God really forgives sins
Today guilt is often only understood as a legal term. In criminal law, guilt describes an act that clearly violates applicable law or norms and morals, such as theft, bodily harm and insults.
In the Bible, however, guilt always and fundamentally affects the relationship between God and man. In ecclesiastical and religious parlance, the term "sin" is often used for this. It is God who, in his commandments and in the law, has given people the rules for their lives and their coexistence. Therefore, any faulty behavior not only violates the rights of one's neighbor and the norms of the community, but at the same time also against God's will, and both are inextricably linked.
Man's guilt is that he has misused his God-given freedom to oppose him. He himself wants to "be like God" (cf. Genesis 3: 5). In doing so, he misses his calling to live as a creature in relationship with his Creator. By abusing the freedom given by God, humans gamble away it at the same time. Because as soon as a person turns away from God and exposes himself to other influences, they gain power over him and he is trapped in destructive conditions. This affects all areas of his life: the relationship with fellow human beings, with himself and also with non-human nature. According to the biblical understanding, all people are entangled in guilt and cannot shake it off themselves. Only through God's forgiveness can they become free and start a new life.
In the Old Testament there is the idea that an evil act leads to calamity (e.g. illness or death) that falls back on the perpetrator. Only God can break this connection between guilt and calamity. He can heal broken relationships and give a fresh start.
The New Testament emphasizes that only by believing in God's forgiveness can people truly see what it means to be guilty before God.
The Gospels record that John the Baptist called people to confess their guilt and to turn to God. As a sign of this, they should be baptized. Because of their repentance, people can hope that God will forgive them in judgment at the end of time (cf. Mark 1: 4).
The forgiveness of guilt plays an even more important role in Jesus' work. In the authority that God has given him, he grants people the forgiveness of their guilt (cf. Mark 2: 1-12). He tells parables about God's forgiveness and teaches his disciples to pray: "Forgive us our debts, just as we have forgiven all who are guilty of us" (cf. Matthew 6:12).
Jesus turned to people who were guilty in a special way. Through his loving care, they experience God's forgiveness and can begin a new life (e.g. Luke 19: 1-10). The fact that Jesus associates himself with such people and even eats with them arouses great offense among his contemporaries (cf. Mark 2: 15-17).
The apostle Paul understands guilt or sin as enmity against God. It is the state in which all people find themselves who do not believe in JesusChrist. God forgives people by taking their guilt in the death of Jesus on the cross on himself. In this way every person who accepts forgiveness from God can become free from his guilt and live in peace with God. However, people can only recognize their guilt before God in retrospect, so to speak, when they have been freed from their debts and have been forgiven.
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