or to say, ‘Arise! And take up thy bed and walk’? But that ye may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins,” He says to the sick of the palsy, “I say unto thee, Arise! And take up thy bed! And go thy way into thine house!” And he immediately arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all insomuch that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw it on this fashion!”

 

Conclusion

Forgiving sins requires very specific prerequisites. Yehovah does not guarantee that He will forgive sins of all, and most will not have their sins forgiven. Humans cannot forgive sins of others (with rare exceptions). Yehovah is ready to forgive if the person or group meets the requirements for forgiveness.

 

Psalm 86:5 For Thou, Yehovah, art good and ready to forgive, and of great grace unto all them that call upon Thee.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *