Friday, 16 May 2008

Forgiveness of sins

Right from the beginning God required of mankind to offer up blood for forgiveness of sins. We see that God was pleased with Abel when he offered a sacrifice from his flocks (Gen. 4:4). Right through the Old Testament we read of the sacrifices that men offered up to God. In the New Testament we read of the sacrifice that has been offered up to God for us – Jesus Christ. His blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins.

What is the purpose of the blood sacrifice? To answer that question we need to understand the consequence of sin. At the time that Adam and Eve were in the garden of Eden they had one commandment – they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:17 In this passage we find the consequence of sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23

Death literally means a separation. It can mean a separation between the body and the spirit, it can also mean a separation between God and ourselves. Isaiah 53:2 tells us,
“But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”
It is this separation that is the consequence of our sins. Adam and Eve were separated from God when they were cast out of the garden of Eden and we are separated from Him when we fail to keep the commands he gives us.

God does not want man to die as a result of sin – to be eternally separated from Him, so He has provided a way that we may have life. Jesus Christ died in our place – His blood was shed for us. In Hebrews 9:22 we read “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”. With Christ’s blood there can now be forgiveness.

We come into contact with the blood of Christ when we obey the gospel. We are told that we need to;
• Have faith in Christ – Hebrews 11:6
• Repent of our sins – Luke 13:3
• Confess the name of Jesus Christ – Matthew 10:32
• Be baptised for the forgiveness of sins – Acts 2:38

The consequence of sin is death, but God offers us a free gift in his Son Jesus Christ.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

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