Thursday, March 3, 2011

Whats so special about HIS forgiveness?

The Pharisees (legalistic, intellectual religious icons and sometimes snobs) even stated - admitted that they believed - that "only the Son of God can forgive sins" [Mark 2:7] after Jesus not only healed a paralyzed man, but claimed to forgave him of his sins.  Hey! We forgive people every day almost. Whats so special about God's forgiveness? 
Assuming that the Great Teacher Jesus wouldn't mind me using His common teaching method, I'll give you a real-life, believable story you can relate to, to demonstrate a point.
Imagine this common scenario-
Mom and son get in an argument over the fairness of a household rule. Son sins against his mother by first, breaking the rule, and second, disrespecting his authority.  The mother would be able to forgive him and we would not see anything supernatural or odd about that.  But if Auntie heard of the dispute and called up saying,
  "Ronald, you have sinned against your mom, but I forgive you and now you are free of punishment,"
that would be quite a statement! Not only is Auntie Barbara saying that your sin is forgiven, but that she will ensue that you will not be punished for it.  What would she be insinuating? 
Here are a few theories of mine:
  1. I am the one you have ultimately sinned against
  2. I have the authority to forgive your sins just as God claims only He can do (Either God is a lier, does not exist, or auntie is claiming to be God if this comment is true.)
  3. I am a lunatic and a meddling relative
  4. I have supernatural abilities
(If you see any I missed, please comment below, and I will consider your preposition and consider adding it to my list, and give you full credit.)

Assuming that the Bible is the Word of God, and that Jesus was who He said He was - the Son of God; free from sins - we will proceed.  If you do not first have this foundation, then (correct me if I'm wrong) I don't think you would much be interested in Biblical theology.  If you have questions about the authority, authenticity, ask me about that later.  Each blog post to its own subject. Hope you understand.  :)

First, What about when God says that He has the power to forgive sins? Assuming this is true, then what is He saying?  I am the one you have ultimately sinned against, as 1 Corinthians 8:12, Acts 5:4b, and Malachi 2:10 states. Go grab your Bible, or go to to look up these passages.  I don't want this to be a mile long, and I like to use a lot a Scripture, so I'll just put the references here. 
God created everything.  He made mankind in His own image.  He loves us with His own life.  When we sin, we sin against His creation, hurting ourselves, others, the earth, and ultimately HIM.  This world is not ours.  We do not own ourselves.  God has made us and gives us everything we use to survive, thrive, and make our own choices.  Those choices often lead us away from God.  Another simple analogy-

You invented a robot with a free will. This is no ordinary robot, though, because you have given everything to it.  You create an environment for it - perfect, beautiful, suited to it in every way with everything they could ever need or want.  But you don't want to "cage" it in this perfect spot, but give it a choice.  The control panel is in the middle of this wondrous garden, and one switch of the lever would change the micro-mechanisms in the robots body, causing him no longer to be a perfect robot in a perfect place, but self destructive, to himself and those around him. It would be the only other option.  A being dedicated to good, or to bad.
You didn't just make this one, but you made other masterpieces who you have also put in this garden. You made them all of the same pieces, hoping that they would bond in brotherhood (or whatever you would call a band of robots) and you love each one individually.  You invented each with a unique being that you poured your loving design into.  One day, the robot takes that liberty you have prenatally warned him (it) about.  He pulls the lever, and starts to hurt those around him. The others are effected, and they start to deteriorate.  Trying to show love to their offspring, but falling short every time.  Having no way to reverse the destructive chip in their "brain", and because of it, not allowing you to fix them. 
Tragedy?  Not nearly as much as God sees when he looks at our sins. [Deuteronomy 4:32]  We sin against Him.  We can forgive the sins done against us by others, but in the end, God is left to reason with.

If God is the only one who can forgive sins, and Jesus is, in essence, God, then Jesus is able to forgive sins.
If one would claim to have the authority to forgive sins, then they are claiming one or more of three things.
  • I am God,
  • God was lying when He said that, or
  • God does not exist to make those judgements
Lets take a look at those three things in relativity to Jesus, as found in the Bible.
  • Jesus = God, John 1:14&18, John 10:30, Acts 10:36, Romans 1:4, John 10:36  etc...
  • God = Truth,   Romans 15:8, 1 Timothy 3:15, 1 Kings 17:24, Psalms 25:5, Numbers 23:19, Galatians 1:20, Titus 1:2,  Hebrews 6:18 etc...
  • God Exists, Hebrews, 2:10, Hebrews 11:6, Romans 1:20, John 15:22,  etc...
Those who claim to be God and those who claim to have His message who do not are meddlers with the Faith, or have been deceived.
Leviticus19:11, Proverbs 26:18-19, Matthew 24:11&24, Mark 13:6, Romans 16:18, Romans 7:11, Luke 21:8, Ezekiel 13:8, Matthew 7:15, 1 Corinthians 11:14,

Looking through the Bible, we see God do many, many, many amazing and supernatural feats. I don't need to give you tons of references for those. Remember Moses and the parted sea; Elijah outrunning Ahab's chariot; Joshua and the crumbled walls or Jericho; and the feeding of over 5000 from two fish and three loaves by Jesus Christ?

John 21:25 -
"Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written."

Joshua 4:24a - (from the same guy who marched Israel around the wall of Jericho)
"He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful..."

Verses for References:
  1. Matthew 9:6a
  2. Matthew 26:28
  3. 1 John 2:12
  4. Acts 3:19
  5. Hebrews 2:17
  6. Collosians 2:13
More to Come: Steps to forgiveness from God

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