Thursday, November 29, 2012

Forgiveness and Redemption

There has been an argument  that is thought of by many that negates the necessity of the redemption of mankind through the sacrifice of Christ by God.  That is the idea that if a person is truly sorry for his sin and  believes that God forgives him then he need not to be redeemed or have  his sins paid for.  Giving the implication that forgiveness is only needed to atone for sins. Today we are going to look at this idea and see if it is true.   

What is forgiveness?

Forgiveness is defined as: (a noun) The act or state of being forgiven.  Which comes from the root word forgive.  

The word forgive is defined as: (a verb)1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.);absolve. 2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation,etc.). grant pardon to (a person). 4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies. 5. to cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interestowed on a loan. (Source: 

Now forgiveness is not needed if there has been no offense identified, whether it be presumed or actual.  Every person alive today at one point in his life has done something in offense to God, to this everyone agrees.  

So the question is: Does forgiveness make it necessary to be redeemed?

For some people being redeemed is not necessary because they believe that they have been forgiven by God.   The idea is that if God has forgiven a person, then the sin debt has been erased by God for that person. This in their minds eliminates the need of redemption, by someone shedding the blood of animals or someone making a personal sacrifice in their place.  It is more complicated than that.  For forgiveness does not does not eliminate sin, forgiveness allows one to be pardon of the sin, but the sin itself is not removed from that persons account.  A person who relies only upon the forgiveness of God to remove their  sins is like someone who offended another person, who goes only to ask the offended person for forgiveness of the offence (or sin) he committed but does not expect to pay the offended person for his offence.   A more graphic example of this is this: You enter a restaurant and order a plate of food,  after you have eaten the food you get ill,  you then complain to the chef  and the chef is really sorry to you and asks for your forgiveness, being the kind of person that you are you forgive the chef for preparing a bad meal. Now before you leave the restaurant chef  still charges you for the food you consumed.  You are now upset because not only did the chef served you a bad meal that made you ill, he also expected you to pay for it.  Did the forgiveness that you gave to the chef for serving a bad meal stop him from charging you for eating it? No it did not. Now in a normal restaurant of any quality the Chef usually not only asks for forgiveness but he also does not charge the customer for the meal. The point of the bad chef story is to illustrate that forgiveness does necessitates redemption or the payment for sin. So just as forgiveness did not pay for a bad meal, forgiveness alone does not pay for sin, for we all have been given a bad meal and God, unlike the chef in the example, does not want you to pay for it, He wants to pay for it.  More than that, God wants to remove it from you like it never happened. That bad meal in the example is sin and the chef was Adam. Because we are the descendants of Adam, we all have his sinful nature. This sinful nature is made evident by how we each  offended  God. How does a man offend God?  By not obeying his commands which are outlined in his word.  The point is that with God removing a person sinful nature requires payment, forgiveness does not pay for sin.  Neither does forgiveness remove a person's sin. What does?  Redemption does.   

So the next question is: What is redemption? Redemption is defined as: (a noun) 

an act of redeeming or the state of being redeemed.
deliverance; rescue.
Theology deliverance from sin; salvation.
atonement for guilt.
repurchase, as of something sold.

Adam sold the whole mankind into sin, for represented all of mankind when he disobeyed God's command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Adam following the example of  what God did to  him in order for God to not only forgive him but to illustrate to him the cost of his disobedience, he taught all his sons the blood atonement sacrifice.  For in his day no man could approach God without his sins being covered.  Adam was like the chef who gave all of mankind a bad meal and told everyone how to pay for it, in order to be in fellowship with God.  Now some believe that Adams sin was not transferable, then why did Abel the son of Adam offer up a blood atonement offering?  Why did Noah when he departed from the ark offer up a blood atonement offering? Why did Job offer up the same type of offering not only for himself but for his family? Why was it regulated under the Law of Moses?  It even showed up in Jesus' day. The point is if Adam's sin was not transferable what was the point of allowing the blood atonement offerings until the time of Jesus?  The blood atonement offerings were needed because the sinfulness of man persisted and needed to be atoned for, even though temporarily. 

So some people are walking around believing that through forgiveness alone their sins are not only pardoned but also paid for.   Redemption is the payment for all of our sins, it is not automatically imputed.  Every person must believe that Jesus died  to pay for his sins or they have not received fully the redemption that God had provided from them through Jesus.  So does forgiveness make redemption necessary?  It not only makes redemption necessary, it prepares a person for redemption. For forgiveness is for the pardoning from sin, it does nothing to remove sin. Redemption is the payment for sin, it is the act of God through Christ that removes sin. 

Are you one of those persons who believe that your sins were paid for through the forgiveness of God alone? If you believe you are forgiven, that only means you acknowledge that at given points in your life you believed that you offended God and sinned against Him.  That you sought to be forgiven by God so that you can be pardoned from your sins, but you never asked God to redeem you, that is to save you.  Do you want to know how to be saved and have your sins washed away? Say the following prayer  with all your heart.

Dear God,
I come to you now, in Jesus's name, as an repentant sinner.  I confess all my sinfulness to you and ask you to forgive me for Jesus's sake.  I believe now, that Jesus, the Christ, Your only begotten Son died for all of my sins and that You raised him from the dead according to the words of Your Holy Prophets in the Holy Scriptures.  I invite you God to come live inside of me by the power of Your Holy Spirit and make me Your child.  I promise to live as holy as I can and read Your words in the scriptures with your help everyday. I thank you, Lord for saving me.  

That is all it takes. A simple confession of faith.  What you need to do now is to connect with believers of like faith in a local church.  If there is no local church you can follow my blogs until God guides you to one that you can get to.  

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