Jesus Christ was seen as a controversial figure by His Contemporaries. This begins with His virgin birth and claims that He is the Son of God, and or as God. His ability to forgive people of their sins was also questioned by a section of the religious leaders. This thesis discusses the power of Christ to forgive sins.
You have been forgiven
“And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house” (Luk 5:20-24).
The religious leaders were partly right because it is only God who forgives sins. God says that “..for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer 31:34). Where they got it wrong is the fact that the Father has vested His power and authority in His Son (Mat 28:18) to act in His behalf on earth. If Jesus claims to be God, it is not blasphemy because Paul writes that Jesus was in the form of God in Heaven, so it was not robbery for Him to consider Himself equal with God. But He decided to make Himself of no reputation, taking upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of man (Php 2:6-7). Jesus, therefore, has the power to forgive sin on earth.
The devil said to Jesus on the mount that all power is delivered unto him (i.e. the devil) so he can give it to whomsoever he wishes to give them to (Luke 4:6). In the same way, Jesus, having received all power from His Father, has given it to His disciples to forgive sins. He tells them that whosoever sins they forgive, they shall be forgiven them (Joh 20:23). The leadership of the church on earth has the power to affirm God´s forgiveness the offending Christians and all who truly profess the name of Christ. However, the power to send people into the hellfire rests solely with God.
Assurances of forgiveness
All people who have accepted Christ as their Master and Savior need to be assured of their forgiveness so as to serve God with an uncondemned conscience. The guilt of our past sins could hinder and damage our relationship with God. It has the power to obstruct us from walking confidently and graciously with God. For this reason, when we accept Christ´s finished work on the cross, His blood, through the Eternal Spirit, purges our conscience from dead works so that we can honestly and freely serve God (Heb 9:14).
The Apostle writes that Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven and have their sins covered (Psa 32:2, Rom 4:7). John also affirmatively states that our sins are forgiven us for the sake of His own name (1Joh 2:12). With this assurances, we ought to gladly serve God and appreciate Him for His forgiveness. In order to stay clean with God, we are advised not to sin, but He has given us an Advocate to act on our behalf should we ever sin after we have been redeemed (1Joh 2:1). Sin must be confessed because “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy” (Pro 28:13).
God has forgiven us of all our sins. He holds nothing against us because we have genuinely accepted Christ as our personal Savior and that we have placed our hopes in Him. Our consciences have been cleansed with the blood of Jesus, so we need to stay away from sin. Forgiveness is available throughout our walk with Christ. If you have fallen, arise, ask for forgiveness and move on with your life.
Prayer: May the Lord help us to stay pure for Him at all times. In the name of Christ Jesus. AMEN!