How Is Sin Forgiven?

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How Is Sin Forgiven?

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Sin is the transgression of God’s sacred law (1 John 3:4, KJV). The penalty we all have earned for sinning is death (Romans 6:23). This cause-and-effect relationship is absolute and automatic. The penalty of death must be paid.

We can’t jump out of a 10-story building trying to break the law of gravity without paying a penalty for our actions. In the same way, when we break God’s spiritual law, the death penalty for doing so must be paid. Forgiveness does not mean eliminating the penalty for our sins. Rather, it means a transferring of the penalty from us to someone who could accept and pay that penalty in our place. The question is, who pays that penalty?

Because all have sinned and the death penalty hangs over everyone, God knew that a Savior was needed to die for the sins of the world. Notice Peter’s words: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed . . . but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (1 Peter 1:18-20, NIV).

The apostle John spoke of God’s great love for us and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that pays the penalty for our sins, making forgiveness possible. “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2, NIV).

John also wrote: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10, NIV).

God actually created all things through Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-2). As mankind’s Creator who, being the perfect Son of God, lived a sinless life in the flesh, Jesus Christ was able to serve as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all humanity for all time.

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