What to Do When You Sin

The Bible tells us that, as followers of Jesus, we live in an interesting paradox: on the one hand, we have been made pure and blameless by what Jesus did on the cross for us and bringing us into the family of God (2 Corinthians 5:21), while on the other hand, we still live in this world where the struggles of selfish desires often lead us into sin.

The apostle Paul—just like you and I— wrestled with this reality: He said, “I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate.” For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do” (Romans 7:15). But regardless of this current tension that we all endure, God is good and provides a way for us to live our life in a manner that pleases Him. Just as He has given us salvation through Jesus Christ, He has also provided forgiveness and cleansing for us through confession and repentance.

The Bible says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9). To confess means to admit, as when David said to God, “Finally, I confessed all my sins to You and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, ‘I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.’ And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.” (Psalm 32:5). The next step is repenting of your sin, turning away from it and walking in the opposite direction. As Christians, we do not want to be like a child who, though he apologizes every time, continues to willfully disobey his parents in the same way, day after day. Though God’s forgiveness will never fail, we do not want to take advantage of His grace. Instead, “Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).

Because of God’s goodness and faithfulness, you can receive complete forgiveness for your sins and the power to be victorious over them!

Verses

“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10-12).

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1, 2).

“For we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:6, 7).

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