What do you make of John 20:19-23?
Most particularly I was working on a sermon on this and this line hit me in a new light, like a ton of bricks: 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
My thoughts are that man can forgive man, if acting with the Holy Spirit. But I also see this as only applying to earth.
Hi Eric, I believe indeed that Jesus empowered, anointed His disciples with the Holy Spirit where lies the fulness of God (as Christ is so are we in this world) and that enable them to have discernment to know if a person was receiving the gospel of Christ/Grace. And if the receive the message Holy Spirit in them remits all sin and if they reject the message of Christ then the people sin remained.
I'm not sure of your thought of seeing this as only applying to earth. But I see it as heaven coming down to earth. And earth is the only place where man is to forgive and restore what was lost by Adam, and if mankind refuse to be restored (receiving the message of Christ/Grace) then their sin remain. Forgiveness isn't needed in heaven. We have to be forgiven here on earth in order to enter heaven. So in that respect I see it as only applying to earth.
Good question Eric
As true christians, God expects us to forgive, if we have been wronged in the from of a sin by another, then I think and believe that forgiveness is expected. Therefore I would agree that we can forgive sins against us. Jesus did say in Matthew 18: 18 (NKJV): Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
In this verse I just quoted, this could inclued our allowance to forgive those who's wrong or sin in whatever form were directed at ourselves and that God would except and approve of our forgiveness of their sin, in heaven. And I would think that our Father would expect us to forgive each and every time we have been wronged. Therefore when we forgive a sin while on earth, He will accept that forgiveness in heaven.
I see it this way, if I have done someone wrong, is that not a sin? I would then hope to be forgiven by the person I have wronged.
As far as not forgiving of sins, I can only assume we can not forgive a sin that is or has not been directed at us personally. In this case I would think it would be beyound our responsibility
Really cool huh! That Matthew verse always sticks with me. It is almost a trick point of direction. We must forgive so the second option, is like a temptation. No matter really for cats like you and me --- what up, we forgive so the second option is?
Eric- The way I understand it is Christ died on the cross and in doing so grace has been offered to all. We have recieved his grace. The gift was a act of love. Freely we have received, freely we must give.
Graceinus, please use a couple of capsules to elaborate. You are on a roll here, please teach!
Eric-The two great commandments require love. Without God's love first it would not be possible for God to offer grace. First Love, then grace. Without love, grace could not exist.Therefore it's not possible for us forgive if we don't love them first
TRUTH brother. Can we be Christians and not love? NO. Is God ours or are we God's? Buddy you make me happy. God makes me happy and God gives all of us you. Others know you and in that know God.
Not enough room here, but in the case of "not forgiving," it makes sense to a Catholic. Here, I think it's more about "absolving." For the person who is unrepentant and wishes to remain in his sin, it is counter-productive to absolve him from it.
When we accept Jesus as our savior, he is within us. We must strive to do as Jesus would do. What would Jesus do? He would forgive of course. To live a life pleasing to him we must do the same. Although we will fail in this flesh, our souls are bound to Christ for eternity. So, if we are truly striving to please him, of course we forgive. The verses are also telling me we are to forgive, not to hold a grudge you might say.
This was said to the Apostles because according to the New Testament they were taught of Yahshua and given his portion of the power of God by him.
Just because a person or a group of people were told something in scripture does not mean it is for everyone.
Those people truly lived the life.
"Just because a person or a group of people were told something in scripture does not mean it is for everyone." Right on Sister! The audience is always as important as the message. They must have had a blast until the last.
This is the the Ambassodrial function of the sons of God. As representatives of the Kingdom, we have the Ministry of Reconciliation. Jesus Christ gave us ALL this function not just the 11. Verse 21 says As the Father has sent Me, I now send you. That is Apostolic activation, thereafter He breaths on the 11 the Holy Spirit. Remember the Holy Spirit only comes down afterwards in Acts 2. So they get it before the 120 in the upper room.
Unfortunately what was meant to be a normal practice of the sons of God became a exclusive right of the Roman Catholic Church, and they have abused that rite in the Confessional. To act on behalf of Christ and decree a persons sins forgiven or retained is our inheritance and is part of Kingdom Culture.
The Church however cannot seem to fully comprehend this gracious gift and will ask the most dumbest question when approaching this subject. "Are you saying that YOU can forgive anothers sin"? and be totally flabagastered by the mere thought of such authority. But the truth of the fact is that we operate under delegated authority of the One who has Sent us. The fact that every man has a right to have his sin forgiven because Jesus Christ did pay the full price is a complete shock to their minds.
These are immature and remain myopic in their perspectives of the Gospel of the Kingdom. I am fully functional in this Grace and have been doing it for years now because I am a son of God. This will return in full function in the days to come to those that fully understand their sonship and have matured to represent their Heavenly Father in mankind.
