When Christians Sin
When we repent and are baptized for the forgiveness of our sins (Acts 2:38), in order to be saved (Mark 16:16), God takes away every sin we have ever committed (Acts 22:16). He wipes our slate clean (1 Corinthians 6:11). Not only does He give us a new beginning and we are born again (John 3:3, 5), but we are also raised to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:3-4). But after we have been baptized and God has taken away all of our sins, what do we do when we commit other sins? How do we get forgiveness of these sins? For the answer to this let us look at the Epistle of First John. First John was written to Christians who had been baptized for the forgiveness of their sins, just as you and I have been. John says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8). Notice he says "we", which includes himself as having sinned after becoming a Christian.
How do we continue to be forgiven of our sins after we become a Christian? 1 John 1:7 says, "But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin." Here this verse says we must be doing two things so that the blood of Jesus Christ will continue to cleanse us of all our sins. First we must "walk in the light", that is we must be following God’s word in the Bible. Second we must "have fellowship one with another", that is we must be regularly worshipping God in His church and be working with other Christians. The original Greek word, "KATHARIZO" is translated as "cleanses", is in the present tense which means there is continual cleansing of our sins. The problem with those who have become unfaithful in their worship and service to God, results in one not having fellowship with one another; therefore, they are no longer receiving forgiveness of their sins.
Then we continue to read the next verse 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We must repent and ask God to forgive us, and He will. When we stand before the Lord on Judgment Day we will have no sins and we will go to Heaven. This is very comforting to know that we are being continually cleansed if we are faithful to God in following His instructions.
Many people believe repentance is only when you feel sorrow, guilt, or shame for sin; but this is not repentance. The Bible says, "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death" (2 Corinthians 7:10). If one is only sorry he got caught, then this will not lead to repentance. Godly sorrow helps bring on repentance. Repentance is not just sorrow for sin, but one cannot repent without being sorry he has sinned. "Let the wicked forsake his way…let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him…for He will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:7). In repentance, one must first understand he has sinned, feel sorrow for his sin, and then stop and turn away from that sin. There must be changes in our lives.
"Truly, the times of this ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). All people are commanded to repent. It is not possible for anyone, except our Lord, to live a sin-free life, but this is no excuse for our sinning. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). "If we say we have not sinned, we make Him a liar; and His word is not in us" (1 John 1:10). We also read in 2 Peter 3:9, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." It is God’s goodness that should lead us to repentance. "Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing the goodness of God leads you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4).
Paul says, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!" (Romans 6:1-2). To show our repentance we are to "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance" (Matthew 3:8). Why should we repent of sins? "For the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Spiritual death is separation from God in eternity. Jesus says, "I tell you no, but unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). Unless one repents of his sins, he cannot go to Heaven, but will eternally suffer the torments of Hell. We must give up our sin and "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body" (Romans 6:12).
If one is an alien sinner then he must, "Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38). But if one is a child of God who has sinned then he must, "Repent of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you" (Acts 8:22). We must repent before we ask God to forgive us. Our repentance also includes our confessing our sins. "He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes his sin shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).
Repentance is a change of heart, which results in a change of actions for the better. Without repentance we cannot receive forgiveness and be saved. Where we spend eternity, in Heaven or Hell, is determined by our repentance and obedience. All of Heaven is anxious for us to repent. Jesus says, "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).
Questions Lesson #13
1) (1 John 1:7) What must the Christian do for the blood of Christ to continually cleanse him from sin?
Walk in the light of God's word and have fellowship with one another.
Stop committing some of the sins.
2) (1 John 1:9) If a Christian will confess his sins, God will forgive him of his sins.
3) (2 Corinthians 7:10) What produces repentance?
4) (Isaiah 55:7) When a Christian sins and returns to the Lord, He will forgive him.
5) (2 Peter 3:9) Who does the Lord want to perish?
As many people as possible.
Only a few.
6) (Acts 17:30) God does not now command all men everywhere to repent.
7) (Romans 2:4) What leads us to repentance?
The goodness of God.
Because we got caught.
So we won't go to jail.
8) (Romans 6:1-2) We should continue to sin so God's grace may abound.
9) (Acts 8:22) A Christian who has sinned
Must repent and pray for forgiveness.
Doesn't have to do anything to be forgiven.
Should try not to commit that sin as often.
10) (Proverbs 28:13) It is good to try to cover up our sins so others will not find out about them.
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