Everyone Who Believes in Him Receives the Forgiveness of Sins
There is nothing more pressing than one should receive forgiveness of sins. It is sin that separates man from God and invites God’s just wrath (Rom 1:18). Sin warrants justice because God must maintain His righteousness, especially as Judge of the whole earth (Gen 18:25). He must, and He always does do right.
In the sinful pride of natural man, there is a penchant for performing good works, in order to reconcile oneself to God. The Apostle Paul retorts, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned to him as righteousness (Rom 4:5).”
The Apostle John taught that whosoever believes in Jesus shall not perish, but they have everlasting life (Jn 3:16). It is Jesus Himself who gives eternal life to those whom the Father has given Him (Jn 17:2–3, 6, 24). They receive Jesus by the will of God (Jn 1:12–13; Rom 9:16). It is God’s will and purpose to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21; Eph 3:11), having chosen them for salvation (2 Thess 2:13), from before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4–5; Rev 13:8; 17:8).
When Peter, the Apostle, preached that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins (Acts 10:43), he was once again privy to the miraculous baptism of the Holy Spirit, who fell upon his Gentile hearers, as he preached Christ crucified to them (Acts 10:44). This was the same as the Day of Pentecost when he preached in the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2).
The Spirit of God fills the man of God to preach the Word of God (1 Pet 1:12), which is heard by all men (Mt 24:14; Mk 16:15). The Word of life, truth, and faith, employed by the Spirit of truth and life, is the One who gives faith, as a gift of God, granted to those He baptizes, by His grace (Acts 2:38; 10:45; Eph 2:8–9; Phil 1:29).
Not all people have faith in Jesus Christ (2 Thess 3:2), so not all people have the forgiveness of sins (Acts 10:43), nor has the grace of repentance from sin been granted to them (Acts 5:31). They are not recipients of God’s grace, seeing that they have not the Spirit of adoption (Rom 8:9). Without the Spirit, there is no transfer into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Col 1:13), nor are these people found in the Beloved (Eph 1:6) because they are not of God (Jn 8:47).
In Christ Jesus, the eternal covenant of grace, has its precious blood atonement (Lev 16), which was poured out for many (Mt 26:28). Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin (Heb 9:22), and without the sprinkling application that accompanies the shedding, there is no mercy (Heb 9:13; 11:28; Rom 9:15, 22).
God has mercy upon whom He will have mercy (Rom 9:15), which means it is by His gracious choice, which ones are the remnant from every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rom 11:5; Rev 5:9).
Thus, believers in Jesus are God’s chosen people, a holy nation of royal priests, who have been redeemed from the marketplace of sin (Rom 6:6; 1 Pet 2:9). They trust in the Lord because He has accomplished what concerns them (Prv 3:5–6; Ps 57:2; 138:8). God’s elect, redeemed people are the “whosoever believes (Jn 3:16).” They are the ones who call upon the name of the Lord in prayer (Joel 2:32; Rom 10:13).
God’s Spirit has brought God’s Word into the hearts of the those to whom He was sent (Jn 14:26; 15:26; 2 Cor 5:5). The Spirit and the Word give life (Jn 6:63), the life of God, to those who are permanently indwelt (Rom 8:9, 11; Heb 13:5).
Faith in Jesus Christ comes by hearing and hearing comes because of the Word preached (Rom 10:17). The Spirit of Christ opens the ears of the spiritually deaf. It is only by the grace of God that those with ears can hear the voice of the Good Shepherd calling to His own sheep (Jn 10:2; Rom 8:30; 2 Thess 2:14). He says, “Come to Me, you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest (Mt 11:28).”
The obedience of faith is the gracious product of the commandment of the eternal God (Rom 16:26). As the Word of God spreads (Acts 6:7), through the witnesses empowered by the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8), the called of Jesus Christ are gathered (baptized) into His church (1 Cor 12:13), which is His body of believing members (Is 49:6; Eph 3:6).
The called of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:6; 8:30) follow in His steps (1 Pet 2:21), as they walk in God’s statutes (Ezek 36:27), according to the Spirit (Rom 8:4). Walking by the Spirit of holiness (Gal 5:16; Rom 1:4), and being constantly washed by the water of the Word (Eph 5:26), the called saints of God (Rom 1:7) now have Christ in them (Gal 2:20), perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Cor 7:1).
Believers in Jesus, live by faith in the Son of God, who loved them and who gave Himself for them. The life of faith is simply walking in the manner of one’s calling, to trust in the sovereignty of God, who made a blood covenant for the forgiveness of sins, and for the bringing of His many sons to glory (Heb 2:10).
My dear reader, if the forgiveness of sins is applied, only to believers in Jesus Christ, then God will ensure that every single one of His foreknown elect will receive the benefits of Christ’s meritorious work. Therefore, whosoever believes, is whosoever has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, which is whosoever Christ redeemed, which is exactly whosoever was chosen for salvation, by God the Father before the world began. These believers are the forgiven ones of God.
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
November 17, 2020