Grace & Peace
This is a wonderful comment Leon, thank you. But it leaves me a little worried for you, it seems that you are retaining the sins of the Church against them.
The Church as an insitutional entity cannot sin or have its sins retained. It is individual people that choose not to approriate the complete finished work of Christ on the cross for their personal lives. You should not be worried for me, Eric.
LeonE you have a true understanding of what you speak. God bless you brother
Leon Elijah you speak well and lift my knowledge up. But I will still worry about any man who troubles over the failings of our institutions. I think you point out we should be concerned with the people and not the thing.
We have received injustice,:"One cannot bear" as many friends said.
But we have learned that it is not us who must be pity, They are the one who needs prayer because they welcome the devil into their hearts.. "Revenge may even the score but forgiveness put us above them" If we are above them where are they heading? The only to fight bad is still by doing good, We bless them and forgive them, vengeance is not ours.. We hope that GOD open their eyes and touch their hearts. There is a chance for everyone to change to save them and snatch them from our true enemy, for we know how this evil spirit is working.
What a beautiful breakthrough.
There is so much to discover in the Bible, far beyond the literal.
"Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life" (2 Corinthians 3:6 KJV).
What does "following Christ" mean? Did Gautama Siddhartha Buddha "follow Christ" five centuries before Jesus was born?
The first time I tasted true forgiveness, I had just been assaulted by 6 different vehicles in rush-hour traffic, all within 2 minutes. Crumpled metal was avoided in each instance by my own quick thinking. But my frustration and rage over their selfish irresponsibility increased with each instance, except the last. With that last assault, I suddenly realized that I was 100% responsible.
Think about that for a moment. If you take 100% responsibility for someone else's actions against you, then you can no longer be a victim. It's impossible. You can't blame them, either. Only by doing this can you truly turn the other cheek.
And this forgiveness involved perfect forgetfulness. For 33 years, I had forgotten about their assault. All I chose to remember was the miracle that happened afterward, where 2 miles of bumper-to-bumper, Los Angeles, rush-hour traffic opened up within 5 seconds, leaving one empty center lane, and two lanes, left and right, snarling with doubly thick traffic. Impossible! There wasn't enough room for those moved cars with the lanes on either side already bumper-to-bumper. But that's what miracles are all about -- accomplishing the "naturally" impossible with effortlessness.
With such perfect love, all manner of gifts from the Heavenly Father can come your way.
Yes we can forgive those that sin against. AND we must. If we do not forgive them then we are holding on (whether we see it or not) to exert vengeance upon them in due course. When we forgive them then we are free and they are free so God can make any necessary adjustments to either or both as necessary.
vengeance is MINE sayeth the Lord.
Well spoken as usual Celafoe. For me, I ain't no hero. I just follow orders and feel I am ordered to forgive. I think those wild Apostles got that too. I cannot find a case of one of the Apostles "not forgiving" someone. Maybe for a while, Paul.
My take on the verse is that the Lord is talking about not holding sins over people's heads. The term used in the KJV is 'remit'. This is more about letting go of the desire for paybacks or holding a grudge. I do not see it so much about 'forgiveness' as much as it is about choosing not to hold grudges. Given the context, the Lord was telling his disciples to let go of grudges rather than nurse them, along with informing them that those matters they choose to hold onto will have long term ramifications. They were being sent out as His representatives. In that capacity, they were his spokesmen. When others disrespected them, they disrespected Him. He was informing them of the seriousness of their positions as his 'representatives'.
In John 20:19-23, Jesus supposedly said: "If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
All I know is that the man who appeared in John 20:19-23 is obviously not the same man who said: "But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also."
So my answer is that this man is obviously not Jesus, but an impostor.
Celafoe, in what way are they compatible? I thought Jesus taught forgiveness, not unforgiveness.
Celafoe, I think you only read half the sentence. The second half of the sentence reads: "If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Walter have you ever heard anyone claim that the men that this was spoken to, ever did not forgive. I do not know of any example. Even when Saul became Paul, it took some time but they forgave him.
Ericdierker, I have no idea but that is not the point. I feel that Jesus should have specifically and unambiguously advised his disciples to forgive everyone, including their enemies. To say what he had said is to allow room to do otherwise.
WalterPoon- " I feel that Jesus should have specifically....." That's a bit bold on your part, don't you think.
Very valid point Walter. Welcome to my world of free choice. But after awhile it works out where the road becomes very narrow indeed, and my choices are in fact controlled by my convictions.
-- I am sorry my Jesus does not live up to your expectations, but I accept and am happy with Him AS HE IS
Interesting observation... I'm writing an article on the subject of "Confession to a priest." I will be sure to incorporate some thoughts on this into my article.
I have a different perspective to forgiveness, all of course, the knowledge that has come from knowing and experiencing God!
