Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.Acts 13:38-39 NIV
These verses are the climax to Paul’s first sermon in the synagogue of Pisidian Antioch. In this sermon, he looked back at the promise made to David and the message of John the Baptist. In both of these, there was a promise of salvation. And Paul declared that this salvation came through Jesus.
This message of salvation through Jesus was at the heart of Paul’s message to the Gentiles. Our sin has separated us from God. But through Jesus, we can experience forgiveness of sins. Everyone who believes is set free from the consequences of their sin. To believe in Jesus involves putting your trust and faith in him. Not as a one-time act but as an ongoing action. Those who believe, and continue to believe, are forgiven.
And through Jesus, we experience justification. Justification is a legal term that means to declare righteous. Because of what Jesus did on the cross, the righteousness of Jesus is imputed to us. And, as a result, God sees me as having the righteousness of Jesus. There is nothing I can do to obtain this righteousness. Nor can the Law given through Moses produce it. But to those who believe, forgiveness is freely given. All who put their faith and hope in Jesus will experience this forgiveness of sins and justification.