In the Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, plus the NT Book of Hebrews (among others), Forgiveness of our Sins is directly promised, and the process prescribed in detail. “Forgiveness” is based upon the sinner bringing “in faith” a ‘substitutionary sacrifice’.
The person does not and cannot “Pay” (Atone) for their sins directly themselves since:
- “the Soul that Sins shall Die” (Ezekiel 18:20), and
- “the life is in the Blood” (Lev 17:11), and
- “the Wages of Sin is Death” (Rom 6:23).
Even the sin of Adam & Eve was ‘paid for’ by a substitutionary (animal) sacrifice by God Himself, not by works of our own (Gen 3:17, 4:4,5).
The picture of Christ’s sacrifice for Sin (in our place) is given in the detailed O.T. sacrificial system in the Pentateuch, and then ‘fulfilled’ in the Sacrificial, Substitutionary Atonement with the death of Christ on the Cross. The Sinner, “in faith”, depends solely upon the sacrifice of Christ for their Forgiveness.
Nowhere in the Bible is “good works” a Payment for Sin (Rom 11:6).
The ‘sequence’ of Forgiveness is:
- commission of Sin
- sometimes Restitution, (make it right)
- Sacrifice for Sin, then
- Forgiveness, and
- Thankfulness. And trust me, I’m very Thankful!
But I’ve heard it said about someone sinning against you,
“… well, you just need to forgive them and move on…”
However, that’s not God’s way (and we know it intuitively).
“CONFESSION” is required for Forgiveness, and even Jesus said as much about those that Rejected Him – Pharisees, etc.) And Jesus also said to Peter that Gracious Forgiveness of others is expected of you when they Confess to you that they’ve sinned against you. That leads to joyful ‘Restoration’.
Confession is hard for us, but it is required.
Forgiveness in the Koran – –
With all that’s been going on in the World with Muslim Terrorism, I’ve been reading the Koran again, and at the same time I’m in the “Bible in 150 Days” reading, and I’m now into the Sacrifices for Sin for ‘Forgiveness’ (see also the NT Book of Hebrews). Christian ‘Forgiveness for our Sins’ is based upon the ‘substitutionary sacrifice’ of Jesus on the Cross. The picture of Christ’s sacrifice is given in the O.T. sacrificial system.
But, Islam has no sacrificial system, no ‘savior’, and no ‘atonement’; but only a ‘wish’ that Allah will arbitrarily (and uncertainly) ‘forgive’ them and allow them into Paradise instead of ‘flicking’ them into the Fires of Hell (unless they die a Martyr). Their forgiveness by Allah (“The Merciful”) is based upon (enough) ‘Good Works’ — but of course they can never know if they’ve done enough.
When I was in Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm, I was in the Control Tower and got to speak to one of the Muslim Air Traffic Controllers, and I asked him how he could “KNOW” that his Sins were Forgiven. He replied that there was no way to know. I then shared my complete ‘Confidence’ in the sacrifice for my sins by Jesus. I pray for them.