What if I sin again and again?

When we see teachings of Jesus, He had zero tolerance to sin. Jesus will cast out anyone who sins.

John 8:34-35 Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.

Matt 18:8-9 If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.

Matt 19:12 … there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.

If our hands, eyes, and feet are craving to sin and we are unable to stop sinning, Jesus even gave an excellent suggestion on how to be sinless which is by cutting them off.

Rev 3:4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.

Jesus had zero tolerance to sin and only the sinless will inherit eternal life but He never taught anywhere that His sacrifice at the cross gives a free entry. Even after His resurrection, He will blot the names of the believers from His own church if they defile their garments and become unworthy.

What if I sin?

Since Jesus expects us to be sinless to enter into eternal life, the big question we have is, what if I sin.

Matt 9:13 “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Matt 11:20-24 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

Luke 13:2-5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”

The first and the foremost teaching of Jesus is for us to repent for our sins. Jesus Himself mentions that He came to call the sinners to repentance. Hence, if we happen to sin, we must immediately repent.

Luke 18:10-14 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men–extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Repentance is not just asking in mere words but asking with a humble heart as the tax collector in the above illustration provided by Jesus Christ in His teachings.

Luke 16:29-31 “Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

Repentance is also in action. Take a look at the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. The rich man did not feed the poor Lazarus at his gates and pleads with Abraham to send anyone from dead so that his five brothers will repent. Here, repentance is clearly turning away from their sinful way and obeying the commandments.

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.”

Hence, if we sin, we must ask repentance from God with a humble heart and turn away from it. Jesus Himself warns to a man He healed of a worse consequence if He sin again.

What if I sin ‘again’?

Many Christians are stuck in a repeated sin and repent cycle without even realising that they are slaves to it. As we saw earlier, Jesus very clearly explains His zero tolerance to sin and does not want anyone to sin again.

Unfortunately, people do sin again. Take Peter for example:

  • Peter sinned by becoming a ‘offense’ to Jesus (Matt 16:23).
  • Peter sinned by denying Jesus with an oath and even cursed Him (Matt 26:69-75)

Now, compare with what Jesus about the sins of Peter mentioned in the gospels.

  • It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come (Luke 17:1)
  • Whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven (Matt 10:33).

In spite of Peter’s offense and his denial, Jesus did not reject Peter but even prayed for him that his faith must not fail. Does this mean, we can sin and repent, again and again, as much as we want? You will be surprised to learn there is a limit to it and it differs to each one.

Luke 13:6-9 He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’ But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’

Look at the above parable of expiring grace. The Father planted a fig tree in His vineyard which is contrary to the law (Deut 22:9). The fruits must not be eaten for 3 years (Lev 19:23), yet the Father made them circumcised and expecting the fruits on the very first year. The fig tree is the gentiles who are uncircumcised and those who defile the vineyard. After 3 years and no fruits, the Father wants to cut it down. Then Christ pleads with the Father and got an extra year as grace. The same is true for all who sin again and again, bearing no fruits worthy of repentance.

John 8:34-35 Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.

As we saw earlier, anyone sinning again and again is a clear indication that they are slaves to it. No slave will abide in His house forever.

Conclusion

If we sin ‘again’, we must ask repentance and not sin again. We must keep in mind that opportunity to repent for our sins is not always guaranteed as we see in the case of Ananias and Sapphira who died at the spot for sinning. We must also keep in mind that God has absolutely no obligation to forgive sins simply because we asked for it. We must plead by being humble and His forgiveness is only because of His mercy towards us. With this in mind, we must think twice before we sin again.