Je­sus em­pow­ers us to for­give and re­tain sins

Westside Eagle-Observer - - OPINION -

“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 Ghost: Whose so­ever sins ye re­mit, they are re­mit­ted unto them; and whose so­ever sins ye re­tain, they are re­tained.” John 20:21-23

On the evening of that first Easter Day, Je­sus ap­peared to His dis­ci­ples where they were gath­ered to­gether be­hind closed doors for fear of the Jews and showed them His hands and His side to prove to them that He truly was Je­sus and that He re­ally had risen from the dead (John 20:19-20).

Two times Je­sus said to them: “Peace be unto you.” Since Christ had died upon the cross for their sins and was risen again in vic­tory, they had peace with God — the peace of hav­ing all sins par­doned and for­given through faith in the shed blood of Je­sus (cf. Eph. 2:11ff.; 1 John 2:1-2).

The Bi­ble says: “There­fore be­ing jus­ti­fied by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Je­sus Christ: by whom also we have ac­cess by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and re­joice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:1-2).

Not only did Je­sus bless them with the peace of sins for­given, He breathed on them, gave them His Holy Spirit and com­mis­sioned them to for­give the sins of pen­i­tent sin­ners and to re­tain (not for­give) the sins of im­pen­i­tent sin­ners as long as they do not re­pent (John 20:21-23). We of­ten speak of this as the Of­fice of the Keys be­cause it opens the gates of heaven to those who are sorry for their sins and look to Christ and His re­demp­tive work and closes the gates of heaven to those who are not sorry for their sins or do not trust in Christ for for­give­ness. In­deed, it takes the wis­dom and guid­ance of the Holy Spirit to rightly use and ap­ply these keys to oth­ers, but this is what Christ our Sav­ior would have us do!

Some would ob­ject and say, “How can we, as be­liev­ers in Christ, for­give and re­tain sins? Only God can do that!” This power is given us pre­cisely be­cause of Christ’s death upon the cross for the sins of all mankind and His glo­ri­ous res­ur­rec­tion on the third day. Since Christ has paid for all sin and is risen in vic­tory, we can an­nounce and pro­claim God’s par­don and peace to pen­i­tent sin­ners. And since Christ is the only way of sal­va­tion, we must also warn those who con­tinue in sin and un­be­lief of the com­ing judg­ment of God upon all who do not re­pent.

As Je­sus says, “He that be­lieveth on Him [the Son] is not con­demned: but he that be­lieveth not is con­demned al­ready, be­cause he hath not be­lieved in the name of the only be­got­ten Son of God” (John 3:18).

Dear Lord and Sav­ior Je­sus Christ, we thank and praise You for Your death on the cross for our sins and for Your glo­ri­ous res­ur­rec­tion and as­cen­sion. Grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may always trust in You and find peace in the par­don You have won for us, and help us to rightly ap­ply Your Word to oth­ers that they too might re­ceive the com­fort and peace of know­ing their sins are for­given and that they too might have life ev­er­last­ing through faith in Your name. Amen.

[De­vo­tion by Randy Moll. Scrip­ture Quo­ta­tions from the King James Ver­sion of the Bi­ble]

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.