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Response to Sam Shamoun on the topic “Christ, the Justifier and Forgiver of Sinners”

 

 

You can find his article here:

http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/jesus_forgiver.htm

 

 

Shamouns article try to prove us that Jesus is God because he forgives sins. Let us see if he provides enough evidence to persuade us.

 

 

He wrote:

 

According to the Hebrew Scriptures Yahweh forgive sins for his own sake:

"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." Isaiah 43:25

The ability to pardon sinners distinguishes Yahweh from all the other so-called gods (who in reality do not exist even though their worshipers think they do) since there is no one else who can forgive iniquities:

"Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea." Micah 7:18-19

Moreover, Yahweh alone is the Savior who is able of justifying or making people righteous:

"Declare what is to be, present it— let them take counsel together. Who foretold this long ago, who declared it from the distant past? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no God apart from me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none but me. Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other… They will say of me, ‘In the LORD ALONE are righteousness and strength.’ All who have raged against him will come to him and be put to shame. But in the LORD all the descendants of Israel will be found righteous and will exult." Isaiah 45:21-22, 24-25

Another translation reads:

"In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory." Isaiah 45:25 ESV

 

My response:

God can give the authority and the ability to His Prophets to pardon sins as well as to perform miracles in order their people to identify that they are coming from God.

 

He wrote:

If Jesus is God according to the NT Scriptures we would therefore expect to find him doing that which Yahweh alone can do, namely, pardon sinners and justify them (justify in the sense of declaring them righteous and acquitting them of their transgressions). Lo and behold, this is precisely what we find the NT teaching:

"When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, ‘Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, ‘Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, "Your sins are forgiven," or to say, "Get up, take your mat and walk"? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .’ He said to the paralytic, ‘I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.’ He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!’" Mark 2:5-12

"Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’" Luke 7:48-49

 

 

My Response:

 

Shamoun try to convince us that because Jesus forgives sins then this qualifies him in the position of God. If this is true, then according to Shamoun argumentation also the disciples must be divine because also they can forgive sins. We read:

 

 “Whose so ever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose so ever sins ye retain, they are retained”. John 20:23

 

 

Jesus forgave sins because God gave him this power, and he (Jesus) then gave this power to his disciples. Jesus said:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matthew 28:18)

Also said:

But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) (Mark 2:10)

This power is given to him by God. In addition, Jesus taught to pray in the following way. We read:

9. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.10. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.11. Give us this day our daily bread.12. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.14. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:15. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:9-15)

From the above passage, we understand clearly that Jesus taught in general his people to forgive their fellow man in order the Father to forgive them. Therefore forgiving sins is not a big deal and not a privilege to put Jesus in the same position of God.

 

He wrote:

 

Jesus doesn’t deny that he is able to forgive sins, which is something that only God can do, but goes ahead and performs a supernatural miracle to prove that he has the power to pardon sinners.

Jesus further taught that forgiveness of sins comes through faith in his name, by his authority, and that he is the Savior of the world:

"He said to them, ‘This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.’ Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached IN HIS NAME to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." Luke 24:44-47

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17

"As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it." John 12:47

Even those who saw and heard him identified him as the Savior of the world:

"Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.’" John 4:39-42

 

My response:

Let us analyze the verse that Shamoun posted in order to back up his argument. In the verse Luke 24:44-47 Jesus claim that in his name will be preached forgiveness and repentance meaning that in HIS MESSAGE WHICH WAS GIVEN BY GOD. This is a common characteristic from all the prophets. God DEMANDS from the people to believe to their appointed prophets and messengers in order to follow the will and the message of God, which is delivered through the Prophets. Jesus is the tool of God, like Muhammad, Moses, Abraham, and many other Prophets. Let us read the evidence from the words of Jesus:

Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.( John 7:16)

So actually, you turn to the real source, which is God Almighty.

Shamoun continues by clarifying my point because he quotes the following:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17

So God is responsible for the salvation, not Jesus, Jesus is just the tool as a Prophet and messenger like all the others prophets. Read the verse :

Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he , and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. (John 8:28)

Therefore the Father taught him how to save the people, in other words how to be a Savior. All the credits go to Father not to Jesus.

The rest of Shamoun article is irrelevant, because he quotes from the doctrine of Paul. What it really cares is the words of Jesus.

Please visit also:

http://www.answering-christianity.com/bassam_zawadi/jesus_forgiving_sins.htm

http://www.answering-christianity.com/jesus_never_forgave_sins.htm

 

 

 

 

 

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