Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things – Acts 13:38-39
How strange that it could ever be truthfully said that “through this man”—any mere man—could be found forgiveness of sins!
Imagine (and I recognize this may actually be true for you) that you have never heard the gospel preached or taught from the Bible. If you then read these words, would you not immediately ask, or at least wonder, what man is spoken of here? And how could he possibly take away my sins?
If you did ponder that question, it would be the wisest and most important question you could ever ask. Because, ultimately, there is nothing more important than having your sins forgiven by the holy and sovereign God, who will one day judge his universe.
The answer, of course, is in the context of Paul’s sermon at an ancient Jewish synagogue. And he is speaking of the very man whom he used to despise and persecute—Jesus Christ.
Through Jesus Christ, Paul says, forgiveness of sins is found. By him all that believe on him are justified (they are declared innocent) in the court of God’s judgment.
This is because Jesus took the sins of his people upon himself when he was crucified. Every believer is assured, then, that their sins have been paid for, have already been punished, and so they will not be judged for them.
This is the gospel. This is the good news of Jesus Christ. This man is able to justify those who believe from all things, no matter how terrible the sin may be.