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 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
American King James Version×
, KJV). The penalty we all have earned for sinning is death (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
American King James Version×
). 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 1 Peter 1:18-20 [18] For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; [19] But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: [20] Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,
American King James Version×
, 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 1 John 2:2And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our's only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
American King James Version×
, 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 1 John 4:9-10 [9] In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. [10] Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
American King James Version×
, NIV).

God actually created all things through Jesus Christ (John 1:1-14 John 1:1-14 [1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. [2] The same was in the beginning with God. [3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. [4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men. [5] And the light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. [6] There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. [7] The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. [8] He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. [9] That was the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world. [10] He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. [11] He came to his own, and his own received him not. [12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: [13] Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. [14] And the Word was made flesh, and dwelled among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
American King James Version×
; Ephesians 3:9 Ephesians 3:9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world has been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
American King James Version×
; Colossians 1:16-17 Colossians 1:16-17 [16] For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: [17] And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
American King James Version×
; Hebrews 1:1-2 Hebrews 1:1-2 [1] God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, [2] Has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
American King James Version×
). 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.