Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. . . .
— Psalm 103:2-3

We don’t always like to bring up the topic of sin. But in our life of faith it’s necessary to face up to our desperate predicament. Sadly, none of us acts the way we should toward God, others, ourselves, and God’s creation. We persistently choose to disregard our maker, contend with others, deceive and harm ourselves, and mistreat creation. Our sin not only leads to trouble and misery but also shows that we rightfully deserve punishment.
So with great relief and joy we confess, with the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in . . . the forgiveness of sins.” The heart of the creed’s teaching emphasizes our need for the Savior, Jesus Christ. Through his atoning sacrifice, Jesus washed away our sin. Even though we still continue to struggle with sin, Jesus assures us that God will not judge us as we deserve because we have been forgiven.
The forgiveness of sins stands at the core of following Jesus. Because we have been for­given, we can, through the power and help of the Holy Spirit, strive each day to faithfully serve Jesus.
As he gave himself for us, out of thanksgiving we can live for him.

Lord Jesus, you gave yourself so that we can be forgiven. Now help us to give ourselves to you in loving gratitude and service to others. In your name we pray. Amen.

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