13 • How People are Saved From their Sins
Every human who has ever lived, except Jesus, has disobeyed God’s laws (the Ten Commandments) and the Greatest Commandment: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22:37-39). Failure to do good to our neighbours, God also calls sin (James 4:17). We all therefore stand guilty before Him (Romans 3:19). Our guilt needs to be removed for us to be reconciled with a Holy God. Because God is holy and just, He set death as the punishment for sin (Romans 6:23), which is deserved by all sinners. This was revealed in the Bible (the Old Testament with its sacrificial system where animals had to die to avoid God’s wrath at sin). An animal or someone had to die for sinners for them to win back God’s favour.
God is the Judge of the world (Psalm 98:9). For Him to be righteous and just in judgement, sin must be punished. If sins were not punished, God would not be just. God is holy and perfect in character and therefore, because of our sin, we are separated from His glorious presence (Romans 3:23). Our own personal sins have built a wall of separation between us and God, which we cannot remove. Jesus came for these explicit reasons: to stand before God in the place of sinners and to be sacrificed as their substitute in order to pay for their sins (Isaiah 53:4, 5, 10; 1 John 4:10; Hebrews 10:14). Jesus alone could make atonement (just payment) for our sins, because He is holy and without sin (Hebrews 7:26, 27).
The Bible states that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrew 9:22). Jesus’ blood had to be shed, and He had to die, because the just punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23; Genesis 2:17; Ezekiel 18:20). Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ as He died on the cross. God had done everything necessary to remove the guilt of believers and put them in a right relationship with Himself through His Son Jesus Christ. God’s anger burnt hot against all our sins, but God’s anger was appeased, and His justice served and satisfied, when Jesus took our deserved punishment on Himself. Nothing and no one else besides Jesus Christ could have removed our guilt before God! This is so because Jesus was without sin – He was God’s perfect offering for sin (Isaiah 53:10). Jesus broke down the wall of separation between believing sinners and God! Jesus came to reconcile us with God (2 Corinthians 5:18, 21).
We were in jail with millions of life sentences hanging over our heads, justly condemned (Ezekiel 3:20), but Jesus came to set us free by paying with His own blood and clothing us with His perfection and righteousness so that the honour of man was restored (Romans 3:24-26). That is the reason He died. If we admit our guilt, confess our sins (1 John 1:9) and need for Christ’s forgiveness, turn (repent) from our sins and put our trust in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross, our sins will be forgiven, and our guilt removed (Mark 1:15; Ephesians 1:7). Repentance and faith work together. They are like two sides of the same coin. Without Biblical repentance there is no saving faith and Biblical repentance without true faith in Jesus is useless. They always work together, and both are granted to the one who will commit Himself to Jesus (Ephesians 2:8; 2 Timothy 2:25). Turning from our sins and fixing our eyes on Jesus open the gate of the Kingdom of God within (Luke 17:21).
Reality and question to consider: In the Bible, in Acts 4:12 it is written: ‘Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name given under heaven among men by which we must be saved.’ That name is Jesus Christ! Have you embraced this great Gift God has purchased for you at such a high price?
Read: Romans 3:23; Matthew 22:37-39; James 4:17; Romans 3:19; Romans 6:23; Psalm 98:9; Isaiah 53:4,5,10; 1 John 4:10; Hebrews 10:14; Hebrews 7:26,27; Hebrews 9:22; Ezekiel 18:20 Genesis 2:17; 2 Corinthians 5:18,21; Romans 3:24-26; 1 John 1:9; Mark 1:15; Ephesians 1:7; Ephesians 2:8; 2 Timothy 2:25; Luke 17:21; Acts 4:12.