Q. I have been a Christian for many years and I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. However, due to a recent change in my personal circumstances, I have become addicted to a habit that I find impossible to overcome. This has plunged me into emotional and spiritual turmoil. For one thing it has made me doubt whether I have been saved all these years after all. And for another I have read so often that a true Christian hates his sin. But I don’t hate what I do. At the time I enjoy it. However afterwards my conscience beats me up and tells me it is wrong. Remorse and guilt kick in. I determine never to do it again. I ask God’s forgiveness. I enjoy the sense of freedom from guilt and shame until, bang, the temptation comes again, I am overwhelmed and the whole cycle starts all over again!
A. The reason Christians hate sin is because we know it is not pleasing to God, and we want to do our best to please Him. But for many believers the desire to sin does not completely go away. Because we still have a sin nature we will always be tempted to sin. Even Paul said he was unable to completely stop sinning. Then he said from the Lord’s view it wasn’t him but the sin living in him that is to blame (Romans 7:18-20).
The Lord’s death didn’t remove the temptation to sin but did save us from the penalty. It’s important that we express our gratitude to God for saving us by living lives that please Him. But when we fall short we can be comforted in knowing that confession brings immediate forgiveness and restoration (1 John 1:9). And we can also take comfort in knowing that the moment we accepted the Lord as our Savior our inheritance was guaranteed (Ephes. 1:13-14) and there’s nothing anyone can do to change that (John 10:27-30). Many people find that just knowing these things gives them more strength to resist the temptations we all face.