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Divinity of Christ, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III
33- God Is the One Who Forgives Sins
With Respect to Him Being the Forgiver of Sins
(A) God Is the One Who Forgives Sins
(1) David the Prophet says in the Psalm: "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul,.. who forgives all your iniquities" (Ps. 103: 1), and also: "If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You" (Ps. 130:3,4).
(2) It is written in the Book of Exodus: "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious... forgiving iniquities and transgression and sin" (Ex. 34:6,7).
(3) The Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray to God asking for the forgiveness of our sins, in the Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:12), and asked us to forgive others in order to deserve God's forgiveness to us (Matt. 6:14,15).
(4) The Jews understood this fact and believed that no One could forgive sins except God alone.
(B) The Reason Why God Alone Is the Forgiver of Sins:
(1) Forgiveness is an entitlement of God alone, because actually sin is committed against God. It is a breach of His commandments, a transgression of His law and a rebellion against His kingdom. It is also lack of love towards God, preferring evil to Him; it is ingratitude to Him. Sin is a rejection of God. This is clear from the words of the Lord: "I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me... They have provoked to anger the Holy One of Israel" (Is. 1:2-4).
(2) Even the sins which people commit against each other, before being sins against man, are foremost sins against God; against His commandments, against those whom He created. That is why David says in his Psalm of Repentance: "Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight" (Ps. 51:4). When Nathan faced him with his sin, he said: "'I have sinned against the Lord 'And Nathan said to David, 'The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die' " (2 Sam. 12:13,14).
See also (Mic. 7:9); (Is. 42:24); (1 Kin. 8:45,46) and (Deut. 1: 4 1).
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