Question 284

By: Robert Serreyn

Question? What is your take on “That they may recieve forgiveness of sins” in Acts 26:18?

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.


The Context of Acts Chp 26 in the preceding 17 verses is where the Apostle Paul was standing before King Agrippa the 2nd,(The Great grandson of Herod The Great, The son of King Herod Agrippa The 1st) who gave Paul permission to speak.

Paul gives his defense and testimony of his salvation, but also where the Lord Jesus Christ (the road to Damascus – Acts Chp. 9) commissioned him (Paul) to Preach the Gospel.

There are those that emphasis the word MAY in v26 and teach that “All have their sins paid” but that “Not all are forgiven”.

In ALL HONESTY to put that kind of interpretation on this verse is CONFUSION at best.

The word MAY is in the ABSOLUTE (Positive) SENSE that it has ALREADY been done, NOT IN the Questionable (Negative) Sense that it has not been recieved yet.

The understanding of “That they may receive forgiveness of sins” is best understood in the fact that all of our sins were COMPLETELY FORGIVEN when Christ died and shed his blood on the cross to pay for our sins …. Let me explain.

In Luke 23:34 the Bible says…

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Although these Roman Soldiers WERE UNSAVED, Jesus said FATHER FORGIVE THEM and their sins were even though the soldiers were unsaved.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

When the Lord Jesus Christ went to the Cross he PAID and FORGAVE ALL SINS of every person that has ever lived.

if person rejects or refuses to accept Christ payment for their sins, that person’s sins ARE STILL PAID and FORGIVEN.

Acts 26:18 is basically saying that at the very moment a person trust Christ alone, they RECIEVES (in other words it is applied to their account) the Forgiveness of Sins at the moment of belief.

Consider the Following Verses…

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the Forgiveness of sins.

In Conclusion:

I believe the reason for the misunderstanding of Acts 26:18 and other verses is when we try to force a distinction on or extract a doctrine from a word or a teaching where one DOES NOT APPLY.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to know IS Jesus Christ as savior, just simply believe that Jesus Christ went to the cross and DIED and shed his blood, was BURIED and three days later RESURRECTED from the dead to pay for your sins.

-Christ DIED for you – Romans 5:8

-Christ PAID your sins in full – 2 Corinthians 5:21,1 Peter 2:24

-BELIEVE (Trust In Completely) in Christ ALONE as the complete payment of sin for salvation – John 3:16, Acts 16:31, Ephesians 2:8,9

“For the wages(payment) of sin is death (eternal torment in hell); but the GIFT(salvation) of God is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord”. Romans 6:23