What is forgiveness and why do I need forgiveness?
The word “forgive” means “to clean up”, to pardon, to forgive the debt. When we have hurt or harmed someone, we wish their forgiveness so that the relationship is restored. Forgiveness is not given because the other deserves to be forgiven. No one deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is an act of love, mercy and grace. Forgiveness is a decision not to blame another person, regardless of what he or she has done to you. The Bible tells us that we all need forgiveness from God. We have all committed sins. Ecclesiastes 7:20 declares, “For there is no one on earth so righteous as to do good without sinning.” 1 John 1:8 tells us, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” All sin is ultimately an act of rebellion against God (Psalm 51:4). The result is that we desperately need God’s forgiveness. If our sins are not forgiven, we will suffer the consequences of our sins forever. (Matthew 25:46; John 3:36) How do I get forgiveness? Thank God, God is full of love and grace. He longs to forgive our sins! 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “He has patience with you, not wanting any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.” God wants to forgive us and that’s why He made it possible. The only just punishment for our sins is death. The first half of Romans 6:23 declares, “Sin pays a hard wage: Death!” An eternal death is what we have earned with our sins.
God, in His perfect plan, has become a man: Jesus Christ (John 1:1,14). Jesus died on the cross. He thus took upon Himself the punishment we deserve: death. 2 Corinthians 5:21 teaches us, “For God took Christ, who had committed no sin, and burdened Him with our sins. In return, God imputes righteousness to us.” Jesus died on the cross. With that he took the punishment that we deserve! The death of Jesus—as God—provided for the forgiveness of the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2 states, “He took upon Himself the penalty for our sins and made us one with God. He is the sacrifice for our sins and not only for ours but also for those of the whole world.” Jesus rose from the dead, showing that he has conquered sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:1-28). Praise God; thanks to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the second half of Romans 6:23 is true: “But the grace of God gives that which no one deserves, everlasting life with Christ Jesus our Lord.” Do you want your sins to be forgiven? Do you have that nagging guilt you just keep getting rid of? Forgiveness of your sins is available to you when you place your trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Ephesians 1:7 says, “God’s Son gave His life and His blood to save us from sin. All that we have done wrong, is thereby forgiven us. What unbelievable grace!” Jesus paid our debt for us so that we could be forgiven. All you have to do is ask God to forgive you through Jesus Christ, by believing that Jesus died to pay for your forgiveness. Then He will forgive you! John 3:16-17 contains this wonderful message: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save it from destruction.” Is forgiveness really that easy? Yes, it is that easy! You cannot earn your forgiveness from God. You can’t pay to get forgiveness from God either. You can receive forgiveness only in faith through the grace and mercy of God. If you want to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and receive forgiveness from God, here is a prayer you can pray. By the way, you cannot be saved by this prayer or any other prayer. Only a faith in Jesus Christ can give you the forgiveness of your sins. “God, I know that I have sinned against You and that I deserve punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment I deserve so that I could be forgiven through a trusting faith in Him. I turn from my sins and put my trust in You for my redemption. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness! Amen!” Sin and Separation Man is SINFUL and SEPARATE from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God’s love and God’s plan for his life. Man is sinful “Everyone has sinned and come short of the presence of God” (Romans 3:23). Man was created to live in communion with God; but because of his stubborn free will he chose to take his own independent path and communion with God was broken. This choice, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive apathy, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin. Man is separated from God “The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23). This diagram illustrates that God is holy and man is sinful. There is a big gap between the two. The arrows illustrate how man is continuously trying to reach God and the lavish life through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy or religion – but inevitably he fails. How do we come back to God Jesus Christ is the ONLY provision for man’s sins. Through Him you can know and experience God’s love and God’s plan for your life. He died in our place “But God showed us his love in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). He rose from the dead “Christ [died] for our sins…he was buried, and on the third day…he was raised, as it is written in the scriptures,…he appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelve disciples. After that he appeared to more than five hundred…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6) He is the only way to God “Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6)
This diagram illustrates that God bridged the gap that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, paying the penalty for our sins in our stead. It is not enough to know these three laws… We must RECEIVE Jesus Christ individually as Lord and Saviour; then we can know and experience God’s love and God’s plan for our lives. We must receive Christ “To those who did receive him, and believe in his name, he gave the privilege of becoming children of God” (John 1:12) We receive Christ in faith “By his grace you are now saved, because of your faith. But you don’t owe that to yourself; it is a gift from God and not a result of your deeds, so no one can boast of it” (Ephesians 2:8-9) When we receive Christ, we experience a new birth (Read John 3:1-8) We receive Christ through a personal invitation [Christ says] “I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in” (Revelation 3:20) When receiving Christ it is important to turn from yourself to God (repentance) and to trust in Christ: to come into your life, forgive your sins and make you what He wants you to be . It is not enough if you only intellectually agree that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins. It is also not enough to have an emotional experience. We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of our will. These two circles represent two kinds of lives: Which circle best describes your life? Which circle would you like to represent your life?
The following explains how to receive Christ: You can receive Christ in faith right now through prayer (Praying is talking to God) God knows your heart and is not so concerned about how you say things, but more about the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer: “Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiving my sins and for the eternal life You give me. Take the place on the throne in my life. Make me the kind of person You wish for me.” Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If so, then I invite you to pray this prayer right now and then Christ will enter your life as He has promised