Hey there sisters! This is something that has really been on my heart lately, and something that took me awhile to understand myself. I feel like the pieces to this puzzle have finally clicked, and I want to share it with everyone! The reason I feel so strongly about this is because this is something that has affected me personally. You see, I grew up in a Christian home, and believed I was a Christian and saved throughout my teenager years. The thing is, during that time, I was absolutely dead in sin. I was unrepentant. I was vain, sexually immoral, doing drugs, cussing, lying, you name it. And guess what? When my friends asked me if I believed in God, I’d tell them that I was a Christian! I actually believed I was really saved during that time.
Friends, I was so wrong. You cannot be walking in darkness and know Christ. You cannot be walking with Jesus and hold hands with the devil at the same time. Don’t be deceived!
A Call to Repentance & Holiness
A Call to Holiness
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:14-16
“Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.” – 2 Corinthians 7:1
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” – Hebrews 12:14
“For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:7
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” – Romans 12:1
A Call to Repentance
“Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out,” – Acts 3:19
“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” – Luke 13:9
“From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”” – Matthew 4:17
“Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” – Romans
“Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” – Matthew 3:8
“I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” – Luke 5:32
Fruits of the Flesh vs. Fruit of the Spirit
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; if which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. ” – Galatians 5:19-21
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” – Galatians 5:22-26
Are You Walking in Darkness or the Light?
“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” – 1 John 1:5-7
John tell us here that if we walk in darkness (unrepentant, habitual sin) and claim we know Him, we lie and do not practice the truth. He continues and says that if we walk in the light as He is in the light, then the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
A person who is truly born again in Jesus Christ will always result in real, true repentance because His seed now lives in you.
Does This Mean a True Follower of Christ Will Never Sin?
The answer to this is no. This does not mean that we will never sin, for it is clear in 1 John that if we say we have no sin then we are liars. We are still flesh and will still mess up and stumble from time to time. We all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) We will not be made perfect until we receive our glorified bodies someday in Heaven.
“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.” – 1 John 1:8-10
Bearing Good Fruit
It is important to understand there will be fruits of repentance, some form of change in one’s life when they truly accept Christ. The truly saved person will bear good fruit. (Matthew 7:15-20)
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” – Matthew 7:15-20
Having faith that does not affect the heart, hands, mouth, and mind is dead and profitless. True repentance is outward and inward. The Pharisees acted righteous on the outside but were in fact, unrighteous on the inside. Their hearts were unchanged. They were ravenous wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing! This is how many people are these days.
“These people honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” – Matthew 15:8
Many so- called “Christians” have no real relationship with God or regard for following Christ. They think because they go to church every other Sunday and they say they believe in God, they are saved. Brothers and sisters, this is not true. Going to church won’t save you, just saying you believe in God won’t save you. Even the demons believe and tremble at His name! Just being a generally “good person” by society’s standards won’t save you, either.
So How Can We Know If We Are Really Saved?
“”Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” – 1 John 2:3-6
“”If you love me, you will keep My commandments.” – John 14:15
John and Jesus tells us that someone who truly loves Him will actively follow Him and keep His commandments.
Now, this isn’t to say that salvation is by our works. Rather, real saving faith will always produce fruits of obedience because Christ lives in you. So if you find yourself living in sin like I was, it might be time to reflect and see to who your heart is really loyal to. We cannot dine with the devil and the Lord too.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:5 to examine ourselves to see if we are really in the faith. We do this by reflecting on our life. Are you striving to live holy for God? Is there a point in time where you can say you were born again, where you started to repent of your sin? Has Jesus changed the way you live your life?
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” – 2 Corinthians 13:5
Friends, it simply isn’t possible for a true child of God to say “I don’t know when I met Jesus” or “I don’t really know when I was saved.” How can you be walking in the chains of darkness and sin and be loosed and set free by Jesus and not know it? When we truly meet Jesus, He WILL change the way you live your life! Don’t be deceived, sisters.
Grace is Not a License to Sin
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” – Romans 6:1-4
What To Do If You Are Walking in Darkness
If you find yourself living in habitual unrepentant sin, turn to Jesus. Ask for Him to cleanse you of your sins and lead you onto His Truth and path for your life.
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:9-13
The relationship between sin and the child of God is one of repentance and a lifelong sanctification process. We will never be perfect, but we should always strive to be Christ-like. As children of God, we are called to repent from our sins and live holy for Him.