How could a wicked person be considered righteous before God? Is there anything that the sinner can do to cleanse him or herself so as to be considered righteous?
The Jew and the Christian would supply two different answers to this question. According to Judaism, it is repentance that wipes the slate clean. After the sinner repents, his or her sins are no longer remembered before God (Ezekiel 33:16). Christianity disagrees. According to Christianity the sinner must bring a blood offering to God in order to effect remission from sin (Hebrews 9:22).
The Bible gives us clear direction on this matter. Twice does the Bible repeat the phrase “the offering of the wicked are an abomination before God” (Proverbs 15:8, 21:27). It is obvious that BEFORE bringing an offering to God the wicked must undergo a transformation and become righteous. It is not the offering that will accomplish this transformation. The transformation must occur before the offering is brought to God.
How can this transformation be realized? It is through repentance. God promises that He accepts the repentance of sinners (Isaiah 55:7). We can take God at His word.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal