I’m going to assume we’re talking about a TRUE BELIEVER in asking this question. The fact is a believer will NOT continue “committing the same sin,” for we read in 1st John 3:9, “No one who is born of God PRACTICES SIN, because His seed abides in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God” (NASB). I have capitalized the key words (PRACTICES SIN), for this refers to something that is HABITUAL; in other words it is describing someone who is CONSTANTLY SINNING. A true believer will NOT be characterized by a sinful lifestyle. The believer has a NEW NATURE (that cannot sin) abiding in him and this, along with the indwelling Holy Spirit, will keep him from a life of habitual sin. Having said that, a believer CAN “fall into the same sin” if he is not continuing in fellowship with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I will speak more on that later, but before I do we need to address a couple of issues.

First of all, the question raised today has often been worded like this, “Will God continue to forgive you if you commit the same sin over and over again?” There are two verses that we will look at to answer that question. In 1st John 2:12 we read, “I am writing to you, little children, because YOUR SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN YOU for His name’s sake.” The Apostle John is teaching us in this verse that ALL of the believer’s SINS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN. Why? Because Jesus Christ “bore our sins in His own body on the cross” (1st Peter 2:24). When we first came to God in repentance and placed our faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross, God, as a holy Judge, forgave all of our sins (past, present, and even future sins). We can call this “Judicial Forgiveness.” The believer was instantly born again and is now a child of God. We no longer have to do with God as a “Judge”; our relationship with Him now is as our “Father,” which brings me to the second verse. We read in 1st John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He (the Father) is faithful and righteous to FORGIVE US OUR SINS and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This verse may SEEM to be a contradiction of what we saw in 1st John 2:12, but in this verse it is speaking of the Father forgiving His child, not a Judge forgiving a lost sinner. We can call this “Paternal Forgiveness.” This forgiveness is needed every time we, as believers in the family of God, sin. In this precious verse we are assured that our Father will indeed forgive us and restore us back into fellowship with Him.

Now we are ready to discuss a believer falling into the same sin after repentance. Let’s use “gossiping” as an example of a sin one may fall into from time to time. If a believer is convicted by the Holy Spirit of gossiping, he/she will then go to the Father in true repentance and “confess that very sin.” As we saw in 1st John 1:9 the Father will graciously forgive that sin AND “cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This means the Father will not only forgive that sin, but He will restore us to communion with Him and to a holy walk. You may recall how King David sinned grievously against God by falling into the sin of adultery and in Psalm 51 we have his prayer of repentance and confession. Listen to some of his words, “And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight….Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…Hide Your 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…Restore to me the joy of Your salvation…Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You” (verses 3-4, 7, 9-10, 12-13). It is crystal-clear that David had truly repented and in his prayer he desires not only forgiveness, but to have the joy of God’s salvation restored to him so he can walk in holiness before the Lord and before the world of lost sinners as well. As you read David’s history in the Old Testament you know that David was gloriously “forgiven” by His heavenly Father and “cleansed from all unrighteousness.” Did David ever fall into that sin again? Sadly, the answer is YES, for David ended up multiplying wives unto himself which is an act of adultery.

In closing, I would like to say a word about DELIVERANCE. I believe it is possible to fall into a sin, repent of that sin and confess it, and never fall into that sin again. But in order for this to happen one must learn the truth of DELIVERANCE. I would encourage you to read and study Romans chapters 6-8. In these chapters we learn the only way of truly being delivered from the bondage of sin. The stage is set for entering into this truth in 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him (Christ), that the body of sin might be done away with, THAT WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE SLAVES OF SIN.” In verse 11 we learn that we must practically apply this truth, “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Verse 14 assures us if we do apply this truth “Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” In chapter 7 we learn that if we do try to gain deliverance from sin by placing ourselves under the principle of law, we will fail. And finally, in 8:1-4 we the real secret to deliverance, for it is the indwelling Holy Spirit Who will give us the victory if we yield our lives to Him. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me from the law of sin and death…that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk 357.1according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (verses 2 &4).  (357.1)  (DO)