An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 144 of 270
'Date.  Apollo the Pythian bought from Sosibus ... for freedom a female
slave, whose name is Nicaea ... with a price ... the price he hath
received.  The purchase, however, Nicaea hath committed unto Apollo,
for freedom' (Deissmann).
The reader will recognize the phrases, 'bought with a price' and 'for
freedom' which underlie some of the apostle's own teaching.  When, therefore,
we read, 'in Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of
sins' in Ephesians 1:7, the uppermost thought is the 'release' from bondage
that this redemption has accomplished.  Two words are employed by the apostle
in Ephesians and Colossians, which are translated 'forgive' namely aphesis
(from aphiemi) the word found in Ephesians 1:7; and charizomai, the word
found in Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 2:13 and 3:13.  'And be ye kind one to
another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake
hath forgiven you'.  Charizomai is obviously derived from charis, 'grace',
but only in the New Testament does it denote that particular exhibition of
grace that issues in the forgiveness of sins; in classical Greek it went no
further than expressing a favour, being agreeable and pleasing, but when
charis was endowed by the New Testament usage with the higher and richer
qualities of Gospel 'grace', charizomai took upon it the Christian grace of
forgiveness.  In some passages it still retains its simple meaning of
'giving' as in Luke 7:21 and Galatians 3:18, but the requirement of the
context at times compelled the translators to say, 'freely give', as in
Romans 8:32, but in the majority of cases, the word is rendered 'forgive'.
It will be observed that whereas aphesis, 'forgive' in Ephesians 1:7 is
never used of the forgiveness extended by man to man, charizomai is used of
both God and man.  In this dispensation of grace God alone can set free from
sin and its consequences, whereas, both God and the believer can and do
extend grace to those who have offended.  There will be a need to qualify
this observation when we come to the consideration of the difference that we
should make in the employment of the two words, 'forgiveness' and 'pardon'.
Originally both words were synonymous, for they differ only in the fact that
forgiveness is derived from the Anglo -Saxon forgifan, and pardon from the
Latin per, 'for', dono, 'give', but in usage they have become slightly
separated, so that in some cases 'pardon' could be used where 'forgiveness'
would be inaccurate.  Pardon is an official warrant remitting a crime, and in
law it is the prerogative of the king, this pardon being absolute or
conditional as the Sovereign shall please.  Crabb says 'forgive is the
familiar term; pardon is adapted to the serious style.  Individuals forgive
each other personal offences; they pardon offences against law and morals'.
These differences are by no means academic, they belong to the essential
difference between the Gospel of the Kingdom, as seen at work in Matthew, and
the Gospel of the Grace of God, as seen in the ministry of Paul.  Take, for
example, the parable of the unforgiving servant.  He was frankly forgiven (or
pardoned) a great debt which he owed to the king, but upon the report being
made of his uncharitable conduct to a fellow servant, he was called back into
the royal presence, the forgiveness was rescinded, he was cast into the
prison there to remain until he should pay all that was owing.  It is,
therefore, essential that we observe the difference between the pardon of a
king, and forgiveness under the Gospel of Grace.  The Saviour leaves us in no
doubt as to the 'moral' of this parable:
'So Likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your
hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses' (Matt.