WHAT mATTERS? Paid For or Forgiven?
He is risen! Hallelujah! And as important as His death was on the cross, we can only have eternal life because of His resurrection. Just before He was crucified, He promised, “…because I live, ye shall live also.” John 14:19 Without the resurrection of Jesus, everyone would still be spiritually dead in Adam, condemned to eternal death in our sin and sins. We are told, “The wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23 and Jesus said that if you don’t believe, “…you shall die in your sins.” John 8:24 Likewise, Paul told us, “…if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:17 This raises some questions then. 1) How could anyone be dead in their sins if Jesus paid for them on the cross? The answer is, someone who is dead, simply lacks life. It is when you believe that you receive eternal life. Until then, you are spiritually dead. John 3:18 2) Aren’t we all forgiven by God because of Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the cross? Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient to secure forgiveness, but not effective until faith is applied. So then, payment for sin and sins happened at the cross whether someone believes it or not. 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 John 2:2 Forgiveness for sin and sins happens by faith when we believe it. John 3:16; Romans 1:16 Faith and forgiveness go hand in hand. “And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.” Luke 5:17-26
Jesus commanded us to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15 The good news message that we are to preach for salvation, is that Jesus paid the full penalty on the cross, was buried, then rose again. The tragedy is that some, having heard this message of grace and mercy don’t believe it, and are “…yet in their trespasses and sins.” They remain spiritually dead in Adam, having no life, never having applied the truth to their own condition, not truly believing the facts. John 3:16-18 However, to those who hear, and believe, and say yes to the Gospel, receive forgiveness, life, and all the other benefits of having their sin and sins paid for. The fact that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins does not give us forgiveness and eternal life until we believe it.
What matters is that you have acknowledged and then fully trusted and applied the Gospel personally. If you are not sure you have ever done this, today is a good day to do so. “…now is the day of salvation.” 2 Corinthians 6:2 By faith, thank God that the penalty of eternal death and hell has been paid for by Jesus and receive both the payment and the forgiveness of your sins. It is then that you will experience the life of Jesus living in you, true Christianity. “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” 1 John 5:11-12