how can we be forgiven by God?

God wants to be in a right relationship with His image bearers, people. However, we must recognize that from birth, by nature, and by our moral choice we are sinners. Sin separates us from God because He must judge sin. (see Romans 3:32, 6:23). We cannot come to know God in a right way until we first recognize the truth about each us, that we are estranged from our Creator, dead in our sins, deserving of God's judgment. This is the bad news about each human being. 

The good news is God did not leave us with no hope. God sent Jesus, God's Son, to take on human flesh and become a man and live like one of us. The difference is Jesus lived without ever sinning. He lived the way each of us should have lived but could not live because of sin. He was wrongly accused of criminal charges and sentenced to death. He died on a cross, which was the form capital punishment for the Roman Empire of His day. Why did Jesus die? He came to die because God said if Jesus would die an innocent death, having never sinned, God would accept Jesus' sacrificial death as payment for the penalty due to each sinner, us. (1 Peter 3:18)

Jesus died in our place on the cross. Our sins were placed upon Jesus and God poured out His judgment upon sin on His own innocent Son while He hung on the Cross bearing our curse and penalty. (Isaiah 53)

This is still not the end of the story. Three days later, Jesus rose again from the dead. The tomb they buried Him in, He walked out of. He was raised again to life proving He had the power both over sin and death itself. (see Romans 4:25).

God said a person can be forgiven (have their sins removed) and declared righteous by God if they place their faith in Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. Faith means a person believes, trusts, and relies upon Jesus Christ. It means we admit to God we know we are sinners deserving of death and God's judgment. We also admit Jesus died for our sins and we can be forgiven because of Him. 

Peter preached a powerful sermon in Acts chapter three. The listeners asked him what they must do to be saved. Peter said to repent (turn away from) and believe in Jesus Christ. Paul likewise said that a person can receive Jesus and have their sins forgiven if they confess (admit) they are a sinner needing forgiveness, admit that Jesus is Lord (God and Master) and Savior. Also, believe with all their heart Jesus died for our sins but rose again on the third day. If a person does this, they can be saved from God's wrath and forgiven. (see Romans 10:8-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11)

Jesus said to a man who asked Him how a person can enter the Kingdom of God that a person in their natural condition cannot. One must be re-born. In John chapter three Jesus explained the Holy Spirit gives the sinner a new spiritual heart, they are given a new nature. In a sense they are born all over again into a new person who is alive to God spiritually and forgiven. (see John 3). 

Some have said it is like the A-B-C's. We must A-Admit we are sinners doomed to face God's judgement. Admit we are helpless to do anything about it. We are desperate for God's mercy on us. Then we B-Believe that God sent Jesus (God who took on human flesh) to come and live the life we were to live (sinless). That Jesus died on the cross in our place paying for our sins. That He rose again three days later proving He has power over death. We believe we are sinners who can only be saved and forgiven by Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection. Finally, we C-Confess. Confess means to 'agree with' or 'say the same things.' We Confess (agree with) that we are sinners needing forgiveness that only Jesus can give. More specifically it is us declaring (admitting) to God our heartfelt need for His grace to save us.

A person who admits they are sinful, repents of those sins, and places their full faith and trust in Jesus' death and resurrection for their sins, they are promised salvation and eternal life. We are made new creatures who want to live for God forevermore. Our thoughts, desires, and entire life will change. We no longer want to live for sin and self, but we want to live for God through Jesus Christ. 

Please let us know how we can help you have a relationship with God through Jesus or help you find a meaningful spiritual growth experience through our church.