revised 12/1/2007                                                                                                                  original date 12/1/2003            
A Prayer
of Jesus
I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise
and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will


By Edgar Jones
Updated by Sister Michele


We begin by setting before you every utterance of the Lord that includes the word forgiveness and its forms, whether verb or noun, as recorded in the canonical gospels, and those words which merit the same meaning, such as "allow" in Matthew 6:14-15.  The word mercy is also included because of its being tightly linked to forgiveness. 
As you examine these holy Words, it will be helpful first to acknowledge that, whatever Jesus teaches about the forgiveness of sins, it must be here.

Please visit the following links to read the Word on Forgiveness & Mercy:

Some questions will also be helpful to consider as you read.  In particular, What must one do to receive forgiveness of sins?


We utilize the FNT translation for all verses in this paper unless otherwise noted.  

Please visit for further interest on this translation.
The Faithful New Testament Copyright Statement

Copyright © 2004, William Zeitler. All rights reserved. 



1. So, what is it that one must do to receive forgiveness of sins?  From top to bottom of the above listing, there are but two qualifications: repentance and mercy.

Luke 24:
[47] and [that] repentance for forgiveness of sins be preached upon his name to all the nations—beginning from Jerusalem.

Luke 6:

[36] Be becoming merciful, just as your father is merciful.
[37] And be not judging, and you will not be judged. And be not condemning, and you will not be condemned. Be releasing, and you will be released.  (see footnote in FNT Luke 6 on "releasing" and "released" as they mean "forgiving" and "forgiven")

Matthew 6:
[14] For if you allow men their shortcomings, your heavenly father will also allow you [yours].
[15] And if you do not allow men [theirs], neither will your father allow [you] your shortcomings.

Note: The FNT translates using the word "allow" (RSV uses"forgive") and "shortcomings" (RSV uses "trespasses") but for the purpose of this paper, "allow" here refers to forgiveness.

Repentance and forgiveness of sins go together so that one cannot get one without the other.  This should be obvious for, until one has repented, the sin continues!  Until one has repented, the attitude of sin remains the ruling force in the life of the sinner.  The one who has been offended should live in an attitude of forgiveness, as Jesus was when he cried our from the cross:

Father, forgive them for they know not what they do!

But that did not accomplish their forgiveness. The offenders did not repent.  The proof of this is that their great city, Jerusalem, with its temple, were destroyed at the end of that generation as Jesus had prophesied.  It was for the Jewish nation precisely what the offenders had demanded in their bloodthirsty rage that drove them to crucify our Lord: His blood be on us and on our children!

Be merciful and forgive!
  This is the second qualification.  He said not a single word about forgiveness being dependent on the blood of a sacrifice, which is the central tenet of Christianity.  To the contrary, he specifically denied that the Father has an interest in sacrifices of any kind whatsoever.

Matthew 9:
But go and learn what it means:
I desire mercy and not sacrifice.

For I did not come to call [the] just, but sinners.

It is plain and simple.  The Father has no interest in sacrifices.  If we would have our sins forgiven -- if we would that the Father have mercy on us -- we need only have mercy on others! We will receive as we have given.

2. Doesn't this apply only to the children of the Father who have become His children by having already trusted the blood of Jesus to cleanse them of sin?

Where do we find anything that suggests such a distinction in the Word?  Can't we hear him when he speaks so plainly:

I desire
mercy, and not sacrifice?

There is no need to muddle our minds with other things.  This settles it for one and all.  It is by this Word that we are to be judged in the last day:

John 12:
[48] The [one] setting me aside and not receiving my words has [one] judging him: the word that I spoke—that will judge him in the last day.

But some are persistent, insisting that this applies only to "children of God who are covered by the blood of Jesus." 

3. Does it?  Jesus spoke specifically to this objection for all who can hear his simple and uncomplicated word:

Mark 3:
[28] Truly I say to you that all will be forgiven by the son of man, sins and slanders, whatsoever they slander.

