How can someone overcome sin and receive forgiveness? Sin is anything that is not Holy. (Righteous by God’s standard.) Since God is Holy and you came into this world as a sinner, willfully sinning, your eternal damnation is secured away from Him in hell.
There is no way to go back in time in order to not sin. And even if there were, it would only be a matter of time before you sinned again, because “There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10). If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8).
God’s Word makes it abundantly clear, all of mankind is already condemned. We cannot be righteous enough to be saved. It is not possible. We are condemned already. Men choose to sin willfully and to go on sinning against God.
Even if you stopped sinning today and never sinned again for eternity, you are still a sinner. If a man murders another man at the age of 18, then he never murders again, is he not still a murderer when he is old? The answer is yes.
So HOW Can ANYONE Be Saved Then??
If I’m a sinner (a criminal to God) and there is nothing I can do to get rid of that fact, then how can I be forgiven in order to escape God’s judgement?
There is only One Way: Your only hope is if Someone else lives a life without sin and then dies in your place, receiving the wages (penalty) of sin that were owed to you. And that is exactly what God’s Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, did for you and everyone else who believes (repents and trusts in Him).
Mark 1:15 – “… repent ye, and believe the gospel.”
“Repenting” of your sin does not mean that you never sin. It does mean that you now hate your sin, agreeing with God about it. If you repent, then you certainly WANT to stop sinning and you will TRY to stop sinning! He who says he repents of his sin, but doesn’t truly have the desire to stop sinning, has not truly repented. If you have turned from your sin (stopped embracing it and started despising and regretting it), then you have truly repented of your sin! And if you do, that means you BELIEVE God and take Him at His Word! That is one part of faith.
The other part of faith is to simply receive the FREE GIFT (Romans 5:16-18) of forgiveness that is now yours because of the Blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross, and the death He died as your substitute. That is to trust alone in Jesus Christ as your SAVIOR! Simply believe that He paid it all, in full, for you! Because HE DID! That His blood is fully sufficient to wipe away every last sin that you ever have committed, and ever will commit. Because IT IS!
It’s a free gift to all who believe. It is finished! (John 19:30) (Romans 6:23) (John 1:12) (1 John 5:12)
Where Many Go Wrong
Unfortunately, God’s Grace is often times used as a “free ticket” to sin. “If Jesus paid it all for me, I can live as I want and still be saved. All I have to do is get baptized.” Or “All I have to do is confess my sin.” Or “All I have to do is invite Jesus into my heart.”
This kind of faith is only intellectual and it is not a saving faith. Even satan and his demons have that faith (James 2:19). So they do one of these works (above), without ever truly repenting and believing. Then they go on in the world, living sinful lives and never truly loving God … never being converted. Those in this category are not saved because they never believed in their heart. Their works will not justify them any more than taking a bath will (Ephesians 2:8). It MUST be the work that Jesus Christ did on that Cross ALONE. It is Jesus Christ + nothing. It is only the Blood of the Lamb that will cleanse you.
God wants you to love Him because you choose to love Him. No work that you can do will ever satisfy Him. You can stop sinning today, get baptized with water, feed starving children for the rest of your life, confess all of your previous sins, enter “Christian” into your Facebook status, pray every minute of every day, go to church every Sunday… and you are still a sinner if you don’t have faith in Jesus Christ.
True and False Conversion
While both believers and non-believers still have a sin nature, a believer has been converted (born again) (John 3:3-6, Matthew 18:3, Acts 3:19). He has been adopted into Christ’s family, and is completely free from the condemnation of sin. He is justified and set aside to God the moment he first believes. He is also progressively sanctified (being conformed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ) for the rest of his life.
And while believers will still sin (1 Corinthians 6:12-20), they will not WANT to sin, since they are TRUE believers who have been converted and have received the Holy Spirit. But when they do fall short, they will confess their sin to God (not try to conceal it from our omniscient God). They will truly regret it and they will work to forsake that sin in the future in order to be saved from it’s effects. Those effects often include God’s chastisement, as he chastens those who He loves (Hebrews 12:6).
Those who say they believe, yet are not bothered by their sin, should seriously consider whether or not they have truly been converted. (Click this link for a clearer understanding of what saving faith is.)
Read Romans 5-8
For anyone who is currently struggling with sin and seriously seeking God for forgiveness, the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, chapters 5 through 8 were written just for you. So if this article has not helped clear things up for you, read those chapters in your Bible.
Above all, you must understand that ALL are sinners. All are condemned because of their sin. Jesus Christ is the ONLY Way to salvation. That Way is through faith in Him. That faith equals taking God at His Word, repenting of your sin and accepting the Free Gift that is being offered to you by the finished work that Jesus Christ completed for you at the cross. He paid it all, for you!
You are not enough. I am not enough. Nobody can be righteous enough to be forgiven of their sin. There is no hope outside of the righteousness and perfection of Jesus Christ being imputed to us (charged to our account).
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”