Only God has the power to forgive people of their sins. People can say they forgive you for the sins you did, but that just means that they are no longer mad at you for what you did. In the eyes of God other people can say “I forgive you” but that is not the same as God forgiving you. Only God can forgive you of your sins and allow you to go to heaven. People cannot do that.
The 10 Commandments from God
God spoke to Moses and gave him what we know as the 10 Commandments. These are laws that God gave all of us to follow. Whenever we break any of these laws we sin against God. If we break any of the 10 commandments we sin against God because God is the one who made those laws.
Here is a list of the 10 commandments from Exodus 20:2-17:
You must worship only God,
You must not make for yourself an idol or bow down to them or worship them.
You must not use God’s name in a bad way.
Remember to observe the Sabbath to keep it holy.
You must honor your father and mother.
You must not murder, commit adultery, steal, or lie about your neighbor.
You must not desire in your heart to have anything that belongs to your neighbour.
King David sinned against God
King David committed adultery with another man’s wife. Then he had the man murdered to try and cover up his sin of adultery. David committed these sins, but he prayed and asked God to forgive him because David knew that he had to do so in order to be forgiven. David sinned against God by breaking God’s laws.
This is what David prayed:
“Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight. You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.” (Psalm 51:4).
David asked God to forgive him of the sins that he committed against other people. This is because God is the only one who can forgive us of our sins and allow us to go to heaven.
If we sin against people we should still tell them we are sorry
We are human beings and our flesh is weak. We have been born with a sinful nature and we sin against other people. If and when we sin against other people we should ask them to forgive us of our sins.
Here is what a young man said when he understood that he sinned against his father and against God:
“His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.” (Luke 15:21).
The boy’s father forgave his son and took him back into the house. But God had to forgive the boy in order for the boys’ sins to be forgiven and for the boy to be able to go to heaven.
Lying against God
People lie to other people but they do not think that they are sinning against God. But it is true. If we lie to other people we are lying to God because we are breaking the commandment that God made that says: “Do not lie.” (Exodus 20:16).
In the Bible we read a story about a man and his wife who lied to Jesus’ followers. Peter, one of the leaders of Jesus’s followers said to the man and his wife:
“Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” (Acts 5:3-4).
Whenever we lie we are sinning against God.
Only God can forgive your sins
The Bible teaches us that: “Only God can forgive sins!” (Mark 2:7).
Jesus can forgive sins because He is God
The Bible also teaches us that Jesus can forgive sins. We know that only God can forgive sins. We read in the Bible that Jesus is the one who can forgive sins.
In Luke 5:20 we read that Jesus said: “your sins are forgiven.”
To the woman caught in adultery Jesus said: “Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11).
In Luke 7:48 Jesus said: “Your sins are forgiven.”
The people were amazed that Jesus said that He had the power to forgive sins here on earth. They did not believe Him. Anyone can say they have the power to forgive sins but do they really have the authority to do so?
To prove that Jesus had the power to forgive sins on earth He said to the people that He would heal a man who was paralyzed. Jesus said that it was easy to say that the man’s sins could be forgiven, but Jesus wanted to prove it. So to prove that Jesus had the power to forgive sins on earth He healed the man who was paralyzed. This is what we read:
“Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.”
But some of the teachers of religious law said to themselves, “That’s blasphemy! Does he think he’s God?”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you have such evil thoughts in your hearts? Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? So I will prove to you that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”
And the man jumped up and went home! Fear swept through the crowd as they saw this happen. And they praised God for giving humans such authority.” (Matthew 9:2-8).
Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and you can be healed and you will receive eternal life and spend eternity with God in peace and joy.