Many religions will have us believe that we can “earn” God’s forgiveness through works – give financial aid, support those who come to us for help, and pray for those in need. And these good deeds for this purpose should stay with that religion because it is NOT a prerequisite from the Lord for forgiveness, and nowhere in the Bible will you ever read that you have to earn His forgiveness or that it’s even possible to try.
We cannot “earn” forgiveness from God because He is Holy and perfect and there is no one equal to Him. We are filled with sin from conception and were separated from God because of that sin. If we could earn forgiveness then that would make us par with God without a clean heart, and Christ’s mission to the cross would be for nothing.
What does that mean? It means that no matter how much He loves us, we will NEVER be holy enough on our own merits to come into His presence. Why? Because we are filled with sin – a sin that was inherited to us by our earthy parents that started with Adam and Eve. God will not allow sin to come into his presence and that’s why He had to evict Adam and Eve from the Garden when they sinned.
The only way to receive God’s forgiveness – aka God’s grace, God’s inheritance, God’s blessings – is through repentance. We must come to God with a heart that cries out for Him; with a heart that wants to be like His; with a heart that wants to be able to love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength (Mark 12:30).
We need to have a humble heart that repents for the sin that’s in us. But it’s not our fault we have sin, so why do we need to repent of it? Because with a humble heart comes the ability to know that we have to get the sin off of us in order to come into God’s presence. We realize that this inherited sin will keep us away from God and will eventually send us right to hell – where all sin has to go in the end.
We must come to the cross and accept the sacrifice that Jesus gave when He was crucified on that cross. Jesus was perfect and without sin because His father was God, not man. He went to the cross and died even though there was no sin in Him, and even though there was no legal reason for Him to be crucified. So why did He die on the cross then? So that He could take on ALL of OUR SIN, and with that sin He was sent down into the pits of hell where all sin goes. But, Jesus didn’t stay there. He dropped that sin there and once He was free of it He rose again, Holy and pure because He was once again filled with God’s spirit. And we were freed of that inherited sin.
When we accept this sacrifice that He made for us, then we will be able to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. We can ask Him to wash us and cleanse us and make us whole as our hearts desire to be with Him, and in doing this God will look at each of us and forgive us or pardon us. And we will no longer belong to the world that is yet to be judged. We will belong to Him.
When Jesus rose He went to Heaven to be with God our Father. He is our example, our leader, and if we accept what He did for us, we too will rise to be with God our Father when we leave this world. But while we’re here, we are free of the inherited sin and Jesus gives us HIS spirit so that we can talk to God, praise God, worship God, walk with God and become His faithful child.
We have done nothing to earn His forgiveness and we can never ever do anything to even think that we could come close to earning it. The salvation that Jesus gave us is the ONLY way to get God’s forgiveness. Jesus says in John 10:9, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” That pasture is Heaven and Jesus is the ONLY way to get there.
We are not perfect and we are not better than anyone else. We are forgiven through God’s grace – and that grace is His Son, Jesus. And we must never think that there is any other way to get God’s forgiveness except through the cross.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”… John 3:16
Praise the Lord that through Him and the sacrifice He gave on the cross, we are forgiven.