If a Christian Sins
Is there hope?
"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (1 John 2:1)
The Bible plainly teaches that Jesus came to
destroy the devil's working in our lives (1 Jn 3:8). The Bible says
that God will never allow His children to be tempted beyond what
they are able to handle; he himself will make a way for them to
stand up under the pressure of every temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).
Temptations to sin are bound to come, according to Jesus (Luke 17:1). Even as Jesus was tempted by the devil, Christians will also continue to be tempted by the devil. Temptation itself, of course, is not sin and as a Christian relies upon God, no temptation will be too difficult (1 Cor. 10:13). If, however, a Christian takes his eyes off of Christ, sin is almost sure to follow. And so we do not want to overlook the fact that it is still possible for a Christian to sin if he or she does not continue to rely every moment upon God.
"If any man sin..." Notice first of all that this verse says "IF". If a Christian sins then he needs to confess the sin and repent of it. Christians who sin must acknowledge their guilt and seek the mercy that comes from God through Jesus Christ. If the Christian refuses to admit the sin and instead chooses to call it a "mistake" and does not seek the forgiveness of God then he or she is in danger of falling under the wrath of God (Heb. 10:26-31). As James 5:19-20 says, if a Christian wanders from the truth and commits sin, he needs to be restored in order to be saved from death.
Those of us who believe that we need to live holy lives (1 Peter 1:15; 2 Peter 3:11) need to be very careful so that if we do commit a sin we do not explain it away or excuse it as something other than sin. Let us not seek to maintain a false righteousness for the sake of the letter of our doctrines. Rather, let us cleave unto Christ, the one who makes us holy (Heb. 2:11), so that we will not sin. But if any man does sin, let him recognize his shameful act but do not let him think that he is without hope. For there is an Advocate. Let him forsake his sins and call upon God for mercy and forgiveness.
So, if you sin, TURN from your sin. Don't try to turn God's grace into a license to continue in your sin (Gal. 5:13; 1 Peter 2:16). And do not try to cover up your sin. For, "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy" (Prov 28:13). And after you have confessed and repented of your sin, trust God to give you the grace and strength to overcome it in the future. "For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace" (Rom 6:14). Don't be weakened in your faith. Don't let your trust and reliance in God waiver, for he is able to keep you blameless and present you before his presence faultless and with great joy (Jude 24).