Worship that works - spirituality that connects

RSS feed follow liturgy on twitter be a fan on Facebook

The Forgiveness of Sins

forgiveness

I believe in the forgiveness of sins.

A lot of people have and give the impression that the Christian God has set up the universe so that everyone goes to hell, but if you say sorry and a special charm prayer you will magically go to heaven instead. That is called cheap grace – there was no cost involved to you.

Some people have and give the impression that saying sorry is the end of it. Let me give what I hope is not a too-significant example: I loathe people speaking through each other, over the top of each other, not listening to each other. If I am speaking and another person begins to speak, often I will stop. Mid sentence. When there is silence again, I will begin again – and if it has taken a moment – I will begin my sentence again – from the start. I just think this is normal, basic, human dialogue where people take turns to speak, and turns to listen. If a person says “sorry” for ignoring and talking over another person, what does that sorry mean if that same person does exactly the same again. That sorry has meant absolutely nothing. That person has merely made more noise by saying sorry.

Real apologising isn’t just adding more noise to an already noisy universe. Real apologising, really saying you are sorry is meaning it; it is a commitment that you intend, really intend, not to do it again.

So forgiveness is a process – it’s not cheap grace – as it so often appears in our culture. It is a costly process.

Firstly, what are you apologising for? What are you going to be forgiven for?

There’s a lot of talk nowadays of “an error of judgment” – people, it seems, don’t do things that are wrong – they make “an error of judgment”. Yes, at times you and I do make an error of judgment.

But read my lips – there’s more than just errors of judgment. People do things that are wrong. And if you and I intentionally do something that is wrong that is sin. I believe in the forgiveness of sin – but it takes more than a cursory, hasty, mechanical saying sorry.

So – there is the saying “sorry”. That means – really means: I am sincerely sorry

AND it means: I intend not to do this again.

AND it means: I intend, as much as is possible, to fix what I have done – to undo the wrong, to make it up, to repair the damage I have caused, and to repair the relationship I have broken.

That is what forgiveness is about. It is costly – not just saying sorry; end of story.

To God it is costly. To fix the human mess we make cost God more than a simple, “it’s fine – I forgive you”.

AND there are some things, once you have done them – you cannot fix it up. You cannot repair it. You cannot undo it.

I believe in the forgiveness of sins does not mean whatever errors of judgment we make, whatever wrong we do, whatever sin we commit can be fixed up. Some things, in this life, will never be able to be fixed up.

Some things only God and God’s future can fix.

This is the thirty-first post in a series on the Creed.

The first is Apostles’ Creed.
The second is I believe in God.
The third is a source of the Apostles’ Creed.
The fourth is I believe in the Father.
The fifth is Handing over the Creed.
The sixth is I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son
The seventh is Don’t use the creed in worship
They eighth is Truly God truly human
The ninth is Conceived by the Holy Spirit
The tenth is Don’t use the creed in worship (part 2)
The eleventh is Born of the Virgin Mary
The twelfth is Don’t use the creed in worship (part 3)
The thirteenth is Crucified under Pontius Pilate
The fourteenth is crucified
The fifteenth is Holy Saturday
This sixteenth is He descended to the dead
The seventeenth is on the third day he rose again
The eighteenth is Seated at the right hand of the Father
The nineteenth is Judge the living and the dead
The twentieth is I believe in the Holy Spirit
The twenty-first is But Wait, There’s More!
The twenty-second is And the Son
The twenty-third is Filioque
The twenty-fourth is Two hands of God
The twenty-fifth is Don’t believe in the Church
The twenty-sixth is I believe one Church
The twenty-seventh is I believe in holy church
The twenty-eighth is I believe in catholic church
The twenty-ninth is I believe in apostolic church
The thirtieth is The Communion of Saints

Similar Posts:

