As we work through our series called, “We Believe,” it is vitally important that we not just profess what we believe but that we also actually believe it. It is important that we not just make assertions like, “We believe in the forgiveness of sin,” but that we also know why in fact this is such great news. We live in a culture that is progressively being dominated by a humanistic relativism. This is a way of thinking that essentially says: “There is no real absolute truth. What’s true for you is true for you; what’s true for me is true for me.” This relativistic view of life even affects the very definition of words.
This way of thinking has bled into our culture, and we are not above it bleeding into the church. When this way of thinking bleeds into the church it attacks the very root of what we mean by statements such as: “We believe in the forgiveness of sins.” When this thinking bleeds into the church, it leads us to inform God’s Word regarding truth, rather than allowing God’s Word to inform us as to what is true. This way of thinking leads us to view sin as inconsequential, hell as non-existent, grace as amazingly cheap, and the gospel as really no gospel at all.
So, with this in view, as we profess that we believe in the forgiveness of sin, I just want to share some simple truths from God’s Word regarding why forgiveness of sin is indeed such great news.
The Bible says that we are sinners and that the wages of our sin is death (Romans 3, 6; Ephesians 2, etc). This death is not just a physical one but very much also a spiritual one. It is a dead relationship between us and God. Our sin deserves eternal separation from Him. It’s hard to fathom this, but it’s true. In our legal system, we use the phrase “the punishment fits the crime.” Stealing candy warrants a lighter punishment than stealing a car. Stealing a car warrants a lighter punishment than stealing a human being. The greatest crime in existence is sin against God. The greatest crime warrants the greatest punishment, which is separation from God eternally. Truly the hell of hell is not having Him, the One in whose presence is fullness of joy and in whose right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
All this is why forgiveness of sin is such great news. Whereas our sin deserved separation from God, God in His love and mercy sent Jesus so that our sins could be forgiven in order that we could be with Him forever. 1 Peter 3:18 says that Christ suffered for our sin to bring us to God. We get Him! This is the greatest gift of grace to us. When the greatest crime of our sin deserved the greatest punishment of our being separated from God in hell, the only way we could be forgiven was through that which is of greatest worth: the blood of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:7 says, “in Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses…” When we could do nothing for ourselves, Christ died for us to forgive our sin. Romans 5:8 says, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
God did not treat our sin as inconsequential. He did not sweep it under the rug. He paid for it with the blood of His Son. If you ever want to know how much it cost God to forgive your sin, just look at the cross. If you ever want to know how much God loves you and wants to be with you, just look at the cross.
Forgiveness of sin through faith in Jesus Christ is such great news! Let us live in the light of this awesome truth.