THE REASON WHY PRIESTS HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE SINS.
BUT WHY DOES JESUS HAVE IT THEN?
“But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins, then He said to the paralytic, Arise, take up your bed and go to your house. (7) And he arose and departed to his house. (8) But when the crowds saw, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such authority to men”, Mat 9:6-8
Jesus has the authority to do great and many things. But this authority does not come to Him because He is God alone, but because He is a God who has means and ways to accomplish those things which enables Him to forgive, work and bless. A blessing is always natural unto God, but man has to be made a vessel to carry that blessing first as well. If man is not a vessel worthy of forgiveness, or made worthy, by having Jesus in him as He is in all holiness, forgiveness is made impossible to be granted. God cannot bless sin, even though He can use sin towards a blessing. I believe all sinning done in church is a curse, but the Lord may use it towards blessing if and when His people repent. He might also use it towards the children of God – the Egyptians stole, had adulterous ways of living things out, yet all their riches and a lot of that gold went straight into the hands of the free Israelites. Now comes Jesus with the authority to forgive sins and we must find out why does He have such authority given unto Him from eternity to eternity.
The law of love is a life in itself, a kind of living which must be genuine. Because of that, we may take notice that sin and love are the most unlikely foes to unite ever. So, for Jesus to be able to forgive sins out of His heart, besides being a judge to be able to do that (for judges alone may forgive bound to law), He has to have ways in Himself to guarantee holiness from then on, for we know that if sin dies, it is forgiven and not if it is confessed alone – confessions and exposition of sin has to lead to the death and the annihilation of it from its roots on, or else it may never forgive. Because God is love – and we know He is – He states “I cannot endure evil”, Is.1:13. There is this law of His nature which prevents either sin or prevents Him to abide where sinning is to be left unhindered having its normal course until the curse comes to destroy it. Sin has a reward in itself, just as Jesus’ reward is with Him, so is sin's too.
There is a certain link upon confessing all sins that brings about Light which exposes darkness and does away with the very root of it so sinning may cease, dealing with the very body of sin itself. If we open a tab, there comes water out of it, but we know that that tab is never the root of that water. If rivers dry out where they start, tabs may open and there will be no water to show forth. Jesus may and will forgive sinning if the fountain to it dries down, or at least, if He can guarantee the fountain will dry down after having forgiven. Confessions may lead to it, but are not the reason why Jesus forgives for we know that during confession He is able “to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” as well, 1John 1:9. If Jesus were not to save from sinning, He would not forgive and He would have the authority not to forgive given unto Him. Remember, He is a Judge and His judgment may lead and induce Him never to forgive as well, if He sticks by the Law of God. All Judges are ruled by Law and by faithfulness unto it.
If Jesus would not carry the power to take sinning away from us at all, if faith upon Him would not be both a gift as well as a fruit from His Spirit, if He were not to divert us from all sinning, He would not forgive. He may and wills to do so because He has that kind of power in Him as well.
In human righteousness, in trials of justice upon the earth, people either kill killers or put robbers in jail because it is said society must be free and separated from crime. They therefore judge to put away criminals somehow, so society will be made free of all of these. But suppose that criminal dies before trial – what will a judge do then? What kind of criminal will he judge? A dead one? There is no way a dead criminal will be judged and such a person is fully justified from his crimes, whether he committed one small crime or a thousand enormous ones. This is what we read in Paul’s letter to the Romans: if the sinner has to escape somehow, either the law, or the judge or the sinner need to die – one of these. “But now we having been set free from the Law, having died to that in which we were held, so that we serve in newness of spirit and not in oldness of the letter, Rom 7:6 knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin. (7) For he who died, has been justified from sin”, Rom 6:6-7. The difference is that Christ kills the sinner and out of him and out of Him as well, a new creature rises from death – He exchanges the man. Jesus is the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world.
If a human judge were to secure such a thing as well, and if he would also be able to see the heart, the very root of man, and if would be fully able both to lead and to reign upon such according to his rules and laws, he would also have the authority to forgive upon him.
We read that Jesus is a Redeemer, but an unusual one as well. “And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression”, Is.59:20. If this Lamb of God would not be able to take the sin of the world away from them, removing its power from them as well, then He would have the authority not to forgive, rather than the one to forgive – it would be given Him by the Father not to forgive at all and something given Him by the Father alone, is the whole of the authority. This Redeemer is an unusual one because it is said of Him that, “Having raised up His son Jesus, God sent Him to you first to turn every one of you away from iniquities”, and to bless you within it, Act 3:26. Conversion makes the whole of forgiveness possible and fully available and if conversion were to take place without confession, there would be no confession demanded from God at all. But because confession leads to the light through which kills the body of sin which breeds sin from out of darkness where he has its seat, alone because of that, confession of sin is a demand so as to forgive, for we know that mercies arrive to such as confess and stop with the sin they have confessed and brought to the light: “He who covers his sins shall not be blessed; but whoever confesses and leaves them shall have mercy”, Prov.28:13.
If Jesus is to grant any forgiveness, He must have this power to deal with it for good as well. “Therefore I said to you that you shall die in your sins, for if you do not believe that I am, you shall die in your sins”, John 8:24. Priests have no power to change man, therefore they may not forgive and if they do, they are liars unto you, for you will go out believing to have been forgiven and judgment day will show you have never been forgiven by God at all. They may not have the means, the power to secure any future holiness from the heart from whoever they speak out that forgiveness to. Jesus has it all, therefore He may forgive and if Jesus is gathering Himself with His disciples, they are to pronounce that forgiveness after He has forgiven as well. If Jesus is not gathering with them, if holiness is not to be so bred or guaranteed to the sinner, there will be no forgiveness at all. Because Jesus has the power to save from all sin, He will forgive. Because His seed is in man, therefore He may forgive anytime: “Everyone who has been born of God does not commit sin, because His seed remains in him, and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God”, 1John 3:9. Therefore, He forgives. And if you don’t believe that holiness is possible and attainable at all, you will also die in your sins, dying having still a heart given to sinning. Remember that, if you ask “Who shall be saved then”, if it is so, then Jesus answered to that: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”, Mat 19:25-26. Will it be possible unto you, I mean, to be fully forgiven once and for all? Do you believe that Jesus has that power to forgive because he takes sins away from you? If not, you will die in your sins, no matter what man has told you otherwise. Amen.