You’ve done wrong again…and now you’re wondering if God will forgive you. Isn’t there a limit to His patience?
Truth That Will Set You Free
The Bible, God’s Word, has much to say about sin, as well as forgiveness. The Bible is truth that sets us free, Jesus said. “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).
If we want to be free from sin and guilt, we must look into God’s Word for the answers. We must discover what the Bible says about three crucial topics: sin, God’s nature and character, and how we can qualify to receive forgiveness.
The Truth About Sin
We all sin (Romans 3:23). Everyday we “miss the mark” in our thoughts, attitudes, motives, words, and behavior. Remember that lie you told…your secret longing for others’ possessions…your bitterness against those who hurt you…your impure thoughts and desires? These are examples of what God calls sin.
God makes clear in His Word (the Bible) that sin in any form is a serious offense against His holiness. Only God is perfectly holy – good and pure and just. He is completely cut off from anything impure or evil. He cannot ignore, accept, or compromise with sin.
God’s perfect justice requires that sin be punished. The penalty is severe: death! Death is more than physical. It is eternal separation from God and unending torment in a very real hell. That’s how bad sin is.
The Holy God must punish sin. This is the “Justice” aspect of God’s character. The Bible describes it with words that make us very uncomfortable: Justice, Judgement, Wrath, and Vengeance.
In God’s eyes, sin is our most serious human problem. It makes us guilty and deserving of a decree of condemnation. It separates us from Him. None of us can escape God’s judgment on sin. No amount of religious rituals, penance, or trying to do good can wipe away our sin.
Our only hope is that God will pardon and forgive us.
Are You ready For Good News?
Thank God there is another aspect of God’s character that is GOOD NEWS. The Bible describes this aspect of God’s character with words that give us hope: Love, Mercy, Grace, and Peace.
Psalm 86:5 joyfully proclaims, “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.” God loves us and is ready to forgive. God loves YOU and is ready to forgive YOU.
God’s goal is to restore our relationship with Him – the relationship that was lost when Adam and Eve (the first people) chose to rebel against His goodness. Their disobedience brought sin and spiritual death upon the entire human race.
We can’t save ourselves from God’s judgment, but God has provided the remedy. Before Adam and Eve ever sinned, our loving Creator God planned to send His own Son Jesus Christ to pay for our sins.
Out of love for us, Jesus, the perfectly sinless God-Man, willingly took the punishment for sin that should have been ours. He laid down His life for us on the Cross, and paid for our sins with His own shed blood. Three days later, He resurrected from the dead, proving that He is God. Only Jesus’ precious, most-valuable Blood could pay our massive “sin-debt”.
Are you looking for forgiveness? You will find it at the foot of the Cross. The Cross is where God’s Justice and Grace meet.
The Truth About How To Receive Forgiveness
The word “forgive” means to pardon, cancel a debt, wipe the slate clean. Jesus died for us, but how can we actually receive forgiveness?
John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” Acts 2:38 says, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
To receive forgiveness, we must believe and trust in Christ. We must personally accept His sacrifice on our behalf and choose to follow Him as our Lord and Savior.
Our attitude must be one of genuine repentance. We must recognize that we have sinned and are guilty in God’s sight, and we deserve punishment. We must understand we can’t get right with God on our own and we need a Savior. We must choose to turn away from sin. To describe repentance, the Bible uses words such as brokenness, contrite heart, and humility.
Psalm 51:17 declares, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Isaiah 66:2 says, “For My hand made all these things, thus all these things came into being,” declares the Lord. “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”
What about baptism? In the New Testament, baptism and salvation go hand-in-hand. Baptism by itself will not save, but is an act of obedience to Christ’s Word. It is identifying with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection. The New Testament pattern is baptism by immersion.
The Bible is clear that when we repent of our sin and turn to Christ, God forgives our sins and restores our relationship with Him. He adopts us into His family and gives us His Holy Spirit to teach us and help us live a godly life. This is a miraculous transformation: We are “born again” and have “new life in Christ”.
Live Guilt-Free Every Day
Transformation doesn’t stop there. God’s plan is for the transformation process to continue throughout our life so we become more and more Christ-like in our character and behavior. This will prepare us for heaven and show others that Christ is real.
In our daily life, we will be changed by the power of the Holy Spirit as we learn to live in obedience to God’s Word. What about sins we commit along the way? Through Christ, God has made provision for us to receive forgiveness for these sins also. Read 1 John 1:6-9 below.
1 John 1:6-9
“If we say that we have fellowship with [God] and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
In a spirit of humility, confess your sins to God and receive His forgiveness. He is faithful to His Word. Let His love transform your life. Learn to enjoy a relationship with Him that is guilt-free.
There is no need to wonder if God will forgive you. Just look at the Cross. God loved you so much, He sent Jesus to die for you. You can also boost your faith by reading The Story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. It’s an amazing illustration of true repentance and the Father’s willingness to forgive and restore…no matter how bad we’ve been.
What now? If you haven’t yet turned from sin and received Christ as your Lord and Savior, do it today. Don’t put it off. Tomorrow may be too late. Receive God’s forgiveness today and let us know how you’ve been changed!
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