Struggling with sin after salvation is something I believe 98% of new Christians deal with. When you are on the outside looking in, into a Believers World, everything appears perfect. And honestly, sometimes that is because we as Believers make it look it that way.
I have been a Believer all my life. Raised in church I was saved as a young child. Therefore, believing in God just kind of came naturally to me. At least until I stumbled down the wrong path.
My rebel years began when I was a teenager. School was not the priority on my list. I hated school. And I was horrible at it. C’s and D’s were the best I could do no matter how hard I tried.
It got to the point that I just didn’t care anymore and eventually dropped out in high school. I married at the age of 16 and had my first baby two weeks before I turned 18. I was a mom at 17.
I was 13 years old when I lost my virginity and began to look outside of God and to the world for love to fill the emptiness in my heart. This was the beginning of my life spiraling out of control that would lead to me struggling with sin after salvation.
Does God forgive all sins?
Is there a sin so bad that God won’t forgive us? What if you were once a Christian and backslid?
What happens if you are New Believer but you have done some pretty horrible things in the past? Will God forgive you? Does God forgive all sins?
The Bible is actually pretty clear on this topic. God’s grace is greater than any sin you commit and no sin or sinner is beyond hope or God’s ability to forgive you.
Peter is a great example. He denied knowing or believing Jesus not once but three times when Jesus was arrested. Yet when Peter also known as Simon asked for forgiveness he was forgiven.
However, it is very important that you understand to be forgiven you must face your sins honestly, by taking full responsibility , and then and only then confessing them to God and repenting.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness – 1 John 1:9
Of course Satan will try everything to convince you otherwise. This is exactly what he does when you are struggling with sin after salvation. He is telling you:
- God didn’t really forgive you
- Your not worthy of God’s love and never will be
- You are a failure and always will be
Satan will also use addictions against you such fornication, bad habits, and more. He will place thoughts in your mind that will sway you believe other than the truth that is written in the Word.
This is why it is very important to stay in God’s Word and when possible in church. Way too often I hear people say:
I don’t need to go to church to believe in God.
As this is true it is also the wrong kind of thinking. It is Satan’s way of thinking. If you are not in church around other Christians then you are less likely to act like a Christian yourself.
And believe me when your not actively in church it is so easy to slip through the holes. Sin becomes your new norm. Before you know it you are wondering why you are struggling with sin after salvation.
a. Does God Forgive Repeated Sins?
In Matthew 18:21-22 the Bible says:
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’
This is proof that God loves us so much He is a forgiving God. But does God forgive repeated sins? Absolutely!
However, if you have received true salvation it is not Biblical to sin habitual or continually on purpose as a Believer. 1 John 3:8-9:
8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God.
b. Does God Forgive Deliberate Sin
I have my own opinions on this topic. Which makes me very uncomfortable discussing it. There are a lot of things in the Bible that I just don’t understand.
This topic just happens to be one of those things. To say the Bible is controversial is an understatement. So does God forgive deliberate sin? I can’t answer that but I will give my opinion.
Example: You are in a store minding your own business and a gunman walks in. He hasn’t shot anyone yet but his gun is placed on his shoulder, finger on the trigger, and you just happen to be carrying that day.
You draw your gun without thinking and you shoot the gunman, killing him almost instantly. You just deliberately shot another human dead. Will God forgive you? In my heart I believe He will.
Another example: We all know that suicide is an unforgivable sin and you automatically go to hell, right? What happens if you willingly spare your own life for another?
Hero’s do this all the time. Does that mean they go to hell if they have been saved? I mean they did basically just commit suicide by jumping in front that of that bus, or bullet, or fire to save another human.
Then there is the story of Moses when he killed the Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew. Yet God forgave Moses and used him in many ways.
Focus On The Family has an article on WILLFUL SIN AFTER SALVATION AND ETERNAL SECURITY that you may find helpful on this topic.
How Do I Know If I Am Truly Saved
This is something I struggled with in the beginning of my born-again journey. Was I saved or not? I struggled with this so much that I actually sought professional advice from my Pastor.
Maybe this is something you should do as well if you just aren’t sure. The Bible says that if we accept Jesus as our Savior and repent then we are saved. But why is it so hard then?
For starters we have to let go of the past. The past is the past and we can’t change it no matter how much we dwell over it. This leads to doubting which causes us to ask How do I know if I am truly saved?
Here is a short video I found on this topic.
a. Am I Really Saved If I Keep Sinning
As I mentioned earlier 1 John 3:8-9 clearly states that whoever practices sin is of the devil. In my own honest opinion, I believe when we are truly saved we do our absolute best to honor God.
Sin can be so many things from a thought to an action. I think maybe this is why so many Christians are struggling with sin after salvation. Some Christians love Jesus but they cuss a little. Is it right? No it isn’t.
Related Post: I Love Jesus But I Cuss A Little
The Bible says to tame your tongue. But you know what? Jesus loves them anyway.
b. Can I Lose My Salvation If I Sin
When someone genuinely makes a commitment of his or her life to Christ they become a child of God – (John 1:12)
God doesn’t reject us because we sinned. Do you have children? Have your children ever done something wrong? Sure they have. But did you reject them because they sinned? Of course you didn’t! And neither will God.
Overcoming Your Past
I have known God all my life. When I was a teenager I was a rebel that looked to worldly things to fill the emptiness in my heart.
When I was in my mid-20’s I decided sex, alcohol, and drugs were getting me nowhere and it was time to get right with God. So I gave it all up.
But nothing changed.
My past still haunted me and no matter what I did, it was right there being thrown in my face every corner I turned.
The devil reminded me daily what a failure I was. What a mess I had made of my life.
I chose to hang on to the hope that God loved me for a little longer. But I was still making my own choices as if I were still living in my past.
Instead of turning to God and praying I would cry. And I cried a lot!
Nothing ever went my way. Everything always fell through. And I couldn’t seem to ever get ahead.
Until one day that all changed.
a. God Will Redeem Your Past
Although God washed the sins of our past away, we often still have to deal with the consequences of some of the sins we committed. Even though we know we have been forgiven, the memories of our past can still haunt us.
I know this because my past haunted me for years. But living with the memories of the past, doesn’t mean we have to live in bondage to it.
It can be a struggle to allow the truth that we are forgiven and seen as righteous to overcome any shameful or self-righteous memories stored in the arteries of our hearts.
Although I am confident in my salvation I too have a difficult time in struggling with sin after salvation. Of course this is just one more reason it is so important to drench our hearts in the Word on a daily basis.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
b. God Will Restore Your Wasted Years
Look at what God did with Job. He restored everything he lost and gave him more. When we put our trust in God he will restore our wasted years and so much more.
When I was on my journey of struggling with sin after salvation it caused me to place my focus everywhere accept God. This led to me losing everything.
Forced to move back home, I was 6 months behind on my rent, my car was repossessed, our cell phones were shut off, and my bank account was negative hundreds of dollars.
On top of all that I had no job. I couldn’t help but feel like my past was the reason I was struggling with sin after salvation which was leading to all my failures. Once I was able to get past my sins and realize I have been forgiven and God does love me, I was able to move on. God restored all my wasted years. And you know what? God will restore your wasted years too! You just have to trust him.
Share some Humbleness!