[CF Devotionals] 2007-01-20 - Basic Beliefs

Part 13 - Based on The Apostle's Creed

"The forgiveness of sins"

This is probably the most bottom-line belief of our Christian faith. WIthout belief in the forgiveness of sins there is no Christian faith. As I sat down to write this devotional - I realized that through the years I have heard sermons about this topic over a hundred times. Countless articles and songs have been written about forgiveness. Books and movies have treated the subject as well.To me - one of the most poignant treatments of the subject was the popular movie "The Fisher King" which starred Robin Williams. It's not likely that I will have anything original to say.

But as we hear many times in the Bible - we are to retell the stories of God's providence. We are to share them not only with those who have not yet heard - but also to repeat them to those who are already familiar with them. In fact one of the reasons we have the Bible as we know it today is the oral tradition of retelling the stories.

Many of us memorized in childhood a Bible verse that summarizes the Christian Gospel of forgiveness in a nutshell:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son - that whosever believes in Him shall not perish but shall have everlasting life.

Let's lay out the facts of the case:

  1. We - every single one of us - are sinful. We are born that way (Romans 3:23; Psalm 51:5).
  2. Left to our own devices we would be spending eternity in Hell - because only the sinless and pure will be able to spend eternity in Heaven with God (Colossians 1:21-22).
  3. We cannot earn salvation; it's completely a gift. We have no bragging rights in the matter (Ephesians 2:8-9).
  4. God intervened and provided a perfect Sacrifice in His Son - to become our righteousness. If we depend on Christ's sacrifice for our salvation - we are assured that we will spend eternity with God (Hebrews 9:11-28).

So simple that sometimes we tend to overcomplicate it; we just can't believe anything can be that simple - or that free. Should we do good works? Absolutely but that doesn't have anything to do with earning our salvation.

Normally a good guideline in life (and especially online) is "if it seems too good to be true - it is." It's a scam. But in this case - it really is "too good." "What you see is what you get."

To be continued.

Jan

[email jan] cfdevpray@juno.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org