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If I am saved and all of my sins are forgiven, why not continue to sin?

When we are born, we are born into a sin nature. That means that we are literally unable to not sin and be perfect. When Adam and Eve fell from grace in the Garden of Eden by eating fruit from the tree that God told them they could not eat from, they introduced sin into the world (Genesis 3:6-7). Now, every human being since them has had a curse upon them. Because of this, we are helpless in our pursuit of a right relationship with our Creator, which is what we are ultimately created for.

The good news however, is that God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to live a perfect life, and then die on the Cross to forgive us of all of our sins. Those who believe this to be true will have a right relationship with God restored and be given eternal life with Him. Once we accept Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection as the payment for our sins, and confess our sins to God, we are saved and forgiven of all our sins. This is great news, right? (Learn more about salvation here: How can I be saved?)

Well, unfortunately we still get ourselves tangled up in sins every day. And if we're honest, we sometimes find those sins fun, don't we? So if all of our sins are forgiven anyway, does that mean we have a "license to sin"? Why don't we copy the homework of a really smart friend, or lie to our parents to get out of something, or stop worrying about talking to God? God will forgive us, right?

Let me suggest three reasons that, even though we are forgiven, we should not still continue to sin:

  1. Sinning damages our relationship with those closest to us. When we sin, whether by telling a lie, saying hurtful words, or stealing, it makes a negative impact on our loved ones. Our family and friends may no longer trust us. They might not even want to hang out with us anymore. Even the smallest thing can turn into a big deal. If God says something violates His perfect law, it is sin. To commit a sin, even expecting to be forgiven for it later, will hurt our relationships and violate that sacred trust that is so hard to find.
  2. Sinning damages our relationship with ourselves. When we sin, we damage our inward relationship with ourselves through frustration or guilt. For one who has truly accepted Christ, the guilt of sin may weigh so heavily on their shoulders that they cannot think of anything else. This is not the life that God intended for you to live.

    He died for you so that you may be forgiven of your sin, but also so that you can live an abundant life FREE from that need to sin (John 10:10). You cannot possibly live an abundant life if you are wrapped up in guilt and shame. Also, God allows consequences to happen to us when we sin. Even though we are eternally forgiven, sin still has consequences on this earth. Pain, scars, and other things may happen to us as a result of that sin. God has created these boundaries in part for our own protection. He knows what we should and shouldn't do to keep us safe, joyful, and healthy in all aspects of our lives.
  3. Sinning damages our relationship with God. We were stuck in our sin before we accepted the gift of Jesus' death as payment for the penalty of our own sin. God wants to forgive and wants to restore our relationship with Him. When we intentionally sin, it hinders our relationship with our Creator because it insults Jesus's sacrifice on the cross. He did not die a brutal death so that we could keep intentionally sinning and expect to be forgiven. He came so that we could be forgiven, be made holy, and have the ability to choose to stop sinning.

    That's what's called freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 3:17). Galatians 5:13 says, "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Once we've accepted His love and His gift of salvation, when we sin, we can feel the separation from God. God does not want us to live a life of sin, but a life worthy of the calling we have received in Him (Ephesians 4:1).

We can't totally avoid sin all the time.

Yes, sin will always be at the door of our lives, trying to get its way in. Even the apostle Paul struggled with sin (Romans 7:7-25), but we have the good news that as Jesus died for our sins, so also we have died to sin with Him, and have been raised to life with Him. We are not slaves to sin anymore. Sin is not our master; God is our master. Sin harms us; God helps us.

When we truly surrender and choose to make life choices based on God's will, we grow our love for Him more and more. Perhaps one day, we won't even want to sin anymore. Perhaps at some point, we will come to hate sin, just as God hates sin (Psalm 5:5). Yes, we will always struggle with sin, but as long as we are struggling, that means that we haven't given in to it. Intentionally sinning without remorse or a desire to repent is not something one who has truly accepted Christ will want to do. God will forgive us when we sincerely repent. That's true grace for true sin. I'll leave you with this thought from the apostle Paul:

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life...

"For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin...Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires...For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace." —Romans 6:1-4, 6-7, 12, 14

TL;DR

Our sin nature makes it literally impossible to NOT sin. Sin damages our relationships with others, ourselves, and with God. But Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins so that we no longer slaves to our sinful ways (Galatians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 3:17). We can now choose to not sin—even if we are tempted by it. Intentionally sinning without remorse or desire to repent is to insult Jesus's sacrifice that He made for you. God will forgive us when we sincerely repent. That's true grace for true sin.

By: Stephanie

Stephanie is an 18-year old with a love for the Lord. In her free time, she can be found singing, playing guitar, or writing. She can also be found jamming out to her favorite artists such as Hawk Nelson, Rend Collective, and Phil Wickham. Her dreams are to become a worship leader and a published author, while living a life full of fun and joy that comes from the Lord.

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