Chapter 10—The Forgiveness of Sins
1. Open by discussing Kaila’s remarks then the books statement” Kaila cannot be forgiven, for she confesses no sin.” Ask, “Is it important for people to agree they are sinner even when they don’t really believe they’ve ever sinned?” How would Kaila ever come to accept her sin? Or are there people who never sinned who need no forgiveness? Can one be a sinner without ever sinning?
2. How do modern folk tend to dismiss or diminish their own culpability for sin? What about our culture encourages this approach? Who in the Gospels couldn’t admit their own sin and how does Jesus deal with it? (e.g. the Rich Young Ruler)
3. What is the difference between sin as an act and sin as a state?
4. If we see sin as primarily at its core a broken relationship and not just a violation of a law how dos this change our view of sin?
5. can you think of a case where one might be forgiven without personal repentance? (what is your view of babies who die as infants?)
6. Discuss he role of baptism and its relationship to the “Salter call”. Discuss especially baptism as (more recently) a symbol of forgiveness of sin rather than (in the early church) more closely connected to the moment of forgiveness.
7. In what ways does the church have the “keys of the kingdom” in enabling forgiveness of sins to happen? The book says, “The keys to the kingdom are the ordinary activites of the church.” What does this mean. Give examples of how we can lock up the kingdom to others in the church.
8. Have the group read the “What about us” ending to this chapter to themselves as a closing meditation, or have someone prepared to read it aloud for the group. Consider closing by having someone read the prayer at the end for the group, or praying their own prayer based on the response we have to this part of Christian beliefs.
I invite you to post your own ideas on this chapter by adding a comment to this post to help other leaders. -- Keith Drury