Repent and be baptized . . .
for the forgiveness of your sins.
Here’s the sequence: sin . . . guilt . . . punishment. Guilt follows sin; punishment follows guilt.
Then there’s this: forgiveness follows obedience.
The Greek word for forgiveness means “sending away.” When sins are forgiven they are sent away.
Bible commentator R.C.H. Lenski wrote: “The sins are taken from the sinner and are sent away so far and in such a way that even God will not find them on the day of judgment.”
Forgiven sins are as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12); blotted out and remembered no more (Isa. 43:25); hurled into the depths of the sea (Mi 7:19).
When sins are sent away, guilt and punishment are too, for where there is no sin there is no guilt, and where there is no guilt there is no punishment.
When God forgives
all charges are dropped.