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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Forgiveness restores

But doesn't repentance come first?

To be forgiven must one be repentant, or can one go on intentionally continuing to live in sin and still be forgiven? In Romans 6:1-2, Paul hits the nail on the head: "Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin go on living in it?"

Repentance is the gift of dying to sin, and it is the gracious work of God the Spirit who opens us up to this new life when before there was only death. It means to turn or return to God because we recognize we're living in some form of sin that has enslaved us. This sin has blocked our life-giving relationship with God. When God forgives us for Jesus' sake, God restores this relationship through the gift of faith in Christ although we still remain sinners until the resurrection. As believers, we have been placed in a community where forgiveness of sins is a way of life.


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September issue

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