Clarence E. Mason's "Soteriology"
BY THE AUTHOR
Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible
- THE MEANING OF THE WORD FORGIVENESS
- There are three OT words
- Kaphar - "to cover"
Divine justice (always in view of the coming sacrifice of Christ,
Rom. 3:25) being satisfied, God could cover the sin. By sacrificial
blood the sin was "covered," in the sense that it no longer
beckoned to God to perform righteous judgment (Dt. 21:8, read 1-9;
Ps. 78:38; Rom. 3:24-26; Jer. 18:23, also v. 11).
- Nasa - "the sin
is lifted away from the sinner"
Gen. 50:17; Ex. 10:17; 32:32; 34:7; Num. 14:18-19; Josh. 24:19-27;
1 Sam. 25:28; Ps. 25:18; 32:1,5; 85:2; 99:8; Isa. 2:9; 33:24
- Salach - "to send
Lev. 4:20,26,31,35; 5:10,13,16,18; 6:7; 19:22; Num. 15:25-26,28; 30:5,8,12
The fundamental idea in both nasa and salach is the separation of
the sin from the sinner. It is no longer upon him. Before God the
sinner and his sin are dissociated; the man is no longer, in respect
to his sins, a "sinner" but a righteous man. This does not
touch the question of his innate sinfulness of nature, but refers
to his sinful acts.
Taken together, kaphar, nasa, and salach complete the OT doctrine
of forgiveness based upon atonement. The Divine justice is satisfied
and the sin is no longer upon the sinner.
- Four NT words are translated
In the NT the prominent thought concerning forgiveness is the separation
of the sinner from his sins through the sacrifice of Christ and upon the
ground of pure grace.
- Apoluo - "to set
free, dismiss, send away" (Lk. 6:37; Mt. 27:15; Mk. 6:36; Lk.
- Charizomai - "to
be gracious unto" (Lk. 7:42; 2 Cor. 2:7,10; 12:13; Eph. 4:32;
Col. 2:13-14; 3:13)
- Aphiemi - "to send
off or away" (verb)
This word has the same picture as salach (Mt. 4:11, 20, 22; Lk. 5:20-21,23-24;
7:47-49; Mk. 11:25-26; Acts 8:22; Rom. 4:7).
- Aphesis - "a sending
This word, like #3 above, has the same idea as the Hebrew word salach
(Mt. 26:28; Acts 5:31; Col. 1:12-14; Heb. 9:22; 10:18). God has been
satisfied and sin has been taken away from the sinner.
- THE DEFINITION OF FORGIVENESS
In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, God in grace forgives the
sinner by remitting the penalty for sin through the sacrifice of Christ, and
He forever separates the sinner from his sin in the Divine reckoning.
- THE BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATION
OF THE TRUTH OF FORGIVENESS - Leviticus 16
Two great things were accomplished on the Day of Atonement:
- The Lord's lot (Lev. 16:8-9,15-19)
- The live goat (w. 8, 20-22)
- The people became identified
with the scape-goat (v.21).
- All the sins were lifted
up from the people.
- The scape-goat bearing
the sins was led away into a land not inhabited (v. 30, cp. Heb. 9:11-14;
- SOME IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS
- The origin of forgiveness
is God's grace.
- The basis of forgiveness
is the sacrifice of Christ.
- The result of forgiveness
is the remission of the penalty of the sinner.
Note: The distinction between human and Divine forgiveness.
- Human forgiveness means
the remission of the penalty.
- Divine forgiveness follows
the execution of the penalty (Lev. 4:35; cp. Mt. 26:28; Heb. 9:22).
- Two things are involved in
- Divine justice is satisfied.
- The separation of sin
from the sinner.
- The sin of the believer is
forgiven upon confession, but always on the ground of Christ's once-for-all
propitiatory sacrifice (1 Jn. 1:9).
- As a result of the Divine
forgiveness, we should forgive one another (Eph. 4:32; Mt. 18:32-33).
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