Often times we get trapped in cycles of sin, ones where we feel we have done so much wrong that we have undone or reversed the forgiveness we obtained when we were saved. We feel like we have simply done too much, and may even ask to be forgiven of the same sin multiple times–causing us to feel as though our repentance doesn’t count. Is this true? Can we undo our salvation?
The simple answer:
This is one of the enemy’s little-known tricks, but equally one of the biggest weapons in his arsenal. He will often get you caught in a rut somewhere, spin you round and round in cycles of repetitive–sometimes addictive–sin. You ask for forgiveness over and over again and you pray and pray, but yet you sin and sin. So eventually you lose hope. You begin to tell yourself, “well, if I know I’m going to do it again, what makes this apology so special? Does this even count?”
Hopelessness creates doubt in salvation. You feel so unworthy of God that you believe you have ruined all chances at getting right with him. You’ve done so much sinning, you think it’s too late, you’re out of chances, and God won’t believe you if you repent.
The truth couldn’t be further from this. The enemy doesn’t want you to realize this simple fact: the righteousness and goodness, purity, and innocence of God is manifest within you, within your own body and spirit, the very moment you accept Christ into your heart.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV)
As I’ve explained before, Christ was the substitutionary sacrifice for our sins. Our sins were transferred to His body during the crucifixion, and then killed along with it. Most people stop there. However, there is more.
In the days of ancient Israel, when people would bring lambs to their priests for atonement of their sins, the finest lamb would be chosen from among the heard. It would be spotless, clean, pure, fattened, etc. The man’s sins would be placed onto the lamb and killed. Then, the purity of the lamb would transfer onto the man.
The same thing applies to Christ. His righteousness and His innocence and purity is transferred into us when we accept Him as our savior. It is maintained in continuity even throughout your worst sins.
However, I am not giving you a license to sin. Due to being renewed by Jesus and since we are transformed into new creatures through His grace, we should be striving to be the best we can be. We should be striving to be as Christ-like as possible. But we are still only human, and we must not put any confidence in our flesh (Philippians 1:3-4). Our flesh will constantly fail us, even as we are saved. We have to not only understand that we are flawed and sinful, but we must also accept and come to terms with it. We have to be able to say, “I screwed up, and I know I will again and again, constantly. But there is a righteousness maintained inside of me that no force in the entire universe can sever.”
“38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39 NKJV)
Never fall for the deception that you have undone your forgiveness! God loves you. When you begin to study the Word closely you will find that God takes literally every measure possible aside from force to ensure that we make it to Heaven. I personally was overwhelmed when I began reading the New Testament thoroughly for the first time, because I began to realize just how much God wanted me to be with Him one day. He warns us of every danger and gives us every offer available, and lays out thousands of chances. We really have no excuse for not choosing Him over the world. If we did, that would mean God would have to be unjust, which can never happen.
God’s forgiveness can never be broken or worn out. Work your absolute hardest to withdraw and reject sin, but when you do fail (and you will) don’t beat yourself up over it. It happens to everyone and it is completely inevitable. But you are forgiven, you are loved, and God’s divine touch in your life is present even while you are in the middle of a sin.
If it helps, remind yourself of that when you catch yourself tempted or engaging in sin. Remind yourself that God’s touch is still in you, and tell yourself that you are God’s goodness, manifest in human form.