SOME people have no trouble accepting that salvation is a gift from God – it is free and that one does not have to do anything to secure it. What they have trouble in is realizing that God can forgive their sins, however gross they are.
To such people, I would like to point out a few Bible verses that throw light on God’s ability to forgive us and accept us just as we are.
In Nehemiah 9:17 we read this wonderful verse: ‘…but you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love.’ If you read one verse above you will find a description of the Israelites. They were stiff-necked (obstinate) and disobedient. They rebelled against their leaders and God. They refused to believe in the miracles performed by God in the past. The writer of Nehemiah says in spite of all that, God is a forgiving God. Our God has not changed. He is the same yesterday, today and ever after.
One of the first things that John the Baptist did when he began his incredible ministry was to talk about God’s forgiveness. Mark 1:4 says ‘And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.’ Do you get the drift? If you are willing to repent of your sins, God is willing to forgive you of your sins and cleanse you and make you a new being.
Even before John the Baptist was born, the Holy Spirit filled his father Zechariah and made him talk about the glory of God, the ministry of his soon-to-be born son and the way to heaven through Jesus Christ. Look at Luke 1:76-77: ‘And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins.’
Ephesians 1:7 says: ‘In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.’ If you believe Jesus died for you on the cross, bearing your sins, then you must have no trouble believing that God can forgive you of your sins. It must be a personal experience. While Jesus bore the sins of the whole word on the cross, we must be able to personalize the experience for our own wellbeing.
The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was God’s divine plan for salvation. His Son had to shed blood for the remission of the world’s sins. That was in accordance with the Old Testament command. ‘In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness’ (Hebrews 9:22).
Since our sins have been forgiven by the great sacrifice on the cross, you and I don’t have to do anything else or more. ‘And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin’ (Hebrews 10:18).
You cannot add anything to or subtract anything from the reality and the fulfillment of the purpose of the cross. Your task now is to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, if you have not already done so.