Yesterday, I discussed how the forgiveness of sins is the answer to the why of human existence.
This morning, I want to take a look at six key pieces of New Testament evidence that forgiveness of sins is central to the Gospel message.
1. DAY OF PENTECOST: Not long after Jesus leaves the disciples, during the Day of Pentecost, Peter preaches, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
2. FIRST MESSAGE TO GENTILES: During the first Gospel message to now-Jewish people, Peter again states “And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.” (Acts 10:42-43)
3. PAUL PREACHING IN ANTIOCH: The Apostle Paul, on his first missionary journey, preaching in Antioch with urgency. “Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins.” (Acts 13:38)
4. PAUL WRITING TO ROME: The Apostle Paul once again, except in a letter to the church in Rome. “When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.” (Rom. 4:4-5)
5. PAUL WRITING TO EPHESUS: The Apostle Paul once again, within a letter to the church in Ephesus. “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” (Eph. 1:7)
6. JOHN’S FIRST LETTER: In John’s first letter to the church, he writes “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 9)
As you cans see, for the early church, there was no denying that their call and their duty. The forgiveness of sins had to be included as a central piece of understanding, within the Gospel message.
Do you have any further Biblical evidence to share, centring around the forgiveness of sins?