Remission of sin – What is it?
"Remission" is a word meaning forgiveness. The remission of sin is therefore a reference to the forgiveness of sin. In the King James Version of the Bible the phrase "remission of sins" is used seven times and the phrase "remission of their sins" is used once. A look at these occurrences helps us to understand the important historical usage of this phrase.
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Matthew 26:28 (KJV): "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Here Jesus speaks of the shedding of His blood for the forgiveness or remission of sins. It is Christ's sacrifice of His own life that provides the ability for us to receive His forgiveness.
Mark 1:4 (KJV): "John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." John the Baptist came just before Jesus to prepare the way for His coming. His message called hearers to repent and be forgiven of sins, symbolizing their repentance through baptism.
Luke 1:77 (KJV): "To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins." This single use of "remission of their sins" refers to a multitude of people being forgiven of their sins through Jesus the Messiah.
Luke 3:3 (KJV): "And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." Here, as in Mark 1:4, the reference is to work related to John the Baptist preparing the way for the Messiah by calling Jews to repentance.
Luke 24:47 (KJV): "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." The end of Luke's Gospel notes that Jesus was the source of forgiveness or remission of sins, a message that would start in Jerusalem and spread to the ends of the earth (also Matthew 28:18-20).
Acts 2:38 (KJV): "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Peter preached repentance at Pentecost. Those who did received remission of sins (forgiveness) and were baptized.
Acts 10:43 (KJV): "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." When the message of Christ spread to the Gentiles, the same mention of forgiveness of sins was included.
Romans 3:25 (KJV): "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." The righteousness of Christ provides forgiveness.
All of these passages emphasize Jesus the Messiah as the One who can forgive sin. He calls people to repent or turn from sin and to believe in His name to receive the gift of eternal life.
How do I receive forgiveness from God?
How is Jesus' sacrifice propitiation for our sins?
What is the meaning of expiation?
What does it mean that Jesus died for our sins?
Should Christians confess their sins, even though they are already forgiven?
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