Forgiveness at the Cross
“This is my blood of the New Covenant, shed for many for the forgiveness of sins." (Matthew 28:26) "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.” (Heb. 9:22)

A. The Seriousness of Sin

Romans 2:6-9 (CEV)
“God will reward each of us for what we have done. He will give eternal life to everyone who has patiently done what is good …But He will show how angry and furious He can be with every selfish person who rejects the truth and wants to do evil.”

Most of us have all done some bad things we are ashamed of. All of us can easily recall all the phone calls and cards we didn’t send to our parents; all the hungry people on earth we have ignored; and all the mistreated people around us, for whom did nothing to help them.

The question is, does God take such things seriously? If He is like Hugh Hefner, He says, “Party on!” If He is like grandparents, He says, “That’s OK, you didn’t mean to do it.”

But God, from day one in the Bible is a God who will punish wrongdoing on both sides of the grave. In other words, hell is no joke. What then must we do?

B. The Sacrifice for Sin

Rom. 3:21-24
“No one will be declared righteous (right with God, justified, innocent in the eyes of God) by keeping the law (doing good things). But now a way of being right with God has been revealed. It is through faith in Jesus Christ.”

1. The Rejected Plan
We are not made right with God by “works of the law”; obeying rules of submitting to rituals.

Man’s plan of salvation is to try and be good, and hope God grades on the curve. He adds up the good and the bad and if we are good enough he forgives us.

God rejects this for many reasons. Some have to do with the need for new birth to be acceptable to God. Reformation-
- doesn’t change the heart
- is good news only for the
- produces pride
- produces legalism
- brings no peace

We will look at these in the chapter on new birth. But now as far as forgiveness is concerned; there are two more reasons:

It cannot cancel the past
If a drunk driver kills my child or yours, he cannot do enough good things to earn our forgiveness. Forgiveness must be given. We have in us the same sins that killed Jesus, and God loves us and offers to forgive us.

2) It makes Jesus’ death a tragic waste.
Paul said,
“I do not nullify the grace (gift) of God. If we can ge
can be put right with God by keeping the Law then Christ’s
death was useless.” (Gal. 2:20)

To try and make ourselves fit for God is to look at the crucified Son of God and say, “I do not need you, I can make it on my own.”

2. The Redemption Plan
Rom. 3 / Paraphrase
God put Jesus forward as an “atoning sacrifice” so that by “faith in his blood” we might