How many answers have been given to the simple question: What is forgiveness of sins? One has said it is the good feeling you receive when accepting Christ. It is the love in your soul when you come to Christ and offer that prayer confessing him as Lord. Another has said it is the peace of God that Christ has given to all mankind. And yet another: It is peace between mankind and God.
All of these may be effects of remission of sins, but what does the term to remit mean? Merriam-Webster Online defines remit this way: 1) to lay aside (a mood or disposition) partly or wholly, and 2) to release from guilt or penalty.
This simple definition should be sufficient for us to note that generally speaking remission may encompass all or it may encompass only limited conditions. But, in order to remit at all, somebody has to forgive or put away something to change an expected outcome, or to release guilt from some other. So, in general it may embrace all transgressors or only those involved by special application in the forgiveness of sins. All may be remitted without any knowledge or concern on their part, by the authority of persons who would grant remission, or all who may comply with the specified condition may be remitted, and only they.
Which is correct? Are all who claim to be Christians remitted on their word or by offering prayer; or are we individuals forgiven when we meet given specified conditions?
You already know that this leads to one of the great divides found within the Christian world. Many believe that remission comes to everyone without any action on their part; while the rest believe that remission has conditions which require specific actions to be taken. One side quotes Romans 10: 13 (or nothing at all) and another Romans 6:3 and 4, in short form. Which will be with the Lord? Will all be present or just a limited group?
What do you say? How does it read to you?