When a Christian Sins – What to Do to Get Yourself Back After You Sin
When a Christian sins, he might feel like it’s the end of the world. He might feel really miserable. But the truth is that sinning is not the end of the world. In fact, sin is no more a problem with God. God has solved that problem by sending his Son—Jesus.
Whenever a Christian sins—especially one who is not spiritually full grown—it’s usually out of ignorance. He has a low level of knowledge and that minimal knowledge isn’t enough to have kept him from falling into the sin he committed.
As a Christian, when you fall into sin, it’s important to note that you’re not supposed to stay where you fell. You’ve got to move on. Never allow your sins stop you from continuing your growth in Christ. You have to move forward towards greater things. That’s the way you whip the devil—you move on from it unto perfection.
1. Don’t confuse your behavior with your identity
Perhaps this is the most important thing you need to make sure to do after you sin. I said that because, after you, forgiveness is surely the most important thing you need, but forgiveness has been settled already. All you have to do is to receive what’s already been given. However, many Christian folks, because of their mistaken identity as a ‘sinner’, let the devil bollix them into a corner of condemnation that says, “what’s the use of asking for forgiveness, after all, I’m still going to do it again, so let me just continue with my sin, while God keeps his forgiveness with himself.”
When you fall as a Christian, you become vulnerable to Satan’s condemning voice, however, you must know the purpose of his condemning you, and why you have to reject his condemnation: He doesn’t want you to move on unto perfection with God, so he seek to stall you permanently at a stage where you just keep on sinning and seeing yourself as a sinner that you’re not. The devil doesn’t like you. Some people need to know that because they sort of believe everything he tells them.
Well, you sinned! Yes, it was a flat out bad decision. But you’re not your wrong behavior. Your ability to sin doesn’t make you a sinner, just like your ability to bark like a dog doesn’t make you a dog. Who you are needs to be grasped. Otherwise you’ll keep confusing who you are with what you did.
You might want to ask, “Well, if I’m not a sinner, then why did I sin?” That’s a good question to consider. Now, the reason why you sinned is because you’re a Christian mess.
What’s a Christian mess? A Christian mess is someone who got born again, and has become a perfect new man in Christ Jesus, but still has the same old messed up mind that he used to have while he was still in the world. His mind was a mess before he got born again. And now that he’s born again, he hasn’t done anything to change his messed up mind; that’s a Christina mess.
Before you became a Christian, there was a certain way you perceived things. There was a certain way you thought about things. There was a certain kind of mind you had, the Bible calls it ‘carnal mind.’ This kind of mind is structured in such a way that it cannot please God; it always does what God is against (Rom. 8:7). And if you don’t replace the contents this mind with the Word of God, it’ll drive you to sin and sinning continually.
Now, don’t misunderstand me; you’re not your mind. Who you are in Christ is a perfect sinless man (Col. 1:28). Yea, that’s right—sinless. It’s not possible for the real you to sin. This ‘you’ I’m talking about is your spirit. The spirit in you is from God, and since there’s no possibility of sin in God, there’s no possibility of sin in you (1 John 3:9).
As earlier hinted, the reason you still sin, however, is because you’re still left with a carnal, sin-prone mind. If you’ll renew your mind, and let your mind be totally subject to the Word of God, you’ll pretty much find it very hard to sin.
Hence, whenever you sin and the devil tries to condemn you like you’re a sinner, you say: “Go to hell Mr. Devil. I’m better than my past. I’m a perfect man in Christ. And I refuse to confuse my behavior with my identity in Christ. I choose to move on unto perfection.”
Everything starts and ends in your mind. How you see yourself—as a sinner or a perfect man in Christ—is how you’ll ultimately become in your actions. Hence, understand that you’re not a sinner, and then you can move on from there.
2. Know God is not mad, neither is he surprised
God isn’t surprised that you sinned. He is not! He knew you would sin, that’s why he made forgiveness available for you in Christ. Although sin doesn’t make him happy at you, nonetheless, it doesn’t make him mad at you.
Wherever the mind goes, the man follows. And when your mind is not prone to pleasing God, no one—not even God—would be surprised that it didn’t; hence, it’s important you get your mind renewed.
If God isn’t surprised at you, you can be sure he’s not mad either. Taking a cue from scripture, the only place where we see God running towards someone was when he was running towards a lost son who had messed up his life (Luke 15:20). What’s more, God wasn’t running to condemn him, but to love, kiss, embrace and receive his lost son back into his hands.
Do you think he has changed? He never changes (Mal. 3:6). If you sin, he’ll come running back at you, to embrace you, if you are only going to come back to him.
