What Is Forgiveness in the Bible? Pt. 2

Feb 09, 2021

Some things that Jesus taught only applied to the Jews under the Old Covenant. When Jesus was on the earth, the Jews were under the law of Moses. The New Covenant didn’t start until Jesus died on the cross. Sometimes, Jesus explained things that were written in the law, but we have to understand that the law does not apply to us today because we are no longer under the law of Moses. 

So, how do we know what applies to us and what doesn’t? We know through an understanding of what Jesus accomplished for us through His finished work on the cross. We should read the Bible in the light of the cross. When we read the Bible in light of the finished work, we’ll know what things apply to us and what things don’t. Understanding the finished work will help us to avoid confusion when we’re reading the Bible.

When Jesus walked the earth, He taught an updated version of the law. You can call it Moses 2.0. He showed them the true intention of the law, in its purest form. He raised the bar.

Ok, let me show you what I’m talking about. Jesus taught conditional forgiveness. 

Matthew 6:15 (ESV)

15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

This was forgiveness that was contingent on us forgiving others. He said if we do not forgive, neither will God forgive us. 

Now let’s look at forgiveness under the New Covenant.

Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

However, under the New Covenant, we forgive as Jesus forgives. Both of those passages teach a different version of forgiveness, but it is not a contradiction. One is meant for the Jews under the law, and the other was meant for believers under the New Covenant.

Additional Forgiveness Scriptures

Ephesians 1:7 (ESV)

7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Colossians 1:14 (ESV)

14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 2:13 (ESV)

13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,

Matthew 26:28 (ESV)

28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 1:77 (ESV)

77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,

Luke 24:47 (ESV)

47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Acts 5:31 (ESV)

31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.

Acts 10:43 (ESV)

43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

Acts 13:38 (ESV)

38 Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you,

Acts 26:18 (ESV)

18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

Romans 4:7 (ESV)

7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;

1 John 2:12 (ESV)

12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.