Racial hatred, strife, fear and murder are only symptoms of our world’s greatest problem—people have broken hearts and they all want justice. The problem is: if we all want justice, then we all have to die. Why? We are all sinners and have come far short of God’s standard. What is the solution? God’s Forgiveness Plan…
Ephesians 2:15-16 – “By his death he ended the angry resentment between us…Then he took the two groups that had been opposed to each other and made them parts of himself; thus he fused us together to become one new person, and at last there was peace. As parts of the same body, our anger against each other has disappeared, for both of us have been reconciled to God. And so the feud ended at last at the cross.”
8 QUICK FAQS ABOUT GOD’S FORGIVENESS PLAN
1. What form of payment does God accept for sin? The life of the sinner is required as payment.
Romans 6:23, GOD’S WORD Translation – “The payment for sin is death, but the gift that God freely gives is everlasting life found in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
2. Are there any people who do not have to pay for their sins? No. All people since Adam (the first man) are born into sin and have sinned. All people owe God (The Creator) the price for committing sin.
Romans 5:12 & 15, Living Bible – “When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. His sin spread death throughout all the world, so everything began to grow old and die, for all sinned.”
3. Is there a payment plan for people who cannot pay? Yes, God has offered His Son, Jesus’ life as payment for sins. However, the sinner must ask for forgiveness and receive Jesus’ death on the cross as payment for their sins before they die. Of course, after the sinner dies it is too late, as the sinner’s own life is taken as payment (Hebrews 9:27, Hebrews 2:2-4, and Luke 12:15-20).
Romans 10:13, Living Bible – “Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”
4. What form of payment is unacceptable in exchange for sin? God will not accept: Good works, kind deeds, faithful attendance to a religious organization, charitable acts and giving, feats of the flesh (fasting, special restrictive diet, etc.), prayer/meditation or observance of holy days as payment for sin. To learn why good works are not good enough, read: Colossians 2:9-23, Galatians 2:15-21, and Hebrews 10:1-10.
Colossians 2:23, Living Bible – “These rules may seem good, for rules of this kind require strong devotion and are humiliating and hard on the body, but they have no effect when it comes to conquering a person’s evil thoughts and desires. They only make him proud.”
5. Can anything disqualify you from God’s Forgiveness Plan? Yes. If a person refuses to accept the Lord Jesus’ payment for their sins, they cannot be forgiven. Likewise, if a person does not forgive other people of their sins, then God will not forgive them of their sins (Mark 11:25-26). To learn more about forgiving others, read: Be an Extreme Peace Keeper.
Romans 10:9-10, Living Bible – “For if you tell others with your own mouth that Jesus Christ is your Lord and believe in your own heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in his heart that a man becomes right with God; and with his mouth he tells others of his faith, confirming his salvation.”
Matthew 10:32-33, New King James Version – “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”
6. How can you tell if someone has been forgiven? Easy. Examine their life and this is what you’ll see: God’s character demonstrated through their actions. The words they speak and their actions should, over time, become more and more aligned with the Word of God. If a Christian does sin, he will ask God for forgiveness and repent. Developing godly character is a process. To learn more, read: Strengthen Your Resolve–Discover 3 Strategies to Overcome Temptation.
1 John 5:18, Living Bible – “No one who has become part of God’s family makes a practice of sinning, for Christ, God’s Son, holds him securely, and the devil cannot get his hands on him.”
7. What is God’s character like? God is loving and he forgives those who repent.
Exodus 34:5-7, New Living Translation – “Then the Lord came down in a cloud and stood there with him; and he called out his own name, Yahweh. The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. I lavish unfailing love to a thousand generations. I forgive iniquity, rebellion, and sin. But I do not excuse the guilty. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children and grandchildren; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations.”
- God is holy. (Leviticus 19:2)
- God is love. (1 John 4:8)
- God is faithful and longsuffering. (Deuteronomy 7:9, Exodus 34:5-7)
- God is light. (1 John 1:5)
- God is kind, merciful and patient. (Joel 2:12-13)
- God is forgiving. (Ephesians 4:32)
- God is honest. He cannot lie. (Titus 1:1-2)
8. I’m ready to sign up for God’s Forgiveness Plan. How do I begin? Read About Salvation and follow the simple instructions.