What happens after a person is saved in regards to sin?


Salvation is by grace through faith. Ephesians 2:8-9. Salvation is not gained by good works, and it is not lost by bad works. Please see my Bible study from Romans chapter 4:1.

James 2:17 says that faith without works is dead. Works are important but they do not make up salvation. Anyone who is truly saved will have some good works, but if someone believes and then starts falling away, their failure will result not in the loss of their soul but in the loss of their rewards. I have a Bible study from First Corinthians 3:11-15 that is about this subject. It is important to understand the importance of good works in regards to the rewards of believers and the possible loss of such rewards.

The teaching of Jesus in John 10:28-30 applies to the subject of eternal security: "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them to me is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Fatherís hand." How long is eternal? If I already have eternal life because I already believe in Jesus, then my eternal life can never end. Eternal life cannot end, or it is not eternal. Jesus said a similar thing about the believer possessing something that the believer will never lose in John 11:26: "And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die."

Sin is serious and has very negative consequences. God will chastise His children if they fail without learning to judge themselves and quickly confess. First Corinthians 11:31-32 says, "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." If I confess my sins swiftly when I need to, as a believer I will escape the judgment that God gives in this life to those who are His children. If I do not confess my sins now that I am a believer, then I will receive chastisement from the Lord. This chastisement is not the condemnation that unbelievers will receive. Hebrews 12:6-7 says, "For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chastens not?"

Some Christians commit sins to the point that God takes them off the earth. Paul warned the believers in Corinth and said to them in First Corinthians 11:30, "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." The earth is Godís harvest field. We have been called by God to be laborers in His harvest field. Itís a privilege and an honor to live for God, but if believers refuse to do so, God may take them off the earth. Remember Ananias and Saphira in the book of Acts. See Acts 5:1-11. First John 5:16-17 says, "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not unto death." There is a sin not unto death, but there is also a sin that does lead to death. Some Christians sin to the point that they will lose their life, and therefore lose the opportunity to serve God in this world and thus lose the opportunity to gain rewards in heaven, but they will still go to heaven.

Paul thought that it was very important to win rewards because he spoke of them several times in various places in the New Testament. Philippians 3:14 says, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Second Timothy 4:7-8 says, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." Several times when rewards are spoken about, a crown is used to refer to them. A crown is symbolic of authority and power. Evidently the Lord will give authority and power in His eternal kingdom to those who have earned it. If you serve the Lord faithfully here on the earth, you will increase the opportunities to share power with Him in heaven. The disciples James and John once asked Jesus if he would give them a special position in heaven: to sit at His right hand and His left hand. Jesus said in Mark 10:40, "But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared."

When we obtain the spiritual birth, we gain the forgiveness of sins in regards to salvation. Later when we sin, we need forgiveness not for salvation, but in order to walk in fellowship with God. First John 1:8-10 says, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." This is basically the same teaching that Jesus gave with the lesson of the washing of the feet. See John 14:4-15. The washing was an example of forgiveness or the washing away of sin. Their bodies were already clean (an example of salvation), but their feet still got dirty when they went out on a walk and needed to be washed (an example of a believerís daily life in this world, and the need for forgiveness to stay in fellowship with God.)

We probably sin much more than we even know, especially when we think of the greatest of all commandments which Jesus said was to love the Lord our God with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength. We depend upon the forgiveness of sins to save our souls, and then we depend upon the daily forgiveness of sins in order to walk in fellowship with God.

Do not give up on trying to serve God. He has much more grace and forgiveness than you will ever have sins. Because we all sin every day, the believer who will ultimately be the most consistent at staying in fellowship with God, is not the one who is the best at obeying the commands of God, but the one who is the quickest to always ask the Lord for forgiveness after having sinned.




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Copyright; 2003 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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