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"WHOSE SOEVER SINS YE REMIT, THEY ARE REMITTED UNTO THEM; AND WHOSE SOEVER SINS YE RETAIN, THEY ARE RETAINED" (JOHN 20:23, KING JAMES)
by Eugene Lopatynsky
2/28/2016 / Bible Studies
Sins are against God Almighty. Even God cannot (or will not) forgive sins arbitrarily. If God forgives, He, Himself pays our penalty. To assume that any man can FORCE GOD TO FORGIVE (and make God suffer) is idiotic in the most extreme. Can any priest himself forgive sins? And if he can't where does that really leave a billion people? How about you? How could you, as Christian, forgive sins or refuse absolution?
(1) WHEN WAS ACHIEVED THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS?
23. Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
When have the sins been remitted?
In John 20:23, reads "remitted" and "retained", in the past tense, an action already performed. Jesus is speaking to the apostles AFTER resurrection. He has already PAID for the sins of all, past, present and future, of those who will be saved through their FAITH.
Perhaps Christ Jesus was looking at all human history from another dimension, when He made that statement. Everything "in view" had already happened and the future had become history. Even so, this still leaves a question of HOW does (or did) a Christian participate in this whole process of salvation or eternal damnation?
The passage really reads:
23. Whose soever sins ye remit, they have been remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they have already been retained.
All sins (of past millennia and millennia to come) have been remitted (only to those eligible, when their time comes) during crucifixion of Christ Jesus, when he said "it is finished".
(2) TO WHOM IS THE MESSAGE GIVEN?
It is given to all believers, never to Peter alone or any elite; least of all to "priests", which really represent an illegitimate vocation after crucifixion. In our New Testament man goes directly to God, without intermediaries.
ALL BELIEVERS ARE TO PARTICIPATE AS A PART OF THE ULTIMATE PROCESS OF FORGIVENESS AND OF DAMNATION. Where is the beginning of this process, where does it end? How does a believer become part-instrument in it?
(3) HOW CAN A CHRISTIAN FORGIVE THE SINS OF OTHERS?
THEY ARE REMITTED WHEN CHRISTIANS PREACH THE GOSPEL AND THE HEARERS INVITE THE LORD JESUS TO BE THE RULER OF THEIR LIVES.
This way every Christian is an evangelist and a part- instrument for the remission of sins. This way a Christian becomes a light unto this world. This light (or lamp), in turn, requires oil, or FAITH, to emit light.
"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." (John 20:21) This has become the great commission of all believers. Preach the GOSPEL.
(4) HOW DOES ANY CHRISTIAN "RETAIN" THE SINS OF OTHERS? (DENIES FORGIVENESS?)
BY PREACHING CHRIST JESUS (ONLY BIBLICALLY), WITHOUT THE HEARERS ACCEPTING IT IN FAITH.
Man is not lost because he is a sinner. Man is lost because he rejected Jesus, who died for him. Even if you go into a lost eternity and have not accepted Christ, He died for you, and you simply made His sacrifice for you of no avail. You have trodden underfoot the blood of your Savior.
God says that the "smoke of their torment shall ascend forever and ever" They shall pay themselves for their sins. Why? Because God says so. Are you better or more compassionate than God? There is much more here than meets the eye. There is a mystery in iniquity and in the corresponding consequences.
(5) WHO CAN FORGIVE SINS?
Even God cannot forgive sins (or will not) forgive sins arbitrarily.
First the penalty of the sinner must be paid, to balance eternal justice. God, as Christ Jesus, paid it. When? At Calvary, when He said, "It is finished". Forgiveness is now a free gift in return for real FAITH in the REAL (Biblical) CHRIST.
There are many false christs not the Christ Jesus of the Bible. Faith in a false christ is a one way street to hell. Check out the Bible and Bible only. That's why God provided it. Many big 'religions' will hide it (Bible and salvation) from you.
WHAT IS REAL FAITH? What is "really believe"? Faith is NOT mere intellectual acceptance. It is a RESPONSE to who Jesus is and what He says. For example, if you live in front of the ocean, and the radio announces a tidal wave 300 feet high, imminent within the hour, are you going to accept it intellectually? If you BELIEVE the message, you'll run like hell.
