Harold S. Paisley
Question: Do the words in Romans 3:25 "sins that are past," refer to sins of believers before conversion and verse 26, "at this time," to the time since conversion or does verse 25 refer to the time before the cross, and verse 26 to the present time since the cross?
Answer: The sins done aforetime are not the sins of a believers past life, but those of Old Testament saints. Their sins were passed over, not remitted, through Gods forbearance in view of the death of the Lord Jesus for sins upon the cross. God did not pass them over with indifference, for He can overlook nothing. He saw the future sacrifice and so did not bring them into judgment. His righteousness in this forbearance would be then displayed. It was not seen at the time, but was seen when Christ died. With regard to the sins of present day believers, Gods righteousness is now openly displayed in putting them away through the same sacrifice of Christ, thus justifying all those who believe on the Lord Jesus for salvation.
Question: In what sense is the Day of Christ "at hand"? (2 Thes. 2:2).
Answer: The RV reads "the day of the Lord is now present." The words "at hand" are also translated "present" in Rom. 8:38; 1 Cor. 3:22; Heb. 9:9. The believers in Thessalonica who had been taught to "wait for His Son from heaven" (1 Thes. 1:10) were being deceived by some who were teaching that the Day of the Lord was already present. The severe trials they were enduring would lend credence to such a belief, but the apostle writes to assure them, by the coming of the Lord and their gathering unto Him, that this cannot be. The day of the Lord cannot begin until the saints have been removed, "caught up" to meet the Lord in the air, and that apostasy of the man of sin be revealed. The "day" is for the world. The "coming" for the christians.