IF YOU FORGIVE THE SINS...? BY STEVE FINNELL
Did Jesus give Peter and the apostles the authority to forgive individuals of their sins before and after they became Christians? Do contemporary pastors and priests have the authority to forgive Christians of their sins? The answer is no, no, and no.
ONLY GOD FORGIVES SINS
Mark 2:1-7....... "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming; who can forgive sins but God alone.(NASB)
Jesus was God on earth, He had the authority to forgive sins. The apostles were not God on earth. Contemporary pastors and priest are not God on earth. For anyone other than God to claim they have the authority to forgive sin is blasphemous.
Isaiah 43:15-25 "I am the Lord, your Holy One.....25 "I even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.(NASB)
No preachers, pastors, apostles, nor priests can wipe out transgressions. Only God forgives sin.
Micah 7:18 Who is a God like You who pardons iniquity...(NASB)
The apostle Peter nor any apostle had the power to pardon sins. There is not an example in the New Testament Scriptures where any apostle said to an individual nor a group of people I forgive you of your sins.
Jesus gave Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 16:9) Jesus not give Peter and the apostles the authority to grant forgiveness to men. Only God forgives sin.
Peter used the keys on the Day of Pentecost. The keys were faith, repentance, and immersions in water. (Acts 2:22-41)
Peter did not say I or we the apostles forgive you of your sins against God, nor did he say that to anyone Christians subsequently. [Terms of pardon:FAITH John 3:16, REPENTANCE Acts 3:19, CONFESSION Romans 10:9, IMMERSION IN WATER Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16]
There is no Scriptures that teaches that apostles, preachers, pastors, priests, nor the church as the power of absolution. Only God forgives sin.
1 John 2:1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;(NASB)
The apostle John did not tell those in the body of Christ to ask for absolution for theirs sins by asking the church, the priest nor the pastor to grant them forgiveness from their sins against God.
ONLY GOD FORGIVES SINS!
We know that, John 20:23, does not mean the apostles, priests, pastors, nor the church has the authority to forgive men of their sins against God.
Teaching the gospel plan of salvation to men does not mean the teacher has the authority to forgive sin.
Praying for fellow church members does not mean that the one who prays has the authority to forgive sins.