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Questions about forgiveness?

Submitted: 2/2/2011
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Question: I read the article you suggested. I still have questions. What is the difference between the Israelites who had forgiveness yet his sins was not taken away versus the Christian who also has Forgiveness/Remission yet his sins are taken away. I think I just got a revelation! It is all in the blood! The blood of lambs and oxen, etc could only bring forgiveness but Jesus blood not only brought forgiveness but the 'taking away.' Is this thought correct? Also Jesus blood forgave all sins once and for all. While under the Law the sinner had to offer a sacrifice every time he sinned (broke the law of God). Please elaborate.

Answer: There is no difference between the forgivenss of sins in the Old Testament and the New. In both cases, forgiveness is predicated on faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. During the Old Testament period, this faith was expressed by offering animal sacrifices. It was never the blood of the animals themselves that brought forgiveness; the animal blood was only a representation of the Messiah's blood yet to be shed. Those who offered such sacrifices may not have fully understood this, but when they offered them in faith, that was enough. In contrast, when they offered their sacrifices as empty rituals, they were worthless and even provoked the Lord to anger.

Now that the blood of Jesus has been shed, we receive forgiveness initially by repenting, believing, and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. After that, we continue to receive forgiveness as we walk in faith and honestly confess our sins. Since the Greek word 'aphesis' (translated forgiveness/remission in the NT) means literally to send away, every sin that is forgiven by means of the blood of Jesus can be said to have been sent away, taken away, removed, negated, done away with, etc. This is true of sins committed both under the Law and under the New Covanent. There is no difference: forgivenss is forgiveness. The larger difference between the Old Testament and the New is the availability of the Holy Spirit.