Buen Consejo | October 24, 2011 | for http://www.baptist.org
What is the difference between Redemption, Remission and Forgiveness? Did you even know that they are different? Which one saves you?? Can you have one of the other two and still be lost?
Many people say that if you ask God to forgive your sins, you’ll be saved. That is not how it works. Forgiveness only restores the relationship that wasthere before. If some neighborhood kid breaks your window with a baseball, then comes to knock on the door to apologize, you might forgive him. But that will not make him your son. That will not fix the window. If a lost sinner asks God to forgive him, his life will improve. He will not become God’s child or have his sin washed away.
Remission means to be covered up or retained to not spread, increase or be in the way. But it is still there. Like a cancer in remission is still a cancer.
Redemption means to actually buy something and go pick it up. That is what saves you. Jesus Christ died for your sins to purchase you and own you. He will also one day come and pick us up.
Let’s look at some scriptural evidences- First came preparation. Luke 1:77 “To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,” Through remission of sin (to get it out of the picture, but not gone) the way is prepared to receive knowledge. Jesus cleared the way for your understanding of salvation so you could chose it, if you want. Matthew 26:28 “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Acts 10:43 “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”
Next he would actually offer himself to take away that sin. John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” He would pay the price to buy us out- redemption. Leviticus 25:51 “If there be yet many years behind, according unto them he shall give again the price of his redemption out of the money that he was bought for.” Numbers 3:49 “And Moses took the redemption money of them that were over and above them that were redeemed by the Levites:”
Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Ephesians 1:7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:14 “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (earnest means- down payment)
We also get free forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:” Romans 4:7 “Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.” Acts 5:31 “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.” Forgiveness is only in there because of the repentance that allowed you to submit to him for redemption.
After salvation remission is irrelevant and redemption is permanently fixed, but forgiveness to maintain and sustain a close, blessed walk with the Lord is a continual process. It has nothing to do with going to heaven or hell. It has to do with the personal relationship between you and the Lord. If you have a son and he behaves poorly (imagine that!), you might punish him. If he wants a new bike, you might deny him that. If he needs help with something, you might not help him…. but does not cease to be your son.
In your personal walk as a Christian forgiveness is a daily, if not hourly process, even moment to moment, depending on the individual. You will not receive forgiveness with blanket prayers like, “Lord, forgive my sins..”, “Lord, forgive me for not doing what I should have and for doing what I should not have, and where I failed you…bla, bla..” The scriptures are clear: 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You don’t ask for forgiveness. You confess your sins to the Lord. Confessing sins means enumerating them, that is, name and itemize them. “Lord, I lied.”, “Lord. I knew I should read my Bible and did not.”, “Lord, I felt I should talk to that person about you, but chickened out.” This way, when you have agreed with the Lord that these items are sin, you get forgiveness and can’t claim next time that you did not know it was sin.
Summary: Remission prepares the way for you to receive the knowledge of salvation. Redemption gives you the actual salvation. Forgiveness is thrown in to start the relationship at a new beginning.