What the Bible Says about Forgiveness
(Reference material: Good News Translation Youth Bible)
We encourage you to read this blog post completely and thoroughly. Doing so will hopefully lift your spirit and fill you with encouragement. Here are five truths about forgiveness that can be found in the Bible:
1. Every person is separated from God because of sin.
Adam and Christ
Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned. There was sin in the world before the Law was given; but where there is no law, no account is kept of sins. But from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, death ruled over all human beings, even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam did when he disobeyed God’s command.
Adam was a figure of the one who was to come. But the two are not the same, because God’s free gift is not like Adam’s sin. It is true that many people died because of the sin of that one man. But God’s grace is much greater, and so is his free gift to so many people through the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. And there is a difference between God’s gift and the sin of one man. After the one sin, came the judgment of “Guilty”; but after so many sins, comes the undeserved gift of “Not guilty!” It is true that through the sin of one man death began to rule because of that one man. But how much greater is the result of what was done by the one man, Jesus Christ! All who receive God’s abundant grace and are freely put right with him will rule in life through Christ.
So then, as the one sin condemned all people, in the same way the one righteous act sets all people free and gives them life. And just as all people were made sinners as the result of the disobedience of one man, in the same way they will all be put right with God as the result of the obedience of the one man.
Law was introduced in order to increase wrongdoing; but where sin increased, God’s grace increased much more. So then, just as sin ruled by means of death, so also God’s grace rules by means of righteousness, leading us to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:12-21 Good News Translation (GNT)
2. God has always sought to form a close relationship with people
The Lord says, “The time is coming when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the old covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. Although I was like a husband to them, they did not keep that covenant. The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. None of them will have to teach a neighbor to know the Lord, because all will know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no longer remember their wrongs. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Jeremiah 31:31-34 Good News Translation (GNT)
3. God has reached out to people in a personal way by sending Jesus Christ.
From Death to Life
In the past you were spiritually dead because of your disobedience and sins. At that time you followed the world’s evil way; you obeyed the ruler of the spiritual powers in space, the spirit who now controls the people who disobey God. Actually all of us were like them and lived according to our natural desires, doing whatever suited the wishes of our own bodies and minds. In our natural condition we, like everyone else, were destined to suffer God’s anger.
But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved. In our union with Christ Jesus he raised us up with him to rule with him in the heavenly world. He did this to demonstrate for all time to come the extraordinary greatness of his grace in the love he showed us in Christ Jesus. For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it. God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.
Ephesians 2:1-10 Good News Translation (GNT)
4. God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ is available to every person.
How We Are Put Right with God
But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all: everyone has sinned and is far away from God’s saving presence. But by the free gift of God’s grace all are put right with him through Christ Jesus, who sets them free. God offered him, so that by his blood he should become the means by which people’s sins are forgiven through their faith in him. God did this in order to demonstrate that he is righteous. In the past he was patient and overlooked people’s sins; but in the present time he deals with their sins, in order to demonstrate his righteousness. In this way God shows that he himself is righteous and that he puts right everyone who believes in Jesus.
Romans 3:21-26 Good News Translation (GNT)
5. New life in Christ calls a person to live in a Christ-like way.
Dead to Sin but Alive in Union with Christ
What shall we say, then? Should we continue to live in sin so that God’s grace will increase? Certainly not! We have died to sin—how then can we go on living in it? For surely you know that when we were baptized into union with Christ Jesus, we were baptized into union with his death. By our baptism, then, we were buried with him and shared his death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from death by the glorious power of the Father, so also we might live a new life.
For since we have become one with him in dying as he did, in the same way we shall be one with him by being raised to life as he was. And we know that our old being has been put to death with Christ on his cross, in order that the power of the sinful self might be destroyed, so that we should no longer be the slaves of sin. For when we die, we are set free from the power of sin. Since we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that Christ has been raised from death and will never die again—death will no longer rule over him. And so, because he died, sin has no power over him; and now he lives his life in fellowship with God. In the same way you are to think of yourselves as dead, so far as sin is concerned, but living in fellowship with God through Christ Jesus.
Sin must no longer rule in your mortal bodies, so that you obey the desires of your natural self. Nor must you surrender any part of yourselves to sin to be used for wicked purposes. Instead, give yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life, and surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes. Sin must not be your master; for you do not live under law but under God’s grace.
Romans 6:1-14 Good News Translation (GNT)
Heavenly Father, I am sorry for my sin and for hurting You. I thank You for the forgiveness You have given to me.
May I always remember how precious and priceless your gift of salvation is. I love You so much.