by Ed Stevens

Transgression of civil laws requires settlement, and that by an appointed judge. Transgression of God's laws also requires settlement, God being the judge; but only those who believe in existence after death (and rightly so) are concerned about it. The Bible, written for sinful humanity, tells us "all have sinned", and so all need "remission of sins" to be right with God who alone can forgive sins. Rom. 3:23; Mark 2:7. Also, there can be no remission of sins without the penalty for sin, which is death, or separation from God, being paid in full. The good news in "the gospel of Christ" is that this penalty has been paid in full by God's Son when He "by the grace of God tasted [experienced] death for every man" on the cross, when He cried, "My God, My God, Why hast thou forsaken me?" Heb. 2:9; Matt. 27:46. That is why He came into this world, born in Bethlehem's manger, to be "made sin for us", vicariously atoning for the sin of the world. II Cor. 5:21.

"Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29. Our concern should be, Has He taken away MY sin? "To him gave all the prophets witness that through His name whosoever BELIEVETH in Him shall receive remission of sins." Acts 10:43. In thus preaching the gospel to Cornelius and his company the apostle Peter caused their sins to be remitted in that they believed Peter's message. Had they not believed their sins would have been retained. Christ had said to the twelve apostles, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosoever sins ye remit they are remitted, and whosoever sins ye retain they are retained." John 20:23. This was merely declarative authority by the Holy Spirit. Nowhere is it recorded that the apostles by personal authority remitted or retained sins for anyone, nor that anyone recognized such authority in them. James wrote that anyone "which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins". James 5:20.

The New Testament nowhere teaches "succession" of apostolic authority, nor ordination of priests, as such, nor confession of sins to a priest, or any other man to gain remission of sins. Investigate for yourself and see!

Only by faith in Christ "we have redemption through His blood, THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS according to the riches of His grace", or unmerited favor. Ephesians 1:7. "None can by any means redeem his brother„ nor give to God a ransom for him." Psalm 49:7. We are informed in Hebrews 10:11 that sacrifices by man "can never take away sin". "For by one offering He [Christ] hath perfected forever them that are sanctified" and "where remission of sin is, there is no more offering for sin" needed. Heb. 10:14, 18. These Bible verses destroy "the Mass"! "If any man sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous: and He is the propitiation for our sins . . . also for the sins of the whole world." I John 2:1. "Now may the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing." Romans 15:13.

For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not by yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship created unto [not by our] good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:8-10). Please read also Titus 3:5; Gal. 2:16, 21; Rom. 4:5.

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