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When forgivenes becomes liberation…

11-10-2011 - Posted by Andre Piet

  Last week I showed in a number of blogs (here and here) that the phrase “the forgiveness of sins” gives us a completely wrong impression: as if the point was that God would not reckon to us the guilt (debt) of the past, any longer. The expression does not refer to disposing of guilt (the debt), but to the liberation from sin, that is, we are no longer a slave to sin. In this blog I will present a few examples of passages that show how different well-known texts will sound (and become clearer!), when we replace pardon (or forgiveness) with liberation.

And he came into the entire country about the Jordan, heralding a baptism of repentance for the pardon LIBERATION of sins… Luke 3:3 …and there is to be heralded in His name repentance for the pardon LIBERATION of sins, to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke 24:47 This Inaugurator and Saviour, God exalts to His right hand, to give repentance to Israel and the pardon LIBERATION of sins. Acts 5:31 To this One are all the prophets testifying: Everyone who is believing in Him is to obtain the pardon LIBERATION of sins through His name.” Acts 10:43 …to open their eyes, to turn them about from darkness to light and from the authority of Satan to God, for them to get a pardon LIBERATION of sins and an allotment among those who have been hallowed by faith that is in Me.’ Acts 26:18

Revealing are also the only two times (!) that Paul in his letters the word aphesis (= loose-letting, liberation) uses.

in Whom we are having the deliverance through His blood, the forgiveness LIBERATION of offenses in accord with the riches of His grace… Eph.1:7 in Whom we are having the deliverance, the pardon LIBERATION of sins… Col.1:14

The “liberation from sin” is used by Paul in both passages to explain the deliverance (Gr. apolutrosis) which we have in Christ: slaves are ransomed, that is, freed from sin. In Christ Jesus, people receive a new life, new perspective, a new identity and a life filled with meaning and purpose! In short, freedom from ‘target-missing’ (= sin). ——————————— translation: Peter Feddema