The worst mistranslation in our English Bibles is the translation from the Greek aphesis to the English “forgiveness.” “Remission” is better, but very few have any useful working definition of the word “remission.”
I want to remind everyone, all the time, that the Greek word aphesis was used to translated the Hebrew word for “Jubilee” (Lev. 25) and the Hebrew word for “scapegoat” (Lev. 16). It is also used to translate the release of debts that happened every seven years in Israel (Deut. 15).
Aphesis is far more than forgiveness. It is a return to our true home in the kingdom of God (Jubilee); it is the release of all our debts (the 7-year release); and it is the sending of our sins far from us (the scapegoat).
In the New Testament, Jesus says that he came to bring aphesis to the captive and the brokenhearted (Luke 4:18).
Thus, when you read that Jesus died for the aphesis of sins in Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 1:14, do not limit those verses to the forgiveness of our sins. Aphesis is complete deliverance from sin. Jesus died to heal your broken heart, to release you from captivity to your sins, to return you to your rightful place in fellowship with God and, yes, to forgive your old sins.
When we repent and begin to follow Jesus (not just believe he died for us, but repent and submit to him as Lord; Rom. 10:9-10), he provides us complete and utter deliverance from sin. We get a brand new start, standing in our ancestral home in the presence of Almighty God, washed, purchased by his blood, and empowered by his Spirit. We are no longer captives, but sons of God.
“Sin shall not have dominion over you because you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:11-14, NIV