How Our Sins Are Forgiven
There is a way (faith) and there is a means (the grace of Jesus, His atoning sacrificial death for our sins) by which we are saved, our sins are forgiven. Both are needed and both are freely given to us by our God.
*For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Eph 2:8 NKJV+
*This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Ro 3:22-23 NIV+
1. The way our sins are forgiven is by the intent in our hearts. Do we have a faith which enables us to love our God more than anything else, and our neighbors as ourselves.
*Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Ro 5:1-2 NKJV+
*Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." Gal 3:11 NIV+
*But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 1Ti 1:5 NASB+
A saving faith produces a love beyond reproach, a love for our God that is greater than anything else in our lives.
* For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. Gal 5:6 NASB+
*And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 1Co 13:2 NKJV+
Godís love is a free gift, given to us by the Spirit, when He comes into our hearts, our lives (See Baptisms of the Spirit). Love is the greatest gift we can receive from our God, the greatest gift we will ever be given.
*Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Ro 5:5 NKJV+
*And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1Co 13:13 NKJV+
The two greatest commands our Savior gave us, were to love our God above all things, to love all people as we love ourselves. Our relationship with our God is based upon these two commands, including our salvation.
*Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. Matt 22:37-38 NKJV+
*And the second is like it: ĎYou shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Matt 22:39 NKJV+
*"On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." Matt 22:40 NASB+
We must love our God more than the power, pride, and pleasures of this world. We must love our God more than our wife, our children, even more than our own lives. We must also love our neighbors, all people, as we love ourselves. Our salvation, the forgiveness of our sins, depends on who or what we love the most.
*He who loves father or mother more
than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who
does not take his cross and follow
after Me is not worthy of
*For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. Mk 8:35 NKJV+
*Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Ro 13:10 NKJV+
Any who love Jesus will strive to obey His two great commands. And when we love our God more than anything else, He graciously forgives our sins. We become holy children of our great God.
*"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. Jn 14:15 NASB+
*Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. Jn 14:23 NASB+
Our salvation is a spiritual battle, not a physical battle, is totally about who controls our will. There is no middle ground. You either love God or the pleasures of this world. You either obey Him or become a slave to sin.
* "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth . Matt 6:24 NASB+
*Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obeyówhether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? †Ro 6:16 NIV+
Only our God knows the intent, the secrets of our hearts, who and what we love the most.
*and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Ro 8:27 NASB
*for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. portion 1Chr 28:9 NKJV+
Only by a faith that produces an all aspiring love for our God can our sins be forgiven, can we be saved. And by this love we come under the atoning grace of Jesus, our sins are forgiven us.†
*Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." †Lk 7:47 NKJV+
*Then He said to the woman, "Your faith has saved you. Go in peace." Lk 7:50 NKJV+
2. The means by which our sins are forgiven is the sacrificial death of Jesus upon the cross. The Fatherís only Son came down from Heaven and became man, became Jesus. Jesus gave His physical life on the cross, endured Hell as the only sacrifice which our Father would accept as atonement for our sins. The only sacrifice which will ever be needed to forgive our sins. Through the blood of Christ, all have a way through faith, through loving their God above all things, to be made spiritually holy, to become perfect children of God.
*For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit †1Pe 3:18 NASB+
*This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1Jn 4:10 NIV+
*because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Heb 10:14 NIV+
When our Father forgives our sins they are remembered no more, they are gone forever, never to be brought up again. The same way we should forgive others who have done wrong to us.
* "And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." †Heb 10:17 NASB+
* "For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more." Heb 8:12 NASB+
*And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Eph 4:32 NKJV+
To have our sins forgiven and become a child of God we must:
1. Completely surrender our will to our Father. Our Father created us to be His children, to love, honor, and obey Him. When Adam brought sin into the world, our Father made a plan to save us, a way for our sins to be forgiven. And this plan of salvation can be found only in His Word, saves only those who will give up their will, and accept the will of their God.
