The Apostles' Creed: The Forgiveness of Sins

The Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins ,
the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.


The Word

1 John 1:9 (CSB) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

The Belief

We Are Forgiven: Christ Has Promised Us

Matthew 9:2 (CSB) Just then some men brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.”

John 8:10-11 (CSB) When Jesus stood up, he said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? ”
“No one, Lord,” she answered.
“Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus. “Go, and from now on do not sin anymore.”

He declares it to be true and so it is. Because he made this promise before the foundation of the world.

Ephesians 1:4-6 (CSB) For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One.

But God is not a being like you or me that will say one thing and never do it. God is the opposite of us in that when he says he will do something, it is done.

When it comes to saving his people from their sins, he has already done it. He sent his Son to us to live and die for us so that we would die and live with him forever.

God is not a God who just speaks. God is the God of Action. He says he will do something by making a covenant of redemption between the Father and the Son and sealed by the Holy Spirit to redeem his people.

Romans 4:20-22 (CSB) He did not waver in unbelief at God’s promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what God had promised, he was also able to do. Therefore, it was credited to him for righteousness.

We Are Forgiven: Christ Has Died for Us

Make no mistake

Hebrews 9:22-28 (CSB) According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Therefore, it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves to be purified with better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands (only a model of the true one) but into heaven itself, so that he might now appear in the presence of God for us. He did not do this to offer himself many times, as the high priest enters the sanctuary yearly with the blood of another. Otherwise, he would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for people to die once — and after this, judgment — so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Christ has died for our sin because in order to cleanse the sin away, their must be a sacrifice.

That is where even some Christians will balk at the law of God. "Why does someone have to die for one little mistake." But we forget that all have sinned and fallen way, way short of the glory of God. God is holy and pure and untouched by sin and we are infected by sin. He cannot permit sin in his presence.

Yet, at the same time, he must rescue his people.

Since his people have no chance in heaven to get to him on their own, the Father sent his Son to dwell in the flesh, to be the Second Adam, perfectly obeying the covenant of works so that we will all be saved.

We Are Forgiven: Christ Has Saved Us

Romans 10:8-13 (CSB) On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, Everyone who believes on him will not be put to shame, since there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, because the same Lord of all richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Matthew 1:21 (CSB) She will give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”