When an Israelite asks forgiveness for sin, forgiveness must take place in the mind of God, for it is against God that we have sinned. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23; 5:12) However, he is not speaking of all the races on earth here, he is speaking ONLY about True Israel. One may feel deep remorse for sin, and determine to never sin again; he may punish himself, perform good works with great sacrifice, or receive expert counseling from psychologists, yet have no assurance of forgiveness from God. He might attend religious services where his emotions are stirred with feelings of ecstasy, and even be convinced by some Judeo-Christian evantelist that he has “been saved.” In his own mind he may think he is forgiven. But has forgivness taken place in the mind of God?
Many heathen experience remorse for wrongs they have committed, which we call sin, but they do not because their God is not the Christian God, They may even bequeath millions to orphanages, or give all their money to the poor, yet they remain unsaved in the eyes of God.
Since God is the one sinned against, He is the only one who can forgive, and He has provided only one means for our forgiveness. “The blood of Jesus Christ, his son, cleanses us of all sin.” (1 John 1:7) “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3) This is the result of God’s great mercy and grace to His Israel people and because Christ Redeemed us to Him. No one deserves His forgiveness, and no one can earn it. In love He gave Himself, in a flesh body, to pay the penalty for sin, that believers might not perish but might have everlasting life.
Grace is what God extends to His Israel people. Faith is what man extends toward God. There is no forgiveness without both. “By grace have you been saved through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8) By grace God provides forgiveness through Chrit; by faith we received it.
When we say that we are saved by grace alone, we do not mean that grace stands alone. We mean that we do not deserve salvation, that we cannot earn it by our good works, and that we can contribute nothing toward our salvation; therefore it is by God’s grace