Many believe they can pick and choose what they want to follow in the Scriptures. Others believe they can adapt the Word to suit the modern world, making the world a better place to live in. Some want God to provide proof that He exists, for how can there be a God when there are so many terrible things happening in the world. There are many people who regularly go to church, some are even leaders in it, who have never completely submitted their will to their Heavenly Father. Though they believe they are Christians, they do not have a saving spiritual relationship with their God. They are still on the outside looking in. See ďThe ChasmĒ
*the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Ro 8:7 NIV+
*Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Ro 8:5 NIV+
2. Accept the free gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit introduces
us to our God, opens our minds to the grace Jesus offers to all who will
believe. The Spirit comes into our hearts bringing us into the
The only unforgivable sin is rejecting, speaking against, the Holy Spirit. No one can be saved without the Spirit, for without the Spirit no one can know, can come to our God. Whenever the Spirit is offered, quickly accept Him, for no one knows if they will be given another chance to receive their God into their hearts again. To become children of God we must accept the Spirit into our hearts, to remain holy children of God we must allow Him to guide us all the days of our lives.
*If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"† Lk 11:13 NKJV+
*and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 1Co 12:3 NKJV+
*but whosoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit hath never forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin: Mk 3:29 ASV
3. Have our sins forgiven by the grace of
Jesus Christ. Grace means love and concern. Christís grace is more than
this, it refers to what our Savior did out of His great love and concern for
us. Jesus willingly gave His life on the cross, endured Hell, as the only
sacrifice the Father would accept to forgive our sins. Through the grace of Jesus,
the means for our forgiveness has been completed, nothing more is needed,
nothing more will ever be needed. The means of forgiveness is freely available
for all who will believe in the grace of Christ, who will ask Jesus to forgive
* And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Heb 10:10 NIV+
*In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace Eph 1:7 NKJV+
Our God calls us, forgives our sins through the intent in our hearts, by the means of Christís grace as follows:
1. Sanctification Ė To sanctify simply means to make holy, by forgiving our sins, setting us apart as children of God. Many times sanctified and made holy are interchanged in the different versions of the Bible. There are many ways our Heavenly Father, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit work together, through Godís Word, at different times in our lives, to sanctify us, to make us holy, to save us from our sins.
*ĎI will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.' Ac 26:18 NKJV+
Our Heavenly Father sanctifies us.
*May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Thes 5:23 NIV+
Jesus sanctifies us.
*For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, Heb 2:11 NASB+† †††
The Holy Spirit sanctifies us.
*And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. 1Co 6:11 NKJV+
The Word of God sanctifies us. The Father gives us His Word which contains the truths of His great plan for all who would be His children. Jesusí told us, showed us, how the New Covenant of grace would be offered to all who would believe. The Spirit uses the Word to give us knowledge to know our God, the understanding to come to our God, so we can be sanctified, become one with our God, come into His Heavenly Kingdom.
*Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.† As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified. Jn 17:17-19 NIV+
*And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. Ac 20:32 KJV
is also a different kind of sanctification we receive through the Holy Spirit,
when He dwells within us. The Spirit forgives the sins we commit immediately,
before we even ask for forgiveness, so we always remain holy. For God is holy
and if we become spiritually unholy because of sin, the Spirit cannot dwell in
our hearts. We cannot be one with Jesus, and we cannot spiritually live in the
The Spirit sanctifies us, forgives our sins immediately, so our relationship with our God is not like a revolving door. Where we become holy when we repent of our sins, then unholy when we sin, and then holy once again when we repent. The Spirit continually sanctifies, immediately forgives the sins of all who truly love their God, will want to repent of their sins. So we always remain spiritually holy, are always spiritually one with our God, and always spiritually live in His holy Kingdom.†††
*And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.† Ro 8:26 NIV+
*Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: 1Pe 1:2 KJV
*that I should be a minister of Christ Jesus unto the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be made acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Ro 15:16 ASV
Believersí unborn to young children, all the children who spiritually love their God. Our Father allows us to be physically conceived in our motherís womb. We are given life when the Spirit creates a mature living spiritual being, an eternal soul and spirit, within a miniscule undeveloped sinful physical body and mind in our motherís womb. Our spiritual being is mature from conception, is spiritually mature while still in the womb, knows right from wrong, and can spiritually love their God. See When An Unborn Child Dies
*"For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; and he will drink no wine or liquor, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit while yet in his mother's womb. Lk 1:15 NASB+
*I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God. Ps 22:10 NKJV+
The Father calls us to be His children, and offers the Spirit to all who will believe at different times in our lives. Those who are conceived by a believing parent and will believe in our God, will be given the Spirit at their conception. From conception one is either sanctified through the Spirit, or sinful until they receive the Spirit into their hearts.†
The Spirit sanctifies those who receive Him from conception, keeping them holy. Until our sinful human mind is mature enough to rule over our spiritual being, bringing sin into our lives, pushing the Spirit out of our hearts. Before young believersí minds are mature enough to reject our God, they must receive the baptism of the Spirit, have their original sin washed away, so their minds can be transformed. This allows the Spirit to continue dwelling in our hearts from conception to death, if we love our God above all things.
