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What We Believe: Forgiveness of Sins

February 19, 2017 Speaker: Fred Greco Series: What We Believe

Topic: AM Service Passage: Romans 4:1–8

We all long for peace, happiness, and tranquility. You can’t help but see this as you wade through the mountains of self-help books, audio materials, and conferences. We don’t like to be in a tight spot or ashamed because we are guilty of something. That is why the very core of every religion or philosophical system in the world is a doctrine of how to be at peace with the world and its creator. Amazingly, virtually every religion has the same prescription for how to be at peace: you work and obtain it. No matter how much they differ in the details, every religion has the same basic tenet. Every religion, that is, except one – biblical Christianity. At the core of Christianity is the belief that we cannot do anything to bring ourselves peace or to make us right with our Creator, God. Christianity never says “Do!” and in fact, the Bible tells us that any attempt at doing only moves us further away from God. The Bible teaches us that there is only one way to be right with God, and that is to “believe,” specifically to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sin is a very real problem in our lives and the world today if we are honest enough to look. But there is a solution to sin, a solution to the problem of peace with God. That solution is to find forgiveness of sins. We find that forgiveness at the foot of the cross, believing that Jesus Christ did what we cannot do for ourselves. There is hope in knowing “What We Believe: Forgiveness of Sins” (Romans 4:1-8).

“An individual must contribute his or her own effort for personal salvation.” - 74% evangelicals agree
“By the good deeds that I do, I partly contribute to earning my place in heaven.” - 38% evangelicals agree

I. Forgiveness is Not By Works
A. If By Works, We Do Not Need God
B. If By Works, We Could Boast
C. If By Works, Sin Does Not Matter

II. Forgiveness is By Grace
A. Comes From God
B. Received By Faith
C. Counted As Righteousness

Questions for consideration: (1) Why does Paul think that believing forgiveness comes by works is so dangerous? Have you ever been tempted to believe that? What was the result on your life? (2) Why can’t we believe that forgiveness is partly by grace and partly by works? (3) What is faith? What do you have to believe to have forgiveness for sin? Why isn’t faith itself a work (something you do)?

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