April 20, 2022

The Best of the Portals of Prayer

“And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them,’ receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

John 20:22-23


The disciples, whom the Risen Lord was sending out in His name to declare that peace had been made between rebellious man and God, were given authority to say in His stead and by His command, “your sins are forgiven.” When a penitent sinner, by the grace of God, is led to confess their sins, our Lord has given to his servants here on earth the power to say, even as Nathan did to David; “the Lord has put away your sin” [2nd Samuel 12:13]. Even as the Lord Jesus said to the sick and the palsy, “my son; your sins are forgiven” [Matthew 9:2], so does He say it to us through His appointed spokesmen.
The woman in Simon’s house, the Samaritan woman at the well, Zacchaeus the publican, Simon Peter after the denial, and many others have heard the gracious words: “your sins are forgiven.” And so, the Lord disciples of all ages, as messengers from a benevolent king, announce to certain rebellious subjects who have laid down their arms, that pardon has been given to them.
God is our King, and we have been the rebels. Jesus Christ has made this pardon available to us, and absolution, or the forgiveness of sins, is declared to us by the Lord’s messengers in His name and by His command. This declaration comes to us in the form of words to encourage and to comfort us.

April 20, 1939

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