Sin originated in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned against God by disobedience to God’s command; “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” <Gen.2:17 (NIV)>; they believed the lie of Satan and did what God had told them not to do, and so all mankind inherited the sin-nature and the judgment that ensued <see Rom.3:23; 6:23a>. So, we find that sin prohibits all mankind from entering heaven, for heaven is the abode of God and is a holy place, nothing evil will ever enter God’s heaven <see Rev.21:27>. Therefore, to the sinful person the forgiveness of sin by God becomes the most important difficulty to deal with, for the sinner has broken the command (law) of God and only God can forgive the sinner, only God can forgive sin <Mk.2:7b; Acts 5:30-31; 1 Jn.1:9>.

It is imperative that all persons understand that there is no human mediator for the forgiveness of sins, each of us must go directly to the One that we have offended. The person Job, facing the difficulties in his life, asked the question: “But how can a mortal be righteous before God?” <Job 9:2 (NIV)>, and after much deliberation and frustration with his three friends, finally expressed: “If only there were someone to arbitrate between us, to lay his hand upon us both, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more.” <Job 9:33-34 (NIV)>; and after our Lord Jesus Christ was revealed to the world the apostle Paul writing to Timothy said: “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men” <1 Tim.2:5-6 (NIV)>. Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ is our only means of forgiveness, and forgiveness of sin cannot be obtained by any church, sacrament or ordinance <see Acts 13:38-39; Lk.7:48-50; Mk.2:8-12>.

Three biblical teachings form the basis to forgiveness for sin. First, we see that it is based on God’s compassion for the sinner: “Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.” <Psa.78:38-39 (NIV)>; God’s people, the Jews, had sinned and failed in their relationship with God so often, yet God was compassionate towards them. Secondly, we see that it was based on Divine justice, in that He is able to forgive sin yet remaining holy and just: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” <1 Jn.1:9 (NIV); cf Psa.143:1; Zech. 8:8; Mic.7:18-19>. Third, forgiveness is based on the shed Blood of Christ when he suffered for us on the Cross, as a complete and eternal sacrifice in payment for our eternal redemption: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” <Eph.1:7 (NIV); cf Ezek.18:4b; Lev.17:11>.

God’s forgiveness for our sin is complete, in that, ALL our sins are forgiven, for as we have seen before, nothing evil will enter God’s heaven <see Psa. 103:3; 32:1-2>; and it is important to understand that all sin must be forgiven, for if only one sin remained in the life of any individual that person cannot enter heaven. This means that every believer in Christ has a “present possession” of forgiveness, and does not have to wait until after death to find out if he/she is forgiven, for we have already seen that we have redemption through his blood” <Eph.1:7; cf Lk.7:47; 1 Jn.2:12. This is our assurance that we have eternal life and will spend eternity with God in heaven.

God’s forgiveness of our sins is also conditional on four acts. First, there must be repentance by the individual, for repentance comes before forgiveness <see Acts 2:38> (also, see Post on Repentance [12/2/21]). Second, faith in Christ must be exercised <Lk.7:50>. Then, third, there must be confession of sin <1 Jn. 1:9; Psa.32:5>, since unconfessed sin cannot be forgiven. Finally, there must be the act of us forgiving others for this is one characteristic of a believer in Christ <see Matt.6:15; Eph.4:32>; and should be a continuous exercise <Matt.18:21-22>.

As a believer in Christ, we must also understand that we are not sinless while we are in this world, but our confession of sin to God should also be on a continuous basis <see Rom.7:18-20; 1 Jn.2:1-2>.

But what about you who are not a believer in Christ? From cover to cover, the Bible emphasizes the need to repent and to seek God’s forgiveness for sin. One such record is that of king Belshazzar who had rebelled against God, and God’s finger wrote his sentence on the wall of his palace; “You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting” <Dan.5:27; cf Rom.3:23>, and this message of the gospel has been shared many times over the decades. How many times have you heard it? What has been your response? Has your name been recorded in God’s Book? The scriptures close with the account of all those who continue to rebel against God, let this not be your final end to life! Confess your sins to God and repent and seek His forgiveness, for no sin can enter God’s heaven: “Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” <Rev.20:11-15 (NIV)>.

“If there is no repentance, there can be no pardon. Some years ago, a mur­derer was sentenced to death. The mur­derer’s brother, to whom the State was deeply indebted for former services, be­sought the governor of the State for his brother’s pardon. The pardon was granted, and the man visited his brother with the pardon in his pocket. “What would you do,” he said to him, “if you received a pardon?”

“The first thing I would do,” he an­swered, “is to track down the judge who sentenced me, and murder him; and the next thing I would do is to track down the chief witness, and murder him.”

