What happens when I sin after I truly believe in Christ? What do I need to do?
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|Why is it important to be sure where you will spend eternity? Is the faith that people have in God going to get them into Heaven? Matthew 7 says, “I’m sorry. I never knew you,’ here’s what His message is.” What are two ways that Jesus talked about misplaced faith.
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 4, Cat. No. YBS1
Keywords: Confession, Sanctification, Hebrews 10:4, 1 John 1:9
Ankerberg: Let me test grace with you. You’ve got, for people that are listening, before you were saved, some of them are trying to add their good works to get saved. But then the person that says, “No, it’s totally a gift and I’m in, but I’ve got tomorrow. What if I truly believe in Christ and I sin tomorrow, do I have to contribute at that point? before? after? Where do my works come in? Tell me why I’m eternally secure?”
Lutzer: First of all, let’s say that, okay, you accept Christ today and you sin tomorrow. In fact, maybe you sin by this evening if you accept Him today, because all of us sin. I mean, we sin, okay, in thought, in word, often in deed. The simple fact is, you confess your sin, and that confession is needed to maintain fellowship. By the way, this is a good point to make, John. Luther was not saved in the monastery in Erfurt when he confessed his sins six hours at a time. There are some people confessing their sins regularly in churches today who are not saved. You don’t get saved through the confession of your sins. You get saved by receiving Jesus Christ as your sin-bearer, the One whom you trust to reconcile you to God. That’s how you get saved. But having been saved, we confess our sins. I confessed my sins this morning. So that’s a part of the Christian life. To confess means that we agree with God, we agree with God that we have sinned. We agree with Him that He has a right to take the sin out of our lives and therefore, just like I had to confess to my parents as a child so that we could be reconciled, we reconciled in the very way that Christians do that. But it’s not in order to be saved again. I was still my father’s child even when I was disobedient, even though I had to confess my sins to be reconciled in terms of fellowship.
Now, assurance then comes when we understand that Jesus Christ, by one act – and we can turn to Hebrews 10 here if we need to – it says that by one act Jesus has perfected forever those who have been sanctified, those who trust Him. [Heb 10:14] And what Luther needed was one act that would take away all of his sin, reconcile him to God, and then he would have to – and I’m sure he did – continually confess his sin to maintain fellowship. But he didn’t have to be saved all over again; because with that kind of a theology, nobody can have any assurance of salvation.
And so then, as I mentioned earlier, God disciplines us if we are disobedient, but we have that deep down settled assurance – and we’re going to be talking about this in more detail because some other ideas come to mind that we don’t want to go into in detail here – but we have that deep settled assurance that lets us know that we are God’s child and we are God’s child forever.