When we are saved, our past sins are wiped away, but what happens when we sin after receiving salvation? There are two popular answers:
We lose our salvation if we willingly sin.
It doesn’t matter because we’re already forgiven.
Are these right? Let’s see what the Bible says.
When we Christians sin, our standing with God is unchanged (Ephesians 1:13-14; 2:8-9). … Those who are true believers are sealed and salvation is secure. We aren’t saved by works and we don’t lose it through works.
When we Christians sin, our fellowship with God is disrupted (Ephesians 4:30). … Even though Christians are guaranteed salvation, that doesn’t mean sin has no effect on us or God. Our sin affects our ability to worship and spend time with God.
Our prayers are hindered (Psalm 66:18; 1 Peter 3:7). … We are told that cherishing sin (including disrespecting your spouse) hinders our prayer life.
We experience God’s discipline (Revelation 3:19). … Jesus tells us He rebukes and disciplines those He loves.
Look back at the two popular answers. Is either right? No, they are both on the extreme ends of the spectrum. The first is legalistic and the second treats God’s grace as a simple get out of Hell free card.
What do we do as Christians who have sinned? We follow the advice of Revelation 3:19: we earnestly repent.
We also have a tradition that helps us remember this: The Lord’s Supper or Communion. It forces us to consider Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, and that should repentance.
1 John 1:5-10 is a great message about how to live as believers. It calls for us to live in the light of our Savior and to be honest and confess our sins.