Forgiveness of SinsQUESTION: Is forgiveness of sins free?ANSWER:
Forgiveness of sins is absolutely free to all people. Isaiah 55:7 says, "Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon." The Bible says repeatedly that salvation and the forgiveness of our sins is a gift that has been given to us from God.
In Ephesians 2:8-9 the Bible says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." There is no effort that man can make to earn forgiveness and no amount of money that he can pay for it either. It is a gift given freely by God.
Acts 8:20 demonstrates the conflict we have, "Peter answered: 'May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!'" Man struggles to accept that the gift of forgiveness is truly free. In this world, our concept has become "we give to receive" or "you only get what you pay for."
Romans 4:4 says, "Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation." When we come to recognize that we have sinned, we also realize that a penalty has to be paid for that sin. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." 1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." All we really have to do is admit that we have sinned and then claim our free gift.
If God's forgiveness is free - well, somebody has got to pay! Romans 3:22-24 says, "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."
Hebrews 9:27-28 reiterates this statement: "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him."
What is so special about man that God would send Jesus from his place of royalty in beautiful and wondrous heaven down to earth to become a lowly man and suffer persecution, pain, shame, and death as a criminal to pay the price of forgiveness for man's sin? We find the answer to that question in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."