We can definitely forgive.. .that is why I should forgive my brother if he asks my forgiveness seventy times seven....
But what does it do to me? Forgiving sets me free... Yes, the fact is forgiveness sets me free, more than anything... Think about it, if someone troubles us or did something wrong against us, aren't we carrying the thoughts of bitterness against him or her? If that is so, then aren't we carrying a baggage of that person on us... The minute we forgive (that is genuinely) we release ourselves of that baggage... We are free again..
On hindsight, God has given us the power so that we can liberate ourselves.. God Bless!!
Let us assume that in a stray road accident caused by someone else's mistake, you were seriously injured with fractures. The person who caused accident to you took you to hospital, called your near and dear ones, stay put in the hospital till all supports were given to you and was asking pardon from you. You opted to forgive him and made sure that no police case was registered against him. Thus he was forgiven. If you have not forgiven him, law would take it course and punish him. Thus he was not pardoned.
From this scripture, I believe that if you have received the Holy Spirit then you have become a disciple and so can forgive sins of others. This does not mean that the sinning individuals should continue to perform that sin but begin to receive the Holy Spirit as well. The human spirit is one that does forgive and so I believe that those who accept the Lord as their one and only savior may proceed as disciples on the earth.
taburkett- I believe one can become a disciple and have yet to receive the Holy Spirit. And disciple simplely mean "student". One does not receive the Holy Spirit first TO become a disciple. If a student desires to forgive then he or she should.
Miriam Webster defines the disciple as one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another. Such as the original 12 disciples.
Truly we can all forgive, truly, generally we are not that good at it. Now my Lord comes along and finds one that I have forgiven in a way to where his life has changed for the good. He has repented and is born again to good. My Lord would do likewis
you are correct-all humans can forgive-but some do not because they frolic with sin-those who live within the righteous rules of the Lord easily forgive the sins of others who have confessed those and joined in praising the Lord
Funny that I came upon this question one day after I decided to include this very verse into the article I'm working on.
OK, from my short amount of experience on these Hubpage forums (I'm still a bit of a newbie), I know I'm risking a few boos and tomato-throwing, since there seems to be not only a lot of anti-Catholicism on this site, but a great amount of irreligiosity - period.
But, considering that the question SEEMS to be open to opinion, I'll offer mine. As a Catholic, I believe that this verse is one of several which point to the idea of Confession to a priest. I could explain it all here, but I'm writing an article on it for just that purpose. But, to be brief, Jesus was speaking to the Twelve, His chosen ones, who were locked away in the Upper Room (for fear of their own potential deaths because of their association with Him) after His crucifixion. In Catholic Tradition, the Twelve Apostles were His first priests. "As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you." In my opinion, this bears some similarity to what He'd said earlier at the Last Supper, when He told them to "Do this in remembrance of Me." In short, He was instructing them to be His representatives for the future when He would no longer be physically present in the world.
As His representatives, He was giving them specific authority to forgive sins - or not. Notice that He "breathed" on them. This particular action of God was recorded only once before in the Bible - when God breathed the life-giving spirit into Adam. This is actually significant, for it suggests something very important, literally a life-giving moment. Without the saving grace of God, we are spiritually dead. Anyone who is a Christian need not ask the implications of that statement, but for those who aren't, let's just say that Hell basically means "the absence of God." So when we "absent" ourselves from Him by sinning, we're sending ourselves to Hell. God doesn't do that; we do it to ourselves.
For a Catholic, though, Confession is a grace, a way in which God gives us to repent and bring ourselves back into "reconciliation" with Him (thus, it is called the "Sacrament of Reconciliation") after we have turned our backs on Him. God is all about second chances.
There is a lot more to this subject, but, as I said, I'm writing an article on it, which I'm going to go do now - after getting a few thoughts from what others have written here.... With that, I leave you with a "God bless you all + "
Wow, that is cool. This morning I was reading Luke 10:1-20 and some writing from Joseph of Jesus and Mary. That focused on the 72 that were sent. I am seeing some right in use of the terms to describe one who is sent.
Great comment give us the link.
Esp. v.16. & another: Rom:10:14-15: But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? & how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? & how are they to hear without a preacher? & how can men preach unles
Here's what I've come to understand:
If you hold a grudge, then it exists. And if you do not, than it does not. The sin (defined merely as a "misperception" in some Native beliefs) only exists within you.
It's interesting to me that you qualified this as "only applying on Earth". I'd agree, saying the common way for most people to address this would be within our human and earthly concepts; that the idea of a "wrong to be righted" between two individuals is a matter of ego, not of actual events.
I've come to understand that we may not be in control of what happens - only of how we perceive it. And we can always see things from a different perspective, and infinitely so.
Lee @ Lee's Teas
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