Question:I believe I've been saved, but I still struggle with
sin daily. Does this mean I'm not saved?
Bible Answer: There are three reasons a person
may fear they are not a Christian. The first reason is that maybe they
are not a Christian.
Not A Christian. The first reason a person may be struggling with sin
is that maybe they never really became a Christian. John 16:8-9 helps
us understand why this happens. Jesus was talking to His disciples and
said to them,
And He [Holy Spirit], when He comes, will convict the
world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin,
because they do not believe in Me; (NASB) John 16:8-9
This simply says the Holy Spirit will cause a non-Christian to feel
guilt over his sin. The Holy Spirit is tugging on his heart asking, "Are
you a sinner? If not, come and believe and trust in Jesus to forgive
you." When a person believes, trusts, depends that Jesus will forgive
them of their sin - they become a Christian and their sins are forgiven
and their guilt flees away. The Greek word for forgiveness is a very
special word. It has the idea of
"to leave" or "to send away." The word was used in Egypt to refer to
the draining of pools. When we respond to the sin-convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit
and we believe in Jesus
, God sends our sins
away and He drains away our pool of guilt.
If you are wondering, "Am I a Christian?" the
answer can be found in scripture.
can use these passages to check out your life and see how many are true of you. The more
that are true of you, the more you can be assured you are a Christian. Remember, a person
is not a Christian because he or she chooses to live a certain way. A person is a Christian
because God is changing their life.
"Living in Sin." Christians sometimes will fear they are not
for real because they are sinning and the Holy Spirit is saying, "Stop
When this happens, a real Christian will be miserable and may begin to fear
they are not saved. King David appears to have felt this way after he committed adultery and
maneuvered to have his lover's husband killed in war. Here is David's prayer of confession.
As you read the passage, look for the reason he was feeling miserable,
Be gracious to me, O God, according to Thy lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Thy compassion blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, And cleanse me from my sin. For
I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against Thee,
Thee only, I have sinned, And done what is evil in Thy sight . . . Behold,
Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part
Thou wilt make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be
clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy
and gladness, Let the bones which Thou hast broken rejoice. Hide Thy
face from my sins, And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean
heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me
away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me. (NASB)
Notice the first words in David's prayer were a plea for forgiveness.
He begs God to forgive his sin, "blot out my transgressions [sin]." David
was really struggling like most of us who have been sinning and sinning
or have committed a "big sin." He was struggling so much that
he begs God to "not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take
Thy Holy Spirit from me." What did David fear? He feared God would
reject him. He wanted forgiveness - he wanted God to love him. Does this
sound like some Christian who is afraid he/she is not for real?
Christians are in this situation. They really do believe
. They really are sorrowing over their sins. They really
are depending or trusting that God, Jesus Christ, has forgiven their
sins. Yet, they have sinned and they fear they are not really Christians.
David was a broken man over his sin. His insides were like "broken
bones." He asks God to look away - to hide His face from David.
He pleads for forgiveness. How did he get in this mess? The answer is
in verse 6, "Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom." David was
not honest with himself or with God about his sin. It appears he did
not admit his sin to God.
I try to frequently ask God to have the Holy Spirit convict me of any
personal sins that I may have forgotten about and I need to admit (confess)
to Him. And the Holy Spirit usually does remind me of some sin I need
to confess. So I confess it and then thank Him for forgiving me. All
honest Christians struggle with sin. In Romans 7:15, Paul, the apostle,
shares with us his struggles with sin,
For that which I am doing,
I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do,
but I am doing the very thing I hate. (NASB) Rom 7:15
To struggle with sin is part of being a Christian, but our heart does
not always say, "That was sin." Proverbs says,
your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.
(NASB) Prov. 4:23
The Holy Spirit will help us to be honest about our own sin. He knows
For He knows the secrets of the heart. (NASB) Psalms 44:21
And if after we sin, we do not confess our sins, we will suffer. He
will discipline us (Heb. 12:4-13) until we come and confess our sins
to Him. As David said, it is against God and God only that we sin. Today,
you can be a Christian and the Holy Spirit could be convicting you of
sins in your life because you really do not want to turn away OR you
have come to Him and confessed like David did!
me more." The third and last reason is that maybe you are
a Christian (you are trusting in Jesus and Jesus only) and yet you are
not aware that God sees you a saint - a holy person. To say we are Christians
because we asked Jesus to forgive our sins means we believe He can forgive
because is He both God and Savior. When Jesus
forgives our sins scripture implies that He completely forgives them,
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed
our transgressions from us. (NASB) Psalms 103:12
What does the verse say? It says our
sins are removed. In Colossians 2:13 the Holy Spirit comforts us with
And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of
your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all
our transgressions. (NASB) Col. 2:13
And Paul, the apostle, calls Christians saints or "holy ones"
in Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1;
Philippians 1:1; and Colossians 1:2. Why did he do that? Because Christians are saints.
We are going to heaven. There are no good works that we must do to get there - all our
sins are already forgiven. 1 John 5:13 tells us that we can know we are Christians. We
do not have to wait until then to "find out." Ephesians 2:6 says that as far
as God is concerned Christians are already in heaven, "[God] seated us with Him
in the heavenly places."
There is nothing you can do now - you are going to heaven!
Yet, we will sin. That
is what 1 John 1:9-10 says,
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous 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. (NASB) 1 John
Yes, God has already forgiven our past sins, any sins we will commit
today and all future sins but He still asks us to confess our sins. What
is confession? Confession is simply telling God you sinned - admitting
you sinned against Him and only Him, just as King David did!
Conclusion:May I suggest that if you are not
sure you are a Christian that you simply ask Jesus to forgive your sins,
to take control of your life and to give you victory over sins. And then
thank Him for doing that. Then ask the Holy Spirit to take control of
your life every day and keep you from sin. Also, do CPR everyday! "C" is
for confess. "P" is for praying. And "R" is for reading
the Word of God. This is essential for spiritual growth and victory over