How to Have Your Sins Forgiven
Jesus Christ came into this world on a search-and-rescue mission. He said of Himself, “the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).
So now the question becomes, “From what do I need to be saved?” The answer is two-fold:
- From sin
- From Hell
The angel Gabriel told Joseph in a dream that he should name Mary’s miraculous offspring “Jesus” – “for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). You must be separated from your sin, or you will be separated from God forever in the lake of fire.”
Jesus’ message from the beginning of His earthly ministry was “repent, and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). He wasn’t talking about a two-step process. No, repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin. No person repents who does not believe in the Bible sense of the word.
Every human being is a sinner. We have all offended a holy God and are therefore separated from Him. Sin is not just a negative self-image or broken relationships. It is any disobedience to God’s commands in word, thought, or deed. Every part of our being is defiled by sin – our understanding, our personality, our emotions, and our will. We are enslaved to sin and are hostile to God.
God is holy. He doesn’t excuse sin just because “everybody’s doing it.” He has decreed “the wages of sin is death” in Romans 6:23. This means more than physical death. It is spiritual death – eternal separation from God in a place of torment. All of us stand condemned before God and have been sentenced to Hell. It is only God’s mercy that keeps that sentence from being carried out!
Well, so much for the bad news. The good news is – the sinless son of God came into the world, becoming fully human, so He could die in our place. He took the sinner’s punishment upon Himself and secured forgiveness by shedding His blood on the cross.
You must repent of your sin. You must take God’s side against it. If you don’t change your attitude toward sin, Jesus said that you will perish (Luke 13:3). So whose side will you take – your sin’s? Or your God’s?
Believe the gospel
The word “gospel” simply means good news. But it’s not just any good news – it refers to the good news of what Jesus did for you so you can be forgiven.
- He died in your place. He took the full brunt of the wrath of God against sin. His death substitutes for yours, because He was sinless. Jesus did not die for His own sin but for the sin of others.
- He arose from the dead. If Jesus had remained in the grave, His death would have meant nothing for you. Humanity would be left without any hope for forgiveness.
But by raising His Son from the dead, God put His stamp of approval on what Jesus did for you. You can now be fully forgiven! In fact, you can now be declared perfectly righteous – just as righteous as Jesus!
“Repent AND believe.” That’s what God requires of you in response to the good news of Jesus.
What does it mean to “believe”? It means to rely, to depend. It is the object of faith that is all-important. You must depend on Jesus and Him alone to do what He has promised to do. What is that?
- To forgive you of all sin – past, present, and future (Luke 7:47-50; Colossians 2:14).
- To declare you righteous in His sight (Romans 3:22; Luke 18:13-14).
- To give you everlasting life (John 3:16; 5:24).
In short, Jesus must be the sole Object of your faith! You must not depend on Jesus PLUS baptism, Jesus PLUS your being charitable and generous, Jesus PLUS your efforts to be moral and to keep the Golden Rule, etc. You must depend on the Person and work of Christ alone.
“Jesus, I know that I am a sinner. I cannot save myself, so I’m trusting You to do it for me. I repent of my sin. I turn from it. I believe that You took my place when You died on the cross and paid the penalty for my sin. I believe that You arose from the dead to prove that the Father accepted Your sacrifice on my behalf. I believe Your promises to forgive me, to declare me righteous, and to give me everlasting life. Thank You!”
If you just prayed this prayer, or if you have any questions about salvation and the Christian life, please contact us.
Written by Rev. Bob Vradenburgh, Senior Pastor