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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Faith and Forgiveness: Part II - Terms

In order to understand the concept of forgiveness and forgiving as presented in the New Testament we need to consider both of the Greek words that are translated as such and the context in which they’re used. The transliterated word “aphiemi” is the verb most commonly translated to “forgive”, “forgiven”, “forgave” and “forgives” in the New Testament. Strong defined aphiemi as to send forth, in various applications: - cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.” The specific meaning is determined by the context but if we use the general definition we can begin to understand what it means to forgive, or to “send forth” transgressions. There is also a noun, which is used exclusively to indicate God’s forgiveness. The transliterated word “aphesis” is formed from aphiemi and is translated into “remission”, “forgiveness”, “deliverance” and “liberty”. In context aphesis is a present possession that is given to us by God. The implication here is that God gives us forgiveness (noun) as a possession while we are to be forgiving (verb). The difference between what God does and what we are to do is power and permanence. Only God has the ability to “send forth” transgressions while for us it must be a consistent effort of setting them aside. When God grants us forgiveness He sends forth our sins “as far as the east is from the west” and says, “their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” We don’t have the power to cast away sin or the ability to remove a transgression from our memory but, praise God, He does both! God grants forgiveness (aphesis) of sin through Jesus Christ to those who believe on His name.

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14 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Good reasoning.

3/09/2006 03:15:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

That little word study just blessed me. Thanks

3/09/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Matthew. The tempatation to do an essay instead of a blog is great but I hope the references will provide the information necessary for anyone wishing to research these terms.

Kristi I'm so thankful. ;-)

3/09/2006 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Thanks Kc.

Very helpful, the distinction between forgiveness and our own setting things aside.

3/09/2006 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger Pia said...

i've been here yesterday but my mind was somewhere else so i read this again today. now i'm glad i got it and learned something new. =)

3/09/2006 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

I'm like Pia sometimes when I read blogs.

I think it's cool in Micah 7 where it says God will hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. (regarding the remnant of Israel)

Thanks for the post, kc. Setting aside is what we need to do.

3/09/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

The question you must ask is if God's 'setting aside' is a permanent removal of memory from God's mind. Does God truly forgive and forget, or is He unable to do so?

3/10/2006 01:21:00 AM  
Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

I'm just glad He made the decision to forgive us and to send Jesus so we could be made right in His sight!

3/10/2006 03:18:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jodie thanks very much for saying so. I am so concerned that we burden ourselves trying to do the impossible and completely overlook the possible. ;-)

Pia I'm so thankful. ;-)

Rose that makes three of us then. I think, "I'm not really into this right now" and then return when I am. That is a kewl verse and it really illustrates the concept. ;-)

Adam Paul credited Jeremiah's prophecy to the new covenant twice in Hebrews when he repeated, "and I will remember their sins no more". Here again the evidence is our faith in God's word that what He says He will do, He will do. ;-)

Live, Love, Laugh (L3) welcome and Amen! Where would we be without Him!?

3/10/2006 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

Oh no, I meant was He able to forget. Not forgive. No doubt He could forgive, as He does forgive (at least He says He does).

My question is can an all-knowing, omniscient God truly forget what we have done?

Does He even need to?

Do we have to posit that God forgets as well as forgives? Or is it enough to say that He forgives us of our sins...

That is all I'm asking.

3/10/2006 07:56:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam if He no longer remembers them then they are forgotten, yes? or am I missing your point?

3/10/2006 08:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

Good thoughts, KC. Regarding His remembrance of our sins, I think the eternal God is certainly capable of removing our sins from our past as far as He is concerned. Thus, when He looks at us, there is nothing to remember.

3/11/2006 05:58:00 PM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

I agree :)

3/11/2006 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Gordan thanks for the encouragement and the perspective. It seems you're in good company with your thinking right Jodie? ;-)

3/12/2006 08:52:00 AM  

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