We have already looked at what salvation is: That we cannot make ourselves perfect in God’s eyes, but need to be saved. Jesus took the punishment for our sins when He died for us on the cross. Through believing in Him we can receive forgiveness for our sins and be saved. We need to accept that we cannot erase our past mistakes (or our future ones) on our own. But by confessing our sins to God and repenting, we acknowledge our need for him to take away our sin.
God is a just judge
That means that He can’t let sin go unpunished. But because of what Jesus did on the cross, God sees that our sin is already paid for. There is no more debt that we owe. In fact, He has erased our guilt and sin. The Bible tells us: “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12 ) – which basically means that they will never be held against us again.
This is what forgiveness is, that we will not be judged for our sins. Because the sins received their judgement on the cross, we are found to be righteous in Jesus Christ. This is only possible when we choose to believe in Christ, so that we are seen through what He did for us.
God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.1.John 1:9
How do we ask for forgiveness from God?
Some people believe that you have to confess to priests to receive forgiveness. Or maybe to do special things, or say special prayers to pay for the sinful things you have done. This is not what the Bible says. If you read the Word of God, you will see that all that is needed, is that you confess your sins to God in order to be forgiven. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
The Bible also says that we should confess our sins to each other, but that is not to receive forgiveness from God, but in order to receive healing and restoration in our relationships, and sometimes in our bodies. And when God has forgiven someone, we as fellow believers should also forgive them, remembering how much God has forgiven each and every one of us. In fact, God’s word commands us to forgive everyone who sins against us.
Do you still feel guilt or shame?
Sometimes, we still feel guilt or shame because of our sins, even though we have asked God for forgiveness. This is not because God has not forgiven us, remember that He is faithful to forgive when we ask Him for it. Rather, it is the enemy, the devil, trying to keep us locked up in chains of guilt and shame. Though the feelings are real, and you may feel it strongly, they are rooted in lies. Start telling yourself the truth, that God has forgiven you. Stop dragging up past mistakes. God doesn’t hold your past sins against you anymore, neither should you do. If God has forgiven you, you should forgive yourself. Let God’s judgement (that you are found sinless in Christ) be enough, and forgive yourself.
And then, as Jesus said to a woman who was caught in the act of sin, “go, and sin no more”. (John 8:11). Live your new life in Christ instead!
Keep watching the videos, and we will share with you more and more about what this new life in Christ is like. The next video is about baptism, where we will tell you how to become united with Jesus Christ.