FORGIVENESS

 
     
 

MEMORY VERSE: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. 1 John 1:9.

BIBLE PASSAGE: 1 John. 1:1-9
INTRODUCTION: Last week we learnt about repentance and we discovered that repentance precedes forgiveness. Now, in order to get to heaven, a man must have forgiveness of his sins. This is because heaven is a holy place and nothing evil or unclean can ever be allowed there. However, once we are forgiven by God, then no one can stop us from entering heaven.

WHO CAN FORGIVE SINS?
Only God can forgive sins. (Mk. 2:7). Never go to any human being for forgiveness when you sin. Go directly to God. However, since Jesus Christ is God Himself, he has been appointed to forgive sins. (Acts 5:31). Infact, while He was physically here on earth, He constantly forgave sins (Lk. 7:48, Mk.2:9). Even after His death, resurrection and ascension to Heaven, Jesus Christ is still available and able to forgive sins (Acts 13:38).

HOW IS FORGIVENESS TO BE GOT?
It is only the compassion of the Lord that brings forgiveness (Ps. 78:38). But how is this done? The Bible says without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins. God has always required blood, a symbol of death, as payment for sin. (Lev. 17:11). When Adam and Eve sinned, and God wanted to cover their nakedness, He had to shed blood to get coats of skin. (Gen. 3:21). Also Abel’s offering was accepted because it contained blood, while Cain’s offering was rejected because it was bloodless. (Gen. 4:3-5).

However, the blood of goats and ram cannot permanently wash away sins. (Heb.10:4). It is through the Blood of Jesus Christ alone that we can obtain total forgiveness of sins. (Eph. 1:7).

CAN ALL SINS BE FORGIVEN AT ONCE?
When Jesus forgives sin, He forgives ALL of it, not half of it today and another half next month. This point is so important that there are several passages in the Bible to support it. (Ps. 103:3, Ps. 32:1-2, Col. 2:13 and Matt. 12:31) to mention a few. This is because if one sin remains unforgiven, then that person cannot go to heaven but would instead spend eternity in hell. It is only one sin that brought death on all men and one sin is enough to spoil heaven. God will not allow this to happen. (Rev. 21:27). Therefore when Christ forgives, He forgives ALL sins.

WHAT AM I TO DO TO BE FORGIVEN?
There are four basic things you have to do. First, repent. (Acts 2:38). Second, admit your sins and confess them. (Ps.32:5). If you do not confess your sin, you cannot be forgiven. Third, forgive others. (Matt. 6:15). If you want God to forgive you, you must forgive those who offend you, fourth, decide to forsake the sins. (Prov. 28:13). If you decide to forsake your sins and you then turn to the Lord Jesus in prayers, He still is merciful unto you. Why not do so now!

QUESTIONS
1. Who alone can forgive sins?
2. Through what can forgiveness be obtained?
3. How many sins would it take to keep someone out of heaven?
4. What are the conditions for receiving forgiveness from the Lord?
5. How often must we forgive those who offend us?

FURTHER READINGS: The following passages will you more about forgiveness: LK. 7:49, 1 Jn. 1:9, 1 Jn.2:12, Acts 5:31, Matt. 18:21-35.

 
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