' ... in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.'

Forgiveness of sins.

When God looks at us as individuals he holds us accountable for our sins. They cut us off from him; they separate us from him; they fill us with damning guilt in his presence; they prevent him from hearing our prayers; they stand against us.

When God grants a person forgiveness of sins all of that is changed: the person whose sins are forgiven stands in the presence of God with the sin barrier taken out of the way, with the sin barrier no longer making a separation between the forgiven person and God.

How can this happen?

Jesus Christ took responsibility for our sins in such a complete way that, as far as the legal penalty and consequences are concerned, we are no longer held accountable for them in the presence of God, the Judge of all the earth.

On the cross God held Jesus Christ, his Son, accountable for our sins. Because of this substitutionary death - a death on our behalf - we are set free to stand in the presence of God, to live in the presence of God today and for eternity, with no barrier in between.

Our access to God is uninhibited and permanent. Those who have been forgiven actually have forgiveness. It is the perpetual possession of the genuine believer in Christ. It was not given in the first place on the basis of our merit, and it is not maintained now on the basis of our merit. It was given, and it is permanently maintained, by the merit of Jesus Christ.

It is not something that is on again/off again depending on whether we have recognized, remembered and individually itemized our sins in a prayer of 'confession': rather it is the perpetual possession of those who, acknowledging that they are indeed sinners, cast themselves on the immeasurable mercy of God offered to them in Jesus Christ.

[Scriptures: Colossians 1:14; 2:13,14; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24; Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19-22; 1 John 1:8-10; Luke 18:9-14]

Further forgiveness facts: see Forgiveness.



'God was pleased ... through him (Christ) to reconcile to himself all things ... making peace through his blood shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds ... But now he has reconciled by Christ's physical body through death ... '

Here the message of salvation is stated in terms of reconciliation and making peace . These concepts presuppose the existing condition of alienation, separation, friction and enmity that the Bible teaches began with the original rebellion against God and rejection of him in Genesis 3,

We are God's enemies, and we are powerless to do anything about it. We do not have what it takes to heal the breach and restore a positive relationship with God. A great wall of sin, condemnation, guilt and judgement stands in between, and we cannot break through.

As we have seen in the thought on 'forgiveness', God sent his Son to pay the penalty for our sins. By his death the sin-barrier between us and God is lifted. That which cut us off from God and outlawed us from his presence has been dealt with once for all.

No more can sin, condemnation, guilt and judgement cut us off from God. No more can they interrupt our peace with God. God himself was in Christ reconciling us to himself. God himself was in Christ making peace through the death of his Son.

The person who believes in Jesus Christ has peace with God; the person who believes in Jesus Christ has received reconciliation with God. They are our possession right now. They were not given to us because of our merit; they are not taken from us because of our demerit. Because we are justified by faith in him we have peace with God.

Jesus said: 'Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you.' With this grand assurance we live reconciled and at peace in the presence of God, every moment. Christ himself - not our goodness, not our commitment, not our supposed freedom from sin, is our peace.

[Scriptures: Colossians 1:19-22; Romans 5:6,10,12-21; Isaiah 59:2; Hebrews 9:26; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Romans 5:1, 9-11; John 14:27; Hebrews 10:19-23; Ephesians 2:14]

© Copyright Rosemary Bardsley 2018