For those who call on other translations, such as the RSV, we have this:

RSV / Mark 3

[28] Truly I say to you that all will be forgiven by the son of man, sins and slanders, whatsoever they slander. 28 "Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter;

Do you suppose this means only sons of men who are also sons of God? Can't be, because the Word doesn't permit sons of God to also be sons of men:

[9] And do not call [anyone] your father on the earth, for one is your father in the heavens. 

There is no way around it. Look at the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant .  Do you see there that this is a parable about an unmerciful son?  No!  It is a forgiveness that applies to a category that we must label "Servants" in addition to "Sons."

This may raise a question in your mind concerning the salvation of individual humans.  Does this mean that a person can be saved from sins without believing Jesus?

It is beyond the scope of this paper to investigate this question.  One can find further discussion on the papers previously posted that deal with the subject of salvation, here, here, herehere and here.  For our present purposes, it is only necessary to state what is explained in the referenced papers, that there are two categories of human beings alive in the flesh: the dead and the living.  Within the category of the living there are two sub categories: the servants and the children.  The servants are godly persons, both ancient and modern, who have known God well enough to understand the need for mercy and repentance of their sins and who have then repented without ever being exposed to the Gospel.  The children are those who have heard and received the Gospel, to whom Jesus is their only Lord and Savior and Good Shepherd.  The category of the dead also consists of two sub categories, those for whom there is hope, and the hopeless dead.  The hope category consists of sinners who are either candidates to qualify as either servants or children.  The hopeless category consists all who have heard the Gospel and have turned their hearts against it.  It is these we now proceed to discuss under the next question.

4. What is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the sin that has no forgiveness?

The Holy Spirit has been sent into the world with the commission to remind us of all that the Lord has said, and to teach us.  The Holy Spirit is to be identified with the Word, the Living Word of Truth uttered by the Son of the Father, as we see in this utterance:

John 6:
[63] The spirit is the [one] making zoe-alive, the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are zoe-life. 

So, when one, on hearing, does not truly receive and believe the words of Jesus, the words that I have spoken, one has spurned and offended the Holy Spirit.  It is blasphemy, to charge the Holy Spirit with lies by refusing to believe that one can be forgiven solely on the basis of repentance and mercy. It is blasphemy to maintain, on the claimed basis of the Word of God, that there is no forgiveness without shedding of blood.  This is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.  It has no forgiveness when committed by those who have heard the Words of Jesus.

5. Aren't baptism, eucharist and church membership required for forgiveness of sins?

Look at our Lord's utterances above (found in the Forgiveness & Mercy links).  Do you see Jesus making these to be conditions for forgiveness?

Understanding Sin

One cannot fully understand forgiveness until one understands sin so as to know when repentance is appropriate.  One cannot understand sin until one hears this Word:

John 12:
[25] The [one] philia-loving his psyche-life will lose it, and the [one] hating his psyche-life in this world will guard it to zoe-life eternal.

The root of all sin is this attitude that Jesus defined as the love of life in time.  In the final analysis, that is the only thing that bars the way into eternal life.  This comes to light when we understand the Father's only will for his children is that we be with him in heaven.  It follows that all who love life in this world are transgressing the will of the Father, and therefore are living in sin.  It is the root of all sin, and one has not truly repented of sin until one has repented of the love of life that fuels all sins.  Examine the Great Principle of Jesus here.

The New Testament word for sin means, literally, to miss the mark.  All who love life in this world are surely missing the mark! 


The Christians have to bear a heavy responsibility due to misleading the world by preaching a false gospel.  They subscribe to the message of the Epistle to the Hebrews:

[22] And nearly everything is cleansed with blood according to the law, and apart from shedding of blood, forgiveness does not come to pass. 

The only possible way that they can come to this conclusion is through turning deaf ears to Jesus of Nazareth.  This writer is called, through this Web site, to urge on every one to open the deaf ears and, by listening to Jesus and repenting of sin, to find forgiveness unto eternal life and so show themselves to be members of his Little Flock:

John 10:
[26] but you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep.
[27] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me,

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