How Can We Be Forgiven?
Because of sin, we are separated from God, and unable to get ourselves out of the mess we are in. But there is good news! Jesus Christ has made a way back to God on our behalf. We can be forgiven because of something called justification. Which means that God declares us as perfectly righteous, and He declares us as His children when we follow Jesus.
Justification means that God looks at you just as if you’d always been a perfectly obedient, perfectly holy person. How can He do that? Because of Jesus!
Jesus lived a perfect life on your behalf, then He died in your place, taking the full and final punishment for sin that would have been ours to bear. But the best part is that He also rose from the dead, defeating the power of sin and death. Now, what happens when you follow Jesus, is that all of His righteousness, obedience and perfection; even His status as God’s Son, is put on you. The fancy word is imputation, which means that you are given new properties, a new nature; it’s a genuine, real change that takes place in you, and God Himself makes it happen.
Because God is righteous, He must punish sin. But instead of punishing you for your sin, He took it on Himself to take our sin on His own shoulders and to die in our place. That is how we can be forgiven, how we can have our relationship with God restored, and how we can live the life that God intended us to live – an eternal life!
What’s very important is that we don’t try to earn this forgiveness. Realising you could never earn or deserve this gift is the first step to walking in complete freedom. Because God did it for you, you can trust Him to keep you right where He wants you.