Thank you for your question. Before I answer it, I would like to mention a few things about your earlier statements. In your first statement you said that “As long as we confess that we believe in Jesus and get baptized, we’re going to heaven.” 1 Peter 3: 21 makes it plain that baptism does not enable us to go to heaven. This verse reads, “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Baptism does not cleanse us of our filthy flesh, which is another name for our old, sinful nature. Instead baptism is “the answer of a good conscience toward God.” We read in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Baptism is something that people do and so it is a work. Works do not save us. The Apostle Paul tells us in Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Notice that repentance and faith are what God requires for salvation, not baptism.

In your second statement you are absolutely correct that “If we repent of our sins, He forgives us.” He forgives us when we are first saved and He forgives us when we sin after we are saved as well. We read about this in 1 John 1:9, which states “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Moving on to your question, when God saves us He saves us eternally, not just until we sin again. As we read in John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 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 me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” We are eternally secure in both the Father and the Son the moment we are saved. After we are saved, we learn more about our Savior and all that He went through for us. When we realize that “His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:24), then we understand that the Lord Jesus Christ had to suffer for every single one of our sins. Therefore, why would we want to sin more which means that Christ would have had increased suffering on the cross? Also, when we come to know His amazing, self-sacrificing love for us, then we want to please Him with our lives. His desire for us in the latter part of 1 Peter 2:24 is that we would “live to righteousness.” As we learn of His unbounded love for us, our love for Him increases and He gives us a desire to “please Him” (2 Timothy 2:4).

We know from Ephesians 1:13 that “In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise” (NASB). We know from John 16:8 that one of the Holy Spirit’s roles is to “convict the world concerning sin” (NASB). The Holy Spirit within us will convict us of our sin and encourage us to live for the Lord. We are told to “grieve not the holy Spirit of God” in Ephesians 4:30. If we grieve the Spirit by sinning, we cannot expect to experience “the fruit of the Spirit” of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” in our lives (Galatians 5:22). Therefore, in view of Christ’s everlasting love for us, let us not live to please ourselves which will only result in misery. Rather, let us live in the joy of our Savior, with whom we have the privilege to walk each day. (245.6) (DJ)