Answers to Correspondents: Administrative and Governmental Forgiveness

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 12
Q.-What is the meaning of "administrative forgiveness," and is there any difference between it and "governmental forgiveness"? M. S.
A.-Administrative forgiveness we may find in John 20:2323Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. (John 20:23); Acts 2:38; 22:1638Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)
16And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Acts 22:16)
; 2 Cor. 2:1010To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ; (2 Corinthians 2:10): it is simply forgiveness administered by disciples according to the authority given them by the Lord, and therefore in His name. It is necessarily also “governmental”, that is, dependent upon conditions which the principles of divine government impose. As a sample of it, Matthew 18:23-3523Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (Matthew 18:23‑35), which is a parable of the kingdom, may be referred to, and baptism for the remission of sins clearly is such a hypothetical conditional forgiveness, based upon the assumption that the supposed disciple shall turn out to be a "disciple indeed." Absolute remission is in God's hands alone.
F. W. G.