(6) THE PRACTICE OF FORGIVENESS IN HISTORY
Obviously, the real believers well understood the above. Did they ever try to forgive sins themselves? NEVER! The Apostle Paul did not give absolution to the Philippian jailer (Acts 16); Peter did not give absolution to Cornelius (Acts 10). They preached salvation trough FAITH IN CHRIST. Only in this sense were the apostles active in the process for the forgiveness of sins. Peter said, "To Him (Christ Jesus) give all the prophets witness, that through His name, WHOSOEVER BELIVETH IN HIM, SHALL RECEIVE REMISSION OF SINS" (Acts 10:43.)
Never in the scripture or Christian practice has anyone dared to forgive sins "ex persona". Paul said, "believe on the Lord Jesus, and you'll be saved and (if they believe) your entire house"Catholicism never dared to usurp this ultimate authority until the 12th century, when the "priest" was allowed to say, "Ego te absolve" (I forgive you).
In all scriptures only God forgives sin, after paying the penalty Himself. It is a free gift of God to those who invite Christ Jesus by faith; faith in who He is and what He's done and what He commands. God's command is to study and obey the "BIBLE plus nothing" (Only the Bible).
(6) WHAT IS THE GREAT COMMISSION OF ALL BELIEVERS?
Mark 16:15, 16
15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
The Great Commission is to bring the BIBLE to the world. This Bible is called Gods Word or the Gospel. Angels would love to do this. But only believers are authorized, just as in the Old Testament, only the Levitates were allowed to carry the Arc of the Covenant, on their shoulders. Nobody else. ONLY THE BIBLE is to be taught, no other addition or deletion, or man's "tradition".
The baptism is a symbol for the intention to clean up (wash) one's life with the Bible.
Evangelism, the preaching of the Bible, is the only instrument of REMISSION or DAMNATION for us all.
Christ Jesus sends all His believers, the saved, Gods only remnant, to proclaim salvation by bringing the Gospel of Salvation, Gods BIBLE, to mankind.
(7) PREACH GOD'S WORD OR MAN'S WORD?
Preach ONLY the Bible?
Can you preach man' word, or anything not in the Bible, as in the Catechism? Or the "Pearl of Great Price" or "Traditions"? What does God say?
9. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
13. Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
(Who said that in Mark? Christ Jesus said this.)
Galatians 1:8, 9
8. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
These two verses (look up Gal. 1: 9 also) make the Bible (complete in 1st century AD), to be the ONLY SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY from God in this world, bar nothing. You don't believe it? Study Gal 1: 8-9 carefully.
How about the one billion Catholics who still believe their sins had been forgiven by priests?
They die believing their sins have been forgiven, believing their priest (and the Vatican) instead in Christ and the Bible? Some, reputably, believe that all they need is absolution by a priest JUST BEFORE DYING. In the meantime they feel free to sin all they want and as they want, sandwiched between confessions and absolutions, with only the FINAL absolution granting them "easy and free entrance" into bliss.
What a triumph for Satan? Nao?
GOD SAYS "MY PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED BY LACK OF KNOWLEDGE..." BY LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE BIBLE. WHAT DID CHRIST JESUS TELL PETER BEFORE GOING TO THE FATHER? "DO YOU LOVE ME? FEED MY SHEEP..." THIS IS FEED WITH THE BIBLE.
With infinite love God gave us a Savior, to pay our penalty, and a Bible, a guide and light on our path!
The Bible is a love story; written with blood, upon a wooden cross; the story of God's love for you.
Men are not lost because they are sinners; they are lost because they have rejected Jesus who died for them. Even if you go into a lost eternity and have not accepted Christ as your chief, as the Ruler of your Life, He died for you, and you simply made His sacrifice for you of no avail. You have trodden underfoot the blood of your Savior.
Any CONCEIVABLE sacrifice in this world is worthwhile just to find Jesus and to belong to Him! If you want Him, pray now with me, "DEAREST LORD JESUS, FORGIVE ME MY SINS. COME INTO MY LIFE AND BE THE RULER OF MY LIFE. HELP ME TO LOVE YOU MORE EVERY DAY; I PLEAD TO OBEY YOU WITH ALL MY STRENGTH AND TO READ YOUR BIBLE DAILY, EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE."
If you do this, and mean it, with an open heart, this prayer will never fail. It will become the greatest thing you will ever have, and it will last forever. Even in this life it will be the greatest happiness you'll know, and a light upon your path. Conversely, to FAIL in this, will be the GREATEST DISASTER you will ever have, both here and hereafter.
After this, clean up your life with the Bible. Check out the guide in "How to read the Bible and clean up your life" in www.remnantonly.info (under 'Articles'). It's made for you.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! Click here and TRUST JESUS NOW
Read more articles by Eugene Lopatynsky
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