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SALVATION QUESTION 138
When you repent, it means you turn away from sin and turn to God. Does this mean that one will no longer sin once he repents?
Turning away from sin is not necessarily repentance. It could be the results or fruit of repentance. Many reform for various reasons, and that would not be repentance. It must be "repentance toward God." Acts 20:21.
Repentance is a change of mind or attitude toward sinning against God. It means you don't want to sin against Him any more. The fruit of it is seen in turning away from sin. Repentance in itself does not supply the power to stop sinning. This power comes through letting the power of His grace work in your life by faith. The gospel is the power of God to save us from the penalty and power of sin.
When it comes to sinning after you are saved, this is not a matter of justification, but sanctification. Although we are positionally sanctified in Christ, we are also to be sanctified daily in our manner of life. This sanctification will not be complete until Christ comes. The answer then to your question is that we do sin after we are saved, but God has provided the power in the gospel that we don't have to habitually live on in the bondage of that sin. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8.
This seems to mean that if we say we CANNOT sin we are deceived. "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." 1 John 1:10. This tells us we have sinned. The "we," in both verses, would be believers.
To say we cannot sin or cannot stop sinning is extreme. We can sin, but we don't have to. The command is: "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.
God would not command us to do what He has not enabled us to do, yet He knows in our weaknesses, we will at times fail. This does not apply to those who are unsaved. You are under sin as a master. You must repent and trust Christ to be delivered.
All comments and questions to: Harold Smith
Updated March 9th, 2014 by Sandra Felix