"JESUS, THE WAY" Jesus, The Way To Forgiveness INTRODUCTION 1. We have seen that Jesus is The Way to a better life, even here on earth 2. But much more importantly, Jesus is the way to forgiveness for our sins! [To understand why we need forgiveness and how Jesus provides the way to forgiveness is the purpose of this lesson. It is important, then, that we begin by properly defining sin...] I. THE DEFINITION OF SIN A. SOME MISCONCEPTIONS OF SIN... 1. That it is nothing more than a violation of human relationships 2. That an action is sinful only if: a. It is frowned upon by society b. It violates their own conscience c. It is harmful to someone else 3. This leads many to misunderstanding how the problem of sin can be corrected a. E.g., some believe that correcting sin involves nothing more than making things right with other people b. With this misconception, they think they are forgiven of all past actions if they simply change their behavior B. THE BIBLICAL DEFINITION OF SIN... 1. The Bible defines at least three different types of sin a. The direct violation of God's Law (sin of commission)
- 1Jn 3:4 b. Failure to do what is right (sin of omission) - Jm 4:17 c. Violating one's own conscience - Ro 14:23 2. Sin is more than simply a violation of human relationships a. Though it often involves that b. It is a serious matter that involves God and His Will for us 3. How serious is sin? Consider the consequences of sin... a. The wages of sin is death - Ro 6:23 b. This death is one involving everlasting torment - Re 21:8; cf. 20:10 [Why is sin considered so bad that unforgiven sinners must experience such torment? To understand why, we must appreciate...] II. THE NATURE OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF SIN A. GOD'S NATURE... 1. God is supremely holy a. His holiness makes any truce with sin impossible b. Note what is written - Ps 5:4-6; Isa 59:1-2 2. God is supremely just a. His justice demands sin be punished properly b. This helps to explain God's actions 1) In the case of Nadab and Abihu - Lev 10:1-3 2) In the case of Moses and Aaron - Num 20:12 3. Since we saw that ultimate penalty for sin is eternal torment, this emphasizes: a. How holy God must be b. How terrible sin must be B. SIN'S PROBLEM... 1. Sin places man in a terrible predicament a. For all have sinned - Ro 3:23 b. And the very nature of God (both holy and just) demands: 1) Separation of sinners from God 2) Punishment for our sins 2. Man is unable by himself to do anything a. There are no "works" that one can do to make himself innocent of the guilt of sin 1) E.g., a man who commits murder is not made innocent of that crime by living the rest of his life by the law 2) Yet many people think that they save themselves by balancing their good deeds against their sins b. Sin of any kind is so repulsive to God's holiness that His justice requires punishment 1) Look again at the sins referred to earlier in Re 21:8 2. Whether the sin is fear, lack of faith, lying, or murder, the "second death" is reserved for those who are guilty 3) Even is you commit just one sin, the nature of sin in the sight of a holy God is such that you are as guilty as one who broke every law - Jm 2:10 [Since we all sin (Ro 3:23), it appears we are all doomed to suffer God's justice! Is there any way that He can be both holy and just and yet allow sinful man to be "reconciled" to Him? Yes...] III. JESUS, THE WAY TO FORGIVENESS OF SINS A. HE IS THE PROPITIATION FOR SIN... 1. God has provided Jesus as a "propitiation" for our sins
- 1Jn 4:10 a. The word "propitiation" originally referred to an act or sacrifice that a man offered designed to appease a god b. As used in the Bible, it refers to that which God has done (not man) c. I.e., what man cannot do for himself, God has done! 2. He has offered His Son Jesus on the cross as a means to appease His justice a. Such was foretold by Isaiah nearly 700 years earlier
- Isa 53:5-6,10-11 b. Note that by the act of Christ's suffering the punishment due us for our own sins, we are forgiven of them - Isa 53: 11; cf. also Ep 1:7 c. Through Christ's death on the cross, we can come back to God, having been forgiven of our sins! 3. In this way, God is able to: a. Preserve His holiness when we are in His presence (for our sins have been forgiven by the blood of Christ) b. Maintain His justice (for our sins have been properly punished by the death of Christ) c. All the while demonstrating His love, grace and mercy! 4. And so, Jesus is The Way to forgiveness of sins, for He has been made a "propitiation" for our sins! [But how does one receive the wonderful blessing of having Jesus as the propitiation for our sins...?] B. RECEIVING JESUS AS THE WAY TO FORGIVENESS... 1. After His death for our sins, and following His glorious resurrection from the dead, Jesus charged His apostles with the commission to spread the good news - Mk 16:15-16 2. We read in Acts how this Great Commission was carried out a. In chapter two, we find Peter proclaiming the gospel for the first time 1) After presenting evidence that Jesus has truly risen from the dead and ascended to the right hand of God, Peter comes to climax of his sermon - Ac 2:36 2) Evidently many people believed what Peter said - Ac 2:37 a) "What shall we do?", they cried b) What can anyone do, who has realized that they are in need of salvation? 3) What Peter told them is what we should tell anyone today - Ac 2:38 4) Peter told those believed that they needed to repent and be baptized b. Likewise, in the case of the conversion of Saul (Paul) 1) Who had seen Jesus on the road to Damascus 2) Yet after praying and fasting for three days was told to be baptized - Ac 22:16 3. Just as Jesus commanded in Mark 16:16... a. When someone wanted to be saved through the blood of Jesus Christ b. They were told to be baptized for the remission (forgiveness) of their sins upon their believing in Jesus and repenting of their sins c. Faith (which includes confessing Jesus as Lord, Ro 10:9-10), repentance and baptism were the conditions by which one could receive Jesus and enjoy the forgiveness of sins! 4. Receive Jesus in baptism? a. Yes, note carefully what Paul wrote to the Galatians
- Ga 3:27 1) "as many of you" (no more and no less) 2) "as have been baptized into Christ" (as Jesus, Peter, etc., commanded) 3) "have put on Christ" (have received Jesus and all the blessings He offers). b. Thus, in obedience to the Lord in faith, repentance and baptism, we can receive the wonderful grace of God, who offered Jesus for our sins! - cf. He 5:9 CONCLUSION 1. I leave with you the fact that Jesus is The Way to forgiveness... a. Indeed, He is the only way b. For God has offered no other way whereby we can be reconciled to Him c. As Jesus said: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." - Jn 14:6 d. No other way solves the dilemma between man's sin and the holiness and justice of God! 2. Have you accepted Jesus in the way He commanded and His apostles taught...? a. Have you trusted in Him for salvation (faith)? b. Have you made the decision to turn from your sins (repentance)? c. Have you been immersed for the forgiveness of your sins (baptism)? If not, why not? Let Jesus be your way to forgiveness today!