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Acts 13:38 declares, "Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you." What is forgiveness and why do I need it? The word "forgive" means...
After reading Michaels comments above and applying faith to what you have read and believe is when you will begin to understand forgiveness. It can only be obtained by faith. You must believe that Jesus is the only sacifice that can take away the eternal consequence of sin. God forgave the world after Jesus was raised from the dead, when He completed the process. Once the process was complete then all of mankind has been forgiven of their sin. As God by the Holy Spirit moves on your heart He will give you the faith to receive what He has done for you. This is what Jesus said and if you cannot believe then ask for help; Mark 9:23-24 3 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. KJV When we have a struggle in life with believing what God has said we can do just what this man did, we can ask God to help us with our unbelief. The bible says God gives every man a measure of faith, so we can ask for the faith to help us believe. Reading your bible will help, it will bring faith, Romans 10:17 Stop focusing on your sin if your are doing so. If you are a born again Christian then you are the righteousness of God in Christ and His righteousness remains forever. Focus on your right standing with God and not on sin, this will help a lot as well. Be blessed more and keep on keeping on. :)
Ask for forgiveness, and then accept that it has been offered! Simple really: don't ask, don't get! It works across all aspects of life. If you don't ask if you can have a job, why would anyone offer you one?
To make it simple, you asked how to receive forgiveness of sins. The Scriptures gives us two answers to that- 1. I John 1 says that “if we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. So, we confess, admit it that we did it. But, it doesn’t say anything beyond confessing and how to do that. Fortunately Christ gives us specifics on this in the gospels 2. Seek forgiveness from the Apostles. In John 20 we see Jesus appearing to the disciples in the upper room after His resurrection. He gave them His authority on Earth since He was returning to Heaven soon. In verse 23 He says to them, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven, and whose sins you retain are retained”. He gave the apostles His authority to forgive or withhold forgiveness of sins. Obviously they cannot do this if they don’t know what the sin is. So, in conjunction with I John, we confess our sins to the Apostles (their successors since the original apostles are dead), and God, through them, forgives us. As you look into history you will discover that Christians always believed and taught forgiveness through the authority of the apostles, until Luther, who was not given the authority to do so, removed that requirement. Therefore, that requirement still stands.
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