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!

REPENTANCE [12/02/2021]


“’Tis not enough to say, ‘I’m sorry and repent’ , And then go on from day to day, just as I always went.

Repentance is to leave the sins we loved before, and show that we earnest grieve by doing them no more.”  (Source: Repentance; Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations)

Our Lord Jesus Christ in teaching His disciples, once taught a parable (allegory) that is referred to as “The Prodigal (Lost) Son”, where a man had two sons, the younger requested that his father give him his portion of the inheritance. The father then gives the younger son his portion of the inheritance, whereupon the younger son leaves home and journeys to a distant country where he wasted his money in living outrageously. Coming to the situation of having nothing to eat and no where to live; “…he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.” <Lk.15:17-18 (NIV)>. On returning home, he is sad-man-sitting-couch-home-side-view-hand-head-living-room-83798202fully forgiven by his father and completely restored to what he had before. One main point of this illustration is the action of the son: “he came to his senses…I will go back to my father”; this is true repentance! 

In accordance to Old Testament Law, the people confessed their sin, offered a sacrifice, then often continued in their sinful ways by repeating the same sin. Under New Testament teaching, repentance means turning from sin and turning to unto God <Acts 20:21>; it is called “repentance unto life” since it is not merely departing from evil but to obtain new life found in Christ <Acts 11:18>, it is also referred to as “repentance unto salvation” <2 Cor.7:10>; simply meaning that we do not return to committing the same sin again, inferring that there is a changed attitude toward sin, and not returning to our sinful way of life.

We see then that Repentance is not merely sorrow for sin. There are many today that commit sinful acts, and when caught they make “tearful” apologies but continue to live the same as before; how often have we seen this exhibited from our elected officials all the way down to those that are being put on trial in court proceedings. Then there are those that do “penance”, which is also not Repentance, for penance only gives the sinner merit so as to earn salvation; salvation cannot be earned, and penance only hinders real salvation <Eph.2:8-9>. Repentance, therefore, is a change of intellect that leads to a change of conduct. Every individual needs to Repent because all are guilty in God’s view, and this was taught by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and by all His disciples after His resurrection and return to heaven <see Matt.4:17; Lk.13:3; Mk.1:15; Acts 3:19>; and we should be aware that this is expected by God, “In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” <Acts 17:30-31 (NIV)>. Repentance is also a very important topic of the Scriptures, being alluded to in some way in every book of the Bible, and is also the desire of God for every individual for “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” <2 Pet.3:9 (NIV)>.

RepentRepentance affects our intellect, since, when we hear God’s offer of salvation, we consider it, then make a decision to change our mind and attitude towards sin; this is seen in the action of the Prodigal son mentioned earlier – he changed his mind and returned to his father, it teaches us to hate sin and learn to love God’s holiness <see Acts 2:36-39>. Repentance also affects our emotions <see 2 Cor.7:9-10>; and is a very hard struggle, for Satan does not want us to follow Christ; and we must understand that to follow Christ is what God expects and desires of us. Repentance is not a single act but is twofold: turning from sin, and turning to God <see 1 Thess.1:9-10>. Repentance is a gift from God, and as already been stated it cannot be earned by good works; it is given to those who believe the Word of God <see Acts 11:18; 2 Tim.2:25-26>, and God sometimes has to reprimand us to bring us to repentance <see Rom.2:4; Rev.3:19>.

Repentance results in rejoicing, not only in heaven <Lk.15:7, 10>, but also to those that repent; “Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” <Isa.55:7 (NIV)>; “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” <Acts 3:19 (NIV)>, but we should understand that although Repentance is a gift from God, we are still unworthy sinners and we should never cease to be remorseful.

 “In the late 1920s my grandparents married and moved into Grandpa’s old family home. It was a clapboard house with a hall down the middle. In the ’30s they decided to tear down the old house and build another to be their home for the rest of their lives.

Much to my grandmother’s dismay, many of the materials of the old house were reused in their new house. They used old facings and doors, and many other pieces of the finishing lumber. Everywhere my grandmother looked, she saw that old house–old doors that wouldn’t shut properly, crown molding split and riddled with nail holes, unfinished window trimming. It was a source of grief to her. All her life she longed for a new house.

When God brings us into the kingdom, the old way of living must be dismantled and discarded.” (Source: Perfect Illustrations; “Don’t Recycle Old Life”; Citation: Len Sullivan; Tupelo, Mississippi)

True Repentance is a restitution to what mankind lost due to sin <Gen.3:22-23>, for it is only through Repentance, and God’s redemption in Christ, that we can again have access to the tree of life <Rev.2:7; 22:14>Repentance