Grace Works through Faith
Since Jesus Christ died for our sins two thousand years ago, when are our sins forgiven? Were they forgiven two thousand years ago when he paid the price for them, were they forgiven when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, or are they forgiven when we confess them?
What does the Bible say about this?
1 John 2:2 says, “He himself is the SACRIFICE that atones for our sins—and NOT ONLY OUR SINS BUT THE SINS OF ALL THE WORLD.” 2 Corinthians 5:19 says, “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, NO LONGER COUNTING PEOPLE’S SINS AGAINST THEM. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.”
The two verses mentioned above say that Jesus’ sacrifice took care of the sins of believers and non-believers. God is not counting our sins against us. Read again 1 John 2:2 and 2 Corinthians 5:19. Now, John 16:8-9 make sense. The Holy Spirit CONVICTS THE WORLD OF ONE SIN ONLY BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST TOOK CARE OF ALL THE OTHER SINS. According to John 16:9 the Holy Spirit convicts the world of THE SIN OF NOT BELIEVING IN JESUS CHRIST. John 16:8-9, “8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 OF SIN, BECAUSE THEY DO NOT BELIEVE IN ME”.
So, the grace of God has provided the forgiveness of our past, present, and future sins. Hebrews 10:10, 14 “10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, ONCE FOR ALL TIME. 14 For by that one offering he FOREVER MADE PERFECT those who are being made holy.”
To access this forgiveness one simply needs to believe (faith) what Jesus did for us. Romans 10:9-10 says, “9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For IT IS BY BELIEVING IN YOUR HEART that you are made right with God, and IT IS BY OPENLY DECLARING YOUR FAITH [confession] that you are saved.” [Emphasis mine]
This is what Paul and Silas told the jailer who wanted to know what he should do to be saved. THEY DIDN’T TELL HIM TO CONFESS HIS SINS. Acts 16:30-31, “30 Then he brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “BELIEVE IN THE LORD JESUS AND YOU WILL BE SAVED, along with everyone in your household.”
So, when are our sins forgiven? Our sins were forgiven when Jesus paid the price for them. We access that forgiveness when we believe what Jesus did for us.
Does this mean that everybody is saved? No, GRACE ALONE DOESN’T SAVE. Ephesians 2:8 “For by GRACE you have been saved THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”. As a believer in Christ my past, present, and future sins are forgiven. SIN IS ACTUALLY A NON-ISSUE WITH GOD!
We all have the opportunity to receive/access forgiveness of our sins, we simply need to accept that the price has been paid on our behalf and confess Jesus Christ as Lord: Philippians 2:8-11, “8 And being found in appearance as a man, HE HUMBLED HIMSELF AND BECAME OBEDIENT TO THE POINT OF DEATH, EVEN THE DEATH OF THE CROSS. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and GIVEN HIM THE NAME WHICH IS ABOVE EVERY NAME, 10 THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that EVERY TONGUE SHOULD CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, to the glory of God the Father.”
“REST IN THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST!”