14 August, 2006

Jesus Forgiving Sins?

The question is often floated around in various Christian debate circles: If Jesus is not God, how can he forgive sins? It's a question surprisingly easy to answer:

Matthew 9:2-8. "And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marveled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men."

The multitudes understood this situation perfectly. They understood that God had given this authority to man.

That same authority - the power to forgive sins - was also granted to the apostles.

John 20:21-23. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Spirit: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."

Clearly, it is not necessary to be God in order to forgive sins.

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