What does the bible say about forgiveness? I have done a lot of bad things in my past. How do I begin to walk a righteous path?
Sin is the disobeying of God’s commandments. The penalty for each and every sin is eternal death. Ezekiel 18:4
We are all sinners – whether we consider our sins to be large or small – and are all condemned by the Law of God. Ignorance of it is no defence. 1 John 3:4; Romans 3:23; Romans 5:12
After the serpent beguiled Eve, she and Adam sinned by eating the forbidden fruit. For this they were condemned to death. They were barred from accessing the tree of life. But God promised that a son born of a woman would ‘bruise the head of the serpent’ i.e. undo the consequences of the serpent’s deception. Genesis 3:15
In the account of Abraham, we learn that this ‘seed’ would also be a descendant of Abraham. Genesis 22:18
Paul tells us that this promised ‘seed’ is Christ. Galatians 3:16
God fathered a Son, Jesus, by Mary, a descendant of Abraham. Jesus was born with our nature but never sinned. He gave his perfect life as a sacrifice to make atonement for the sins of all those down the ages who believed God’s promise and made a determined effort to obey God in their lives. Because he had not sinned, God raised him to eternal life – a guarantee that he will also raise those who believe in him.
Jesus preached the ‘good news’ – the Gospel – of the kingdom of God. God’s purpose is to establish his kingdom upon the earth. Numbers 14:21 This will happen when Jesus returns from heaven.
Jesus and his apostles explain what we must do if we want our sins forgiven and be given eternal life in the kingdom of God.
Jesus laid down his life for those who will make a determined effort to live by his commandments. John 15:13
We cannot live a sinless life, but if we make a determined effort to live by Jesus’ commandments (walk in the light) we are promised that sins we commit through weakness will be forgiven by confession in prayer. 1 John 1:7
Belief in and obedience to the Gospel is classed as ‘faith’ – and our faith will be accounted for righteousness in the day of Christ’s return.
There is only one sin too great to be forgiven, and that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit – as committed by the Jewish leaders when they attributed Jesus’ miracles to Beelzebub, a fictitious pagan god. We cannot commit this sin today because miracles ceased with the death of the apostles. Mark 3:28
Whatever our past has been, when we understand the Gospel, we have a God-given opportunity to obey it and begin a new life in Christ.
Saul, who became known as Paul is an example – a Pharisee who persecuted the early church. Acts 8:1-3; Acts 9:1,2
Paul says of himself that he was the "least of the Apostles because he once was a persecutor of Christians" 1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13
After Saul’s experience on the way to Damascus, Ananias is sent to him with a message to "Arise and be baptized": Acts 22:16
In Romans 5:6-21, Paul writes about the grace of God which he experienced.
When we are baptised, we are baptised into a body of believers and must play our part in the edification of our fellow believers. We are not to forsake the assembling together. Hebrews 10:25
There is one ordinance to be kept and that is to meet often to share bread and wine in remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice. We are to take this as an opportunity to examine ourselves in the light of his commandments. 1 Corinthians 11:23; 1 Thessalonians 5:11
I hope you find this helpful.