“Who can forgive sins, but God alone?”

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And all that is within me, bless His holy name!healing

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget not all His benefits:

Who forgives all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases…

Psalm 103:1-3 NKJV.

Forgives, salach, Strong’s # 5545—to forgive, pardon; spare someone; to relieve someone of the burden of their offense. In every occurrence God does the forgiving; never does salach represent a man’s forgiving anyone.  This alone explains the shock of Jesus’ listeners when they heard Him say “your sins are forgiven” (Luke 5:21).  They responded, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Luke 5:21). These scribes knew that forgiveness is God’s prerogative.

According to Hebrews 9:9 and 10:4, O.T. forgiveness was ineffectual and impossible, although personally efficacious, until the Lamb of God (John 1:29), Jesus Christ, died on the Cross, forever blotting out our sins (Col. 2:13, 14).


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