Jesus came to redeem us from the consequences of the fall – Part 9
Paul discusses forgiveness, using the terminology mentioned above, only scarcely. He prefers to discuss the concept under the idea of righteousness. However, he defines forgiveness as the fundamental condition for Christian fellowship (2 Cor. 2:7-10). He refers to the idea of redemption as the “forgiveness of sins,” (Col. 1:14). Because Christians have been redeemed, they are obligated to forgive as they have been forgiven (Col. 3:13).
Guaranteed Forgiveness? The idea that God’s business is to forgive and thus forgiveness is secured by any and all who ask, regardless of intent, has no biblical ground. God established the sacrificial system for the dissolution of ritual impurity and the forgiveness of moral impurities. Yet for the “person who does anything defiantly” there is no forgiveness of sin via sacrifice (Num. 15:30-36). The illustration used in Numbers is a young man who breaks the Sabbath. His judgment occurs on the spot. This defiant sin is treated differently in other cases (Josh. 7; 1 Sam. 12; cf. Ps. 51). So, it would be inaccurate to say there is no forgiveness for it. However, there is a grave risk of immediate and irrevocable judgment.
The NT also speaks of a sin that will not be forgiven (Mark 3:29; Luke 12:10). Presumably the sin of indignantly categorising the spirit of Jesus, whom Jesus identifies as the Holy Spirit, as demonic reveals the desire to vilify God and to deny Him any place as sovereign.
How did God provide this forgiveness?
“Without the shedding of blood there is no remission” (Heb 9:22)
Why does forgiveness (remission of sin) require the shedding of blood? This is no arbitrary decree on the part of a bloodthirsty God, as some have suggested. There is no greater symbol of life than blood; blood keeps us alive. Jesus shed His blood—gave His life—for our sins, so that we wouldn’t have to experience spiritual death, eternal separation from God. Jesus is the source of life, not death. He gave His own life to pay our penalty for us, so that we might live. After shedding His blood for us, Christ rose from the grave and proclaim victory over sin and death.“Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” (1 Pet 2:24)
“bore our sins.” Christ bore our sins on the cross (cf. Is 53:4, 11-12), becoming our substitute by taking upon Himself the penalty for our sins (John 1:29; Heb 9:28; 10:10, see article on The Day of Atonement). The purpose of this substitutionary death was that we might be totally separated from sin’s guilt, power and influence. By His death Christ removed our guilt and the punishment for our sins, opening a way whereby we might justly return to God (Rom 3:24-26) and receive grace to live righteously before Him (Rom 6:2-3; 2 Cor 5:15; Gal 2:20). Peter uses the word “healed’ in relation to salvation with all its benefits (cf. Is 53:5; Mat 8:16-17)
WHY DID JESUS HAVE TO DIE?
The Problem: We have all done things that are wrong, and we have failed to obey God’s laws. Because of this, we have been separated from God our Creator. Separation from God is death; but, by ourselves, we can do nothing to become united with God.
Why Jesus Could Help: Jesus was not only a man; He was God’s unique Son. Because Jesus never disobeyed God and never sinned, only He can bridge the gap between the sinless God and sinful mankind.
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