Share

3 Responses to The Forgiveness of Sins

  1. In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part. [The Message-Matthew 6: 14-15]
    You write of forgiveness sought by the transgressor and use. if I may say, very minor transgressions. I can only agree with your words. BUT forgiving, i would propose, is more complex and often fraught with the greatest difficulty, even impossibility. This is one of the demands of Jesus, the demand to forgive, that marks the Holy, KADOSH, set apart, and is a constant struggle in our common life.
    The sexual abuse uproar in Australia is exhibiting this clearly, While the situation in the Roman church dominates they are far from alone- read the transcripts of the Royal Commission in their case study of the Anglican Diocese Of Grafton and the response of their then Bishop.
    But my point is that with research and reading into this (see the Catholica website and its continuing anger) their few of the abused, their family and associates who will even contemplate forgiveness.. For the church authorities to express regret, sorrow, some transgressors seeking forgiveness makes little impression on the bulk of those sinned against.
    Stepping outside this particular situation I have been involved in a discussion of forgiveness with someone who finally said my parents so unjustly punished me that i did not forgive them to the days they died.
    Yes this is what Jesus asks us, to exclude ourselves from commonality. But how many can achieve this beyond petty fractions.
    You write truly
    I believe in the forgiveness of sins does not mean whatever errors of judgment we make, whatever wrong we do, whatever sin we commit can be fixed up. Some things, in this life, will never be able to be fixed up.

    Some things only God and God’s future can fix.

    Do we really begin to grasp what this demands and do those who can’t cope with it need forgivness?

  2. I think the question is not so much how, when and why should we forgive, but are we actually making the effort it takes to initiate that process. Is my sh** list longer than yours or for the sake of my health should I just let it go. Otherwise I might be waiting till hell actually does freeze over. And what if the one’s that I haven’t forgiven are already dead? The point being I guess is who is going to be mature enough to say: I’m sorry I haven’t been able to forgive you yet so far but I’m willing to give it a try. When do we begin? We might finally learn what it is to love unconditionally as Jesus wanted for all of us.

  3. THE MEANING OF “FOR”

    “FOR”Defined: In order to obtain, to gain or acquire.

    Matthew 26:28 for this is My blood of the covenant, which poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.

    Jesus shed His blood “for” the forgiveness of the sins of all those who obey His terms for pardon. “For” means in order to obtain forgiveness. “For” did not mean that Jesus shed His blood because the forgiveness of sins had already been granted.

    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

    Peter told them to repent, and be baptized “for” the forgiveness of sins. Peter did not tell them to repent, and be baptized because their sins had already been forgiven.

    “For” means in order to obtain.
    “For” does not mean already has obtained.

    Although “for” is not stated in all of the follow Scriptures. “For” is certainly implied.

    Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

    Grace and faith are “for” salvation.
    In order to obtain salvation, grace and faith are essential; grace precedes salvation and faith must precede salvation.

    John 3:5 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

    Being born of water and the Spirit are “for” entry into the kingdom of God. You must be born of water and the Spirit in order to obtain entry in the kingdom of God. You are not born of water and the Spirit because you are already a member of God’s kingdom.

    Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteous, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

    God’s mercy is “for” salvation. The washing of regeneration (that being water baptism) is “for” salvation. Renewing by the Holy Spirit is “for” salvation. God’s mercy, the washing of regeneration (water baptism), and renewing by the Holy Spirit are all in order to obtain salvation. God’s mercy precedes salvation. You are not baptized because you are already saved. You are not renewed by the Holy Spirit because you have already been saved.

    Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

    Confessing Jesus as Lord is “for” salvation. Believing in your heart that God raised Jesus from the grave is “for” salvation. Confessing Jesus as Lord and believing God raised Him from the dead is in order to obtain salvation. You do not confess Jesus as Lord and believe God raised Him from the dead because you have already been saved.

    Mark 16:16 He who has believed and been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.

    Believing is “for” salvation. Being baptized is “for” salvation. Belief and water baptism are in order to obtain salvation.
    You do not believe because you have already been saved. You are not baptized because you have already been saved.

    “FOR” means in order to obtain.

    Jesus shed is blood in order that men might obtain forgiveness from sin. IT WAS “FOR” THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. (Matthew 26:28)

    Men repent and are baptized in water so that they may obtain forgiveness from sins. THEY DO IT “FOR” THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.(Acts 2:38)

    Although many claim that the “for” in Acts 2:38 really means “because of” there is not one translation that I know of that translates it that way.

    (All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)

    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOg.http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com

Leave a reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.


Rev. Bosco Peters Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.