"In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" - Colossians 1:14
The word that Paul uses for "forgiveness" in this verse means, "to treat offenses as though they had never been committed." This is, in capsule form, the glorious doctrine of justification by faith alone.
Justification by faith alone is based upon five Biblical propositions:
1.) Nothing less than perfect obedience of God's law can save a sinner.
2.) No human being of Adam's race can keep God's law perfectly.
3.) Because nothing but perfect obedience can save us, and because we cannot offer a perfect obedience of our own to God, this means that no one can justify himself before God by good works.
4.) The believer's justification before God is based solely upon Christ's obeying the law perfectly on behalf of the sinner, and taking the punishment for the sinner's law-breaking as the sinless Lamb of God upon the cross.
5.) God declares the sinner righteous at conversion, imputing the perfect righteousness of Christ to him, "treating offenses as though they had never been committed." Our justification is complete and final at conversion. There is not, as some teach today, a "future justification" based on works.
Justified, once and for all! These five propositions are our focus this week as we continue our series, Christ Above All: Studies in Colossians.