Sunday, July 22, 2012

No Forgiveness for Sins?

There are some passages in Scripture that seem a bit disturbing when set in the context of the rest of Scripture. We are taught that God can and will forgive any and all sin and yet there are some passages that if read simplistically (or according to what some would call “the plain meaning of Scripture”) appear to teach that some sins cannot be forgiven.
 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit…and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame (Hebrews 6:4,6).
For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:26).
The good news is that Biblical background and context make all the difference when it comes to understanding the meaning of Scripture. Victor Hamilton in the Handbook on the Pentateuch informs us of how another oddity in Scripture helps us resolve this one. “The Old Testament sacrificial system makes provisions only for accidental sins, not for those perpetrated deliberately” (245). However, when you look at what constitutes an “accidental sin” you soon realize it includes sins that could not possibly be done without knowledge. For instance, the following are included: stealing, lying about something someone lost, and lying about being innocent of another crime or to cover up another crime!
 For the rest, click HERE.


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