“What if I sin again?” Every believer asks this question eventually. Even believers sin and to think that they don’t is not being realistic or honest with themselves and God. Does this mean that we are once more rejected by God if we still continue to sin?
We may not cheat, lie, kill, steal and behave immoral, the big “well known” sins, but if sin is a lack of conformity to God’s will, then yes, we all continue to sin. Life experience and self-examination will eventually show us that lack of conformity in our lives. Our sin: is the result of sinful attitudes and is demonstrated in our propensity to worry, be irritable, take our lives into our own hands, compromise etc. We are still prone to doing what we want, not what God wants.
Romans 3:23 is clear that “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Every member of the human race is born with a SIN nature and is slave to sin because of Adam’s disobedience. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned.” Romans 5:12
But when we receive Jesus Christ as Lord by faith, Jesus pays the price once and for all for our sin, we are established in a new relationship with Him. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Cor 5:17
But not only are we established in relationship with Him, we are also established in fellowship with Him, the Message explains it beautifully:
“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” John 4:23-24 MSG
Fellowship with God allows us to be “simply ourselves” i.e. intimacy between His heart and mine. Fellowship allows a communion of our hearts. The difference between our relationship to God and our fellowship with God can be illustrated by the father-son relationship in the human family. When a boy is born into a family, he is the son of his father because he has his father’s life in him. He then bears his father’s name. Let us suppose that the son leaves home and does things that disgrace his father.
He is still the father’s son, that relationship is permanent regardless of the behavior of the son. But understandably, the fellowship is broken between father and son, therefore the son will need to go to the Father to admit his mistakes and ask for forgiveness.
When we invite Christ into our lives (by faith) we become children of God, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). We are His children and He is our Father, we bear his name “Child of God.” Our relationship with the Father is permanent, but when we do things to displease the Father the fellowship (intimacy) is broken. In order to restore the fellowship with God, we need to tell God we have been wrong and ask for forgiveness.
1 John 1:8-9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Even as believers we still have the ability to sin. But just as a son can come to his Father and say he is sorry, so can we go to our Father, admit our mistakes and make a new start. This is made possible by Jesus death on the cross and confessing and starting again is a constant process during which He will “purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Does this mean that we can go on sinning all we want and simply “fess up” every time we make a mistake? No, just as a father would know if his son is sincere in his confession, God looks to our hearts when we are confessing. He looks for a sincere desire in our hearts to live His way, not ours.
Confessing is agreeing with God about our sin. Repentance is choosing not to do it again and we rely on God to give us the strength to stick to our choice, until He “purifies us from all unrighteousness.”
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