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STUDY 8 Remission of sins (Acts 10 v43).
Bible passages to be read: Acts 5 v20-32, Acts 10 v34-44, Hebrews 10 v11-22, Luke 7 v36-50, Mark 2 v1-12, Revelation 1 v4-6, 1 John 1 v9.
The Greek word translated ‘remission’ in the verse quoted above is translated in other places forgiveness’. The Dictionary gives the following meanings to it, which are worth pondering: (a) the liberation of a slave, (b) freedom from the obligations of a bond, (c) divorce, (d) the loosing of a ship from her moorings, and (e) the technical word for the removal of the barrier so that a chariot race could begin. Remission then with repentance stands right at the beginning of the Christian life, and these two together provide the sum and substance of the preacher’s God-given witness (see Luke 24 v46-48).
Look first at Acts 5 v20-32, in which Peter sets aside the demand of the Jewish authorities that the apostles should not preach in the Name of Jesus. These verses show the steps leading into the way of salvation very clearly.
1. Outline these steps in your own words. Do you take this to be the only way to be saved? Give reasons for your answer.
Now turn to Acts 10 v34-44, which records Peter’s message to Cornelius and his household.
2. What do you find in this passage to be the emphasis placed on forgiveness? Do you find clearly stated the result of the conferring of forgiveness on these men?
We can now look at Hebrews 10 v11-22 comparing it with the parallel passage - Hebrews 8 v8-13. These two passages contain verses quoted from Jeremiah 31 v31-34, and throw an interesting light on how prophecies uttered in the Old Testament are dealt with by the New Testament writers.
3. Can you trace from these passages what the inner result is to the provision of so great forgiveness, and the incoming of new life given by the Holy Spirit?
Two passages in the Gospels speak definitely about forgiveness, Luke 7 v36-50 and Mark 2 v1-12.
4. Sum up all you can from these two passages about the remission of sins.
Revelation 1 v4-6 (look also at Revelation 5 v9-10, the Song of the redeemed) provides a glorious and familiar picture of the mercy of God in Jesus Christ. It is more than just interesting to note that the word ‘loved’ in verse 5 is really in the present tense; but that the words ‘washed’ also in verse 5, and ‘hath made’ in verse 6 are in the past, speaking of something already accomplished, For the word ‘washed’ many manuscripts use the word ‘loosed’.
5. Comment from these passages on the statement, ‘The love of God for us is seen in the Cross of Christ in a way that changes the heart of man’.
1 John 1 v9 is a verse we have already met with in a previous study.
6. How do you think this verse bears on the everyday Christian walk?