Those who did not receive the Baptism of the Spirit at conception, can be born again, receive baptism of the Spirit, at any time in their lives. When they are willing to surrender their will, ask our God to help them, and accept the Spirit into their hearts.
*But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 2Thes 2:13 NIV+
*For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 1Co 7:14 NASB+
Believers until they can forgive any who have done something wrong against them. Sometimes it is very hard to forgive others, especially when they have committed serious wrongs against us, our families, or friends. We should always remember if we cannot, or will not forgive others, our Father will not forgive our sins. This does not mean we will always be close, be good friends with them. But we must harbor no hate towards them, help them if they are in need, though we may hate the evil they have done. The Spirit sanctifies those who are trying to forgive others out of their love for God. Those who will, with the help of our God, eventually be able to forgive all those who sin against them. Those who continually strive to love all people, even their enemies.
*For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matt 6:14-15 NIV+
*And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you. Eph 4:32 NKJV+
Believers who die without being able to ask for forgiveness of their sins. Many will physically die without asking our God to forgive their sins. Including those who will physically die suddenly, even some who will physically die while committing a sin. We do not know who will be saved, or who will be condemned. Yet we can be assured the Spirit knows the intent of our hearts and by that intent continually forgives the sins of those who love their Lord above all things, even as we physically die. So we always remain holy, so we are always prepared to enter into our Heavenly home.†
*But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. Ro 8:11 NKJV+
Believers who have mental problems which alters their ability to reason. We do not have to worry about the time our minds might not function correctly, due to injury, illness, old age, or any other reason. For if the Spirit was in our hearts, He will pray for us, intercede for us, and sanctify us, until we are well, or until we are taken home by Jesus.
*In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Ro 8:27 NIV+
2. Baptism of the
Holy Spirit: is when our God calls us, and we give up our will to Him. The
Father spiritually washes away our inherited sin, all of our other sins, and we
become holy. Our minds are renewed with Godís love, allowing the Spirit to come
into our hearts, spiritually dwell within us, as He brings us into the
We all became sinful when Adam disobeyed God, and we all will inherit this original sin. Our human minds were conceived in sin, will rebel against God as we physically mature, as our mind becomes strong enough to rule over our spiritual being. Our Father has to spiritually forgive this inherited sin, spiritually washing or sprinkling it away. So our human minds can be transformed, are willing to submit to our Fatherís will. This will allow the Spirit to remain in the hearts of those who accepted their God at a young age, before their sinful mind was mature enough to rule over their spiritual being. This will allow the Spirit to come into the hearts of those who are now surrendering to God, giving up their human will, and receiving the Spirit into their lives. This is called baptism of the Spirit. Without this baptism oneís mind will reject God, the Spirit cannot dwell in their hearts, they cannot know God, will not be saved. The longer we reject our God, the harder it is for us to come back to God, give up our will so we can be born again. No one knows when the Spirit will be offered again, accept Him when you have the chance, before it is too late. See Baptism of the Spirit
*And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Ro 12:2 NKJV+
*For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1Co 15:22 KJV
*not by works done in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, Tit 3:5 ASV
3. Confess our sins through prayer: When we love our God above all things, we will be sorry for all of our sins. We will want to humbly ask our Father, or Jesus, to forgive us our sins, even those sins which we may not remember, not realize we have committed. Not because we deserve to have our sins forgiven, but because we know out of our Fatherís great love for us, He will forgive them, and remember them no more.
Being an imperfect physical being we will always fall short, continually sin, and continually need forgiveness. Yet all who have the Spirit living in their hearts are in constant contact with their God, will feel guilty when they sin, will want to continually confess their sins and have them forgiven. And Jesus has promised to always hear our prayers, to always forgive those who come with repentant hearts.
*Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; Ac 3:19 KJV
*For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Ro 7:19-20 NIV+
*If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1Jn 1:9 ASV
We must strive to sin no more. We must try with all of our might to quit committing the sins we are now committing. The Father put all of us on this earth for many different reasons, yet all to glorify our God. Satan knows our weaknesses, knows what temptation will cause us to sin. We glorify our Lord each time we win the battle over Satan, showing we love our Master more than the passions of the world. We should rejoice with Jesus when we win the battle, and let our Savior pick us up, forgive us, make us ready again for battle, when we fail. As we spend more time with Jesus in prayer, spend more time reading Godís Word, our victories over temptation will increase, and our failures will become fewer and fewer.†††
*If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Heb 10:26-27 NIV+
Jesus also asked us to celebrate two unique spiritual/physical gifts which offer believers the forgiveness of sins. They are water baptism and the Lordís Supper.
4. Water Baptism: Jesus told us, *ďGo ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy SpiritĒ (Matt 28:19 ASV).
Water baptism is when we believe the spiritual words of Jesus and through a physical action, washing, receive spiritual blessings. The blessing of having our sins washed away, having them forgiven and remembered no more. The blessing of being offered the gift of the Spirit, so we can spiritually can become one with Jesus, one with all believers.
Though we receive forgiveness in sanctification, in Baptism of the Spirit, by repentant prayer, we also receive forgiveness in water baptism. When we believe in and obey Christís command, and are washed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our Father has forgiven our sins through the grace of Jesus, making us holy, so the Spirit can live in our hearts. As we physically show we are children of God. As we physically show what has spiritually happened within our hearts, the baptism of the Spirit. We need to be baptized only once and then our Savior offers us the Lordís Supper as a continual spiritual/physical way to come to Him. See Water Baptism
*'Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.' Ac 22:16 NASB+
*Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ac 2:38 NASB+
5. Lordís Supper: Jesus offers believers a second spiritual/physical way to receive spiritual blessings in the Lordís Supper.
*Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, ďTake, eat; this is my bodyĒ. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ďDrink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sinsĒ (Matt 26:26-28ASV).
*ďThis do, as often as ye drink it, in remembrance of meĒ (1Cor 11:25ASV).
The Lordís Supper is when we have the faith to believe the spiritual words of Jesus and through a physical action, eating and drinking, receive the spiritual blessings He offers us. When we humbly come to the table and eat the bread, we participate in the body of Christ, we are made one with Jesus, one with all Christians past or present. As we drink the fruit of the vine, we participate in the blood of Jesus, all of our sins are washed away, our sins are forgiven and forgotten forever. Our Savior asked us to partake of His Supper as a continual spiritual/physical means to receive spiritual blessings, until we are united with Him in Heaven above. See Lordís Supper
*Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? †1Co 10:16 NIV+
End Truth: We are either holy children of God, or unholy children of Satan
If we love our God above all things we have already been sanctified, made holy, made righteous by the Spirit. And only when we do things out of faith, out of love to our God, can we please Him, receive blessings from Him. We are either holy through our God, through the Spiritís gift of faith, through Christís gift of grace. Or we are unholy on our own account, we have not given up our will, we have not accepted the Spirit into our hearts. There is no middle ground.
Holy and righteous mean all our sins have been forgiven us. All who have been made holy are children of God, have inherited eternal life. This is why believers do not have to fear judgment day, for we have been made holy through the blood of our Savior. We have no sins to be judged on. We will only be held responsible, be rewarded with blessings, for how we used the gifts our Lord has given. There is so much to do for our God, and so little time to complete what He would have all of us do.
*Once you were alienated from
God and were enemies in your minds
because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present
you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusationó
*But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Heb 11:6 NKJV+
*If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1Co 3:14-15 NKJV+
Below are some verses to assure us we are made holy through the grace of Jesus.
Rom 11:15-16, 1Cor 1:2, Eph 1:4, 5:3+25-27 Col, 3:12, 1Thes 3:13, Heb 2:11, 3:1, 10:10+14, 12:14, 13:12, 1Pe 2:5+9
Copyright 2010 amended 2011 by Ron Borkey
+ NIV Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSIONģ. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.
+ NASB "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
+ NKJV "Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved."