What is forgiveness and why do I need it?
The word "forgive" means to pardon, to cancel a debt. When we wrong someone, the right thing to do is to ask their forgiveness. Forgiveness is not granted because a person deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is an act of love, mercy, and grace. Forgiveness is a decision to not hold the wrong or the penalty for that wrong against another person, despite what they have done to you.
In our personal relationship with God, the Bible explains how each one of us is in need of forgiveness from God. Why? Because all of us have committed sin. God is aware of all our actions and our need for forgiveness, Scripture explains, "There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins." The Bible warns us against falling into the trap of pride. 1 John 1:8 says, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." When we sin, we sin against God because it His Word, His way that we go against which means all sin is ultimately an act of rebellion against God (Psalm 51:4). As a result, we desperately need God’s forgiveness. If our sins are not forgiven, we will spend eternity suffering the consequences of our sins (Matthew 25:46, John 3:36).
How does one receive forgiveness from God?
Thankfully, God is loving and merciful – eager to forgive us of our sins! That is not an opinion, its Biblical as the New Testament book of 2 Peter explains, “(God) is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." God desires to forgive us, so He provided for our forgiveness.
The only just penalty for our sins is death. Romans 6:23 declares the harsh truth that, "the wages of sin is death…" Unforgiven sin leads to eternal death. God, in His perfect plan, became a human being, John 1:1, 14. Jesus died on the cross, His innocent blood paying the price of our guilt, taking the penalty which, we deserve – death. 2 Corinthians 5:21 explains, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." Jesus died on the cross, taking the punishment that we deserve. Jesus’ death provided forgiveness for the sins of the entire world. 1 John 2:2 proclaims, "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." Jesus rose from the dead, proclaiming His victory over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:1-28). Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Do you want to have your sins forgiven? Do you have a troubling feeling of guilt that you can’t seem to let go? Forgiveness of your sins is available if you will place your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior. "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace" (Ephesians 1”7). Jesus paid our debt for us, so we could be forgiven. All you have to do is sincerely ask God to forgive you through Jesus, believing that Jesus died to pay for your forgiveness – and He will forgive you!
"For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him" (John 3:16-17).
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. (1 John 1:8-10). God forgives sin, yet this does not mean that He simply “looks the other way” or “sweeps it under the rug.” The penalty for sin is death (Romans 6:23), and that penalty must be paid. In your case and mine, the blood that paid the price for our forgiveness was Jesus’ on the Cross.
For a person to find true forgiveness, he or she must admit the sin. This is called confession. If a person tries to pass off sin as a mere mistake, human failing, or temporary lapse of judgment; or if he or she simply denies the sin altogether, it is a barrier to forgiveness.
Forgiveness – is it really that easy?
Yes, it is. You can’t earn forgiveness from God. You can’t pay for your forgiveness from God. You can only receive it, by 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. Saying this prayer or any other prayer will not save you. It is only trusting in Jesus Christ that can provide forgiveness of sins. This prayer is simply expressing to God your faith in Him and to thank Him for providing for your forgiveness. "God, I know that I have sinned against You and am deserving of punishment. But Jesus Christ took the punishment that I deserve so that through faith in Him I could be forgiven. I place my trust in You for salvation. Thank You for Your wonderful grace and forgiveness! Amen!"
Have you made a decision for Christ because of what you have read here? If so, please let us know and let us know if we can help you in anyway.
God Bless You!
Here are some questions to ponder in relation to forgiveness:
• Have I confessed my sin and received God’s forgiveness?
• Is there anyone whom I have sinned against and from whom I need to ask forgiveness?
• Is there anyone who has sinned against me and has asked me for forgiveness, but I have refused to forgive?
• Is there anyone I am holding a grudge against for past wrongs?
• If there is an unresolved issue, will I simply “let it go,” or will I go talk to the offender about it? (Continuing to hold a grudge is not a biblical option!)
• Would I be willing to forgive if the offender asked me for forgiveness?