The brother rose, and left the prison with the pardon in his pocket.” (Source: Knights Book of Illustrations)

This is typical of all mankind today! God has offered a pardon (forgiveness) to all people, but those who refuse God’s offer will unfortunately face His judgment!


Justification is an ongoing effort for every human being since no individual wants to be guilty of some words expressed or action done. There comes the necessity to excuse oneself by making a superficial apology and to walk away from the situation. Self-justification is another way of addressing our guilt but unfortunately our perceptions are distorted, and causes the individual to believe that what was said or done was the best response; unfortunately, the individual is not interested in the truth, only in self-preservation. We see the need for justification in every aspect of life today; in the workplace, on the roads and highways, on the sports fields, it is always someone else’s fault never our own. What then is true justification? Justification is an act of justifying (Justify: to show or prove to be right; to declare innocent or guiltless). It is necessary because we are all guilty of committing some unrighteous act against someone else, but most important, against God, which is the basis of all our unrighteous acts.

Biblically, it is the act of God whereby humankind is absolved of guilt or sin. Justification is not a pardon; in Biblical terms it means to be declared righteous or guiltless; it is the act of God that forgives an individual of the guilt of sin. In the redemption of mankind God must justify the sinner without condoning or justifying the individual’s sin, for God cannot compromise in judgment and deal with sin frivolously since His Law demands the death of the sinful individual; “The soul who sins is the one who will die” <Ezek.18:4 (NIV)>; “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.” <Ezek.19:20 (NIV)>.

Since God’s Law demanded the death of the sinner, God cannot and will not justify the guilty, nor can He justify those who pervert His Law <see Ex.23:7; Isa.5:22-23>; nor can He justify those who attempt to justify themselves <Lk.16:15>. It is recorded that those who obey and do what the Law requires will be justified <see Rom.2:13>, but the difficulty we face is that no person can adhere to the law of God perfectly <Jas.2:10> for we all acquire the sinful nature from birth <Psa.51:5; Rom.3:23>. The solution then is by the Infinite Wisdom and the Grace of God, and His solution is that Jesus Christ volunteered to become a human being, live a perfect life according to the Law, and give the righteousness of God as a gift to those individuals who will accept it by faith <see Acts 4:12; 16:31>.

By definition, Justification is being declared righteous before God: the sinner is clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ and God sees the sinner perfect in the righteousness of Christ <see Rom.4:3, 5>. Justification is the forgiveness of all our sins, our guilt and punishment being removed: “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”  <Mic.7:18-19 (NIV)>; “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.” <Acts 13:38-39 (NIV); see Heb.8:12; Jer.31:31-34>. So, we find that God ascribes (imputes) Christ’s righteousness to the sinner, for this is the only way that God can justify the sinner <see 1 Pet.2:24; 2 Cor.5:21>. In so doing the sinner is then adopted into God’s family, although not being worthy but made worthy through Christ <see Eph.2:13, 19>.

The requirement for the sinner to receive God’ righteousness so as to be justified, is by faith in Christ only; for the scriptures teach that Justification is by Faith; believing in and accepting Christ’s finished work on Calvary’s Cross; “know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.” <Gal.2:16 (NIV); Rom.3:25-26; 4:5>. So then, Justification is a judicial act performed by God, and He is the only one who can justify the sinner <Rom.8:33>; Justification is granted to the sinner by God’s grace, the source of our Justification <Rom.3:24; Titus 3:7>; by Christ’s shed blood <Rom.5:9>; and by the resurrection of Christ <Rom.4:25>. The scriptures also teach that Justification will be evidenced by “good acts”, and the process should be carefully comprehended. Good works will not justify the sinner, but after justification is granted, the individual should exhibit good works whatever these may be <see Jas.2:21-24>. There are two other results of Justification that are worth consideration. Justification by faith brings about peace with God; no longer is the sinner fearful of God as when living in rebellion against God but now has a clear conscience, a heart of love for God and others, and a mind that is controlled by The Holy Spirit <see Rom.5:1>. Justification also grants access into God’s presence for worship, praise and petitions <see Rom.5:2; Heb.10:19-22>. There is also the trial that faith in God produces and Christ reminded His disciples of this <see Jn.15:18-21; Rom.5:3; 2 Tim.3:12>.

In the significance of all that has been said, where do you stand as far as your Justification is concerned? Are you concerned about thoughts, words expressed or actions in your life that brings about conviction? Do you desire for peace with God and others? Have you been Justified judicially by God, and by Christ? <see Rom.8:33; Isa.53:11> Remember that Biblical Justification is only attainable by Faith in Christ <Rom.5:1>.