3. Receive forgiveness for your sins
There’s no need asking whether or not God’s going to forgive you because you feel the sin you committed is grave; he’s made it available already (Eph. 1:7, Col. 1:14). He isn’t waiting for you to sin before he forgives you. As a matter of fact, you have been forgiven already (1 John 2:12), hence, you don’t have to ask for forgiveness anymore—just receive it.
If you’re not a Christian (born again), you can be sure God’s not forgiven you, hence 1 John 1:9 is for you, it reads: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” You need to be cleansed from all unrighteousness because you’re still unrighteous. However, if you’re a Christian, you’re righteous already. And you don’t need to be cleansed from unrighteousness.
As we saw earlier, your behavior doesn’t define you, neither does it change who you are. You’re righteous, even after you sin. In fact, no amount of sin can change that.
Dear reader, if you’re a Christian, and if no amount of sin can change that, then what do you need forgiveness for? All you have to do is to receive forgiveness. If you’re not sure about this, go search your Bible, I promise you, you won’t find one place where it says a Christian should ask for forgiveness.
Now, what should you do? How do you receive forgiveness? It’s simple, you receive it by faith. Faith has to be revealed in words, if you don’t say nothing, then nothing happens. Hence, to receive forgiveness you say: “Father, I made the wrong decision by sinning. I thank you for your mercy. I thank you for making forgiveness available in Christ. Hence, right now, I receive forgiveness for my sin by faith, in Jesus name.” When you say that, that’s it—you’re forgiven. You don’t have to feel forgiven. Just know he heard you, because he did. That’s how you get back after you sin.
The term ‘repentance’ has been very misunderstood. Repentance literally means a ‘change of mind’ and it’s not something that you just do in one second, and all of a sudden, you’ve repented; no! Repentance is a process that continues for a whole life time.
Repentance is synonymous with renewing your mind. Because both of them produce the same result: a changed behavior. Repentance is something that happens, not by your own power, but by the power of the Holy spirit. As you give yourself to the Word of God, the Holy spirit begins to work on your mind gradually, till you reach a place where you cannot stand the slightest glimpse of sin—let alone commit the act of sin.
That’s when you now begin to behave like you really are. The real you hate sin, and until you find yourself hating sin, boy you’ve got a whole lot of work to do.
Ways to Repent:
- Meditate on the Word of God daily
- Read the Word of God daily
- Go to church always
- Listen to sermons on electronic devices very often
- Read spiritual books
- Pray, fast, etc. Just get serious with God.
The Holy spirit works with words. The more you give it to him, the more he’ll be able to change your life with it. And, mind you, he’ll only work with words from God. So get busy surrounding yourself with God’s word. By the way, this is how you stop being a Christian mess: when your messed up mind is cleansed and washed by the Word of God (Eph. 5:26).
5. Move on—it’s a journey
You might sometimes later, find yourself sinning again. Don’t beat yourself up. This isn’t about you trying to impress God by proving to him that you can handle sin; no you can’t. This is about God helping you live above sin. This is about the grace of God that saved you and is also sustaining you.
If you really want to get yourself back after you sin, then you need to understand that no one can conquer sin with will-power. You need to take advantage of God’s grace that’s able to keep you from sinning. It’s surely possible to live above sin. Rom 6:14 enunciates: “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
God just told you what will happen, He said, ‘sin shall not have dominion over you.’ However, it’s not in your own strength, it’s by God’s ability working in you.
Suppose someone was knocking on the door of your room, and it occurred that even though you knew where the door was, the absence of light in the room made you unsure about how to navigate your way. Due to your uncertainty, you mistakenly collided with a stool, and you fell on the ground. What will you do in such event?
Will you say to the person knocking on the door, “you see, I was trying to get to you, but I’ve just fallen, hence I’ll just stay here and never get up again.” Will you say that? Of course not. Instead, you will get right back on your feet and go open the door.
That’s how it is in Christianity—you rise up and keep on moving when you fall. You see, falling is not the problem. What matters is how you get yourself back up, and keep on moving. There’s a whole lot ahead of you.
Do you think Satan fights for nothing? No he doesn’t. If he keeps condemning you when you fall into sin, it must be that he’s seen something glorious about your future that he doesn’t want you to manifest. He has seen that you are perfect in Christ Jesus, and he doesn’t want you to come into that place where you act just like you are: perfect.
So get up. And move on. Life is bigger than past failures. Your identity is in Christ, not in your wrong behavior. You can live above sin. Lean upon his helping hand and see what he makes out of your life.
Do you think God is mad when a Christian sin?
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© 2017 Matthew Joseph