Jesus Christ’s ministry of forgiveness

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A central feature of Jesus Christ’s ministry was his declaration that believers’ sins were forgiven through their faith in him.

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Jesus Christ’s ministry of forgiveness was foretold

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Matthew 1:20–21 ESV
But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
John 1:29 ESV
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Jesus Christ’s exercise of forgiveness

Luke 23:33–34 ESV
And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.
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Jesus Christ has authority on account of his divinity to forgive sins

Jesus Christ’s authority to forgive is authenticated by his healing of the paralytic.

People’s offence at Jesus Christ’s exercise of forgiveness

Mark 2:5–7 ESV
And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Parables of forgiveness

the unmerciful servant; ; the lost son

The church’s ministry of forgiveness in Jesus Christ’s name

John 20:21–23 ESV
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
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